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Microsoft Announces TV and Movies for Xbox Live 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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Microsoft Announces TV and Movies for Xbox Live

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  • by ben there... ( 946946 ) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @02:25PM (#16754439) Journal
    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.

    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.

    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.

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