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Microsoft will sell video content through Xbox Live

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 07 Nov 2006 18:58 User comments (18)

Microsoft will sell video content through Xbox Live Microsoft Corp. announced that it will begin using the Xbox Live service to offer video content to its users. On November 22nd the service will begin selling content like TV shows to users. Video content in both standard definition and high definition will be available, with HD content costing more. SD video content will be priced around the same as rival stores according to Peter Moore, Microsoft's corporate vice president for interactive entertainment.
Apple's iTunes service sells TV show episodes for $1.99 for example. Microsoft has negotiated the rights to sell (or rent) content from CBS, MTV Networks, Paramount, Warner Bros. and Turner Broadcasting. This is another push from Microsoft to reach further into the living rooms of consumers and flex more muscle in the home entertainment markets. This does differ from Microsoft's "other" attempts and also other video download stores.

Microsoft believed that media centre PCs was a way to bring the company further into the home entertainment area, but it didn't catch on as much as expected. This is where the Xbox 360 can shine; the service will be relatively easy (at least in comparison to setting up and maintaining media centre PCs) and in a blow to other video download services, it eliminates the need for a PC in the middle.

Additionally, this gives Microsoft an opportunity to reach out to tougher target audiences. "The interesting thing is that we're delivering the 18-to-34-year-olds who aren't watching TV," Moore said. As for the service itself, while it might strike a milestone and be the first service to sell downloads of full-length HD movies, which surpass DVD quality, it still has some of the same nags that many consumers have come to hate.

Video content will not be playable on other devices for example, and you couldn't transfer the content to another device and create your own DVD out of it. Also, for now, while users will be able to keep TV shows, movies will only be available for 24 hour rent. Even putting that point aside for a second, a 2 hour High Definition video could be a 6GB download, quite a chunk of the 20GB HDD you can currently get for the Xbox 360.

The size might not matter much when you have a high speed Internet connection (at least in terms of waiting for the download) as the service will display the video as it downloads. In addition, the service will keep track of your purchases, so users can log in to watch their videos on a friend's console.

New York Times

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18 user comments

17.11.2006 21:58

wow, so i pay 2 bucks to watch something i can dvr and keep forever for free? nice deal :/

28.11.2006 0:40

@KaosX that would be the same attitude that music/movie pirates (not saying you are one) have, why pay for something thats DRM'ed and limited to one device when i can get it free with no limitations. and only a small chance of being sued. When i read this article a few hours before it was posted here it was off a different site than this was sourced from:

This is HUGE for several reasons…the biggest of which is that Microsoft has done something that Apple has yet to be able to do…get studio support for movie downloads from non-Disney owned studios.
came from the article i read. Still limited to Xbox but could be bad for itunes movies service in future. M$ really will need to bring out new, bigger HDD's now 20gb just isnt enough for a system to store downloadable content. Lets see $300-$400 for a core or premium (either will still need a new HDD) + $200+ for HD-DVD addon, and now a new HDD knowing M$ at least $100 kinda makes the PS3 price not look so major doesnt it? No doubt PS3 HDD will need to be upgraded fairly soon after release as well, but its not limited to Sony only HDDs but can have any brand.

38.11.2006 3:53

I think this is a great idea.. unfortunatly I don't care about TV Shows.. I am very interested in HD-Movies though. But if you've ever downloaded a large demo(900Mb) off of Live you'll know it is a very slow and time consuming process. What is an HD Movie size.. 8-9GB?? Thankfully my Cable provider gives HD-Movies on demand.. making this a rather useless feature yet a nice step in the right direction for consoles.

48.11.2006 4:11

Its great to be able to record like this,but the real problem is that there is very little out there worth recording,most films that are being made at the moment are complete trash and some of the tv is no better.Do the producers of these productions think we are stupid

58.11.2006 5:49

MS just is nothing the thinking the thought threw they handicapped the 360 off the start,the DRM single play or timed play movie thing is ok to me,since I wont be using it since its a gimmick. However its about time I hope they will create a HD on kit for under 20-30 that lets you add your own HD to it. Or will they create static HD kits at 60,120GB? Now that they are working on the HD for non gaming reasons (which can hep gaming but then tis not standard thus devs wont use it) Will they truly ramp up support for HD DVD gaming,or will they foolishly fight the PS3 with DVD9 games? SO far tis like wanted a fool meal from a a minimalist French restraunt you now a whole meal is 1/2LB of food. I want a 2 pounds of meat dammit!

68.11.2006 9:38

LOL, Its funny how MS can switch up so much they talk about the 360 didnt need all this stuff because at the heart of the matter Games is what matter and that what they was going to stick to.MS you are the same one that said there is no need for HIGH-Def content.Well i cant keep up with you guys because you flip flop so much.Sony really got you guys with your back to the wall.

CBS, MTV Networks, Paramount, Warner Bros. and Turner Broadcasting
CBS-SUCKS have yet to make a good TV series i guess that why you behind ABC & Fox. MTV Networks-Dead no one look at this channel anymore. Paramount- Okay no issue with these guys Warner Bros-Alright also Turner Broadcasting-This is the same network that is about to crash they are losing money at a record pace so dont look for it to be Turner anymore also this why Ted Turner trying to sell his network because no one care for TNT outside for NBA & that Justice show. That list really blow my socks off...LOL This is what people got DVR'S for why pay for cable then pay for it online.That dont make sense

78.11.2006 12:50


making this a rather useless feature yet a nice step in the right direction for consoles.
Allowing video game consoles to download movies and TV shows I think is about the last thing I would say is in the right direction. Xbox 360 and the soon to be PS3 are just turning into very limited media center PC's. I'd rather knock a hundred dollars off of the price then have this extra nonsense that is already being done, better, by other peripherals that no one is about to get rid of. If Microsoft started offering High Speed internet themselves, then maybe it would make sense, but they don't.

