Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Aging Consoles Find New Life As Video Streamers

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the everybody-needs-a-second-job-these-days dept.

Media 255

MojoKid writes "Microsoft's Xbox 360 console is six years old. The Nintendo Wii is five years old, and so is the Sony PlayStation 3. All three are due for an overhaul (can you imagine gaming on a PC that's half a decade old, or more?), and while they're still popular gaming platforms, consoles are really starting to shine as streaming media centers. According to market research firm Nielsen, streaming video on game consoles is up over last year. Xbox 360 owners now use their consoles to stream video 14 percent of the time, which is almost as much as PS3 users (15 percent). But it's the Wii that sees the most time as a streaming device, with Wii owners using their consoles to stream video a third of the time."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

let me go home and cry some more (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403402)

>(can you imagine gaming on a PC that's half a decade old, or more?)

yes, I do it daily... TF2 still rocks.

Re:let me go home and cry some more (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403434)

Yeah, alas, not all of us can upgrade from our still working computers to newer ones just for the sake of gaming. Solitaire FTW!

Re:let me go home and cry some more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403634)

Can I get some love for Wasteland! It looks especially awesome on my black and white LCD laptop circa 1988!

Re:let me go home and cry some more (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403880)

Wasteland is one of the greats. There is still a surprisingly active WL mailing list, considering that at this point the members have not only seen everything the game offers, but also have stripped down the game to its bits and seen everything in it.

Re:let me go home and cry some more (1)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404024)

Can I get some love for Wasteland! It looks especially awesome on my black and white LCD laptop circa 1988!

Yes. Yes, you can.

I still consider Wasteland the greatest video game of all time. Pity that Fountain of Dreams ended up so damned buggy.

Re:let me go home and cry some more (4, Interesting)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404080)

Yeah, alas, not all of us can upgrade from our still working computers to newer ones just for the sake of gaming.

Hell, how many PC games nowadays are just shitty console ports in the first place?

I haven't played a game that really taxes a system since the original Crysis, and my circa-2008 Q6600 gaming rig with a couple Radeon 4670's in it has been able to play anything that's come out at perfectly reasonable medium/high settings to this day.

The era of needing to upgrade every 6 months to play new computer games is dead, and it's been dead for a while now.

Re:let me go home and cry some more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403568)

TF2 does still rock, but the various tweaks, changes and additions over the last 4 years mean that most 5 year old computers will seriously struggle to run it.

Re:let me go home and cry some more (3, Interesting)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403674)

Then use tf2mate [clugu.com] to make better config. I don't have 5 year old PC, but I still did to remove clutter from screen (and ragdolls, so I can instantly see when people die.. makes difference for some classes).

Re:let me go home and cry some more (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403620)

Yeah, it's easy, because most games these days are designed for consoles that are about as powerful as a five-year-old PC.

Re:let me go home and cry some more (1)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403624)

I also play TF2 more than any other recent game. It has hilarious moments all the time, and really good gameplay with the different classes. Funny thing is that it isn't even being updated for consoles, while Valve keeps adding new content and gameplay elements all the time on PC.

Re:let me go home and cry some more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403716)

I still play http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Annihilation for Windows 95.

Nathan

Re:let me go home and cry some more (4, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403740)

Simply play older games.

A lot of "old" stuff is still perfectly playable and better than a lot of newer stuff.

Classics tend to be like that.

Re:let me go home and cry some more (5, Informative)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403936)

GOG.com is the place for that too. Cheap prices. DRM free.

Re:let me go home and cry some more (2)

slippyblade (962288) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404012)

This. A million times. I've spent more money at GOG.com in the past year than I've spent on my Xbox360 library since I've owned the system.

Re:let me go home and cry some more (3, Insightful)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404010)

even simpler than that:
if a game was fun to play 5 years ago when it was new, but I never got around to playing that one, why would it not be fun today? the few pc games I play anymore would be considered 'abandonware' even though they're all from this millenium. I was trying to hunt down my Monkey Island Madness CD for my 10 year old, as it came up in conversation and she expressed interest. Games don't just stop being fun because they're old, and there's a HUGE library of games out there. My kids DS plays gameboy advance games. I walk into gamestop, he uses his allowance to pick out 2-3 new (to him) games from the used GBA game bin, and he still has money left over. Or, he can get one DS game (maybe) with that same allowance. He figured out the math pretty fast.

