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Microsoft Announces TV and Movies for Xbox Live

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the one-more-thing-to-tempt-me dept.

86

PreacherTom writes "In the latest of several recent upgrades to their online service, Microsoft has announced that their Xbox Live service will begin offering movies and television on demand starting on November 22nd. All subscribers (including those using the free service) will have access to movies from Paramount and Warner Bros. along with TV shows from CBS and MTV. Prices haven't been officially released as of yet, but MS has stated that they are attempting to be competitive with similar services from iTunes and cable companies." There is lots of commentary out there on this one, so Read More to reference the many other sites discussing this story. Besides commentary on the announcement itself, Eurogamer has Sony's snarky commentary on this move by Microsoft.

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Haha (0, Flamebait)

JRWR (1001828) | about 8 years ago | (#16751111)

If all else fails, give free stuff away and hope more people buy the overpriced pice of cr*p product

Re:Haha (0, Troll)

jackharrer (972403) | about 8 years ago | (#16751145)

As for now XBox 360 is dominating next gen console. And generally is not cr*p. Other thing is they're not giving it for free but pay-per-view.
And no, I don't have it, nor I like playing games a lot.

Re:Haha (3, Insightful)

ProppaT (557551) | about 8 years ago | (#16751183)

How can something be dominating when it has no competition? When the PS3 and Wii are released, then let the speculation begin?

Re:Haha (1)

jackharrer (972403) | about 8 years ago | (#16751287)

That's a point! Anyway, they were first, so they positioned themseves very nicely in the market.

Re:Haha (4, Interesting)

THESuperShawn (764971) | about 8 years ago | (#16751611)

You make a very good point. However, I can see where they are coming from with their point of view. MS has had Xbox live for some time now on their last two generations (well both) of consoles. While the PS2 had online capabilities, there was no "centralized hub" from Sony in which to offer upgrades, expansion packs- well, anything at all. "Xbox Live" offered a centralized hub for updates at first, but has grown into something much, much more. No matter what your stance is on MS or the console market, you have to admit that MS has done a pretty good job. Hell, GameSpy and IGN basically offered more online content/features for the PS2 than Sony did.

Before I am labeled simply "pro-MS", let me say that I own a PS@ (and had a PS1) and will probably purchase other next-gen consoles as well. I am not a fan of a particular vendor, I am a fan of consoles, gadgets, and games.

I am actually hoping for Sony to launch a centralized portal for their systems. Nintendo (while not a Game Cube fan, I do have a DS) as well. I look forward to more options, (hopefully) competitive pricing structures (to keep prices down), and competition to keep content fresh and attractive.

Re:Haha (1)

JRWR (1001828) | about 8 years ago | (#16751199)

I'm a ps2 guy myself as it alwasy had better games, its not all about gfx, it all about diseng of the controller and the game media and of course how easy it is to design the games them selfs, this is way the gamecube never got a good start

Re:Haha (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16751351)

I hope to God English is your second language. If not, you are one dumb son-of-a-bitch.

Re:Haha (1)

SIInudeity (822415) | about 8 years ago | (#16751229)

So, for someone who doesn't own a 360, nor play games... You just wanted first post right?

Re:Haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16751445)

If haven't noticed it's reply to first post. No comments.

Re:Haha (1)

Reapman (740286) | about 8 years ago | (#16751365)

This argument holds as much water, as saying that the PS3 is selling like crazy because all two PS3's at a store sold out already for pre orders. Being first, out of one place, does not make a race.

Re:Haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16752789)

*sniff* *sniff* I smell a Sony fanboy lol. I'm not a fanboy to either or, but think this is an interesting concept. It allows people to be lazier than ever and from what I've noticed, everyone loves things easier. Heck here is a scenario. Say you went out for a few drinks and decided to see what was good on TV. You flip through the movie channels and notice there isn't one thing worth watching on good old digital cable. Wait...I can just download something from XBOX Live. Hey, they might have some killer classics on their worth watching.

Dear Fellow Americans, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16751197)

Although we know you are sorry [sorryeverybody.com] and even more people than the ones who voted against your current regime are sorry now, now it is the time for you to make the difference.

Please go out and vote, and if you know someone who does not want to vote please convince him/her to vote. It is on your hands the power to finish the war and terrorism. Vote to remove the totalitarian regime from your beautiful country and to start restoring the rights your government has removed from you.

I am not from USA, but I KNOW there is good people there. Please go out and vote, we need you, people from the USA, we need you to stop the injustice.

"/." Consensus on big media. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16751207)

"There is lots of commentary out there on this one, so Read More to reference the many other sites discussing this story. Besides commentary on the announcement itself, Eurogamer has Sony's snarky commentary on this move by Microsoft."

