Xbox 360 owners will soon find themselves greeted with the “update available” prompt, and once the update is complete they’ll have access to Comcast on-demand and HBO’s GO streaming service.
The partnership with Comcast provides subscribers to the company’s cable service the ability to watch on-demand content straight through their Xbox 360, partially bypassing the set-top boxes normally distributed to customers. Eligible users will be able to access the new functionality via a “TV” tab in the Xbox interface. There’s even support for Kinect gestures.
It’s not all sunshine and roses, however. You still need to have a Comcast DVR hooked up to TV in your house. You also must subscribe to Comcast’s cable service and Comcast’s Internet service. Those obtaining access to the web from some other source are left out, which has caused some critics to accuse Comcast of using cable subscriptions as an end-run around net neutrality.
HBO GO requires a subscription to the premium cable network through any major cable provider in order to gain access to the online catalog. Almost every show available on HBO is available via the Xbox app. This includes the hit series Game of Thrones. The release of the app is meant to correspond with the new season, which debuts on April 1st.