Comcast’s Xfinity app for Xbox Live is still “coming soon,” but Microsoft gave a sneak preview on Monday as part of the TechForum event on the company’s Redmond campus.

It’s part of an ongoing effort by Microsoft to make the Xbox 360 more of a multipurpose entertainment device, expanding beyond its roots as a game console. The company added a slate of new television and video providers last fall as part of a revamp of the Xbox Live service.

Craig Mundie, the company’s chief research and strategy officer, said the broader initiative demonstrates Microsoft’s momentum in the living room.

People ask about Apple TV and Google TV, Mundie acknowledged, but he said the 66 million Xbox 360s sold to date are “essentially Microsoft TV people,” even if everyone thinks of them as Xbox users.

Aaron Greenberg of the Xbox team gives the demo of the Xfinity on-demand video service in the video above, using voice commands and showing how the system recognizes the user’s cable provider (after a one-time authentication) and displays the service under the TV section of the Xbox Live dashboard.

“This brings a massive, massive catalog from Xfinity to the service,” Greenberg said.

Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, also speaks toward the end.

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  • ‘Red’ Russak

    Why would xBox choose to support cable? They’re only assisting in prolonging its death?

    • Guest

      There are millions of persons still ignorant enough to pay $80 a month to watch dozens of crappy ad-laden channels of stuff they can get on-line for free. Why shouldn’t Microsoft target the ignorant moneyed? Their competition have made trillions from them.

      • Robert Janousek

        Whatever.  As long as there isn’t the ability to stream video to 90% of the TVs, there will be a need for Cable/Dish.  People aren’t going to be sitting in front of their computers all day long to get the free content and if they do, that free content will go away.  Microsoft looked into creating a subscription service and found it too expensive.  The nice thing about these apps is you can use your existing xbox to get channels that you already paying for free on other TVs without paying COMCAST $15 per per month per extra box or pair of cable cards.  

        • Guest

          See, that’s why we love you, Robert.

          You could have spent $100 for an Apple TV or $50 for a Roku box to stream video to every TV in your house. You adamantly refuse to think of other video delivery services so that you instead may pay $80 a month for Comcast’s “service.” (Actually, with all the additional cable boxes you need, call it $100 a month.)

          Robert, thank you. Your money and your ignorance have made Comcast the market leader in cable television. To thank you for your loyalty, keep an eye out for a little something extra in your next bill. (Unless you pay your bill automatically regardless of the amount — in which case, thank you again!!)

          • ‘Red’ Russak

            +1 Roku
            +1 Apple TV (jailbroken)
            +1 BoxeeBox + TV Plugin (<–that's right. Comes with an antenna so you can watch local TV on top of internet TV, all in one interface….without paying COMCAST a dime!)

            I have a feeling, while MS wants to capture the money, they'll have all the users they want when the time comes to turn off cable and turn on Internet TV. Looking forward to that day!

      • Alan Stevenson

        because the quality of cable is better than a download. and i can’t watch live hd sports via download. durrr

        • ‘Red’ Russak

          Yea, but you can watch live sports on Roku, AppleTV and Boxee. PS: Cable only costs as much as it does b/c they know the learning curve for switching to internet TV is “DECEPTIVELY” hard. I can assure you, once you get the hang of it, Comcast will lose another customer.

        • Guest

          Comcast’s picture quality is horrible. You might get a 1080p picture, but with so many compression artifacts, you might as well be watching YouTube.

          I can watch live HD sports via Internet streams. (ESPN3, MLB dot TV, et cetera) What’s stopping you?

          • Xavie79_79

            I’ve had Comcast for years and never felt like the picture was youtube quality.  I think you’re exaggerating a bit much.

          • CubicalMonkey

            comcast is 1080i not 1080p BIG difference!!! and yes the quality of video compaired to Directv does suck ass.

        • Anonymous

          and you’re the reason why cable and satellite is so expensive.  The “sports” guys.  They are the most expensive channels to acquire for cable and satellite providers.  I can’t get service without them.  I can’t get service without the other 160 channels I don’t want or would never watch.  All because of sports channels.

      • Xavier79_79

        I don’t want to watch tv on a laptop or computer screen,  I want to watch tv the way it was meant to be watched: on a television.

  • Mark Gibbs

    Boy, Kind of wish Verizon updates there app, we dont get on demand with the verizon app just live tv..

  • jabrock

    I dont get the need to have to insult people because their views differ from yours. “I don’t watch cable therefore anyone who does is a moron.” No point in that.

    I like how the first guess comment talks about ad-laden commercials, not quite, when you watch the free online episode and are stuck with the commercial breaks, at least with cable/satellite you have an option of having a dvr.

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