Of course the general slash-consensus is that movies and TV suck! So this news really doesn't matter.

My favorite part of Sony's commentary (4, Insightful)

ProppaT (557551) | about 8 years ago | (#16751241)

Sony "would never segregate or shut out any of our consumers from our entertainment experience because they didn't buy the top of the line system."

I think you just did Sony. I sure as heck can't afford your console and, seeing that I've bought multiple PSX and PS2 systems (mainly because your hardware is garbage and dies after a few years of use) which definitely qualifies me as one of your consumers, you've pretty much "shut out" or alienated me. I much prefer MS's approach. Although I prefer Nintendo's the most. Keep it simple, keep it a console, offer something intriguing and new.

Re:My favorite part of Sony's commentary (0, Troll)

testudorex (1019214) | about 8 years ago | (#16752883)

"I sure as heck can afford the console, and seeing that I've bought 1 ps1/ps2(mainly cause your hardware is rock-solid and survives years, even though I put mod chips in them) which definitely qualifies me as one of your consumers, you've pretty much "opened up" or welcomed me to "jump in." I hate M$'s approach. Although I dislike Nintendo's the most. Keep it a novelty, keep it a gimmick, offer something boring and mind-numbingly old."

Re:My favorite part of Sony's commentary (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 years ago | (#16753177)

Sony "would never segregate or shut out any of our consumers from our entertainment experience because they didn't buy the top of the line system."
I think you just did Sony. I sure as heck can't afford your console and, seeing that I've bought multiple PSX and PS2 systems (mainly because your hardware is garbage and dies after a few years of use) which definitely qualifies me as one of your consumers, you've pretty much "shut out" or alienated me.

Besides the insane price, consider that originally the low-end PS3 had no HDMI. That pretty much directly contradicts this statement. Sony WOULD, except that Japanese gamers made it clear that they would not buy either console if the low-end unit did not have HDMI.

Believing Sony is like believing the government. You could, but there's no compelling reason to.

Re:My favorite part of Sony's commentary (0)

tbannist (230135) | about 8 years ago | (#16754043)

HDMI is an output, not having an HDMI output port doesn't stop you from doing anything except outputting through HDMI port. Not having a hard drive prevents you from downloading practically any downloadable content. So we're talking prevented from doing "playing movies" or prevented from "playing movies across the HDMI port". Those activities are hardly equivalent and the simple fact that you are trying to equate them, simply damages your credibility.

Re:My favorite part of Sony's commentary (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 years ago | (#16754849)

Those activities are hardly equivalent and the simple fact that you are trying to equate them, simply damages your credibility.

Interestingly, the direct quote said that Sony would never rob the lower-end players of an "entertainment experience".

The full experience requires the full output capability of the system.

You are having an argument that I am not having. Damage my credibility? You're inventing bullshit reasons why I'm wrong by attacking arguments that aren't even being made.

No wonder you foe'd me. People who thrive on logical fallacies always hate me.

Re:My favorite part of Sony's commentary (1)

tbannist (230135) | about 8 years ago | (#16755285)

Actually, I'm right and you're misquoting. It's not "an entertainment experience" it's "our entertainement experience".

In any case, you seem to misunderstand the point of my criticism, that an HDMI output is not an experience. HDMI is merely a determinant in the quality of the experience. You contention that the lack of HDMI output indicates they would, in fact exclude people is not accurate. No one would have been excluded from partipating in any part of the PS3 on the lower end model, even if they hadn't added the HDMI dongle. There are no games you wouldn't have been able to play and there are no movies you wouldn't have been able to watch.

I believe it's abundantly clear that Sony rep was saying that they wouldn't shut people out of the experience, because someone with a core Xbox can not download movies, not that they wouldn't provide a better experience for more money. So no, the original lack of an HDMI does not contradict that statement at all and it's absolutely clear to anyone who isn't massively prejudiced against Sony that that is the case.

Lastly, people who misquote and distort the truth shouldn't bitch about strawmen.

I didn't Foe you either. You're FoF according to my screen. I don't hate you, I just think you're being a dick because you dislike Sony. I think you know it too, you shouldn't be surprised whent you get called on it.

Re:My favorite part of Sony's commentary (1)

Jonathan_S (25407) | about 8 years ago | (#16775433)

Actually, I'm right and you're misquoting. It's not "an entertainment experience" it's "our entertainement experience".

In any case, you seem to misunderstand the point of my criticism, that an HDMI output is not an experience.

No one would have been excluded from partipating in any part of the PS3 on the lower end model, even if they hadn't added the HDMI dongle. There are no games you wouldn't have been able to play and there are no movies you wouldn't have been able to watch.
Well true, if misleading. Don't any future HiDef Blueray movies that have the copy protection bits turned on revert to Standard Def if you don't have HDMI?

