Netflix is partnering with Microsoft to distribute on-demand movies for free through the Xbox. Anticipated by some analysts earlier this year, the partnership comes barely two months after the launch of Netflix’s IPTV set-top box.
The service will be available to premium users of Microsoft’s IPTV service, Xbox LIVE, from late autumn. Under the deal, viewers will be able to stream 10,000 movies and TV episodes from Netflix’s catalogue to their TV sets, with the possibility of pausing, rewinding and fast-forwarding the shows using Xbox’s hard drive.
For Microsoft, the move is part of a wider revamp of the Xbox, which will see the firm upgrade the console’s software and add new content. The deal with Netflix also expands Xbox LIVE’s video offerings, adding to the 6,000 hours of TV shows and movies currently on sale on the platform. The announcement comes as various video rental firms are trying to expand into the IPTV sector. Blockbuster recently revealed plans to launch an in-store kiosk that will let customers download film titles. The service will let users load films to portable devices, with a target download time of 30 seconds.