Re:let me go home and cry some more (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403780)

Right. Nearly everything I play is at least several years old. A good portion of my computer gaming time is still playing SNES and Genesis games.

This inability of some people to consider older games as viable is as silly as refusing to watch any movie made prior to the 90's.

Re:let me go home and cry some more (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403794)

Let's crunch the numbers: It's the thick end of being 2012 now. Not quite; but a 6 year old computer would be a somewhere in 2005 piece of kit.

Depending on how much you spent at the time, that would mean an LGA775, 90nm, 'Prescott' P4 at between 2.8 and 3.8GHz(stock) or a socket 745 or 939 A64 somewhere between 1.8 and 2.6GHz(stock).

Either of those would(unless you bought a really crappy motherboard, in which case it probably wasn't a gaming PC anyway) almost certainly have had a 16x PCIe slot, so they would be fully compatible with almost any video card released in the last six years. If you bought in 2005, a GeForce 6800 or RADEON X800/X850 would have been available, if not necessarily inexpensive. Either of those would happily enough play F.E.A.R. or CoD2 at 1280x1024 at 30FPS, and those were considered comparatively intensive games for their time.

Actually kitting your 2005 system out with 4GB of RAM would probably have been too rich for most buyer's blood; with one or two being more likely; but most motherboards of the era(again, omitting cut-down junk that would never have been gaming, even at the time) should have 4 DDR2 slots, making an upgrade to an adequate-for-most-games 3 or 4GB quite cheap assuming your original configuration was 2x512 or 2x1GB.

Sounds totally doable to me, even if you aren't a retro-gaming enthusiast...

Re:let me go home and cry some more (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404046)

Even if you had only 2 RAM slots, a 2x4GB upgrade is only $40 or so these days.

Of course, in my case I'm OS-limited (I went ahead and got 8GB when replacing my motherboard and therefore going DDR2->DDR3, but I still use Windows XP 32-bit so the OS only "sees" 3GB of it).

Re:let me go home and cry some more (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403938)

So does my Commodore 64. I was playing a game just last night.

Re:let me go home and cry some more (1)

Tooke (1961582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404250)

I'll admit that I'm not a gamer (college does that to you), but it seems like some people are too caught up in having the latest, most expensive graphics card/sound card/CPU/whatever. Do high end graphics, sound, etc. really make gaming more enjoyable? One of the most enjoyable games I played was Ocarina of Time, which was quite old at the time, as it was the downloadable version on the wii. Perhaps I have a different mindset then others, but I like those types of games a lot more than FPSes. The graphics are nice, but they don't do a lot for me.

No wonder (1)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403406)

No wonder that set-top boxes don't sell.

Power (5, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404212)

No wonder that set-top boxes don't sell.

The bad part about this is that the set-top boxes draw a very small fraction of the power as the game consoles, which are power hungry beasts. I'm just spouting crap off randomly, as is my wont, but the Wii would have to be the lowest power consumer of the 3 major console systems. However the Wii would still be vastly more power hungry than a Roku, TiVo or Apple TV.

Okay, okay. I can't believe I'm doing this here on Slashdot (backing up my assertions with references) but here you go:
http://www.hardcoreware.net/reviews/review-356-2.htm [hardcoreware.net]
    The Wii uses 1/10th the power of an XBox 360 or PS3. A quick search shows that a Roku uses around 5-6 watts when in use, which is half of the Wii's 11 watts.

  So the moral of the story - using an XBox 360 or PS3 for streaming is very, very inefficient power-wise compared to dedicated set-top boxes or even the Wii.

The kinect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403408)

This device has barely taken off, it will crush all others. I want one and I can't have it. I feel nothing for the Wii or PS. I havent bought a console since 8 bit nintendo

Re:The kinect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403582)

Until this motion detecting does high res, I will remain unimpressed.

Re:The kinect (1)

Jesse_vd (821123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403992)

Have you used one? Pretty impressive. The little preview window in "Gunstringer" picked up each of my fingers just fine and perfectly traced my kitten as she ran across the room. Really fun game too BTW with a few adults around

My PS3 (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403420)

I definitely use my PS3 to stream Netflix more than I play games on it. Although, that is only the case because I built my own gaming PC last year. If I didn't have my gaming PC I'd definitely be playing my PS3 a lot more.

