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Monday, July 14, 2008

Microsoft Xbox 360 Streams Netflix Movies, Snags Living Room

The intrepid digerati no longer pays for cable television because most networks now stream their shows online (albeit some are delayed up to a week). In a world where Tivo has changed the paradigm of time -- we watch when we want to -- that's not such a bad thing.

That still leaves some down time, though, particularly in the summer. Microsoft hopes to combat that, at least if you own one of their next-generation game consoles. The company announced at the E3 conference that Xbox 360 owners would now be able to stream movies from Netflix directly to their televisions using.

The folks at Endgadget -- a great geek-bot site -- are skeptical about the initial quality (although they say DVD-quality, which is okay with me), but point out that a new dashboard is coming this fall, which could include an upgrade for content.

For someone like me -- and likely Xbox gamers -- we're used to watching movies and other content streamed online. Five years ago, most of us would have pulled out our hair (I am currently bald); however, better compression technologies and increased bandwidth have solved many of the buffering problems.

The reality is that Netflix is trying to compete with Apple's iTunes, which has a huge install base of fanatical followers, and Blockbuster, which has massive name recognition. By tapping into the game console market -- and choosing Microsoft, which has drawn even in name recognition with Sony and Nintendo -- Netflix has the one thing the other two companies don't have: a direct line to the living room television.

By Brad at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

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