I'd say being stuck watching HiDef movies in Standard Def counts as being excluded from "our (Sony's) entertainement experience" After all, it's Sony's player, Sony's BluRay standard, and is a fair number of cases would be Sony's movie. And HiDef is certainly promoted as giving a better viewing experience that normal DVDs.

Re:My favorite part of Sony's commentary (1)

steveo777 (183629) | about 8 years ago | (#16754973)

Just a quick question about the HDMI port. Is there another way to get 1080p out of the PS3 without it? Because if the machine is supposed to run natively on 1080p, then what would have been the point of not including it when they say their machines are made specifically for it?

Re:My favorite part of Sony's commentary (1)

tbannist (230135) | about 8 years ago | (#16755569)

Yes according to Wikipedia thePS3 [wikipedia.org] has a Component Video [wikipedia.org] out and component video can handle 1080p, though probably not as well as a DVI or HDMI cable.

Re:My favorite part of Sony's commentary (1)

ProppaT (557551) | about 8 years ago | (#16757839)

You'll get 1080p on games just fine. Your BluRay DVD's are a different story, though. Those are DRM'd through the HDMI cable.

"All subscribers" (2, Insightful)

Fishy (17624) | about 8 years ago | (#16751271)

I wonder if that really is all subscribers, or all *american* subscribers?

Who needs it? (1)

breakitdown (816727) | about 8 years ago | (#16751289)

This service is going to fail miserably. No one likes MTV, and if you miss an episode you don't need to go shell out money to XBOX when there is free on-demand, free constant reruns/encores, and free, legal viewings online via "overdrive". Isn't the market segment for most XBOX 360 gamers between about 14-30? The only thing that CBS has is maybe NCIS, survivor, and the amazing race. Again, these are all available for free at cbs.com where you can watch the entire episode once aired. The only way that this would take off is if the television shows were sold before they aired on TV...but I doubt that will be happening any time soon.

Re:Who needs it? (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about 8 years ago | (#16751485)

"The only thing that CBS has is maybe NCIS"

Um how about Two and a Half Men, the #1 comedy sitcom on television after Raymond ended? Wish this was around before, had to pirate all the old episodes. Would rather own a legal copy.

Re:Who needs it? (1)

breakitdown (816727) | about 8 years ago | (#16751727)

Actually I don't watch CBS, ever, so I googled a list of primetime shows and two and a half men didn't come up. Is it even geared toward XBOX's target audience?

Re:Who needs it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16753655)

Two and a half men? I can't decide to give you extra geek credit for being so out of touch with humour and good taste, or to dock you for actively seeking out such worthless drivel.

Re:Who needs it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16753865)

ugh. Now i can't get their catch phrase out of my head.

mmmeeennn...

hoka hey. Hoka hey forever!

Re:Who needs it? (1)

GrayCalx (597428) | about 8 years ago | (#16752257)

You may very well be right. But I'm excited nonetheless. I have, I don't know, maybe 6 shows that I watch, and thats about it. If, IF it works out in such a way that the majority of those shows are offered for download via the xboxlive service... I mean that could potentially save me a very large satellite bill. I've always been a proponent of al'la carte programming from cable/satellite and this seems like its on the right path. But who knows, its really about how big of a selection they offer, and what the cost is. Worst case scenario : I don't use it.

Re:Who needs it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16752287)

Depends on the price. Not everyone wants to sit at their PC and watch TV shows, especially if the family wants to watch too. Plus the fact they are going to be offering HD movies can't be overlooked. This will allow people to rent HD movies without being forced to invest in an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player or visit a video store. People can use this service until the standalone players come down to reasonable prices.

Re:Who needs it? (1)

Vermifax (3687) | about 8 years ago | (#16753581)

The largest market segment is 24 years and older.

Re:Who needs it? (1)

NotWorkSafe (891638) | about 8 years ago | (#16753857)

There's also CSI. That's pretty popular as well.

Unfortunately... (2, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about 8 years ago | (#16751347)

It seems to be US only judging by Major Nelson's comments. This seems rather silly when iTunes already has the US covered for downloadable content, it's as if companies don't want our money in Europe and the rest of the world. I'd gladly pay to download movies or TV shows such as Lost however they simply don't seem to be available in a legitimate form here.

I've heard some European countries are able to get some content, however not the same as is being made available to the US. We'll have to see how this plays out but whilst Europe is left behind by the media and entertainment companies with the later releases of the Wii and PS3 and so forth it's really no surprise that Europe has a noticeably smaller console market than Asia/US.

I really do think Europe is just crying out for goodies like this and the first company to offer something in full, and not at greedy profiteering higher price than the rest of the world that company is going to be onto an absolute winner. If Microsoft really isn't to give Europe the same movies and TV shows as the US here then they're really only letting themselves down however of course, that's not to say it's necessarily Microsoft's fault, I'm sure the movie industry has a lot to do with this having historically left Europe 6months or so behind in terms of film releases alongside charging it more even without taxes taken into account.