Re:My PS3 (1)

cyachallenge (2521604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403570)

I'm 24 and I used to be an avid gamer as a kid through teens. Now I find myself rarely gaming, instead I stream movies on netflix with PS3 when I'm not reading or with buddies. I don't use my computer for games anymore partly because it's outdated and mostly because I'm not interested.

Wii.... (5, Interesting)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403454)

The Wii has a pretty good Netflix client/interface. MUCH better than on my TiVo (which mostly just rebuffers and crashes). But, I recently got a Roku XD for $50, and that's better, still. Plus, it does HD and HDMI, which the Wii doesn't.

Re:Wii.... (2)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403474)

Huh, my TiVo HD XL (not the Premiere) does great playing Netflix, 720p/Dolby Digital and all. You can't do anything other than play what's in your queue (you can't add to your queue), but I never have buffering/crashing issues with it.

Re:Wii.... (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403612)

This is a Series 3 (HD). There are multiple, similar reports from other users. TiVo seems uninterested in fixing it.

Does the "back 10 seconds" work on your's, or does it have to stop and rebuffer? I can't remember if that was even supported by TiVo, it's been so long. On the Wii, you don't instantly go back, but you can select a key frame to go back to, then it rebuffers from there. The Roku has a "back 7 seconds" button, which works well, even going back multiple times.

Re:Wii.... (1)

ewieling (90662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403930)

Netflix was one of the reasons I replaced my old Series 2 box with a Premier box. I was VERY disappointed. I can accept there will be some latency when streaming Netflix, but the issues with no video, lockups and crashes are what I don't consider acceptable. I don't have buffering issues, like some people report, but I don't use HD.

I upgraded for Netflix, OTA Digital subchannels which my cable provider does not have, and for when I get an HD TV.

If Netflix was the only reason I upgraded, then I would have sent it back and continued to use my Series 2.

I have been a fan of TiVo since 2002, I never thought I would ever say bad things about TiVo.

Re:Wii.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403954)

The LG Bluray player I got for @ $80 does pretty much everything your Roku does plus it plays optical media.

Re:Wii.... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403968)

Roku is the way to go for internet streaming. My only real complaint is that it doesn't do local streaming. That is a major down side for me.

Re:Wii.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404002)

I think Chaneru adds local streaming for $10. Something like it runs a server on your host PC that the Roku sees as a channel. I've never used it, and hadn't even heard of it until just a couple of nights ago. The couple of reviews I read of it were positive, but I don't really have a need for it.

The reviews mentioned a couple of other alternatives. There was some discussion of the security of Chaneru not being as good as some of the others.

Re:Wii.... (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404156)

The Wii has a pretty good Netflix client/interface.

You mean HAD a pretty good Netflix client/interface.

A recent update to the Netflix client on the Wii turned it into a huge pile of slow, laggy, ugly crap.

Also, since the "upgrade", I often (maybe 20% of the time) can't get streams to start at all. Sigh.

Netflix is increasingly losing their way.

It taken six years for x86 pc to catch to PowerPC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403462)

PS3:Cell processor one 64-bit PowerPC core and 8-vector processors. X-box 360: Three 64-bit PowerPC cores.

Re:It taken six years for x86 pc to catch to Power (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403872)

Long time Mac programmer here, and that includes PowerPC assembly. PowerPCs at the same clock rate of an x86 were about 20% faster in general. The 2x situations were rare and highly specialized situations. And of course that 20% PowerPC advantage was overwhelmed by x86 going to higher clock rates.

Re:It taken six years for x86 pc to catch to Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404058)

Long time Mac programmer here, and that includes PowerPC assembly. PowerPCs at the same clock rate of an x86 were about 20% faster in general. The 2x situations were rare and highly specialized situations. And of course that 20% PowerPC advantage was overwhelmed by x86 going to higher clock rates.

What are you smoking?

But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403484)

And they're streaming video with it 33% of the time? Hmmm.

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (2)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403630)

Makes more sense when you realize its in % of total time using the console. A console that's used twice per month for streaming has a higher streaming percent than one that's used every day for both gaming and streaming.

