back to article Microsoft notices Xbox gamers actually slack-jawed TV fans, adds 43 new apps

Everyone's been waiting for a game-changing Apple TV product to come riding over the hill, but it could be Microsoft that captures the internet TV market first. In the Xbox, Microsoft already has a popular internet box that people plug into the sitting room TV. Now Microsoft is ramping up the TV and video content available on …

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  1. Dropper
    FAIL

    Huh

    People really pay Microsoft just to connect to their online network? Has anyone told the parents of these kids they're being scammed? Pay for the privelege of paying for something else.. sounds like an excellent deal.

    1. goldcd

      Hmm

      I was a happy gold user for years. Bluntly I liked the experience and didn't notice the cost.

      I mean I was aware PSN was free - but then I was also aware of the eternal mess it seemed to be.

      Few things made me change my mind - the pointless MS bonus points trying to make it appear 'good value', PSN introducing their own paid subscription which actually seemed to offer something new, but most importantly their last batch of f'in dashboard updates that turned 'my' console into a f'in advertising hoarding at the expense of usability.

      Basically if something's free, I'll put up with adverts - google is a fine example. I get free stuff and I accept they need to get something infront of me that covers their costs. Alternatively I'm happy to pay for something, if it's geared around making life as perfect as possible for me - e.g. the updates for parties, beacons etc - I used to look forward to each update as it used to bring 'cool shit'

      Xbox just seems to have lost their soul/way. Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's just that Xbox is no longer just a fun little MS side-project that they hoped would cover their costs one day.

      Anyway - I've let my gold subscription lapse, most of my games have been donated to the office pile, and I'm back on Steam. Can't see myself going back to consoles - my next 'console' will be a second PC plugged to the TV.

      1. Dropper
        WTF?

        Re: Hmm

        If you want to charge for using voice over IP that's fine..people pay for things like Ventrillo, not as much as you do for XBox Live but that's just life. But to charge for something that EVERYONE else gives for free is just a rip off. They don't supply the content, they don't provide the infrastructure for the bandwidth your browsing or streaming requires and you've already paid for the hardware. So effectively you're giving Microsoft money for something other people are providing. If you really want to use online console networks for gaming, that's your call, though why you'd want to engage in what passes for conversation with the kind of no-life twat that inhabits those networks is beyond me. But when it comes to accessing online content, Microsoft is no better than any other network out there. Using Netflix, Hulu and Amazon is just as painless on a PS3 or Wii as it is on an XBox. Same with browsing or accessing media servers. The difference is that right now Sony and Nintendo don't charge money for accessing online content whereas Microsoft most definitely does. Sony''s paid network is of no relevance to this conversation as the article's topic was specifically that Microsoft have realised that people want access to TV apps. It has nothing to do with paying subscriptions for discounted games and gaming content.

  2. g e
    Facepalm

    So does that mean there's a lot of dim people

    Who like to pay their XBOX Gold membership fee to access the Netflix/Lovefilm subscription they already paid for?

    Don't tell 'em it's free on the PS3...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So does that mean there's a lot of dim people

      It means there are between 20-30m idiots out there at least...

      to be fair, only 56% of Xbox360 owners are stupid enough to pay for Xbox Live Gold and double dip subsciptions, because Microsoft tell them it's really good...

      Given the 50%ish failure rate of the Xbox, it's likely there are only 40m ACTIVE Xbox360 users, so between 20-30m stupid enough to pay.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So does that mean there's a lot of dim people

        50% failure rate? WTF are you on? (Test production runs don't count).

        You mean that failure rate that is no higher than the failure rate of the PS3 right? If you mean the original Xbox however, your post is as redundant as the console.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So does that mean there's a lot of dim people

          I'm guessing you didn't bother reading your link... Yes, after 6 years on the market, Microsoft have finally managed to get the Xbox360 failure down to that of the PS3, that's been pretty reliable since day one...

          http://www.nofussreviews.com/survey-results-2012

          In 2009 ( 4 years after launch), the failure rate was still around the 55% - 60% mark. The warranty extension had long since finished.... Not that much to shout about really...

