Foxtel brings gesture control to Xbox experience

Not satisfied with being among the first pay-TV providers in the world to deliver its service to the Xbox 360 games console, Australia’s Foxtel has now enabled users to control the experience with a simple hand gesture or voice command.

Foxtel is the country’s first broadcaster to enable Australians to navigate their TV’s user interface then locate and control sports, movies and TV shows through gestures and voice commands alone, thanks to the Kinect peripheral.

Kimberley Francis, Head of Xbox at Microsoft Australia said: “By making technology invisible we make it even easier for people to interact with their entertainment and we are thrilled to now bring this to a live television experience with Foxtel. People have been communicating with voice and gestures for thousands of years and now we are connecting people to their digital entertainment in much the same instinctive way. It won’t matter if you lose the remote control or run out of batteries because you won’t need them.”

Updates started to be automatically sent to customers’ Xbox 360 consoles from yesterday (May 16th), with users asked to accept the updates using the console. Once the updates have been accepted, users will need to sign back in to start watching Foxtel on Xbox 360.

Foxtel on Xbox 360 lets subscribers view premium Foxtel content without lock-in contracts or installation. People can tailor their service with more than 30 Foxtel channels on the live streaming television service, including AFL with FOOTY PLAY, six BigPond TV channels, catch-up TV, and hundreds of blockbuster films, library movies and TV episodes from on-demand.

Telstra BigPond broadband customers are not charged for any data when watching video content Foxtel on Xbox 360. Foxtel on Xbox 360 is only available to Xbox 360 owners who live in Foxtel metropolitan areas of Australia and who subscribe to both the Xbox LIVE service and the Foxtel on Xbox 360 service.

Microsoft announced last October (here) that it had signed agreements with nearly 40 major content and operator partners around the world to deliver live TV to the Xbox 360, with deals signed with major broadcasters such as Bravo, HBO, the BBC, ZDF and Mediaset, and pay-TV operators including Verizon, Comcast and Telefónica.

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