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (1)

Uhyve (2143088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403862)

I was thinking that*, the whole article means very little unless we actually know how long the consoles are used for. The 33% of total Wii playing time very well could be less time than the PS3s 15%, if people use their PS3's more than people use the Wii's.

*: Maybe in a less antagonistic way... :P

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (1)

captainstormy (1107081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403632)

That's really the only reason I still have my Wii. I don't game on it much nor do I even hook it up at home. But its great for entertainment in a hotel room or families house when you travel. Alot of TVs still aren't HD anyway and the wii is small enough that it travels well. Certainly better then my xbox would. I pretty much only use it to play mario and th original zelda or watch netflix while traveling.

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403782)

I stream with the Wii because I don't have an HDTV nor will we for the foreseeable future. I'm guessing there are plenty of people in the same boat as me who, with one kid and one on the way, one income and very little disposable cash, can't seem to justify a $500 TV purchase when we're using Netflix instead of cable to save money in the first place.

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (1)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404112)

Um...no. I don't think there are very many people in your position. I think pretty much everyone has an HD TV these days or will be getting one in the near future. You can pick one up a new one for as little as $200 these days and no one even sells CRTs any more. BTW...you can also get over the air HD content with your HD TV.

Goodwill Store (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404254)

no one even sells CRTs any more.

Pawn shops and charity shops do. There are still people who would buy a used CRT SDTV instead of a new HDTV, and not just people who play old NES games that need a CRT SDTV for the Zapper.

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404266)

Um...no. I don't think there are very many people in your position. I think pretty much everyone has an HD TV these days or will be getting one in the near future. You can pick one up a new one for as little as $200 these days and no one even sells CRTs any more. BTW...you can also get over the air HD content with your HD TV.

About 40% of Americans can't name who the Vice-President is. So now you're calling bullshit on this statistic because you don't anyone that can't name Biden. Also because you don't understand the concept of biased samples.

Everyone you know has HD TV's, and everyone you know can afford to spend $200 without a problem. That does not mean there aren't plenty of people who can't.

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (4, Funny)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404172)

When Nintendo named the Wii back in 2005...I doubt they imagined that Streaming would become a popular use for the device.

None of us want to go around saying "I stream with my Wii"

We'd all sound like a bunch of 5 yr olds making obvious but inappropriate comments. :)

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404206)

Number of people in that situation probably isn't that high. People buy tons of crap they can't afford. I am just a cheapskate though. I could afford a lot more than that for a TV, but I am using an old 60" rear projector I got for free off of Craig's list. As long as it still works well, I see no need in replacing it.

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (2, Insightful)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403798)

Most peoples internet connections don't do HD streaming very well. People who own a Wii are also less likely to own an HD TV than people who own a PS3. So it doesn't matter that it can't do 1080p.

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403820)

my officemate pointed out that my dual monitors had different color settings I didn't notice and I can't tell the difference between the HD and regular channels on my cable box either (yes I wear glasses)

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403844)

DVDs still outsell BluRays. DVD rentals outnumber BluRay rentals. I'm not surprised that Wii streaming is perfectly acceptable to most people. And that's not even considering that even on the PS3, streaming netflix is not really high definition.

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403874)

I don't think my network connexion would handle HD streaming very well; as it is, Netflix on my Wii has to drop the display quality down a noticeable amount and even then it sometimes has to stop to buffer.

HD would be nice, but it's not going to happen in the near future even if my hardware supported it.

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404088)

Netflix -rarely- does anything higher than 480p anyway.

Re:But the Wii doesn't even do HD! (2)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404108)

And they're streaming video with it 33% of the time? Hmmm.

It's a really really confusing statistic. If the average PS3/Xbox 360 owner played *games* for 6 hours a week and watched an hour of Netflix it would be "15%"

Compare that to a Wii owner who might play 40 minutes a week and play Netflix 20 minutes a week. Or maybe the average Wii owner plays 40 hours and also watches 20 hours of Netflix.

Without an absolute unit of measurement "%" means almost nothing. If I had a wii it would probably be used almost 100% for streaming.

what? (3, Funny)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403496)

(can you imagine gaming on a PC that's half a decade old, or more?)

What's so hard to imagine? Tons of people do it just fine.