      3. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: So does that mean there's a lot of dim people

        You do realise that the RROD defective machines were replaced, so hasn't changed the numbers that you are playing with?

        I won't defend the platform- the first generation of machines were as noisy as hell (unsuitable for any kind of media playback) - and the paying to use the online features (which as far as I know, is a peer-to-peer system that doesn't place too much workload on MS's servers - though I may be wrong) isn't great, but you are exhibiting that unfortunate tendency to class whole swathes of your fellow humans as 'idiots'. Pillock.

        A year's subscription to XBOX Live Gold is less than quid a week... far cheaper than that extra half pint on a Thursday, a take-away snack once in a while, a coffee on the way to work, or a monthly trip to the cinema. Why single out this one expenditure for your poorly thought-out judgement?

        The PS3 is the more versatile, civilised machine, though. No charge to play games online- but that's just as well given Sony's history of keeping user's account details secure.

      4. nuked
        FAIL

        Re: So does that mean there's a lot of dim people

        You have a cute, but entirely flawed interpretation of basic maths.

    2. GitMeMyShootinIrons
      Facepalm

      Re: So does that mean there's a lot of dim people

      Indeed there are dimwitted people. They also buy PS3 and all that Sony DRM goodness. Enjoy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So does that mean there's a lot of dim people

        What DRM? The same DRM all consoles use... Sure Microsoft's console has rubbish DRM, and most games are cracked and online long before release, but that only means developers are less likely to bother with Xbox next time around, as they have shown Microsoft to be a bunch of incompetent idiots when it comes to hardware.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Err, I think you mean geeks...

    Geeks do... Nerds talk about doing...

    And yes, I run MythTV over HDMI... :)

    Anon to avoid office ridicule...

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Err, I think you mean geeks...

      Office ridicule? For being a geek? What kind of backwards office do you work it? 'Geek' and 'nerd' are badges of honor to be worn proudly in this day and age. It's been that way ever since the drones who used to ridicule us figured out who it is that the have to go begging for help when they have computer problems.

  4. danny_0x98

    Three Thoughts

    "People buy our game console and use it more and more to watch tv/movies." Or, people use it less to play games, which should be a big red flag about the viability of the games industry, if not for Microsoft, then for the developers of console games.

    If I gave into the temptation of invoking infallible Apple, I'd suggest that if it was a plethora of apps that cracked the tv question, we'd see the app-happy AppleTV by now. But I will say this, the AppleTV is a product with a clear purpose, to display the entertainment available on one's computer and Internet on one's television. The XBox is a games console first and a content viewer secondarily, which means someone like me, who doesn't care about games, stops listening.

    It also occurs to me that as mature hardware, the current XBox should be profitable at its retail price. At rollout of new hardware, the manufacturers have taken losses on new consoles, intending to make that up on the purchase of games tied to the new platform. A few years after release, manufacturing costs fall. As a result, hardware refreshes are few. Now, if the XBox, or its successor, becomes the tv disruptor, what will that say about the price or its competitiveness as a games console, and how does being the conduit for someone else's revenue stream of subscriptions and advertising add to Microsoft's bottom line, let alone subsidize hardware refreshes?

    The XBox TV may be more of a toaster-fridge than the Surface and the riddle as to how do computing companies transform entertainment delivery and grab significant value from Hollywood looks to me unsolved.

    1. Robert Grant
      Stop

      Re: Three Thoughts

      Thought one: that's not a corollary. People often watch more TV than play games; this could just be an indication that Xbox is in more "normal" houesholds (ie ones where gaming isn't a focus) than before. Also, the amount of time playing games doesn't mean anything; some people literally don't have time. And that's fine, as long as they keep playing games. So the metric is (as it's always been) attach rate. Nothing new to see here.

      Thought two: that's a marketing exercise, and ironically it's probably proven to be false by the first thought: Xboxes are in more "normal" households than before.

