Microsoft preparing Xbox LIVE subscription TV service codenamed Orapa

By Tom Warren, on 10th Mar 11 12:40 pm with 8 Comments

Microsoft is preparing to launch an Xbox LIVE subscription TV service later this year.

Rumors of the service have been circulating for months but the company appears to be close to finishing a key component according to reports. ZDNet said on Wednesday that Microsoft’s is currently readying “Orapa”, a mash-up of the company’s Mediaroom IPTV services and Microsoft’s Xbox services. “Orapa” will reportedly marry Avatar Kinect and the company’s Ventura music and video services. “Orapa, in development now, is going to be a combination of Xbox Live and Microsoft’s Mediaroom IPTV, from what I’m hearing,” wrote Mary Jo Foley on Wednesday. “It would give Microsoft a way to turn TV into a service that it could deliver to Xbox customers first, and Windows, Windows Phone and set-top-box customers, later.”

Microsoft has long been in talks with media companies to produce a TV service for its Xbox console. Microsoft is proposing a “virtual cable operator” which will be delivered over the Internet and charged with a monthly fee. Microsoft has also suggested that cable companies could use the Xbox as a device to authenticate existing cable subscribers to watch shows and interact with their Xbox LIVE friends. Microsoft offers a similar service in the UK where Sky customers can use their Xbox LIVE avatars during sporting events.

Microsoft tried to woo Conan O’Brien into its Xbox LIVE subscription TV service last year. The software giant refuses to comment on reports of a TV subscription however. Microsoft is planning to make Orapa available by holiday 2011 according to ZDNet. If the company’s schedule is accurate then this could pave the way for the much talked about Xbox TV service just in time for Christmas.

How Xbox service may look - Sky Player in UK

  • Gho,Danny Wahyudi

    i hope we can maxime the screen to TV only then switch to room view

  • Bnlf

    “Orapa”, really?!

    • Project

      Just a code name.

  • Obiwan

    Hope they will support that stuff in USA not only as usual… Knowing that Telekom Germany is already using Mediaroom IPTV (via SettopBox). Would love to use my xbox instead.

  • Shiro

    The should have just called it Oprah. It would have been a success for sure.

  • GP007

    If this lets them tap into the tv carriers who are using Mediaroom then that’s interested, I guess this is like MS’s version of Hulu Plus then? What are the fees? And why charge more and not just cover Gold members already? Guess we need details first and a demo of how it’ll all work.

  • teemark

    I’m interested to see if they will allow this for users of ATT U-Verse, which uses Microsoft Media Room technology to push TV programming as IPTV, with Xbox 360 already available to use as a secondary cable box.
    Knowing how MS protects their partner relations, I’m thinking it will be blocked on ISPs already using Media Room licensing.

  • *Insert Name Here*

    WTF is a Orapa?