Now if only I was in a position to setup a company which could offer films and TV shows to Europeans at the same time and for the same price as the US, if no one else wants to rack up fortunes from the extremely strong Euro and British pound then I'll gladly take the money! ;)

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

MBraynard (653724) | about 8 years ago | (#16751513)

Itunes doesn't compete directly with this as the 360 DLs will be in high def and available to be seen on your television right away. I am not sure that the itune and other computer-based distribution overlaps this. Of course, on-demand from my digital cable provider sure does, although their service is very lacking in terms of having big archives of old stuff.

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#16751693)

the 360 DLs will be in high def and available to be seen on your television right away

Those two statements can't both be true if Microsoft is targeting home-based broadband. There's a lot of bandwidth being piped into the home these days, but not enough to pump 720p video in real-time.

For comparison, Apple currently shows 480p. Which is slim enough to stream over most broadband connections while maintaining exceptional quality on most television sets. Using their current H.264 encoding scheme, Apple manages ~300MB per 45 minutes of content. At that rate, you need to stream ~114KB/sec to watch Apple's content in real-time. Most broadband connections can do that today; some only barely.

720p is another 2/3 more data than Apple's current offerings. Such an increase would not be feasible on many home broadband connections. Wait a few years and we'll have big enough pipes, but not right now.

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

shawngarringer (906569) | about 8 years ago | (#16751871)

Huh? The lowest price internet plan my cable company offers is 384k up and 6mb down. I usually average 700kb/s on downloads from anywhere decent.

I've never had an issue streaming DIVX encoded (MPEG-4) HD over my cable connection.

And I live in a town in Iowa, you're telling me that other cities don't have that??

Re:Unfortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16751953)

Where are you streaming HD-quality DivX material from? I wasn't aware that there were sites out there doing this.

Re:Unfortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16752147)

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

shawngarringer (906569) | about 8 years ago | (#16753147)

$34.99 per month is 6mb/sec.

I pay $45.00 per month for that.

Of course you won't get fast speeds if your paying $14.95 per month. You get what you pay for. Most people have the fastest because its only a little bit more expensive.

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 years ago | (#16753237)

My cable company (when I could get cable) offered me the same thing but I actually only got 4Mbps peak and when my street was busy, I didn't get that either. Also lots of places have DSL but no cable, although I live in a place without either. The only thing I can get is satellite, which peaks out at about 1.5Mbps and supposedly runs more like 1Mbps. So yes, other cities don't have that. Actually, towns in the bumfuck midwest have traditionally been popular places for first rollouts of communications technology because there are few residents and the ground is flat which makes the retrenching easier when you have to lay HFC to replace your coax.

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

brouski (827510) | about 8 years ago | (#16754039)

Huh? The lowest price internet plan my cable company offers is 384k up and 6mb down. I usually average 700kb/s on downloads from anywhere decent.

kb/s != KB/s

700 kb/s = ~88 KB/s

I hate math. And html for that matter.

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

shawngarringer (906569) | about 8 years ago | (#16756873)

Fine.

I usually average 700KB/sec.

http://mail.planetcr.com:81/bandwidth/192.168.1.1_ 8.html [planetcr.com]

That's slightly lower because its going through my WiFi, but you get the idea.

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

brouski (827510) | about 8 years ago | (#16766997)

Fair enough.

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | about 8 years ago | (#16751947)

I believe by "right away" the GP was referring to "as soon as you download it" not streaming in real time.

Part of the point is that most people don't have TV outs on there computers, even fewer have a computer in the vicinity of their TV. And fewer still have TV outs capable of HD content.

Not everyone wants to sit at their computer to watch a TV show, I know after spending all day at work on a computer the last thing I want to do when I get home is spend more time on a computer. Sure you might have to wait for it to download but that would be worth it for viewing that content on my HDTV from the comfort of my couch. For someone without a computer near their TV difficult is it to get those apple downloads on to your living room HDTV. Even if you did would it be worth it watching 480p content stretched out to 720p or 1080i/p on your HDTV display?

Re:Unfortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16751713)

...as the 360 DLs will be in high def and available to be seen on your television right away.

You've got to have some ridiculously fat pipes for HD content to be streamed to your 360 in realtime...

Re:Unfortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16751667)

I really do think Europe is just crying out for goodies like this ...and not at ...higher price than the rest of the world

Thank the socialist European Union for the higher taxes that leads to the higher prices. Your tax money is spent on french farmers producing millions of litres of surplus wine which is then converted into biofuel. Yes, win to fuel. [planetark.com] Your tax euros at work!