      Thought three: through the biz-speke I think you're saying that Xbox can't keep up with being a console if prices must be low but specs must be high, and where do they make a profit if that's where things go? I guess one answer would be the PS2: people bought it because it was a DVD player (and cheaper than the alternatives) as well as a games console. No-one's going to tell me that the PS2 wasn't also a phenomenally successful gaming console as well.

      1. JonP
        Meh

        Re: Three Thoughts

        I think (as in my case) people had xboxes for gaming and now it's became possible to get films & TV programmes through it, and simply because it already happens to be connected to the TV gets used for watching films/tv.

        So i'm not sure that it being in more 'normal' households is right either - I imagine it's in the same households but is now being used for more 'normal' activities...

        I don't think anyone would go out and buy an xbox purely to watch films/tv on (for a start there's the live subs, though i don't know if you actually need it to get films etc, then there's no blue-ray player so it limits its usefulness there too...) I think in this instance microsoft is just taking advantage of a potential revenue stream simply because it can - squeezing the last bit potential out of the xbox 360 before they bring out the next one.

        1. Vince

          Re: Three Thoughts

          "I don't think anyone would go out and buy an xbox purely to watch films/tv on"

          Wrong. I have 1 that was bought for this purpose alone, and another (original 360 design) that I bought in 2006, used for about a year, didn't really use much until it got on-demand, and now it's used daily.

          Both are Gold Subscribed, and both are basically used only for the tv/film stuff.

          Someone in our office also bought an Xbox 360, has Gold, uses it with Netflix, and does not have a single game.

    2. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Re: Three Thoughts

      Your "clear purpose" there is missing a few things.

      An AppleTV really does very little to get the content from your PC onto your TV. It's a lot better if you jailbreak it but who really wants to bother with that. It's the sort of thing that seems more appropriate for Linux users than Apple users and the Linux users are already using MythTV.

      Microsoft realizing that the "computing appliance" that plays games can also be a "video appliance" is rather obvious actually.

      The first Xbox WAS a PC. This point is especially obvious if you've ever seen the original Xbox dev kit.

      It's a concept that might not play well to blithering Apple fanboys (or Linux Zealots) but that doesn't seem to be hurting the concept any.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Three Thoughts

        I've gotta say I watch more media on my pc than I play games, I also write more than I play games and, probably I absorb more internet than play games. But I do consider myself something of a games player the 100 odd games on steam would point to that as well as a smattering of none steam titles (gamersgate / f2p / etc )

        I don't really think it's all that odd for people who have a console or pc plugged into their TV to use it to do media.

        I'd sooner have a pc though, going round my mates who has a 360 plugged into his tv I got to experiance the really rather dodgy interface (sort by date added doesn't seem to work on its youtube app and the youtube via the browser is all kinds of dodgy, the browser ui over laps the search bar, it doesn't go full screen, if you click the link that takes you to the app it only opens the app, it doesn't open the app at the video you clicked the app button.) Not to mention it was pretty bad at handling the stream (audio out of synch, stuttering, etc) anyhow, I'll keep my pc, and lets face it you can get a machine that'll do 1080, with half decent storage for a couple of hundred quid.

        The other funny thing was that without a gold subscription you couldn't use youtube - which was surreal.

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. InsaneGeek
      WTF?

      Re: Copycat Microsoft

      You do of course know that XBOX has been able to use Netflix, selling full tv/movies videos via their XBOX marketplace, streaming via DLNA and even usable as a media center extender for YEARS before Apple TV came out. If anything Apple has copied Microsoft as a media device.

      The bottom line that TV is changing for Microsoft is that it sells XBOX units. I'm actually considering getting another XBOX to use with my bedroom TV, not because I want it to play games but because I can get to Comcast XFinity ondemand content since they have an app that Apple TV doesn't have, PS3 doesn't have, Roku doesn't have, Tivo doesn't have, but Microsoft XBOX does have. The Apple TV sucks compared to the XBOX for a multimedia device, it does everything it does and more.

