Cable services like Time Warner and Comcast are said to be among the Xbox partners Microsoft is getting ready to announce, possibly as early as next week. You can already run games and DVDs through the Xbox as well as streaming video options like Netflix and Hulu. Under the new configuration, live cable TV would be one more thing running through the box and it would be easier to flip between your various choices. To get it, you'd have to be a paid cable customer already. Cable operators would like it because you might end up watching more TV instead of watching your dang Netflix all the time.

But it wouldn't be for every channel on your cable system, says Bloomberg: "Microsoft also expects to sign deals with Time Warner's HBO cable channel, Sony Pictures Entertainment's Crackle streaming service, NBC Universal's Bravo and Syfy channels and Lovefilm UK, a subsidiary of Amazon.com."

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