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Today Microsoft announced that it plans to roll out the next generation of TV entertainment on Xbox live in over 20 different countries over the holiday season.

We have been waiting for this for some time now, and finally it appears to have arrived.

AT&T, BBC, Comcast, HBO, Rogers, Telefónica, Televisa and Verizon are among providers rolling out new TV entertainment services on Xbox LIVE.

On a Microsoft press release seen today they talk about this being a major step towards Microsoft realising their vision to bringing you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about. Stating that you will be able to switch from games to music to live TV and more by using your Xbox 360.

Starting this holiday season they are giving US customer 26 live channels including MTV, Spike, Food Network, Comedy Central, HBO, CNN and Nickelodeon — with more to come.

Highlights of the Xbox 360 TV Experience 

Unified Dashboard for Xbox LIVE

Xbox LIVE now has a unified dashboard for greater, easier navigation, whether customers use Kinect or a controller. Access more entertainment content for everyone in the family from numerous providers.

Comcast Xfinity Direct to Your Xbox 360

Starting this holiday season, customers will have access to world-leading TV and entertainment providers such as Comcast Xfinity. Get access to over 10,000 episodes of catch-up TV.

Lots of Live TV on the Way for US Customers

Starting this holiday season customers in the United States will be able to watch live TV with Verizon FIOS. Get Verizon FiOS TV with multiple live channels like MTV, Spike, Food Network, Comedy Central, HBO, CNN and Nickelodeon — with more to come.

Searching for Entertainment? Bing, It’s There!

With Kinect for Xbox 360, there are no remotes, no buttons, no worries. Powered by Bing, customers can search across Xbox LIVE for games, movies and TV content from different providers, to find what they want to watch instantly.

Voice-Powered Search

With Kinect, you are the controller. Find TV shows fast, and use your voice to pause and rewind movies and TV shows. Just say what you want to watch and Xbox finds it with voice search powered by Bing. Want to find the latest X-Men movie?  Simply say “Xbox Bing, X-Men” and Xbox finds it.

More Entertainment Options Instantly

Xbox LIVE now brings customers more entertainment options to enjoy movies, TV shows and sports, instantly. Find new movies on the Zune marketplace or explore the latest videos on YouTube.

Entertainment Apps Galore for the Holidays

This holiday customers will get more apps with movies, TV shows and sports from top providers such as ESPN, Netflix, Syfy and YouTube.

Sharing With Xbox LIVE Community

Customers can connect with the Xbox LIVE community to show what games they’re playing, movies they’re watching and music they’re listening to, as well as invite others to join in — even post game achievements and info about favorite movies directly to their Facebook wall from Xbox LIVE.

Experience What Xbox 360 Brings to Music

Customers can easily discover new music, artists and albums and share with friends and family from the comfort of their couch.

What gives this a fantastic futuristic feel to it is Kinect,  I love the fact that there are no remotes or buttons, you will just have to talk to your TV and tell it what you want.

Entertainment Partners on Xbox

ABC iView – Australia
AlloCiné – France, Germany, Spain, U.K.
Antena 3 – Spain
Astral Media’s Disney XD – Canada
AT&T** – U.S.
BBC – U.K.
blinkbox – U.K.
Bravo – U.S.
BSkyB** – U.K.
Canal+* – France, Spain
Channel 4 – U.K.
Channel 5 – U.K.
CinemaNow (Best Buy) – U.S.
Comcast – U.S.
Crackle – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.
Dailymotion – Available in 32 markets
EPIX – U.S.
ESPN** – U.S.
Facebook** – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
FOXTEL** – Australia
GolTV – Spain
HBO GO – U.S.
Hulu – Japan
Hulu Plus**– U.S.
iHeartRadio (Clear Channel) – U.S.
Last.fm**– U.K., U.S.
LOVEFiLM – Germany, U.K.
Manga Entertainment – U.S.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment/Real Sports – Canada
Mediaset – Italy
MSN with MSNBC.com – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, U.K.
MUZU.TV – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K.
Netflix**– Canada, U.S.
Rogers on Demand – Canada
RTVE – Spain
SBS On Demand – Australia
Syfy – U.S.
Telefonica – Spain
Televisa – Mexico
“The Today Show” – U.S.
TELUS** – Canada
TMZ – U.S.
Twitter** – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
UFC – Canada, U.S.
Verizon – U.S.
VEVO – Canada, U.K., U.S.
VimpelCom** – Russia
Vodafone Portugal** – Portugal
YouTube – Available in 22 markets
ZDF – Germany

You probably need an Xbox gold membership and I expect fees for the new entertainment, so we will have to wait and see those prices before we get too excited, but it sounds interesting so far.

Hope this helps.