      And if anybody has vendor lock in it's Apple, dear god they threatened to pull their products out of an entire country if they had to license their DRM to third parties to allow itunes purchased content to play on something else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Copycat Microsoft

        Xbox isn't DLNA...

        PS3 is of course however. That's why it plays everything you chuck at it, rather than 10% of what the Xbox accepts...

        http://www.dlna.org/consumer-home/look-for-dlna/product-search

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft can't do anything very well

      They seem to have shoe horned themselves into the console market pretty effectively. Remember how when Xbox 1 came out we all knew there was no way they'd make a go of it? Of course that's a dead market now. Except for the new Android console that's going to be awesome, obv...

      1. PaulW

        Re: Microsoft can't do anything very well

        I would tend to disagree with @Sabroni...

        Metro could be very interesting on a SmartTV... think of some of those TVs with a built in DVD player. Then take that 20" Sony Tablet, scale it up, add in the Kinect as standard with the rest of the Xbox hardware, and you could have a pretty reasonable 40"+ "gaming TV" all in one. Heck add in cable card too, 3 HDMI ports (1 for PS3, 1 for WiiU and 1 for the connection to a home amplifier system), and you wouldn't need too much more I would imagine... You would need to use either some form of hand movement to control the UI (not touch screen) but that's already out there. Or reinvent the remote much like the Wii one to be directional not static, but if you took the best bits of Metro, Wii, Kinnect and added in the Netflix, Google TV and other bits, you could end up with quite an all in one system. Mind you it would be a move away from the 1" thick TVs people have now to something about 4" thick I would think, but you could end up with something pretty decent that didn't need much 3rd party add in.

        (Sorry for the disjointedness, typing under the influence of a cold)

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Copycat Microsoft

      @Eadon

      This is the second Anti MS post I've stumbled across of your today... no problem with that in itself, but you should have enough ammunition already without making stuff up : D For your information, most of us users of MS OSs have plenty of gripes with it ourselves, and we don't need further encouragement to dislike aspects of it, especially if our productivity software doesn't allow us any choice in OS. MS fanbois? I've heard of them, but then I've heard of unicorns and rocking horse droppings.

      Windows XP Media Centre Edition came out in 2002, with a IR-remote controlled GUI, TV tuners and recording abilities. They even tried to get third parties to manufacture compatible kit (I think Toshiba made a 'Media Centre' PMP). Microsoft tried (poorly IMHO) to communicate the concept of a all-connected streaming media household... fortunately, it didn't pull it off- people had incompatible machines, players, consoles etc... Its been there in most versions of Windows since.

      Even before then, all big technology players were aware of the 'convergence' trend - quite a buzzword at the time- the idea that most devices will be capable of most things (your PDA is also your phone and often camera, your console is also a DVD player etc) and were planning for the disruption accordingly (with varying success).

    4. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Re: Copycat Microsoft

      You know that application that actually makes an AppleTV useful?

      You do realize what the first 2 letters of it stands for don't you?

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Smart tvs suck

      Not bloody smart enough. I prefer a dumb tv with something clever plugged in to it. Or a number of clever things, even better!

    2. Al Jones

      Re: Smart tv's run Android

      And in 3 years time, when developers are writing apps for Android 7.2, where are you going to get apps for your "Smart TV" running Android 2.1? Unlike a phone that gets replaced every 2 years or so, a TV is likely to be taking up space in your living room for at least 5 years, and probably longer for most people.

      Having the "smarts" built into the $800 TV is dumb. It makes more sense to have the smarts in an add-on box.

      1. Mark .

        Re: Smart tv's run Android

        I thought that at first, but now I disagree. Firstly Smart TVs get upgrades - and this time not held up by the networks - so Google TVs could see updates as long as the hardware supports it.

        Secondly, the reason people upgrade TVs less often is because there's less need to - which also means there's less reason to care about having the latest OS anyway. It's still extremely useful having features like streaming (from local network and Internet), web/Youtube/etc, PVR built in as standard, saving the need for an extra box and yet more wires. It also means less UI hassle, as you don't have to switch TV inputs from TV to "smart box".

