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Xbox Live takes on the cable box

Dec. 5, 2011 at 4:55 PM
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REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Microsoft's Xbox Live is poised to reinvent the functions of the set-box that has long been a staple of U.S. television viewing, experts said.

In a recent demonstration, Microsoft revealed functions that allow viewers with an Xbox Kinect and Xbox Live -- a subscription service that connects the console to the Internet -- to browse through viewing choices with voice commands or hand gestures, The New York Times reported Monday.

In the demonstration, the name of an actress was called out and the Xbox 360 console selected a variety of movies in which the actress played a role that were currently available.

Tom Rogers, chief executive officer of electronics firm TiVo, said younger viewers had expectations of gadgets that went beyond the capabilities of scrolling through a long list of content options.

"The user experience through traditional cable set-top boxes hasn't kept pace with the kind of user experience people get from all these other devices they use throughout the day," he said.

"Maybe it's the beginning part of the process toward eliminating the set-top box," said Mark Greenberg, chief executive of Epix, a film streaming company.

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