Xbox Jumps Into Video Fray

from the what-took-ya-so-long? dept

Considering the relative success of Microsoft's Xbox 360, people have been expecting for some time that the company would use to it sell not just videogames, but to distribute other entertainment, like TV shows. But so far, the company hasn't done anything on this front, instead opting to invest its energies into a battle against the iPod that seems doomed. Finally, the company has made the long-awaited announcement that it will in fact sell videos over the Xbox 360. Their service will be roughly similar to Apple's recent video announcement, except it will offer shows in HD. The entrance of Microsoft into this space guarantees that this will be very competitive, with many companies trying to come up with solutions. And while it should add some value to the Xbox, it still doesn't solve a major hangup with these video services: that they don't allow the user to take their content with them and use ii on any device. So if you want to watch videos on your laptop as well, looks like you'll probably have to pay twice.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    XBMCer, Nov 7th, 2006 @ 8:30am

    Sounds nice, but

    Where are you going to store the downloaded video? The 20gig hard drive only has about 12gigs free out of the box. They've made no legit announcements about a larger hard drive, and they've locked down the console so you can't upgrade the hard drive yourself. You also have to pay with MS Points (Disney bucks), which means you're never sure if 1623 points costs $1.50 or $27.

    It is nice to be able to download HDTV programming on demand, but the limited storage space, the fact that some programming expires, and the bizarre 360 menu (yes, I have the Fall update, and it didn't get any better) makes me love the old Xbox and XBMC even more.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    DittoBox, Nov 7th, 2006 @ 9:14am

    HD content is bigola

    Regular, Terrestrial ATSC, mpeg-2, 720p HD streams are about 5 gig an hour.

    XBMCer is right, HD is just too big to fit. Our 250gig MythTV is barely enough.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Starky, Nov 7th, 2006 @ 9:29am

    Re: Sounds nice, but

    80 points equals U.S. Dollar.

    Also, I belive that you can store videos on the memory cards. The problem with this is actually finding a HD video that is less them 16 MB or however much the Memory cards hold.

    Also, if you delete a video after purchasing it, you can re-download it or stream it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    UniBoy, Nov 7th, 2006 @ 9:38am

    It's a streaming solution

    You purchase the video, then you have either a limited period of time, or an unlimited period of time, during which you can watch the video by streaming it across the network.

    The HD in the XBox 360 just needs to have a little bit of space available to buffer the downloading stream so that it can (potentially) play back smoothly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2006 @ 9:41am

    Concept Error

    Nowhere in the article does it say that the user would be able to keep the videos on their hard drive.

    To that end, the drive needs to only be big enough to act as a video buffer.

    Its going to be stream only. you can stream the tv shows forever (it says you get to keep it), but you may only stream the movies for a limited time. AND, its tied to your LIVE account, so its good anywhere, not just on the machine you made the purchase from.

    One good point from above: The 80point/dollar ratio was set up so the average person could NOT keep track in their head just how much stuff is costing them, thus making it easier for them to "break the connection" to real money, and think they are only spending play money. Think of the chosen ratio as pocketbook lubricant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    poploser, Nov 7th, 2006 @ 9:42am


    This is going to be as exciting as iTunes offering video downloads... right up until I find out it isn't available in Canada. And they have the nerve to wonder why I still use newsgroups for my TV downloading needs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2006 @ 9:44am

    Re: Concept Error

    Oh, one more thing.

    This is going to get quite a few people kicked from their ISPs. Not too many ISPs will actually let their customers use that much bandwidth. Most have a "cap" by month or so, after which point they either reduce the speed to a fraction of the advertised speed, or they just disconnect the account citing violations of the TOS or the AUP or the "whatever we're calling it today" agreement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    The Ill Informed, Nov 7th, 2006 @ 9:46am

    Not to ask stupid questions, but...

    Can't you simply expand the storage for things like this with USB attached storage or NAS setups? It's where I usually put my downloaded video content from the 360 (thus far limited to movie trailers and video game preview stuff). Granted, I'd like a larger on-console storage device as well, but seeing as how my whole house is wired with cat7 I might as well make use of it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    UniBoy, Nov 7th, 2006 @ 9:46am

    A little misleading re: Apple's solution

    Videos purchased from iTunes have more playback options that just the computer you downloaded it to. You can also sync it to the iPod and watch it there, or watch it on another computer on your home network, or watch it on your TV using either: iPod connected to the TV or (soon to be released) iTV connected to a TV.

    Just wanted to clarify because at least Apple's offering is not limited on being able to "take it with you." You cannot, however, legally burn it to a DVD. And that is a shame.

    I would guess that if MS manages to sell any Zunes, they'll come up with some way to download a video to the Zune via the XBox.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Adam, Nov 7th, 2006 @ 10:07am

    All your questions answered

    Ok, maybe not all, but many of the ones I've seen in the comments here. http://www.,8599,1555716,00.html I still think I'll try storing on my 400G linkstation via wireless connection. So, magic question will be how to reidrect content to store on an external storage device via your home LAN instead of the given 20G or option 100G drive? Adam

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Mike, Nov 7th, 2006 @ 11:19am

    Re: Not to ask stupid questions, but...

    So your XBOX360 cam with a 10/100/100/10 gigabit Ethernet port. LOL mine didn’t

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2006 @ 7:15pm

    do people actulaly have internet connections that can stay stable and actually STREAM a HD movie? someone's gotta know the math to that one, but it seems like quite the bandwidth that would require.
    and that thing about not being able to take the media off the xbox in any way.... FUCKING retarded

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Mike, Nov 8th, 2006 @ 5:44am


    My FIOS at 30Mb will work just fine about 3MB a sec

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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