Microsoft-BT Group partnership brings UK some IPTV fun

Microsoft-BT Group partnership brings UK some IPTV fun - Image 1The partnership between BT Group and Microsoft has been rumored many times before ever since big MS announced IPTV for the Xbox 360. Given the services and functions of the two, one can’t really help but see the connection.

Those rumors come to a close today as Microsoft finally confirmed the partnership during CES 2008. More details after the jump!

Microsoft-BT Group partnership brings UK some IPTV fun - Image 1Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and President Robbie Bach have announced at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show or CES that their company has inked a deal with BT Group to combine the Xbox 360 console with the BT Vision service.

The service, for those not aware of it, is capable of providing digital terrestrial TV channels as well as on-demand programming via broadband connection.

BT Vision will be powered by Microsoft’s Mediaroom Internet Protocol TV (IPTV). While this service is already available to other BT subscribers, those who will benefit from this partnership the most are the BT customers who also own a Xbox 360. In this way, the service will be accessible through the console without the need for a separate set-top-box.

Microsoft Connected Television Division Corporate VP Enrique Rodriguez commented on the partnership, saying:

Last year at CES, we announced Xbox 360 on Microsoft Mediaroom as a powerful platform capable of enabling new entertainment experiences for consumers, and we are pleased to team with BT to bring this service to market.

Given the nature of BT Group, the service will only first be available in UK. There’s still no concrete release date as of now but both companies are targeting a mid-2008 launch.

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