Skip to main content

Xbox 360 dashboard update adds 50 new web streaming and cable TV partners


Those of you who like to watch Hulu Plus and Netflix on your Xbox, prepare for a pleasant surprise. Today, as predicted, Microsoft has expanded its app partners on the Xbox 360 from 3 (ish) to 50. Yep, 50. These partners range from music streaming services, to movie sites like YouTube all the way up to HBO Go, Comcast Xfinity, and Verizon FIOS. The Xbox is simultaneously about to become a cable TV set-top box and a pretty broad Internet streaming/download platform. Google TV, you may have your work cut out for you.

The full list of partners are below. Some of them require a full cable TV subscription, while others will not. The new upgrade will be able to search through all services connected to an Xbox. So if you want to find, say, The Office, you only have to search for it in Bing and Microsoft will find the app you need to watch it. Kinect users will have expanded voice control options as well.

In addition, as we’ve known, the entire Xbox 360 dashboard will get a Windows 8-like facelift with the update, which doesn’t yet have an official release, though it’s believed to come out in mid November.

Entertainment Partners on Xbox 360 (and countries of availability):

  • ABC iView – Australia
  • AlloCiné – France, Germany, Spain, U.K.
  • Antena 3 – Spain
  • Astral Media’s Disney XD – Canada
  • AT&T** – U.S.
  • BBC – U.K.
  • blinkbox – U.K.
  • Bravo – U.S.
  • BSkyB** – U.K.
  • Canal+* – France, Spain
  • Channel 4 – U.K.
  • Channel 5 – U.K.
  • CinemaNow (Best Buy) – U.S.
  • Comcast – U.S.
  • Crackle – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.
  • Dailymotion – Available in 32 markets
  • EPIX – U.S.
  • ESPN** – U.S.
  • Facebook** – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
  • FOXTEL** – Australia
  • GolTV – Spain
  • HBO GO – U.S.
  • Hulu – Japan
  • Hulu Plus**– U.S.
  • iHeartRadio (Clear Channel) – U.S.
  •**– U.K., U.S.
  • LOVEFiLM – Germany, U.K.
  • Manga Entertainment – U.S.
  • Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment/Real Sports – Canada
  • Mediaset – Italy
  • MSN with – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, U.K.
  • MUZU.TV – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K.
  • Netflix**– Canada, U.S.
  • Rogers On Demand – Canada
  • RTVE – Spain
  • SBS On Demand – Australia
  • Syfy – U.S.
  • Telefonica – Spain
  • Televisa – Mexico
  • “The Today Show” – U.S.
  • TELUS** – Canada
  • TMZ – U.S.
  • Twitter** – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
  • UFC – Canada, U.S.
  • Verizon – U.S.
  • VEVO – Canada, U.K., U.S.
  • VimpelCom** – Russia
  • Vodafone Portugal** – Portugal
  • YouTube – Available in 22 markets
  • ZDF – Germany
  • Zune**– Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., U.S.

We’ve highlighted a few of the Internet streaming services. The addition of YouTube and Dailymotion is welcomed, as is Facebook. At the same time, we’re sad that Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, and other big streaming services weren’t added. Most of the attention has gone toward cable TV programming around the world, which can be quite costly. Still, it’s good to see cable TV services expand their reach and attempt to start offering services consumers want how they want them. Hopefully this trend will only continue. We look forward to the day when HBO Go and ESPN won’t require a $100 monthly cable subscription.

Finally, Microsoft released this not-so-pretty infographic to show off the new Xbox Live.


Editors' Recommendations

Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
Holiday Xbox 360 dashboard update offers social achievements, Bing search

Unofficially leaked by a YouTube user last month, Microsoft officially released information about the next planned update to the Xbox 360 dashboard earlier this week. One large change to the dashboard includes a higher level of integration with social networks. Using the new Social tab within the interface, users will be able to set a "beacon" to alert friends on Facebook about playing a specific game. This "beacon" also acts as a game invitation that doesn't have an expiration date. In addition, users will be able to brag about specific achievements over Facebook, but only if the user specifies the action. Users can also set the updates to fire out constantly as achievements are earning while playing a game, but those Facebook updates may be marked as spam by friends if the frequency is out of control.  
Kinect integration has also been expanded and gesture controls are more widespread across the entire interface. Similar to how a user would control actions on an iPad, swiping gestures move the menus. Speech recognition also works with the Kinect system and users can directly travel to tabs within the interface by stating "Xbox: Tab Name". Also tied into the speech recognition, users will be able to search for content on the system by stating "Bing: Content Name". For instance, saying 'Bing: Gears of War" would bring up all content related to the popular shooter series from Epic Games. However, the search function is restricted to content available on Xbox Live.
Building on the success of adding ESPN programming to the console, Microsoft is in discussions with many cable providers in helping turn the Xbox 360 into a potential replacement for the set-top box. Company officials didn't have any new partnerships to announced, but are hoping for greater live TV integration before the launch of the Fall update. A beta version of the interface is launching next month to select users and all users can expect to see a complete roll-out of the new dashboard by the end of 2011.

Read more
Xbox LIVE dashboard upgrade leaks

YouTube user and Xbox 360 mod expert iTzLuPo has posted a video revealing what is purported to be the latest Xbox dash upgrade. He says a friend who wishes to remain anonymous tipped him off to the new look and tools. We’ve already seen the Windows mobile UI refresh and heard Kinect voice commands will be improved, but the video offered a few more details. Unfortunately, it's been pulled (the above image is not from the video).
As per usual, you’re advised to take everything you seen with a grain of salt. That said, there are a few new features that deserve mention, many of which were hinted at during Microsoft's E3 press conference, but since then we've heard very little.

Discoverable: A new application called Discoverable shows up in the video and is a service that helps “companion devices” find your Xbox. Smartphones and Bluetooth devices would connect to your console seamlessly. We heard earlier this summer that Windows 8 would integrate Xbox LIVE as well, so maybe there’s some sort of PC-connectivity that will be part of this as well.
Skype: ITzLuPo insists that Skype will be woven into Xbox and will appear in the dashboard. It will integrate with LIVE.
Beacons: These let you update your social sites (Facebook and Xbox LIVE are specifically mentioned) in advance with what time you plan to play.
Kinect: Kinect voice command will be more extension and have more gestures you can use. 
YouTube: YouTube will be available via the dashboard, as will Bing search. 

Read more
Xbox 360 spring update launches today, adds PayPal billing option, auto-standby

UPDATE: Slight error in the below post, it seems. I mistakenly referred to the upcoming spring update as the one that may fry your Xbox 360, as we learned yesterday. According to Major Nelson, the Xbox-frying update has happened already, which means you can stop hoping for a free replacement console now. It also totally kills this post's running joke. Thanks a lot, Microsoft.

Show of hands: how many of you Xbox 360 owners are praying for a critical system failure once Microsoft pushes out its latest firmware update? There's one hand up right here. The company has pledged to replace all affected consoles with a shiny, new slim model and packed-in 250 GB hard drive. Pretty sweet, right? As it turns out, however, the latest update is actually good for more than just destroying your old, RRoD-prone 360. Bonus!

Read more