The Ultimate Set Top Box

I struck upon an idea the other night while talking to a friend on the phone. Wouldn’t it be great if I could get rid of the series of boxes in my entertainment center? Ok, perhaps getting rid of all of them is too much to ask, but I don’t think that reducing down to the TV and one “set-top” box is going too far.

I currently have the following in my entertainment center:

  • Xbox 360 - for playing games and streaming Netflix
  • TiVo - for cable, DVR and Amazon video downloads
  • Sony PS/3 - almost exclusively for BluRay movie watching

I honestly think that the Xbox is really close to being my one and only box in my entertainment center. Here is what it would take for this to happen:

  • Add CableCARD support to the Xbox
  • Add DVR capability to the Xbox
  • Add a BluRay drive to the Xbox
  • Add Amazon Video-on-Demand support to the Xbox

Currently, my TiVo is my cable television set-top box because it supports CableCARD. I just plugged in a card I rent from my cable company (for a cheaper amount than if I rented a digital set-top box) and my TiVo now controls my cable television. True, it doesn’t have some of the extra features that the cable company provides, but mostly that’s video on demand and DVR capabilities … which my TiVo provides. So if Microsoft puts a CableCARD slot and DVR software into the Xbox, then I can replace most of my TiVo.

If Microsoft puts a BluRay drive in the Xbox, then I can get rid of my PS/3 … along with being able to store a bunch more data on my game discs.

If Microsoft adds Amazon Video-on-Demand support to the Xbox Live service, then I can get rid of the one remaining feature of my TiVo.

I would love to be able to just use my Xbox as my sole entertainment hub. It already does so much, from watching movies, to streaming video, to listening to music, to playing games. And if they rolled the “guide subscription” that most DVR devices charge for access to channel listings and such into the Xbox Live annual service, then they might even boost Xbox Live subscription numbers.

Microsoft, please make this happen!


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