Last night at Microsoft we were taken through a quick tour of the upcoming Foxtel service on Xbox LIVE, and caught up with Product Manager Andrew Jenkins to quiz him regarding some of the finer details of the service. First on the agenda - why hasn't Microsoft paired up with an ISP to provide unmetered access to the service?
"When I first came to Australia," says Andrew, "you couldn't find an ISP that would give you a cap bigger than 10GB, but now some companies are offering huge plans. If you're on one of these plans I don't think it'll be an issue."
Initial reports claim that Foxtel on the Xbox 360 will use up about 800MB per hour. Microsoft already has a deal in place with iiNet to provide unmetered downloads - why not do the same with Foxtel?
"Well, Telstra already does unmetered access with its On Demand service," says Andrew, "there's no reason why this won't extend to Xbox LIVE in the future."
Microsoft seemed a little tight-lipped on the unmetered access question, and keen to show the quality of the service itself - and with good reason. Foxtel on LIVE has a lot to offer.
For $20 a month gamers get access to a Getting Started package that includes a host of channels such as Fox 8, MTV, Discovery, and Nickelodean among others. Better still, viewers have the ability to opt in and opt out on a month-to-month basis - no need to sign up for a lengthy contract.
What excited us most, however, was a catch up feature that allows viewers to essentially stream from a back catalogue of shows already shown on Foxtel - essentially negating the need for any kind of recording device, while providing Foxtel users access to a wealth of content.
But would that content include Aussie specific sports such as NRL or AFL?
"You'd probably have to speak to Foxtel about that," begins Andrew, "it's really them that's in control of the content itself."
We contacted Foxtel to gather more info, and are currently waiting on a reply. More details soon.