After years (and years) of waiting it's no surprise to see the Xbox 360 finally sliding into the role of IPTV set-top box, but we couldn't have seen Canada's Telus being the first in North America to offer the option. It only switched customers over to the Microsoft Mediaroom platform (also used by AT&T's U-Verse, where the feature should appear soon) powering its Optik TV package -- currently only available in Alberta and B.C. -- earlier this year, enabling this new multiroom setup. Of course, that means the Xbox 360 can't be the only set-top box in the house -- it just acts as a client to the main DVR for live TV watching, or to schedule and watch previously recorded programming. Subscribers owners can check the main website for access on their current Xbox 360 or grab a free new system by signing up for two years of internet access. Mediaroom 2.0 is expected to bring PCs and mobile devices into the fold at some point as well, but for now check out the Xbox 360 experience in our video demo after the break, as well as a press release with all the details.
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August 4, 2010

TELUS customers first in North America to use their Xbox 360 as digital television box with Optik TV

TELUS and Microsoft to bring premier entertainment experience with Xbox 360

Vancouver, BC – Available beginning today, TELUS and Microsoft are bringing a North American premiere to Canadian homes, enabling the Xbox 360 to directly access TELUS' Optik TV service.


The Xbox 360 is a first-class home entertainment and gaming system that Optik TV customers can now use as a digital set top box to enable PVR Anywhere features, such as scheduling the recording of up to three shows simultaneously on one PVR unit. The Microsoft Mediaroom software that powers Optik TV now also supports delivery of Optik TV to the Xbox 360 to provide great functionality for watching television anywhere in the home, as well as all the gaming benefits customers already know.

"We are blazing a trail as the first provider in North America to offer this innovative capability with Xbox 360 and Optik TV. The integration of the Optik TV service, powered by Microsoft Mediaroom, with the Xbox 360 will deliver increased flexibility and enhance our customers' entertainment experience," said TELUS President and CEO Darren Entwistle. "We continue to offer the latest and greatest technologies available for home entertainment systems through this industry-leading capability that Canadians are receiving first."

With this announcement, all the features of TELUS' popular Optik TV service now become available directly via the Xbox 360 console. This means that customers of Optik TV can use an Xbox 360 as a digital set top box to:
• Watch any of Optik TV's over 400 digital channels, including over 50 in HD;
• Watch any shows they have recorded on their Optik HD PVR digital box;
• Use PVR Anywhere to record up to 3 live shows simultaneously from any room
• Pause a recorded program in one room and pick it up from the same spot in a different room
• Get PVR functionality from any TV when watching recorded programs - Pause, replay, rewind, fast-forward.

"With Microsoft Mediaroom, the Xbox 360 offers an unmatched entertainment experience for the entire family – and one that today gets even better for Optik TV customers," said Greg Barber, Senior Director, Home Entertainment and Devices, Microsoft Canada. "By providing easy access to Optik TV directly via the Xbox 360, TELUS is uniting the best in TV with the best in gaming to raise the bar in Canada for in-home entertainment."

With the Xbox 360 console, Optik TV now delivers the ultimate integration of gaming and entertainment on one platform. In addition to being able to watch recorded shows and schedule recordings, subscribers can also use the Xbox 360 console to access digital photos and digital music libraries on the TV via their home wireless network and connected Windows PC.

TELUS recently began offering Optik TV, which offers never-before-seen functionality and features over 400 channels, including over 50 in High Definition (HD). Optik TV features the best PVR experience with PVR Anywhere, only from TELUS in Western Canada. Now one PVR is all clients need to watch and record shows on any TV in the home with a digital box, record up to three shows at once, or pause a program in one room and pick it up from the same spot in another room. Optik TV also offers Picture-in-Picture browsing, onscreen Call Display, HD Video On Demand and HD Pay Per View, so clients can order movies and live events from the comfort of their couch.

TELUS is currently offering a free Xbox 360 for clients who subscribe to High Speed Internet on a two year term. For clients who take advantage of this offer, they will experience TELUS' impressive High Speed Internet with built-in home Wi-Fi, as well as benefit from a free Xbox to use as a digital set top box with Optik TV.

Customers with an Xbox 360 can now subscribe to Optik TV by visiting TELUS.com/optiktv and turn their gaming platform into a set top box.

About TELUS
TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $9.6 billion of annual revenue and 11.9 million customer connections including 6.6 million wireless subscribers, 3.9 million wireline network access lines and 1.2 million Internet subscribers and 200,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment and video.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed $158 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 3.1 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Nine TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead TELUS' local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

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Telus turns Canadian Xbox 360s into IPTV boxes starting today