Re:what? (1)

Anonymous Crobar (1143477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403558)

I think the question implied "on an original Windows install." In that case the proper answer is to fall off your chair laughing.

Re:what? (2)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403664)

I have a PC that I use daily with xp installed on '04. Works just fine.

Re:what? (1)

cyachallenge (2521604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403846)

SAY WHAT AGAIN!

Re:what? (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404286)

Not everybody runs out and buys a new PC every 2 years. Some of us like to get our money's worth. I'm amazed by how easily some people dismiss a 4 or 5 year old PC as a "dinosaur" when more often than not, PCs older than that work just fine, even for games.

Re:what? (1, Interesting)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403978)

I haven't had a "wipe/reinstall" issue with my Windows PCs since probably '02 or '03...

That's not to say that I haven't done a full wipe/reinstall of my own volition in the intervening years...but it hasn't been due to a serious issue since soon after XP came out.

The whole "Windows is so broken you have to reinstall it every 3 months because ZOMG VIRUSSESSSS AND SPYYYYYYWARE" meme is getting retarded at this point. I use a ton of cracked and hacked shit on my Windows 7 system and I haven't had a problem yet. I really don't know what all the people that are having these problems are doing (if they aren't just full of crap in the first place). I suspect it is mostly PEBKAC errors. [wikipedia.org]

Fake antivirus posing as something else (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404284)

I suspect it is mostly PEBKAC errors

Yeah, like downloading a "codec pack" to watch a video, elevating to install it, and finding the "codec pack" is really a fake antivirus. Or fake AVs that use a code execution vulnerability in Adobe Reader to pose as an update for Adobe Reader.

Bogus Comparison: PC vs Console (2)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403996)

(can you imagine gaming on a PC that's half a decade old, or more?)

What's so hard to imagine? Tons of people do it just fine.

Its also a bogus comparison. Consoles don't have a constant stream of upgraded CPU, RAM and video cards. In comparison the hardware specs of consoles are static. So a game written in year 1 of the console's life has the same hardware requirements as a game written in year 5 of the console's life. If that year 5 game has better visuals it is only because the programmers have greater experience and skills with respect to getting every bit of performance out of that 5 year old hardware. This is quite different than the PC world where a game written 5 years later will have very different minimum system requirements and deliver better visuals because of more capable hardware.

I stand ready.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403502)

Do I have to dedicate my N64 to this purpose or can I finish this Mario game?

Horribly inaccurate conclusion... (5, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403530)

But it's the Wii that sees the most time as a streaming device, with Wii owners using their consoles to stream video a third of the time.

The fact that a Wii is used for streaming 33 *percent* of the time has nothing to do with the *amount* of time spent streaming. It's not only possible, but very likely that XBox and PS3 users spend a lot more total time using their consoles than Wii users.

Anything to do with quality games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403554)

Seems to me like the distribution may have a lot todo with the availability of games that have some replay value.

Everybody I know who has a wii, with the exception of one guy who uses it for exercise, only plays it when they people over. Either they get the kids playing to keep them busy or they get a bunch of slightly drunk adults jump around like idiots.

Not that odd anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403576)

I've been gaming on a PC that's getting close to 9 years old. I'm finally planning to build a new one. Before anyone talks about incremental upgrades, I changed the power supply when it failed, and replaced the motherboard with a similar tech-level lower quality one when it had an issue (which has left me with an overheating southbridge).

You know... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403578)

All three are due for an overhaul (can you imagine gaming on a PC that's half a decade old, or more?)

It's this kind of thinking that leads to divorce - and, no, I would never want to re-purpose my spouse as a "media streamer".

Re:You know... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404110)

It's this kind of thinking that leads to divorce - and, no, I would never want to re-purpose my spouse as a "media streamer".

Yeah, well... rumor's going round that your spouse actually *enjoys* being re-purposed as a media streamer (*) and has let the postman do this to them on several occasions. :-P

(*) No idea what this means, by the way... (^_^)

xbox 360 (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403590)

I used mine for streaming video for years. I even bought the remote for it. Worked really well, until I got a hold of an Apple TV and hacked it. Apple TV Works great as a video streaming device.

