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  #1  
Old 06-01-2009, 08:01 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default Zune Video Service Coming to Xbox 360 in 18 Countries

<p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/zt/auto/1243882062.usr1.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>There were some rumblings about this last week, but today at E3 Microsoft has confirmed the details: Xbox owners will be able to access all the video content on the Zune Marketplace. Playback is enhanced by what Microsoft is calling "Smooth Streaming" - video playback starts very quickly at a low bit-rate, then ramps up in bit-rate for maximum quality. This means that, assuming you have a decently fast Internet connection, there shouldn't be much in the way of "Please Wait: Buffering" messages. The video pushed down the pipe are glorious 1080p, and will have 5.1 surround sound. I haven't ordered many movies off the Xbox Marketplace, but aren't they all in 720p? If so, this is a big jump in quality - nice! There's also going to be enhanced search functionality to make finding things easier - that's a good thing, because the Xbox Marketplace was a very manual affair, and now that the Zune Marketplace is going to be offering scads more content, being able to find it easily is important. <MORE /></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/zt/auto/1243882045.usr1.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>So who's going to get access to this? In addition to the US, Canada, UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Spain - all of which were announced last week - you can add Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Wow - that's quite the list of countries. Does that mean it's much harder to get music marketplaces launched in those countries?</p><p>I'm impressed with how many countries Microsoft is able to launch in so quickly, yet still after a year of having the Zune hardware availalble in Canada, there's no Zune Marketplace. So I'll be able to get Zune videos on my Xbox 360, but I still can't get music or videos for my Zune? That's pretty screwed up.</p><p>One thing I'm not sure about is rental vs. purchase. In Canada, movie rentals are rental only - there's no option to purchase the movie, and there are no TV shows for rental or purchase. I think on the Zune Marketplace, there's only a purchase option, isn't there? I'm not aware of a rental option for content - so is the Zune Marketplace on Xbox 360 a hybrid of the two? Or purely a purchase-only experience?</p><p><strong>UPDATE:</strong> Two points I've learned more about. First, this experience is coming to the Xbox in the fall. It's tied to the fall update for the Xbox 360. Secondly, I've been told that the Zune Video Marketplace is for rental only, there's no purchasing of content.</p>
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2009, 08:04 PM
Jason Dunn
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This article:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm..._down_gau.html

...references the fact that instant play requires a 6mbps to 10mbps connection. Also, Last.fm is also coming to the Xbox 360.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:06 PM
Phillip Dyson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
Also, Last.fm is also coming to the Xbox 360.
I guess this explains why Zune music will be absent. Could it be that Last.FM has already tackled the international copyright fight?
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:57 AM
Felix Torres
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip Dyson View Post
I guess this explains why Zune music will be absent. Could it be that Last.FM has already tackled the international copyright fight?
Last.fm is (personalized) internet radio not on-demand audio subscriptions like Zune pass. There is room for both.
Similarly, there is room for Netflix, Zune/Video marketplace and (if the June 8th rumors are true) Hulu.
Nice to get choices.
Especially free ones.
 
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  #5  
Old 06-02-2009, 04:50 AM
Soundtweaker
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I hope the maximum bit rate of 1080p will be high enough so that it looks better than 720p.
 
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  #6  
Old 06-02-2009, 07:26 AM
Filip Norrgard
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Wohoo! Finally something for Finland !

I would hope for the SciFi shows here (like in that screenshot) but I doubt that we'll be getting it over here. 1080p sounds sweet though...
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  #7  
Old 06-02-2009, 08:28 AM
Stinger
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Between this and the full downloadable games, I'm going to need a bigger harddrive.
 
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