So I dropped $25.00 in Microsoft funny money, aka: XBox Points, and browsed through the Xbox Live Video selections. Regular readers know I’m a high-def television addict, so I bypassed all of the SD movies and television eps. 480 points netted me the right to download a 6 GB file and the ability to watch the movie one time within a 14-day period. For comparison, the Vista RTM download was 2.6 GB! Basically, I just paid $6.00 to spend all day downloading a high-def movie. I’ll do a follow up later to discuss the time it took to get the movie but I’m certain I won’t be watching this today as my Xbox 360 connects to my wireless network; it’s not wired unfortunately.
Why is this mobile tech related? Is it? I say it is and here’s why: some of the best "mobile tech" is when tech comes to you. In this case, I don’t have to go to Blockbuster or Wal-Mart to buy or rent a movie in the HD-DVD or Blu-Ray format, nor do I have to spend $200 to $1,000 for another piece of hardware to play the movie. Yes, I know that Neflix offers high-def content now, but I’d rather not add a new subscription to my budget just yet.
There’s another reason too. Although I originally didn’t plan to buy a Zune, I’m reconsidering. I know the official Microsoft statement is that you can’t currently move content from your Xbox 360 to a Zune, but I find it hard to believe that Microsoft won’t take advantage of the Zune’s 3-inch QVGA screen for video placeshifting. I suspect (*strictly opinion*), that we’ll see a firmware update to the Zune and the 360 that allows us to move video from the 360 to the Zune. The Xbox Live Video marketplace could effectively combat the iTunes Movies and TV offerings. Would I want to watch a full two-hour movie on a 3-inch screen? No, but I could catch up on some television episodes in 43 minutes with a quick re-encoding of the video down to 320 x 240.
Just for kicks, I’m including this picture of the Xbox Live Video dashboard so you can see how it looks. Before anyone asks, this set is a 60-inch Sony SXRD high-def television, or what I like to call "the largest external monitor in my house for my Samsung Q1 UMPC". Yes, it has a VGA input. ;)