Microsoft's XBox 360 Video Crossover: DirecTV and IPTV (MSFT, DTV)

Includes: MSFT, T, TIVO
by: Andrew Schmitt

We feel the Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox 360 is destined to be a platform for delivering IPTV through Xbox Live or as a cable set top box sold directly to video providers.

Some information appeared today that reinforces this trend. The March issue of The Official Xbox Magazine has a small blurb indicating that DirecTV (DTV) may provide downloadable HD content for viewing on the Xbox 360 platform. This follows on the heels of a partnership announced at CES in January. From Joystiq:

A scan of the March 2006 issue of Official Xbox Magazine reveals “that a DirecTV blade might be added to your Xbox 360 Dashboard to accompany the Xbox Live, Games, Media, and System blades. In that blade, you could download TV episodes in high definition, HD movies on demand, and standard-definition streaming DVR (i.e., TiVo) functions.”

It’s clear to us that Microsoft has extensive plans to grow the Xbox 360 platform horizontally to encompass the set top box business (starting with DirecTV), the PVR business (aka Tivo), and eventually the handheld PMP business, potentially through a partner like HTC (2498.TW) and the use of Windows CE 5.0 and Windows Vista Sideshow functionality.

Note: I link to several other other opinion pieces I have written on the subject. Feel free to explore.