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

slim (1652) | about 8 years ago | (#16751817)

This seems rather silly when iTunes already has the US covered for downloadable content, it's as if companies don't want our money in Europe and the rest of the world. I'd gladly pay to download movies or TV shows such as Lost however they simply don't seem to be available in a legitimate form here.

The problem (as always) is licensing. Since you started it, let's use Lost as an example. Sky TV pays ABC serious money to be the exclusive UK broadcaster of Lost. If Europeans could download it, that license would be devalued.

Quite why broadcasters still think it's a good idea to stagger release/broadcast dates wordwide, I don't know. You're practically forcing European fans to download from P2P, if they want to discuss the newest episode with Americans on forums.

The longer this goes on, the more people will get used to P2P. Once you've jumped the moral and technical hurdles (install a bittorrent client; learn to source .torrents; find a convenient way to output AVIs to your TV) it's going to be awfully difficult to go back to paying money.

Re:Unfortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16755707)

copyright and trademark laws are less clear in europe and you still have to deal with many different sets of playing rules. ms knows this better than most.

ZONK SUCKS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16751475)

take your anti sony shit and shove it zonk you fucktard

Re:ZONK SUCKS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16751699)

Above comment is sick. Can somebody delete it? (I know, impossible...)

unsubscribe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16757693)

please stop sending me messages. i have children and do not want them to read this. please remove me form the list.

All this on a 20gig hard drive??? (2, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 8 years ago | (#16751675)

Given that the Xbox 360 only has a 20 gig hard drive, I'm hoping these TV shows and movies will be priced as disposable rentals. Hell, use DRM to have them expire after 30 days, so long as you make them cheap enough on that basis. The few game demos that I have on my unit already eat well into that space.

Re:All this on a 20gig hard drive??? (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | about 8 years ago | (#16753327)

it's got a 20GB drive, but only about 14GB are available at the time of purchase

and if you've purchased a couple of xbox live arcade games and have a couple demos, you've almost used up your entire drive.

hopefully, they'll have the option of using an external drive for media storage... I've got a USB drive attached to it with all the stileproject wmvs (I've got about 9GB worth on there) and all my MP3s (about 250GB), so it'd be nice to use that. I've still got about 30GB free and I could always pick up a 400GB drive.

Not true ... but I agree that we need more space (1)

jchenx (267053) | about 8 years ago | (#16757047)

and if you've purchased a couple of xbox live arcade games and have a couple demos, you've almost used up your entire drive.
Thanks to a nice perk where I work (see my profile), I have most of the XBLA games on my hard-drive, as well as two demos still sitting on my 360 (Table Tennis and Lost Planet). Plus I have a ton of various game saves (Oblivion and the like).

I'm only halfway through my drive, at 11 of 20GB used.

That said, I completely agree that we need to have more space. TV shows in HD will fill up the drive fast. I just hope that there will be a way to transfer saved games and XBLA games from hard-drive to hard-drive, so that I don't have to go through the tedium of saving everything to memory card or re-downloading all my games. I'm pretty sure this is possible, since I've seen a 3rd party accessory that lets you dump hard-drive data to your PC as storage.

Re:All this on a 20gig hard drive??? (1)

iocat (572367) | about 8 years ago | (#16754911)

The "rental" movies will expire -- 30 days after you d/l them, and/or 24 hours after you start watching them, whichever comes first. From what I can tell, the content you buy will not expire, and if it's like other MS Live content, if you buy it, and then delete it, you can later redownload it for free. This is how XBLA games work. If you buy Time Pilot, and delete it, you can re-download it later for no charge.

This isn't as ideal as having a good size HDD to start with, but it seems reasonably fair, and better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Re:All this on a 20gig hard drive??? (1)

Loadmaster (720754) | about 8 years ago | (#16757723)

I don't know. A poke in the eye with a sharp stick is pretty good. Ooh, sliced bread!

HD Content (1)

thecapn32 (1004481) | about 8 years ago | (#16751705)

I didn't see this mentioned yet, but Microsoft claims that this will be full-HD content. I think I'll probably DL a movie or two, just to see how it will look on my LCD before buying the HD-DVD add-on for the 360. It has the ability to sell as a test...but I don't see it becoming too popular beyond that. If you can't take it off of the Hard Drive, then you'll have to constantly be deleting files to make room. Microsoft has said that you don't have to pay for a file twice, so if you pay once you can DL it again later, but it's a real waste of bandwidth to DL like that.

HD is too small for HD (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 years ago | (#16752923)

Microsoft claims that this will be full-HD content.

The two consumer high-definition video disc formats are 1-layer Blu-ray Disc (25 GB) and 2-layer HD DVD (30 GB). The Xbox 360 hard drive is only 20 GB. How much video will fit on that?