Better quality from game consoles (1)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403600)

I just recently started using my Xbox 360 for streaming Netflix, primarily because it supports 5.1 sound but also because of the better interface. My blu-ray player will do streaming also, but is rather more limited and only does stereo. The downside though is that Microsoft requires you to have an Xbox Live Gold account to do this, which is a whole other subscription on top of the Netflix subscription.

Re:Better quality from game consoles (1)

Xaide (1015779) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403768)

I know I'm not supposed to like my Playstation but where else can you stream Netflix HD @ 1080p?

Yes, I can (5, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403610)

can you imagine gaming on a PC that's half a decade old, or more?

These days, I could. Because the 80s and 90s were something of a fluke in which hardware was progressing at a rapid rate, it coincided with the growth of the video game industry and attracted a lot of hardware geeks. But that era is gone, and hardware has stabilized to the point where new games are coming out targeting five year old hardware, and most people are okay with it. Skyrim runs on my first-generation Intel iMac from 2006.

Diminishing returns in game development has reached the point where the jump to more powerful hardware, and therefore even higher-fidelity visuals, is just costing too much to justify the expense. That is the state of technology today. Some people don't like it because they want to forever relive the glory days of 90s MHz marketing and 3D card upgrades, but it's over, and thank goodness.

Re:Yes, I can (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403832)

Really, gaming is all old PCs are good for. The Apple II, TRS-80, Atari 800, all over 30 years old. I can't imagine doing productivity work on them but the games they play are as much fun today as they were 30 years ago.

Re:Yes, I can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403890)

Skyrim runs on my first-generation Intel iMac from 2006.

Yea, you really have to be lying about that. Skyrim requires a minimum of 512MB dedicated graphics memory, and struggles on machines that meet that requirement. The first generation Intel iMac had a non upgradeable Radeon X1600 w/ 128MB of RAM. There is flat out no way the game will even launch with that.

That's what my Xbox got used for... (2)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403626)

Up until my TV died last christmas eve and I replaced it with a new one that had netflix built in. Although now the Xbox has Hulu plus as well. I did let my XBL subscription lapse last spring. With netflix built in, no longer needed it and wasn't playing many games. Now that it's winter I've gotten a new 1 year XBL subscription along with Battlefield 3.

My TV, internet, phone bundle is $150 a month and that includes all the premium channels, HDTV, DVR, etc. I thought about just getting cable internet and then Hulu plus and netflix and MLB.tv. But I got to adding it up and without the bundle the total would still be around $100 per month. And there would be a few shows I like and would miss or else have to order via iTMS or another source. And I'm not really interested in Bit Torrenting.

PS3? (2)

sirroc (1157745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403646)

My 4 year old has turned my PS3 into a Netflixstation 3. Though I'm just as guilty; it is just so damned convenient!

can you imagine gaming on a PC that's half a decad (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403658)

can you imagine gaming on a PC that's half a decade old?

Yes I can, because I do. Plus, thus far, all major games have a minimum requirement of DirectX 9 which shipped in 2002.

Re:can you imagine gaming on a PC that's half a de (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403850)

Same here. My primary gaming machine is running Win2K Pro Service Pack 2 DX 9.0c. I confess I'm cheating a little since it does have a new power supply and a 5830, but the motherboard is a single core AMD at least 6 years old. I like how the submitter says "half a decade" to try to make it sound older.

Steam won't run on my machine, but that's more their loss than mine.

Re:can you imagine gaming on a PC that's half a de (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404248)

You haven't even upgraded your OS? Enjoy your malware.

XBOX 360 Streaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403688)

I bought my XBOX 360 to play a handful of games. Since getting burnt-out on them, and not finding anything else I really want to spend hours a week playing- I use mine 100% as a streaming media player. It actually does a much better job of playing Netflix movies than some of the more-dedicated players I've tried, like Roku and AppleTV. It works great with a universal remote (Logitech Harmony), and it's also great to be able to search with a wireless USB keyboard. It's a great DVD player too, although it isn't used as much for that since it doesn't do Blu-ray.

Re:XBOX 360 Streaming (1)

neowolf (173735) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403752)

Didn't realize Slashdot had logged me out...

Original Xbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403712)

Xbox 360? Hell I use my original Xbox with XBMC to stream video every day.

