XBox 360 gaining HDTV and movie downloads, what about Zune?


Xbox_live_video_1HUGE news in the digital living room today; Microsoft is partnering with CBS, MTV, Warner Brothers and others to provide digital television and movie downloads direct to the Xbox 360 via XBox Live. I’m not going to rehash all the details simply because so many other folks have covered it; in fact, here’s a few links for you on the topic:

Essentially, you’ll be able to use Microsoft points to download SD or HD content (720p) for storage and later playback. Looks like movies will have a limited viewing time while television eps can be stored and transferred around. All in all, very intriguing and no surprise to me; the 360 is made to stream and watch video around the house and I’ve been watching HD content on mine for about a year over WiFi.

Here’s the more interesting question in my mind, and although I’ve only skimmed the major articles on the news (so I might have missed it), I’m wondering: WHERE IS ZUNE IN ALL OF THIS?

It’s one thing to get content to the living room, but I have to believe that we’ll see some Zune announcements really "Zune" on moving this content from the 360 to the portable media player. We’ll probably hear about an Xbox Live upgrade for the 360 to allow for this, but this is a missed opportunity as just the mention of Zune support in the future could have helped Microsoft in "The iPod War". Content delivery is just the first step, when you can placeshift it to mobile devices, you make the entire situation that much more appealing….


Kevin C. Tofel

Based on the compression used for the 720p movies (there was no 1080i/p content announced), the expectation is that a two hour HD movie will be in the 6 GB range or so (sounds a little low to me, but….). This is a fine line between compressing too much (and introducing artifacts) or having fules too large for download. I believe they’re using the WMV-HD method…


I’m curious how they are going to pull this off. An HD movie will easily take up 15-20GB’s. The 360’s HD is only 20GB’s.

I won’t be surprised if the Zune is integrated into this somehow. J Allard, the person who was in charge of the 360, became the lead for the Zune.

So I’m guessing you’ll be able to Microsoft points to purchase songs, tv shows, movies, etc, and move them to the Zune.


You probably know this already, but they finally removed that stupid limitation of being able to stream videos to the 360 only from an MCE machine. It was mentioned that you’d be able to stream videos from a Zune to the 360, which is cool.

But when I heard about the 360 movie/TV downloads, I was telling the hubby that MS better increase the capacity of the Zune and allow people to offload their purchased videos (and the rentals) to the Zune. That way they can clear up space on the 360’s HD, as well as take their movies/TV shows with them on the go.

I’d be very surprised and disappointed if that isn’t the way MS is going with the 360-Zune integration.

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