        These things will still be useful in years to come when new things come out - and if I decide I want something more in five years' time, there's nothing stopping me adding a separate box then.

        By your logic, do you buy TVs without freeview, because that can be a separate box? Eventually I suspect that smart TV features will be a standard, just like freeview - it already is in most non-cheap TVs these days - at which point you might as well get it anyway, there's no advantage to actively avoiding it. (If you mean it was dumb for the industry to do it this way - well maybe, except no one was buying the separate standalone boxes.)

    3. Mark .

      Re: Smart tv's run Android

      Er, not quite ... most "smart" TVs don't run Android, there are a whole range of systems that they use. There is Google TV, which certainly has a head start on anything from Apple or MS, though it's not the standard platform yet. E.g., I believe LG have now started using Google TV for their latest 2012 range, but only in the US market. I have an LG Smart TV, which is great, though no sign of Android.

      Yes, there's one camera that runs Android, the Samsung Galaxy Camera. The division between cameras and phones is increasingly blurred anyway (I wonder how the Nokia 808 Pureview's camera compares to the Galaxy Camera...)

  7. MikeyD85
    Thumb Up

    Guess

    I'm a nerd then. A happy one at that!

  8. Chris Redpath

    Copycat? Not likely.

    I think MS had TV services in mind a long time before Apple launched the Apple TV.

    Back at the turn of the century they were busy striking deals with all sorts of cable companies for VoD services, and if I remember rightly they even launched some VoD services in 2001. AppleTV didn't ship until March 2007.

    As well as that, with steady (slow) progress in the intervening years, it was one of the cornerstone features of the 360 launch. Not that there was much visible progress in the UK but the plans were out there in plain sight.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Copycat? Not likely.

      No, read the posts above, Microsoft have no ideas, they only copy Apple. It's just this time they did it first...

  9. Alan Bourke

    XBox Live Gold Subs

    ... are a rip-off. Why would you pay for badly-policed, dickhead-ridden multiplayer and ads?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: XBox Live Gold Subs

      I don't see any ads... but I would prefer some of the subs to pay for better policing of lag cheaters. Sure, many people will have network difficulties once in a while (I've know a few people whose internet goes down when it rains), but there must be ways of determining if their connection suspiciously, consistently goes bad when it is to their advantage in the game, and then ban them. And hey, the more homophobic racist 14 year olds playing on XBOX (easily muted) the fewer are posting on Reg Forums.

      That said, compared to expenditure on other things, including beer and rent, the subs are small.

  10. Philip Cheeseman
    Stop

    I guess thats why my 360 is gather dust then....

    I get BBC iplayer for free on my bluray player and netflix free on my tablet (which has HDMI) so why would I pay MS for the privilege? Can't believe people pay for Gold.

    1. Vince

      Re: I guess thats why my 360 is gather dust then....

      I'm pretty sure that BBC iPlayer works without Gold (the others do need Gold, but it's all of £29 a year if you buy the sub from Amazon etc last I renewed, so that's um 7-8p a day.

      Big deal. Pretty sure I waste far more than that per year on things like beer, which I literally **** away...

  11. SuperHoopMango
    Paris Hilton

    Holier-than-Thou Non-Believers

    I don't suppose that it occurs to any of you that ask "why people pay for Xbox Gold" that there ARE people out there that enjoy playing multiplayer games?

    My stepson (14) LOVES his Gold membership and when I get the chance for a bit of mindless shoot/stab/kill I like it too.....The only difference being I'm not too proud to say so.

    The commentards on here like to think they are high and mighty, and somewhat above the rest. Keep that arrogance...I enjoy reading your idiocies!

    Paris....because I reckon she likes to have her buttons pushed....

    1. JayBizzle

      Re: Holier-than-Thou Non-Believers

      If you dont shop around it can be as much as £2.75 a month to get onto X-box live, with rudimentary maths that is less than 10p per day.

      I think that is a reasonable amount of money to pay to have access to a maintained online system, so what if Playstation is free, they hardly have a great track record for data security, perhaps this was because it was free and investment therefore was low....

