Xbox Video Download Service Succeeding By -- Gasp -- Being Decent

from the morgan-freeman-eat-your-heart-out dept

Movie download sites and services are playing out to a more predictable storyline than the most trite Hollywood flick: one after another, they all suck. Their offerings are plagued by restrictive copy protection, poor site design and usability and other drawbacks, while many of them apparently ignore their biggest problem for many people -- it's difficult to download a movie then watch it on a TV set rather than a computer. It's hardly surprising to learn, then, that Amazon's movie-download store (which covers all the bases when it comes to these problems) continues to struggle, while the Xbox Live video download service is apparently doing quite well. While the Xbox service isn't perfect, it does offer a few significant benefits, namely that the machines are typically hooked up to a TV, and that it also offers HD content. The HD video appears to be a big draw, because despite its $1 higher price and significantly longer download time, HD content is more popular than the same content in standard definition. While there are only 3.5 million Xbox 360s in the US, video content is selling as well as, or better than on the download sites, which are available to far more PC users. While it may be news to the download site owners, it's hardly surprising that users will flock to services that offer a good user experience.


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  1.  
    identicon
    chronic masturbator, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 7:11am

    screw x box when u can wax it

    screw that id rather wak off no wut im sayin

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 7:29am

    Great! Xbox360+Zune=Good Time!

     

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  3.  
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    Neurothustra, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 7:41am

    Huh?

    "there are only 3.5 million Xboxes in the US" - you mean Xbox Live subscribers?

    There are certainly more than 3.5 Mil Xboxes. The 360 has over 8 Million sold...

     

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  4.  
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    Neurothustra, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 7:41am

    Huh?

    "there are only 3.5 million Xboxes in the US" - you mean Xbox Live subscribers?

    There are certainly more than 3.5 Mil Xboxes. The 360 has over 8 Million sold...

     

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  5.  
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    comboman, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 7:43am

    Contrary to popular belief, Microsoft Xbox and Sony Playstation are not primarily game consoles. The game console is just a trojan horse to get you to hook the thing up to your TV. Now that you have an internet-connected, proprietary computer in your living room, the real business begins of selling you audio and video content that is locked to a single provider and viewable on a single device.

     

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  6.  
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    Matt Bennett, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 7:49am

    by Xbox, you mean the 360. Big difference.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 7:51am

    Re:

    Oooh, and that would be so terrible: Giving someone something they want. You act as if it waits until you go to sleep and then steals your credit card number from your wallet and starts charging you. I'm quite sure that every download has the pricing plainly available. And your "single provider / single device" argument doesn't hold water with me. You can already transfer music from the Xbox to the Zune, and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before you can tranx your movies as well. But thanks for the FUD, it'salways helpful.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re:

    The above was a reply to comboman, not the article.

     

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  9.  
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    Chaos, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 7:55am

    Re: Huh? Idiot!!!

    Can't you read? The article said 3.5 mil IN THE US. Over 8 Million sold is across the world. People always trying to find a flaw in the article.............idiots!!!!

     

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  10.  
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    chris (profile), Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    by Xbox, you mean the 360. Big difference.

    for real. i have a chip-modded xbox and XBoxMediaCenter and i watch movies of all kinds on it, streamed from my PC just like the 360, but with fewer hassles (once you get the chip in).

     

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  11.  
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    Carlo, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 8:40am

    Re:

    Indeed, thanks for pointing that out. I've clarified it.

     

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  12.  
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    chaos, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re:

    you dont even need a chip for that man. A good softmod will take all of 3 minutes and won't viod your warranty @ all!

     

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  13.  
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    dan, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 9:40am

    Comboman has a point. Even the same content that is free on the network websites is not free on x-box live. I know they have to pay for bandwith, but offering one or two freebies a month wouldn't hurt.

     

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  14.  
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    MrShoop, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 9:40am

    very little HD content on XBox live

    Last time I looked, of the few dozen movies available (which is already pitifully low), there were about 4 that were in HD, and the rest were SD. Maybe it will grow into something, but this is hardly a model people should be aspiring to.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re:

    yeah, but will you ever be able to transfer music & movies from an xbox to an ipod or other no M$ device. methinks not.

     

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  16.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 11:10am

    I was hoping it would fail

    No the price isn't clearly listed. its all in points that you have to purchase before hand. When you download a movie or TV show you have 14 days to start watching it and when you start you have 24hours to finish it or you have to download it again. The SD looks good on HD TVs so that's not a bad thing and there are still quite a few free things on it. also you don't need an Xbox live subscription to get all that stuff. that comes with the Free silver subscription.

    If they had a monthly subscription that will let you download as much as you want I would pay for it but I'm not going to if I have to pay twice to download the same TV show if I miss my 24hour - 14day window.

     

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  17.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 12:12pm

    Re:

    Exactly. I noticed that immdiately about the 360. Its not just a game console, its another attempt by MS to take over your entertainment center.

     

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  18.  
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    Brad, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 12:25pm

    Single company such a bad thing?

    Several people here (sanguine cream, comboman) seem to think that as soon as a company offers more than one service, it's a bad thing. Yes, my XBOX360 is a media center. That's why I bought it. I don't own many games, but I have a media center PC and can stream video and audio to my living room TV with much greater success than if I tried to do it another way. Sure, I could build a MythTV box, or I could buy one of those $250 streaming media devices, but the XBOX does it all, and does it reasonably well.

    I can watch Tivo programs on my 360. I can play all 50Gb of my music. I can even play music from my iPod (Though Apple won't let them transfer music back the other direction).

    What's so bad about that? Why does a company have to be the "big bad" content provider? Why is it a "Trojan Horse" to get me to stick a proprietary device in my living room? I think it's phenomenal. I'd have paid more for the 360 at launch if it had all the features it has now. Fortunately, I don't have to, because they've all come free.

    And to people complaining about the "points" system: it's 80 points to $1. If you can't do that math, then you're an idiot. The points system is a way of standardizing prices across markets, and a way of making sure you spend in increments. 800pt game, then MS holds on to the extra 200pts you didn't spend and collects interest on it. $2.50 may not matter to you, but multiply it by 3M and you've got a decent float on your books.

    It's a good device. Quit trying to find the evil that isn't there, just because it's Microsoft (oh, and the M$ this is very clever! No one's ever done that before!!!)

     

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  19.  
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    Brad, Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 12:28pm

    Footnote on points

    Oh, and the rentals are typically:
    240pts / $3 for Standard
    320pts / $4 for HD (on old movies)

    400pts / $5 for Standard New Releases
    480pts / $6 for HD New Releases

     

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  20.  
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    rijit (profile), Dec 22nd, 2006 @ 2:15pm

    Re: I was hoping it would fail

    "When you download a movie or TV show you have 14 days to start watching it and when you start you have 24hours to finish it or you have to download it again."

    The TV programs are not time limited, in fact once you buy one of the TV programs you can download it anytime you want from now on and watch it how many times you would like. This keeps you from filling your hard drive because you can watch the show and delete then re-download it, if at a later time you want to see it again.

    The movies are a time limited rental. Get your facts straight before spouting crap please.

     

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