At October 7th Steve Ballmer had a Kinect Press Event in Paris, France and he was sure to hype Kinect even further by announcing a collaboration of Canal+ with Kinect‘s services, similar to the Sky subscription deal in the UK.
We’re excited to greet you and have a chance to share some news about our partnership with Canal Plus, [...] I think we have coming this year some of the most exciting and kind of revolutionary technology for improving the family entertainment experience that I think we can ever imagine.
- Steve Ballmer on Canal Plus and Kinect
Further such deals in other countries will depend on local market conditions, Ballmer said, as the position of Canal+ in the French market was unique in his view. Read on for more details on the cooperation of Canal Plus with Xbox Kinect!
No set-top box required anymore
Canal+ subscribers usually need a set-top box with a smart card containing a secret code in order to decrypt the company’s five digital terrestrial channels or the 60 satellite channels carried by its Canalsat service. However, the Microsoft-Canal+ partnership announced Thursday opens the way for Xbox Live members to subscribe to Canal+ channels on their Xbox 360 or via a Web page, and then watch the programs on a TV with their console acting as the decoder: There will be no need for a set-top box or additional hardware, said Microsoft spokesman Benoit Fouillet to PCWorld.
Xbox 360 owners who already subscribe to Canal+ and Xbox Live will be able to enter their existing Canal+ account number in order to watch encrypted programs using their console.
December is go live!
The service should go live in December. Canal+ is expected to give further details of the launch at an event later this month.
You can read a full transcript of all Steve Ballmer had to say on Kinect on the next page (it’s quite extensive, but contains interesting details on Xbox Kinect!).
Either way, what is your view on the deals Microsoft is striking around the world? First ESPN in the US, then Sky in the UK and now Canal+ in France: Do you feel they have more surprises up their sleeve?