      But then I suppose value is in the eye of the beholder....

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Holier-than-Thou Non-Believers

      I play my games on Steam, costs me £0.00/day. I've tried shopping around, but I can't find it any cheaper.

    3. Deadlock Victim
      Trollface

      Re: Holier-than-Thou Non-Believers

      No no, remember. Those people are idiots and get absolutely no value for their subscription and are mindless Micro$oft drones. Or something like that...

    4. M Gale

      Re: Holier-than-Thou Non-Believers

      See I used to think that Microsoft charge for Xbox Gold membership because they host the servers, and bandwidth isn't cheap.

      It's not like that though is it? They run a matching service, and YOU run the server on the Xbox. Fortunately I don't own an Xbox. If I did, I'd be pretty cheesed off after watching a friend routinely have the action stopped in the middle of a game with a "the person running the server is throwing a strop, spitting their dummy out and has turned the machine off, please wait while someone else becomes the server" messages. How Xbox Gold is different from Gamespy is beyond me.

    5. Alan Bourke

      Re: Holier-than-Thou Non-Believers

      I do plenty of online shooting, I just do it on the PC where the multiplayer is free and there are clan servers with zero asshole tolerance.

  12. tsdadam
    Thumb Up

    No problem with Gold

    I've had a Gold account since the original Xbox (~8 years) and personally find it excellent. It's by far the best all-in-one friends/games service on a console, and its uptime is fantastic. I have a PS3 too (never payed for their equivalent premium service), and yes, it's a free service, but at the same time Live has never been down for weeks, or leaked my details. Cross-game voice chat, messaging, invites etc have been the norm for a long time.

    Oh and for the 'who pays for two subscriptions?!' brigade, consider an alternative situation. I have a netflix account which I primarily use my PS3 for, but because I happen to have a Gold account (which I pay for anyway), I now have *another* device I can use it on. Win-win as far as I'm concerned :)

  13. toadwarrior

    Xbox never was about gaming only but gaming was the easiest way into the living room. But Xbox is the worst option. You need a gold sub just to use IE. I can't think of any other device that charges you to use you own net connection to view websites.

  14. MatthewE

    Well I Like It :D

    I play games and use my xbox. I don't see a problem in paying for the xbox live service. I find it a great service.

    It is one of the things that I think MS has done right right in recent years. I think for more casual gamers like myself who want to pick up and play games quickly and easily it is great.

    It will never be as good as PCs in terms of cutting edge and the ability to tweek settings etc but i dont have the time or spare funds to spend £1000 on a machine these days sadly :(

    Just my two pence worth :D

    1. M Gale

      Re: Well I Like It :D

      "It will never be as good as PCs in terms of cutting edge and the ability to tweek settings etc but i dont have the time or spare funds to spend £1000 on a machine these days sadly :("

      You can get a gaming rig built for you for half that price these days. I'm still running on mine from two years ago, and it still runs modern games quite nicely, if not in absolute top bollocks rendering-from-here-to-mars-in-64x-FSAA detail levels.

      One quick graphics card upgrade later though, and that'll be taken care of. Not that I play many PC games these days due to most of them being infested with malware.. sorry, "DRM".

      1. Captain Obvious

        Re: Well I Like It :D

        Don't forget PCI 3 express standards so upgrade the video card AND the motherboard - and then it continues from there! New CPU, new RAM, etc.

        1. M Gale

          Re: Well I Like It :D

          At the moment I have a Radeon 5750 and some variant of AMD quad core phenom II. I'm pretty sure I can upgrade the GPU significantly before I hit the motherboard limit. I'm really not interested in spending £1500 on three high-end graphics cards in an SLI set-up, so I can get at least one fairly beefy upgrade out of this machine for not much of an outlay. £100-ish will buy me a GPU that, to use a time-honoured phrase, pisses on just about any current games console from a positively stratospheric height.

          To be honest though, the current set-up gives the PS3 a good enough kicking as-is. Helps that I can turn the largely useless FSAA off too.

