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 Xbox 360 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, "Video playback 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.
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