Re:HD is too small for HD (2, Informative)

ben there... (946946) | about 8 years ago | (#16754439)

Assuming 12 Mbps VC-1 WMV, which would be about 3 GB per 1/2 hour episode, about 6 episodes or 2 movies. That would be decent HD. But MS will likely offer something near-to-streaming, about 500 kbps - 1 Mbps, making that at least 72 half hour episodes or 24 movies.

FTFA:
There are clearly some caveats that will slow the uptake of the service. First, downloading videos, particularly high-definition ones, is a time-consuming proposition. The speeds depend on the data transfer rate of the user's broadband connection. But for many folks, downloading a high-def movie will run about three times as long as the movie itself. That means customers will need to pick a movie when they walk out the door in the morning so that it's ready for viewing that night. Viewers can start watching programming in standard definition roughly two minutes after they begin downloading.

Sounds like SD will be 500 kbps or so, HD more like 1.5 Mbps. So 4 HD movies.

FTFA:
A second challenge comes from the ownership rights of the viewer--or the lack of it. After customers download a movie, they'll have two weeks to watch it. And once they start watching it, they'll have 24 hours to finish it before they are locked out. Customers can keep TV programs and watch them as long as they like. But there's no way to transfer the program to a laptop or CD for viewing later, say on a plane trip. It's locked to that Xbox Live account.

Sounds like movies will be similar to Cable VOD. TV episodes is like iTMS or Unbox, except only enough room for a few seasons of shows. Not being able to ever burn those shows makes them pretty much a waste of money, much worse than buying them from other services. They should be free, considering you're eventually going to need to delete them.

Re:HD is too small for HD (1)

ben there... (946946) | about 8 years ago | (#16754573)

Sorry calculated from the wrong number. At 1.5 Mbps for HD it would be about 16 movies.

Re:HD is too small for HD (1)

Chokolad (35911) | about 8 years ago | (#16755545)

> Sounds like movies will be similar to Cable VOD. TV episodes is like iTMS or Unbox, except only enough room for a few seasons of shows. Not being able to ever burn those shows makes them pretty much a waste of money, much worse than buying them from other services. They should be free, considering you're eventually going to need to delete them.

You can always redownload the show you already bought. You do not have to pay for it. It is the same deal as with Arcade games.

Re:HD is too small for HD (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 8 years ago | (#16755883)

I'd also assume commercial free...

(there's always product placement...)

Let me get this straight (0, Troll)

MrCopilot (871878) | about 8 years ago | (#16751749)

MS is going to let us pay for the ability to watch Television shows and movies on our televisions.

.........

Another Brilliant Innovation brought to us by Microsoft.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

kestasjk (933987) | about 8 years ago | (#16751861)

MS is going to let us pay for the ability to watch Television shows and movies on our televisions.

.........

Another Brilliant Innovation brought to us by Microsoft.

I hear it's patent pending.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

GrayCalx (597428) | about 8 years ago | (#16752329)

MS is going to let us pay for the ability to watch Television shows and movies on our televisions.

Phrased in that way you're exactly right. Phrased as "The Cable Bill / Netflix Killer" it has a much brighter future. I'm not saying thats going to happen, we have to see what kind of content selection and price they're going to offer. But as I said somewhere else, if they're able to provide me with the majority of the TV shows I watch and a decent movie selection (all in HD hopefully) then sure I'll shell out for that instead and save my $100/month Dish and Netflix accounts.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | about 8 years ago | (#16753227)

Phrased as "The Cable Bill / Netflix Killer" it has a much brighter future. I'm not saying thats going to happen, we have to see what kind of content selection and price they're going to offer. But as I said somewhere else, if they're able to provide me with the majority of the TV shows I watch and a decent movie selection (all in HD hopefully) then sure I'll shell out for that instead and save my $100/month Dish and Netflix accounts.

Phrase it however you want. They will charge you not per Show or Season but per Episode (With Commercials no doubt). At that rate your $100 is not gonna go very far. Mine won't. even at a buck a piece, in a month that's roughly 3.333_ shows a day. Movies will be tiered, so it will probably be much worse than your current cost. Selection is another issue. Go to MSN music (Play-ForSome) and compare thier selection with itunes to give you some idea. (You better hurry though you only have until Nov 13)

I have TimeWarner (Brighthouse) with on demand (for most channells) and maybe 12 movie channells for less than $100 a month. No way, I'd give it up to pay MS on a per episode basis.

I don't want to appear biased, (but I am) I think it was the best for all of us when MS went to console market. The 360 looks great and I hear mostly good things about its games. But services like this remind me of all the MS products littering the technological scrap heap. (Not to mention my garage, WebTV, MSN companion, etc. I even have a space for a ZUNE to be filled obsolete music player. ) I would take this into consideration before you help them fold up two more good alternative companies.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

Thraxen (455388) | about 8 years ago | (#16753527)

Heh... at 3.3 shows per day maybe you just watch too much TV.