  15. tiggertaebo
    Thumb Up

    Heavy user of video on Live here

    I use my Live Gold account far more for video/music than I do for gaming - the LoveFilm, 4oD and VIVO apps in particular. I've got a PS3 and when I've used 4oD or iPlayer on there it's been rubbish to be honest - it seems to be that they just use a lightly modified version of the web page which feels very clunky. My BD player (Sony) has Lovefilm and it's not a patch on the XBOX version - it's far,far harder to navigate. I don't have it any more but when I had a SkyPlayer subscription

    1. tiggertaebo

      Re: Heavy user of video on Live here

      Hit submit too early!

      I was going to say that when I had skyplayer it worked very well on the XBOX - it was so slick it was easy to forget you were watching through a console at all :)

  16. ElsieEffsee

    Its taken this long for MS to look at XBMC?!

    I modded an original Xbox not to play games but to run XBMC. When the 360 came out and it wasn't as easy to do this (and Windows Media Centre is so poor and the 360 is so Damn NOISY!) I carried on using the old Xbox until I bought an Acer Revo and installed XBMC on top of W7- and haven't looked back, its a great solution for streaming TV and media.

    I don't understand why anyone would want to use a noisy, clunky, unreliable console and pay for the privilege of accessing other subscription services. Acer Revo + XBMC wins!

  17. sisk Silver badge

    It means that the Xbox does pretty much everything an Apple TV can do,.

    As can any other console. Or a Roku, which had the lions share of the internet TV streamer market last time I checked. Or internet TV streamers made by RCA, Sony, or any of a dozen other companies. Or, if you really want to get fancy, one of those nifty Android TV boxes that have access to the entire library of Android apps.

    Apple TV is really not the device you should be using as your measuring stick for internet TV devices.

  18. Gene Cash Silver badge
    FAIL

    Paid online subscription

    Would this be the same Xbox Live membership where they keep charging your card, even though the card expired 3 months ago, and you cancelled the membership 6 months ago?

    My credit card company got snotty until I mentioned they let MSFT charge a card that was over 3 months expired, and what might the banking regulators think, and they quickly backed down.

    1. Vince

      Re: Paid online subscription

      I suspect the "banking regulators" won't say much if you gave the authorisation for a recurring subscription (which you did). Given that a CCA outlives the physical card and expiry dates are irrelevant to this, they'll not care.

      I believe the rules on this have/are about to change, but the existing agreement would have allowed this.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I could buy an XBox to watch movies, or

    I could buy one of these for $67, and download HD movies from the Android Playstore:

    http://goo.gl/LLkjA

    Specs:

    * Rockchip 3066 Android 4.1 1.6GHz Cortex-A9

    * Quad Core GPU

    * 3D Graphical processor

    * 1GB DDR3 4GB/8GB ROM high capacity memory.

    * WIFI 802.1b/g/n Wireless

    * Support the latest HTML5,Flash11,etc.network standard.

    * More than 600,000 Google Play apps and games

    * Extension ports support 2.4GHz wireless mouse, wireless keyboard with touchpad etc

    * micro-SD slot

    * storage memory up to 32GB

    Better specs, less money.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just wait for the VALVe Steam Box

    Nuff said.

  21. Blusox69
    Big Brother

    A £40 per year Xbox live membership is miles better value than £11 for sky multiroom. My stepson still plays all the games he used to and for the same amount of time, but now he also watchers an hour or so of Sky which over a week easily clocks up more hours than gaming. No other subscription required as we already have Sky and Sky Go is free. Even better is that his dad has the sky sports package, so he can switch accounts when a football match is on he wants to watch (which seems to be every match) and I get to watch the rugby :-)

  22. exexpat

    Jailbroken apple tv2 is the best device out there right now. I have a piss3, obnox360 to compare to. No contest it wipes the floor with them. Just need firecore and xmbc or plex or what u like. millions of channels, some pirate for free.

    1. sisk Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Jailbroken apple tv2 is the best device out there right now.