Re:Original Xbox (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404148)

My xbmc-based htpc broke in july...I just turned on my original xbox (which was set for xbmc in 2005 or so) and was up and running with almost the same user experience just without the 1080p

I finally got a new htpc setup last week...but for playing non HD content, it is almost the same as the original xbox.

Where do they get this data from? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403748)

Carrier IQ?

wii is an awesome netflix appliance (4, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403822)

Nintendo did it right in terms of how it handles its realtionship with netflix.

Microsoft insists you have gold membership before you can use netflix on the 360. This costs you an extra 10$/mo. Combined, if all you want is streaming, this costs you 18$/mo. This double dipping to use netflix prompted me to shell out the one time cost of a wii. It streams netflix 80% or more of the time I use it.

I recently set up a sony blueray disc player for a friend of my sister's, which can stream netflix. In order to activate it, you have to agree to an eula from sony, register the device for streaming through sony, agree to a sony tos, *THEN* you can activate the device through netflix. Once you do, the netflix experience is lacklustre, having super teeny tiny cover art thumbnails, and a terrible search experience from the remote.

I had none of those issues with the wii. Go to the wii market, pull the free app, sign up with netflix and register the device, and off you go. No 3rd parties to the transaction, no eulas and tos to agree to with nintendo to enable it, nada. The cover art is the wii netflix app is large enough to read from the couch easily, and it is quick and easy to search with the wiimote without entering the konomi code on the damn thing just to pick a letter.

The only drawback of the wii is that it is a low resolution device, and can't really push HD. If it did better than 480p at max it would be an ideal netflix appliance.

I don't know what the situation is on the ps3 with netflix, since last I heard psn was free, but with an abysmally one sided eula--

Re:wii is an awesome netflix appliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403942)

Microsoft insists you have gold membership before you can use netflix on the 360

Incidentally, this is why iPlayer hasn't been available on the XBox so far.

Re:wii is an awesome netflix appliance (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404040)

I recently set up a sony blueray disc player for a friend of my sister's, which can stream netflix. In order to activate it, you have to agree to an eula from sony, register the device for streaming through sony, agree to a sony tos, *THEN* you can activate the device through netflix. Once you do, the netflix experience is lacklustre, having super teeny tiny cover art thumbnails, and a terrible search experience from the remote.

Anything from Sony is absolutely insane, go with an LG Bluray player, it works, it's easy to use, and it gets regular updates from LG. Hell, it even has an app store, the apps suck, but it has an app store.

Re:wii is an awesome netflix appliance (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404220)

The only sony device I own (and use) is a second hand psp1001, (aka, psp fat), running cfw. I use it as a portable retro gaming platform.

The whole "itsy bitsy teeny tiny thumbnails" thing smacked of "you should use a bravia 70 inch 1080p with 3d for best viewing experience!" Type design decision for the native netflix client. No thank you sony. Your dream of owning my entire livingroom entertainment center is absurd and nightmarish to me. Go fuck yourselves, and your intrusive tos and eula as well.

I already own a wii, and do use it for casual gaming from time to time. I don't have blazing fast internet (lucky to get crippled dsl where I live.......) so I doubt I could stream 1080p from netflix anyway. 720p would be a nice option though, nintendo. Please think about it.

Re:wii is an awesome netflix appliance (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404228)

Anything from Sony is absolutely insane, go with an LG Bluray player, it works, it's easy to use, and it gets regular updates from LG. Hell, it even has an app store, the apps suck, but it has an app store.

I had an LG Blu-Ray player. After six months it stopped playing DVDs, I took it in for warranty repairs, it came back after a month and would play DVDs but no longer played Blu-Rays. I took it back for more warranty repairs and after eighteen months they said they couldn't fix it and couldn't get a replacement, so tough.

Meanwhile I've bought three Chinese Blu-Ray players from Wal-Mart for a total of roughly the same as I paid for the LG, and they all work fine and they're region-free. So no more LG products for me, ever.

Re:wii is an awesome netflix appliance (3, Informative)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404178)

You should have went with a Roku. http://www.roku.com/roku-products [roku.com] The thing started out as a Netflix streaming box. They are priced between $50 and $90 depending on model, They do HD. They support Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora and MOG. It has plenty of outputs for older or newer TVs, and it has a standard TV style remote. It also far lower power than any games system.