Anyway, the comparison with TV isn't entirely valid. Sometimes people miss shows and don't want to wait for a re-run to watch it. Reruns may take months to appear and if a new episode of the same show airs next week you may need to watch the epiaode you missed before that. Sure, you can download the show off the internet, but that's not legal in many places and thus can't really be used as a valid argument. Then there's the option to watch the legal episodes from the netowrks website. But that has it's own issues. Not everyone really wants to sit at their PC to watch a TV show nor is it ideal for families. So that avenue only really benefits a small percentage of viewers.

Then, as others have mentioned, the HD movies can't be overlooked. This allows people to rent HD movies without going to the video store and without investing in an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray movie player... both of which are still very expensive. This is what I'm most excited about. This will allow me to rent HD movies while I wait for a cheap dual format (HD-DVD + Blu-Ray) standalone movie player to hit the market. Plus, if they start offering "still in theater" movies (like you see at hotels sometimes), that adds even more appeal.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

GrayCalx (597428) | about 8 years ago | (#16754139)

I guess I was just commenting on your original "Another brilliant innovation" comment. Maybe you won't use it, and bully for you. At 3.33+ hours a day I'm guessing you're doing a lot of flipping which you're not gonna get from any pay-per-download service. My tv watching is more of the 5-6 shows per week variety. Using your math thats $24 a month for me. So, FOR ME, thats actually fairly innovative and saves me money.

I don't know where all the discussion of music sites and mp3 players came from, I thought we were talking xbox360 and tv/movie downloads. But without checking I'll believe you that iTunes has a better selection that MSN music. Also, Lowes is closer to my house than Home Depot... so theres that.

Of course it all comes down to selection and no one can make guesses on that until MS makes another announcement or the service debuts.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | about 8 years ago | (#16754309)

Maybe you won't use it, and bully for you. At 3.33+ hours a day I'm guessing you're doing a lot of flipping which you're not gonna get from any pay-per-download service. My tv watching is more of the 5-6 shows per week variety. Using your math thats $24 a month for me. So, FOR ME, thats actually fairly innovative and saves me money.

3.33 Purchases a Day != 3.33 Hours a day. With Music Videos and "half hour" comedy that can come to less than an hour assuming you aren't forced to watch 8minutes of commercials per show. (I would have to say my TV is on more than 3.33hrs a day, just not watching it for that amount of time. And Yes I Flip between things that are not Adverts.)

I don't know where all the discussion of music sites and mp3 players came from, I thought we were talking xbox360 and tv/movie downloads. But without checking I'll believe you that iTunes has a better selection that MSN music. Also, Lowes is closer to my house than Home Depot... so theres that.

I can only base my assumptions on past experience from a company. If you want to think maybe this time it will be different, well good luck to you.

From a broader perspective, I love on demand services, I use them frequently on cable and the internet. I watch more than 3 hrs a day of tv in my home, split pretty evenly between my wife and I. I pay less attention to her shows and she pays less attention to mine. But on any given day you can count on both of us watching an hour of Simpsons a good day. That plus the DailyShow, PBS and BBC news is already 3hrs. To each their own.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

GrayCalx (597428) | about 8 years ago | (#16757045)

To each their own.

That was my point this entire time...

Sony (0, Troll)

metamatic (202216) | about 8 years ago | (#16752373)

I love the idea of Sony being snarky about this. I mean, Sony would never dump loads of movies and TV shows on store shelves in an attempt to shift a game console nobody wanted, right?

Hey, anyone know when "Lost" is coming out on UMD?

Disney != Sony (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 years ago | (#16752973)

Hey, anyone know when "Lost" is coming out on UMD?

The TV series Lost is Disney, not Sony. You might as well ask when the movie Cinderella is coming out on UMD. (You might have been confusing Sony with Sonny [pineight.com] .)

Re:Disney != Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16753337)

Wow... his post went right over your head. The focus of his comment was the UMD format and the PSP, not Lost. He could have randomly picked any other TV show or movie for his comment.

Re:Disney != Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16754761)

The TV series Lost is Disney, not Sony. You might as well ask when the movie Cinderella is coming out on UMD

While UMD is dead, don't think that Disney and Sony might not hook up in the near future.

For one thing, Disney (aka ABC) is for many intents and purposes Steve Jobs because of the Pixar deal. Disney has already said they will ignore HD-DVD in favor of BLU-RAY, which I take as a Jobsian motivated defensive move for Apple/iTunes against Microsoft with their HD-DVD drive on Xbox.

