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: Slingbox lets you watch live TV at home or elsewhere

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

Slingbox lets you watch live TV at home or elsewhere

4 hours ago

Man's second-best friend, television, gets out of the house more than ever. On a smartphone app or laptop, people watch sports on WatchESPN, movies and original programming on HBO Go or Netflix, and weekly network TV series.

China clears way for Apple iPhone 6 sales

21 hours ago

China has cleared the way for Apple to sell its latest iPhones in the key market by granting it a licence, the industry regulator said on Tuesday, after the US giant agreed to improve the security of users' ...

A Closer Look: Stream-box gaming is a mixed bag

Sep 29, 2014

As gaming consoles such as the Xbox and the PlayStation diversify into video, social media and other non-gaming apps, it seems only fair that streaming TV devices start nudging into gaming territory.

Turkey's Erdogan dismisses new iPhone: 'Same as the last'

Sep 28, 2014

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, known for his hostility to social networks and mobile technology, on Sunday brushed off the frenzy surrounding Apple's new iPhone 6, saying it was much the same as its iPhone 5 predecessor.

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.