88.11.2006 12:52

I still don't understand why people keep complaining about the 20GB HDD. You can definately buy an external 200+ HDD for alittle over $100 and plug it into the 360 via USB( no big deal).

98.11.2006 13:22

Cinnjerm yes and no as you can see it kinda works kinda dose not it will ike you store pics and MP3s but nothing else,MS still has rule over what HD can be fully "used".

108.11.2006 13:54

well this is quite cool ut cant the xbox play any video from a storage device now ? so you could already have it downloded in hd and play it. (not that you should beacause its bad and aparently ilegal) does anyone know about the pricing yet? how many microsoft points im intrested in waysting some money lol. microsoft is bringing a new hardrive out ( 80 or 100 gig i think) but like anything designed by microsoft it will probaly make the xbox crash more. i cant play hd dvd even with the recent xbox live update because my xbox is faulty :( time to get t re:re:replaced

118.11.2006 14:18

glitchzoo about 4 bucks worth *L* its not a bad idea mind you it is basic but sht the 360 as it is now cant really handle it all.

128.11.2006 15:10

[quote="Andrew691"]@KaosX that would be the same attitude that music/movie pirates (not saying you are one) have, why pay for something thats DRM'ed and limited to one device when i can get it free with no limitations. and only a small chance of being sued.

Actually I think KaosX is talking about the tv shows, which you can absolutely legally record on your Tivo or other DVR and watch any time you want, for only the price of your cable service and the dvr. :) [quote="kaosX"]wow, so i pay 2 bucks to watch something i can dvr and keep forever for free? nice deal :/

138.11.2006 17:16

@loubat Yeah i suppose he was talking about that.

I still don't understand why people keep complaining about the 20GB HDD. You can definately buy an external 200+ HDD for alittle over $100 and plug it into the 360 via USB( no big deal)
Its the fact that you still need to go spend an extra $100 on an external one. And as he link of ZippyDSM states that only certain files can be played off USB and files cant be transfered between them USB isnt an option.

148.11.2006 21:08

does anyone speak any damn english here.

158.11.2006 22:04

what are you talking about basicly everyone heres english is perfectly fine.

169.11.2006 16:32

^ Not to say it couldn't be better, everything is perfectly readable, if not in exactly the correct syntax or spelling. If I can understand it, that's all I need. ----- My my, was that off topic? Time to fix that. M$ is striving ruthlessly to make their content propriatery and non-recordable, but I have yet to see any "record-protection" that can beat a simple DVD-R or my trusty Capture Card. There's really no way to stop recording of video content--If you can see it, you can record it, no exceptions. Unfortunately, most people don't realize this, and since they're blocked by their won ignorance, M$ can take their money. ----- I strongly agree with DamonDash; Microsoft was very avid about the 360 being "a console for gaming," and saying "games are our focus," "screw HD-DVD," etc. Personally, I didn't mind the original marketing philosphy--I'm not looking for some sort of super-machine that can play games, play TV shows, browse the web, and make my coffee. If I want to make coffee, I'll use my coffee maker; if I want to browse the web, I'll use my PC, if I want to play TV shows, I'll use my TV, and if I want to play games, then I'll use my game console. There's no reason to expand something designed for games into things that are totally unrelated to games. Granted, the PC is a notable exception to the focused-product rule; I can use a PC for all of these tasks, including the coffee -- [link][/link] (It dosen't actually MAKE the coffee, but it's close enough) But I'm not interested in buying a PC. I already own a PC. I think this is the biggest logical fault with the philosophy of the Next-Gen console manufacturers; they're expanding to incorporate features which are already available on a different device which most of the buyers already own. If they did it in a way that was superior to what we already had, then they might have a chance at competition. If, instead they provide an inferior service, than these "features" are reduced to gimmicks. Face it- are you really interested in paying for a movie (with a credit card, no less) that you can watch once or twice before it gets deleted? We've already got On-Deamnd and Pay-Per-View, which offer exactly the same services, with a wider variety of content. Plus, you can record from them ;) . And, as the last straw, I don't have to spend 8+ hours downloading something which I will watch for 2.5 hours. And I certainly don't want to redownload it for 8 more hours if I need to watch it somewhere else. Why do I buy game consoles? For the same reason that most buy game consoles--because of the software which is exclusively available for them. If not for exclusive games, then I'd use my PC (FTW yet again). From what I've read, here and elsewhere, none of the content or features that are being lumped onto gmae consoles (besides the games themselves) are exclusive. Like I said before, I already have a coffee maker.

179.11.2006 16:33

Sorry about that, got my BBCode incorrect. Here's the coffee link.

1810.11.2006 8:35

If anything M$ and Sony have given everybody with fingers/mouths the ability to argue over every detail of the console wars. I have two Xbox 360s, one Gamecube, a PSP, two Nintendo DS's, five PCs, and four DVRs. Now I have to sweat over Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD. I just bought the Xbox 360 HD-DVD add-on, but now have second thoughts after reading it relies heavily on software to deliver the HD content. I have never been able to get my Xbox 360 to act as a media extender with my Sony Media Center PC, so I can't speak to that service. My 360 does a great job with games, DVDs, and CDs (other than running loud and hot). My theater is loaded with devices which serve each of their purposes well, but I do have to say that my current 1080p HDTV ran out of HDMI connections long ago. Maybe a device with multiple functions would serve to relieve this problem. Although obviously not the Xbox 360 in its current form (since there is not HDMI output). That will teach us all for being early adopters. Do I buy a PS3 to complete my electronic universe?? I'm not standing in line again - no, not again!!.

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