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Microsoft is hoping to lure more sports fans to its Xbox One console by delivering live events in better video quality than cable or satellite TV providers.

The company recently revealed that it plans to offer live NFL games at 60 frames per second (FPS), which is nearly twice what broadcast TV is offering to sports fans. Sporting events benefit from the better frame rate because the video content includes lots of fast-moving images. A higher FPS means the picture will be more lifelike and sharper.

The faster frame rate is possible thanks to a new multi-year partnership with streaming company NeuLion. NeuLion will push the live stream of NFL games — as well as a linear 24/7 video channel — using its cloud-based streaming tech. The content itself will be available via the official NFL Xbox Live app.

To avoid buffering issues that would interrupt viewing, NeuLion will deliver the live stream in seven different tiers of video quality. The highest of those tiers is a 720p stream at 60FPS, while the lowest tier will deliver video in standard definition at half the frame rate. My guess is that it’ll behave like Netflix’s streaming technology for set-top boxes — where the stream will remain constant, even if the video quality changes based on the reliability of your Internet network.

The biggest thing to note here is that to get the highest quality streaming and max FPS, you’ll need a solid Internet connection. That means a connection that won’t drop below 6mbps during peak viewing times. I doubt it’ll be much of an issue for most people wishing to watch NFL games via Xbox One, since many are likely to have a decently fast connection.

To gain access to the NFL live streams, you’ll need to subscribe to both an annual Xbox Live Gold membership and a separate monthly feed for the NFL service.

Via Digital Trends


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