Lesson learned: don’t remove your satellite receiver from your TV until the last possible moment or your kids might mutiny. We were scheduled for an upgraded Dish receiver yesterday at noon, so I jumped the gun and moved our main receiver to smaller TV in advance. Sure enough, the installer canceled 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time which left us with no way to watch television. I can survive (for a few hours), but the kids? Unheard of!
Just before I went to move the original receiver back, I realized I had downloaded the first few episodes of "Star Trek: Enterprise" in high def from the Xbox Live Video Marketplace the day before. Wouldn’t you know, the kids just loved the show? While we were watching the pilot episodes, I quickly added more Xbox Box Live points to my account (right over the Xbox, which was quick and painless) and had more episodes downloading in the background; it’s working much better than when it originally launched. For a 42 minute HD episode, it’s taking me about 1.3 hours to download, but once the video hits about 80% downloaded, you can begin to watch. All in all, the service saved my behind and I think we’ll survive without the satellite receiver until tomorrow, which is the rescheduled time.
The whole situation also got me thinking since I often use the Slingbox to amuse the kids on the road. The Xbox 360 has a component cable that supports high def signals and so does our Slingbox PRO. I’m pretty certain we could have watched these videos on the road except for one minor issue: I don’t know of a Slingbox software remote for the Xbox 360; if I had that, we could "boldly watch Star Trek where no one has watched before". I could likely create custom IR remote settings; has anyone done this for the 360 yet? If you have, let me know: the kids and I will name our "First Engineer".