Interesting article in today's Seattle Times about Microsoft annoucing downloadable television and movie content beginning November 22nd. Although the prices haven't been released yet, owners of the Xbox 360 will be able to use their Marketplace points to purchase episodes of television shows or to rent movies in either standard or hi-definition formats. The way the renting is said to occur, is that you would download the movie to the X360 harddrive (overnight in the case of an HD-movie) and then have 14 days to watch the movie before the file becomes unusable. The catch, however, is that once you press play and begin watching a movie you must finish it within 24hrs, else the file will then go bad.
Link to the full article here.
For those people like me who don't have a Tivo-type device but who were considering getting one and also possibly considering Microsoft's new HD-DVD player attachment for the X360 (available today for $199.99), this is great news. HD-DVDs are too expensive and too limited in selection to really justify the purchase of the player right away -- and even if I did buy one, I would probably just mix in some HD-DVD movies on my Netflix queue. As for the Tivo, I don't really care too often if I miss a tv show. However, with all of the training I foresee me doing for TransRockies, it would be nice to have the Tivo record Earl and Office every Thursday evening in case I'm out on a night-ride.
It stands to be seen what kind of support Microsoft is going to get from television networks and also how much money they are going to charge for the purchasing of episodic television content. But if they can pull this off and come anywhere near the level of supply that Apple has in their iTunes store, this will be incredible. Microsoft plans to have 1,000 hours of downloadable tv shows and movies available by year's end. Not a bad start, guys. Not bad at all.