Microsoft bringing 1080p video streaming to Xbox 360

Jun 03, 2009 By Victor Godinez

If Microsoft can actually deliver on its promise to offer 1080p video streaming on the Xbox 360's new Zune video marketplace by this fall, it will be a heck of a coup.

First, the caveats.

Microsoft says you will need a broadband connection of at least 8 megabits per second in order to get 1080p streaming. Given that the average broadband download speed in the U.S. right now is just 3.9 megabits per second, most users will not be able to use this service.

Second, even if your connection does qualify (thank you, Fios!), the experience might be a bit uneven, as Microsoft says that, in order to stream these movies and shows instantly, " will start at a low bit rate for fast download time and then ramp up to a higher bitrate and quality."

Third, resolution isn't the only determinant of image quality, and you can bet that 1080p Blu-ray disks will still be capable of delivering somewhat better picture quality than this 1080p streaming service.

But, even so, this is a big, bold move, and I'm eager to see what the final product looks like.


(c) 2009, The Dallas Morning News.
Visit The Dallas Morning News on the World Wide Web at
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Indiegogo project 'Switchmate' lets you run light switch from your phone without rewiring

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hitachi Develops Streaming-Optimized Storage Appliance

Mar 13, 2007

Hitachi, Ltd. today announced that it has succeeded in the implementation of a prototype streaming storage appliance optimized for Video-on-Demand (VoD) services, designed to be used with Microsoft Windows Media Services ...

Roku teams with Amazon to stream videos

Mar 04, 2009

Roku, maker of a $100 box that delivers streaming Netflix videos to consumers' TVs, is teaming with to vastly increase the number of movies and TV episodes consumers can watch through the device.

Recommended for you

Panoramas for your tablet

Mar 25, 2015

Most people are familiar with the fictional world of 'Star Trek,' in which the characters can use a holodeck to create and interact with virtual worlds. It is possible to recreate a similar effect in the ...

Bound to please: Book-making machines star at French fair

Mar 23, 2015

Chose a PDF file on the screen and five minutes later a book, printed and bound with a proper cover, spits out. It used to be science fiction, but machines that do this are here now and increasingly grabbing the attention ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Jun 03, 2009
The FiOS comment is completely out of line. First, the basic FiOS plan is 5Mbps, shy of that necessary 8Mbps for this service.

Second, numerous cable ISPs offer 8Mbps service.

For example, I'm in an area with Comcast DOCSIS 3.0 service and the slowest plan we can choose is 12Mbps. The highest is 50Mbps (which FiOS also goes up to). I actually have 16Mbps service, but for the first minute "PowerBoost" does work -- I get up to ~30Mbps.

Also -- the overall quality is less than Blu-Ray. A two hour movie would use about 7.2GB of bandwidth at a constant 8Mbps. A Blu-Ray has 25 or 50GB available for that same movie. Given the "extra" features on Blu-Rays and the numerous languages, I'll wager that you could fit just the movie video and 1 language uses 50% of the disc. This is atleast 13GB, around twice as much as the 1080p streaming service. Whether or not you can notice the artifacting is another question, but certainly a Blu-Ray will offer a more honest digital representation of the original film.
not rated yet Jun 03, 2009
I'd say comparison to Blu-Ray with up to 40 Mbps video and lossless 7.1ch audio is uncalled for.

Seams like another marketing gimmick from Microsoft - 1080P video stream overcompressed to less than 8Mbps will actually look same or even worse than 720p at this bit rate.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.