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Sky reportedly in talks with Microsoft to sell Xbox One as set-top box

Xbox One Guide Stage

British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB - or Sky for short) is reportedly in talks with Microsoft to stock the next generation video game console as a set-top box. You heard correctly. Not as a gaming device, but an actual set-top box. The Xbox One has been highlighted as being more integrated with rich media beyond gaming, which is something Sky could definitely look to take advantage of.

Sources familiar with company plans have informed games industry magazine MCV that the box could include a Sky satellite tuner or act as a video recorder in the future, but we'll also follow suit and suspect only the latter is more probable. The subscription from Sky could well be centred around an Xbox One and pre-installed Now TV or Sky Go application. Couple this with SmartGlass support and you've got a winner.

Pricing details have not been revealed, but we imagine the price of the console would be offset by a contract fee, much like what's presently available with smartphones. It would certainly provide a cheaper alternative to purchasing an Xbox One, as well as enabling owners to check out the latest content through your Sky package. With the quick access between live TV and other apps and games, it'll be interesting to see how Sky will connect to the Xbox and if the company could offer more than just an app.

Sky and Microsoft have been working together for a number of years with options available for consumers to enjoy content on the Xbox 360. Why would someone wish to have an Xbox One with their Sky subscription? Should you live in a building that does not (or simply can't install) have a satellite dish, this is the perfect opportunity to access content that would not otherwise be available.

We'll be on the floor at E3 and will be sure to find out as much as possible. 

Source: MCV, via: Pocket-lint

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Reader comments

Sky reportedly in talks with Microsoft to sell Xbox One as set-top box

61 Comments

You can hook up u-verse to your Xbox 360 and use it as a tuner box. Cause that's what they showed me on paper to get me to get u-verse!

So is Sky all IP based?  Just wondering how they get a signal into the box when it only has ethernet and HDMI-In

If Sky are selling Xbox One as a STB they're not going to sell you the regular STB so you can plug it in too are they?

No it's DVB-S/2 satellite. But they already offer access to about 40 channels through a Xbox 360 app, presumably this will offer access to a lot more.

That would require fast internet though. Thought the point was that it would just use the signal from the skybox?

The streams they use now are about 3mb, I'm sure that will be fine for most.
And judging by the reports they are selling the Xbox One AS a Sky box, not just something that works with the boxes they already sell. Considering their existing boxes are just slightly upgraded versions of a box made in 1998, this seems likely.

"Sky" is that far-off magical place that exists on the other side of the perpetual gray cloud canopy you live in. I have seen it and it is very beautiful and I hope that someday you too can see it. In the meanwhile, enjoy the hell out of watching Rally driving and hope tha Kimi wins this year!

This could be a great move for Sky and also for Microsoft. It would be great if instead of Sky box Microsoft managed to create a customised Xbox One with the Sky box components integrated and at the same time it would work as any othe Xbox One.
Sky would benefit from more subscribers as it would attract more people who want both TV and a Gaming console, and on the other hand it would help Microsoft to further establish and dominate in the UK gaming console bussiness.
 
 

I thought they said in the announcement presentation that the Xbox One will act as an overlay for TV boxes? Meaning you need a Sky Box to handle all the Sky business then the Xbox is just in control of the channels etc and can show an EPG... You can't use the One as the actual Sky 'decoder' (or any other cable/satellite/IPTV/etc box).
Or did I misunderstand?

This is true unless the video comes direct to the XBox over I.P.   I used the XBox during the US Presidential Debates where the video was streamed and during that presentation, multiple choice poll questions were asked and you could choose a response. Obviously I didn't have cable running through my XBox 360.   The results came in after a minute or two of responses. They even updated the response as more answers were submitted.  I believe there were a couple of times where the audience could choose a question for the moderator to ask the candidates. Obviously the most popular question would be the next one presented to the candidates. It was truly an interesting experience and I think it holds alot of potential. Not only will game shows/(un)reality TV shows use it, but I'm sure the cable/TV companies see this as a way to bring the audiences back to Live TV and subscriptions as this will be the only way to interact.  This will be their way of combating the likes of HULU, Netflix, Amazon and in general all of the streaming DVR like services.  It could be compelling, and might actually be a huge incentive to not "cut the cord."

I'm curious what kinds of services Microsoft will be delivering for the European (especially Dutch)  market. We don't have things like Netflix, Hulu, ESPN etc. Will buy the One on day one, no matter what (I'm a gamer), but I'm still curious.

You may not have Netflix and Hulu but you do have legalized weed so you actually have the better end of the bargain.

I swear to you guys, I'm absolutely not high typing this message! (wwooohhh I do like all the beautiful colors everywhere) ;)

So its official.. Xbox isn't a games console! The more xbox gets related with TV, the more appealing the PS4 becomes.

Why is the fact that it does more tv stuff mean its a worse console? The 360 does more tv stuff than ps3 already and it still has the better gaming experience. Stop beating that drum

More like consoles are expensive so why not give people more bang for their buck? It plays games and lets you watch movies and tv without using a switcher like the good ol' days. Or was the PS2 bad for allowing you to play DVDs in addition to games?

Think of it like this... The more the Xbox Ones related to TV services, the less devices you'll have to buy. It's like buying a computer and only being able to run applications like Photoshop, useless for a lot of people. People like to game on them, watch movies, do office work and browse etc. The Xbox One is starting to appeal to me, may finally ditch Sony. Shame about the trophies!

I think this is a way for sky to also get around a little problem they currently have. If you have sky, you can give your account and password to someone who doesn't and they can watch sky tv through their xbox. If your xbox is locked to your sky account, you cant do that anymore. I would never do such a thing obviously

Fiddlesticks

I think that people have to remember though. it is a gaming machine either way.. Yea, they are going to sell it as a set top box, but in its core, it is still what it is.. A gaming machine.. So you are getting the best of both worlds I would think. As for locking the acct. It is what it is.. Nothing is free.. This is huge for Microsoft coming into a world of Google TV, Ruku and Apple TV.. The name says it all Xbox One..
 

Just got rid of Sky TV and got fibre optic broadband. Online streaming and on demand is the way forward, not interested in this... Especially at the amount Sky charge!

Bundle this with subscription and the cost go down @ 199.99 for 2 year contract and u got a winner.

This is one great move and if xbox can use the internet from directly sky itself.. that will be great which is to be expected with this integration and somehow doesn't seem like too much effort will be required for it.. Just I hope Sky doesn't make ms lock down many features as it is integrating with this but anyhow still Looking forward, We are going to buy one anyway. 

If the Xbox One could take a Sky satellite tuner I'd pee my pants in excitement.  I doubt it, though.  Sky like to keep tight control over their STBs - you can only get a STB from Sky, for example.  There's no equivalent of "CableCard" in the UK, so Sky have a monopoly on the STB and the user interface.
More likely it'll be HDMI in, maybe with some CEC controls so the Xbox could control the box directly, e.g. to schedule recordings, watch on demand, etc.

The TV features make complete sense now. If big TV providers start offering the Xbox One as a part of their service lots of people will end up on Xbox for convenience. If its pulled off right Xbox One could be huge.

Like many live sports fans I have been waiting my whole adult life for sky's dominance to be reined in in a meaningful way. I have been pleased at the success of virgin's TiVo, and would be very disappointed if sky managed to secure an uber-box like the x1 which would leave the TiVo in the dust. This kind of deal actually gets me hoping that ps4 brings it in the interactive tv space and does a deal with a sky competitor. Sorry Ms, the friend of my enemy is my enemy too.