How the next Xbox (720) can win the cable TV war

The battle for the future of television is just about to begin and it looks likes it going to be a long one. One of the key players is Microsoft, which has spent the past several years morphing its Xbox 360 from a straight-up gaming console into one of the best video-streaming boxes you can buy. Of course, the current Xbox 360 is getting long in the tooth, and the next-generation model is expected to be for sale as early as the end of 2013. And TV services look to be just as central to that device as well as obviously gaming.

That story would seem to confirm earlier rumors that the next Xbox would have support for live TV input, among other upgraded entertainment options, including Blu-ray. The Xbox 360 currently boasts a huge assortment of video services, including Netflix, Vudu, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video, and HBO Go, as well as apps for Fios and Comcast.

An HDMI input lets the Xbox get full access to all of your cable content — both live and recorded — without having to wait for cable and satellite companies to improve their apps. The future of pay TV is undoubtedly streaming, but Microsoft can use an HDMI input as a bridge until the industry catches up. Given the cable industry’s tortoiselike pace of innovation, it makes sense not to wait.

Microsoft’s Xbox ecosystem is cleaner, faster, and extremely easy to use and with a next generation console coming out later this year, after years in the making, it can only get better.

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