      If you're going to go that route just get a Roku and be done with it. Why the heck would you pay twice as much for an Apple TV and then have to jailbreak it to get the same functionality?

  23. DougS Silver badge

    Microsoft has been trying to do TV for almost 20 years

    Remember when they bought WebTV back in the mid 90s? They did media editions of Windows even back in the XP days, have done two versions of XBox, partnered with cable companies to put some of their software into set top cable boxes and where has it got them? Yes, people are using their XBox as a set top box. Something PS3 owners have been doing since day one thanks to taking the risk of being forward thinking and including a Blu Ray drive built in, so it's not exactly earth shattering.

    This is like the situation with tablets, which they had been messing around with for a similarly long time (remember Windows for Pen Computing back in the 3.x days?) They never got any traction, then Apple showed them how to do it, and Google and their OEM partners showed them how to do it cheap. They're left looking like fools trying to play catch up.

    Nobody knows what Apple is cooking up, and there are no guarantees it will be successful, but if it is, Microsoft will again be left looking stupid as they do an about face and follow Apple, but once again being 2-3 years too late will mean that Apple and Google own the market, and Microsoft is left fighting for scraps.

  24. P. Lee

    Internet TV is hard

    If you have a $console plugged into your TV, why not plug the RF signal in and process it there?

    Its fine for free-to-air - you could host a cleaned up EPG in the cloud - which would be worth paying for in Australia at least.

    The problem is that it all becomes difficult when you get cable and satellite involved. Those companies are rather protective of their STB's because they (over) charge for additional features.

    I suspect that xbox's success is due to the fact that it is also useful for games. Setting up a video distribution network sounds complicated and ATV is expensive just so you can sit in a different room, but having a second xbox for multiplayer games, that sounds sensible and you can probably get one cheap second-hand.

  25. Techs UK
    Thumb Up

    Gold is good. Price of a good coffee once a month. More apps and choice - nice

    Works well for us in our house. Xbox's in the lads bedrooms, 1 in the lounge with Kinect. Gold family pass. £1.4 per person on gold. I couldn't have afforded that with steam and 3 pc's to buy and maintain. Sure, AV/updates/software install isn't rocket science, but I can forget that on xbox.

  26. david 12 Silver badge

    Australia

    In other words, still nothing much available on Xbox in Aus. Same as PS3 in Aus.

  27. Eradicate all BB entrants

    It seems odd that many here quibble.....

    .....about paying a subscription for Gold, which to me as an Xbox owner (Forza for me, Lego games for the boy) is worth it to know there is a dedicated set of servers offering a faster and more stable experience than the free version of a competitor. While the worst thing for an Xbox user is the RROD, the PS3 has the 'We didn't think you would want it reading BD disks after 6 months so fork out £120 to sort it' and the inevitable 'Your brand new game needs an update, at our download speeds you won't be playing today'

    Based on the majority of posts I take it most of you use TalkTalk 8MB cack broadband or similar? Never used an ISP offering ADSL2 or fibre connections? You know, paying a premium for something that the cheap service does as well?

    The catch up apps on Xbox are generally a lot easier to use than their web equivalents and have time spent on reworking them for the device they live on instead of half-assed web pages. iPlayer on xbox trounces the PC version.

    And for comparison with the PS3, MS have added services for free since launch whereas Sony releases good devices and removes services over its lifetime (Original PSP, fantastic when launched, neutered with every update and of course PS3 other OS)

  28. Stretch

    how about you don't advertise for crapple in a single article? there was no need to mention the fuckers here.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I pay £39.99 for XBOX gold, and £35 for PS+. Guess that makes me a fool. Although personally I like to have all features available, I use Live when gaming so to me there is no extra cost when watching something on Crackle. Other than an app that works better for me than the Android equivalent.

    I appreciate you get a bit more with Sony PS+, like some free games for PS3 and my Vita. But there are so many freetards that the PS+ setup isn't as good as it could be if say they had the same setup in place as Microsoft with a large loyal buy in.

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