Re:wii is an awesome netflix appliance (4, Informative)

thedohman (932417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404260)

Speaking of using the Konami code in netflix... A slightly modified version can be to deactivate the account, so you can reactivate it. In theory you could use trial accounts, and just keep deactivating it to start a new trial account. I wouldn't be surprised if they tracked this and disabled Wiis that do it too much, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they didn't bother. (Got this from their tech support when we had a phantom account issue. Re-activating with the same account fixed our issue, but cleared our instant queue, recently watched, etc.).
Slightly modified: U U D D L R L R U U U U

Oh, and I'd say for now we use the Wii for Netflix and the homebrew WiiMC ( http://www.wiimc.org/ [wiimc.org] ) (for shoutcast 'radio', mostly) for about 80% of the Wii usage, and about 50% of total tv use. There is a 360 wrapped and under the tree, so those numbers will go down very soon.

MediaTomb - Free UPnP MediaServer (1)

gregthebunny (1502041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403918)

http://mediatomb.cc/ [mediatomb.cc]

Works great with my PS3! Just make sure you hook up your console with an Ethernet cable - I got a lot of stuttering on fast-paced video over the wireless. I can play full 1080p MPEG4 video over 100 Mbps Ethernet.

HTPC: the new XBox (3, Informative)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403962)

I use several XBoxes as streaming media consoles. They all have hard drive upgrades and softmods which means they can hold a lot more than the standard 8/10GB drives ever could - up to and including XBox game images, playlists, emulators, and they're all network mapped to each other and the 18TB media/file server.

So I could watch anything that's on the server or any console on any other console in the house, or kick up the game images and have a LANParty.

I dunno, they just seem to be built for it. It's certainly a lot less hassle than stumping up 15x the cost for systems that make 10x the noise, have 10x the power (and power requirement), take 100 times longer to boot... just plug it in and go.

The only downside to XBox is getting hold of controllers these days. New ones just plain ain't available and the secondhand market is dry at the best of times. On saying that the last controller I bought (blisterpacked XBox brand, standard size) came with a free console... Made me laugh when I got told that you could only get XBox controllers with a console kit (box, cables and controller)... and they were on special offer at £15!

New Life? (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403980)

What is new about this?
I have done the same thing with my old modded Xbox years ago. Streaming video from a pc/NAS that is.
Had to stop when the poor box couldn't handle decoding the newer video files in real time any more, because they kept getting bigger. Well, I went from Xbox to Zbox.

I guess with the new ones you don't need to mod and install XBMC anymore? That means they always had this feature, so it's not new.

Re:New Life? (1)

bmsleight (710084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404272)

I still using up to 3 Xboxs around the house to steam my mythtv. Work great and £20-25 a box it not bad value.

This is... unexpected. (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404044)

... considering that the wii is not even capable of hi-def video, I find it surprising that it would be used for video streaming.

Re:This is... unexpected. (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404142)

It is capable of 480p, however. When we had Netflix, most movies (the newer the more likely) were perhaps a little bit better than DVD quality, which was plenty enough for our 50" plasma at 10 feet.

Re:This is... unexpected. (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404170)

Why? Video streaming usually isn't hi-def anyway. Netflix certainly isn't.

Exactly Why I Bought Mine At Walmart Black Friday (2)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404082)

I am a dyed in the wool PC Gamer. In my life I have only ever owned three gaming consoles: an Atari 2600, a Wii (bought so my wife could use Wii Fit), and now Xbox 360. After our introductory year our cable company wants to charge $16 a month for the DVR, so I looked into TiVo and other dedicated machines. $600. Heck no. HDHomerun Prime's comparable to a year of I already had spare parts enough (save for a motherboard) to make an HTPC, but the power supply was raised by a family of Dust Busters and the chassis's just butt ugly, so for $150 I got a slick device to put next to the TV, and I can explain simply to my wife that "we're using it as our own cable box." Not to mention join my D&D group for gaming outside of tabletop night. A little bit of research leads to the Xbox even starting up into TV, so the Wife Acceptance Factor is the best I could hope for. Image quality of TV is just as good as the cable company DVR, and the GUI loads better looking.

Yup (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404152)

My PS3 is used for Netflix like 90% of the time, a DVD/Blu-Ray player 5% of the time, and NCAA Football 5% of the time.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?