Despite Sony being Columbia Pictures and MGM, it is no great leap to see Apple/Disney partnering with Sony against MS in the future.

Re:Disney != Sony (1)

CaseM (746707) | about 8 years ago | (#16770349)

What's this, then? [amazon.com]

According to the screenshots on Engadget... (1)

Greg_D (138979) | about 8 years ago | (#16752509)

The shows are for use on the console only. Also, depending on what you get, some have 14 day expiration times. Given that a single episode of Robot Chicken cost 240 points for 480p ($3) and 320 points for 720p ($4).

They might as well be asking for bars of solid gold if they don't allow me to take the video wherever I want to go. Movie tickets around here are still less than 10 bucks and for that I get 2-3 hours of the whole experience. Pausing ain't worth THAT much to me.

I'm not impressed... (1)

mjhacker (922395) | about 8 years ago | (#16753423)

Maybe if they get Cartoon Network and the Anime Network, they'll get my attention. Otherwise, not interested.

At last! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 8 years ago | (#16753741)

I can finally watch TV shows on my TV! Thank you, Microsoft!

Zonked (1)

tbannist (230135) | about 8 years ago | (#16753965)

Ah, Zonk, just had throw a jab in a Sony into your commentary didn't ya?

Look it's logical fallacy 8: Prejudicial Language!

Re:Zonked (1)

CaseM (746707) | about 8 years ago | (#16770277)

I think Sony did a fine job of jabbing itself with or without Zonk. Sony's response was absolutely retarded.

Well (2, Interesting)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | about 8 years ago | (#16755087)

I'm all in favour of Microsoft's new plan, it will be good to see some more media content on the Xbox Live Marketplace rather than just game trailers or promotional clips, however what makes me worried is the size of these things. Take for example you are the average user of an Xbox and you download a few demos first (Need For Speed Carbon alone is 1.1gb) and then you decide to rent 2 movies or so. I'd say you will very quickly find yourself running out of harddisk space on premium consoles, or cores that have been upgraded. Especially the way they are letting people buy and keep TV shows, it seems as if they will need to start upping the hard drive sizes pretty quickly if they start offering this amount of content, not to mention the speed of the network which already almost grinds to a halt during weekends due to the huge amount of traffic. It will be interesting to see how it works out and how much competition there will be between the Xbox 360, the iTV and anything Sony can produce in the entertainment section with the PS3.

Re:Well (1)

Babbster (107076) | about 8 years ago | (#16756245)

An optional larger hard drive has been an inevitably for the 360. I suspect that there are two reasons they're holding out on offering bigger hard drives:

1) Every time they sell a 20GB drive for $100, a sold-for-a-loss core system gets its wings (and profitability).
2) They're probably either still working on, or preparing for release, a secure method to transfer data - at least game saves, since downloaded content can be re-downloaded (for demos and videos, I can see gamers simply leaving them on the old drive and swapping when they want that content) - between hard drives.

So, once MS has milked all they feel they can out of #1, and have perfected (at least by MS standards) #2, we'll probably see a drop in price for the 20GB drive with a 60GB or 80GB model taking over the $100 price point.

Re:Well (1)

OmniChamp (874914) | about 8 years ago | (#16757297)

I believe this is a brilliant marketing strategy by Microsoft. By offering legitamate services for "rentals", your gaming machine has become a pay-per-view box. Granted that downloading full HD quality content for movies may be time/bandwidth consuming, I can see a potential market for it. I am surprised nobody mentioned this before, but the original xbox was capable of this via xbox media center app (not the MS version) in a sense (i.e. download, transfer, watch or download and stream). While part of me is disappointed that MS did not give credit where credit is due, but I am glad they are making this service available to those with an Xbox Live subscription. Damn you Microsoft, but kudos! Side note: This is also a big step in changing the distribution channels of video media at least in regards to television. Yeah, yeah on-demand television, TIVO and itunes video are already available, but I think (at least in the U.S. and Canada) that this may represent a major shift in viewing habits if this service takes off. Imagine this generation of kids learning to watch their TV shows NOT from a certain channel, but from a downloadable list. Now the article did not address the issue of commercials (*shudder*), but in the best case scenario where the content is advertising-free, this service may make some serious competition with cable. That's my 2 cents. /side note

Resolution vs price? (1)

CelticLo (575344) | about 8 years ago | (#16756243)

From the article: Microsoft hasn't announced pricing. But the software giant says movies will be competitive with pay-per-view programming offered by cable companies, typically $4 to $6 apiece. And TV shows will cost roughly the same amount to download as they are on Apple's (AAPL) iTunes service, which is $2 (see BusinessWeek.com, 6/21/06, "Apple's iTunes Movie Muddle"). But iTunes content is 640x480, where as I hope my xbox360 will be happy showing me the shows in 720p on my HDTV.
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