AT&T and Microsoft have announced a content partnership that will allow subscribers of the U-verse TV service to use an Xbox 360 as a standalone receiver. Live TV channels and streamed content from a local DVR unit can be accessed using a U-verse application on the Xbox 360's dashboard.
The US arrangement matches that of BSkyB's Sky Player application on the Xbox 360 in the UK. The main difference is that you'll be paying a $99 'kit' that includes having a technician come over to install all sorts of weird and wonderful hardware and software on your console. It seems to therefore be a complete integration with broadcast input, rather than the online streaming service that the Sky Player provides.
It only allows the Xbox 360 to act as a receiver right now, without the ability to save programmes to the hard drive. Such functionality may come later, but at the moment you will need to locally connect to a U-verse DVR to watch recordings.
The press release
states that, “Using your Xbox 360 as a U-verse receiver, you can receive chat and game invitations from friends through Xbox Live while watching live TV and switch seamlessly from game to TV mode without switching video inputs on your TV screen.” Good news all round then.