Little by little, HBO is bringing its Go platform to many different platforms, including Roku, iPad/iPhone, Android phones and Samsung Smart TV. Now it is also accessible on Xbox 360. Beginning April 1, the streaming service debuts with its latest season of "Game of Thrones." You can get it as part of your cable/satellite subscription service for now, but perhaps HBO will become more independent in the future as a stand alone.
Almost everything these days is voice activated, and soon you will be able to search with yours on your Xbox 360. You can look for games, movies, music and TV shows on Netflix, Hulu Plus, ESPN, LIVE Marketplace and Bing. You simply tell your TV what you want to see/hear and you can select what option you prefer from all available sources. Even more online content will be there down the line, like YouTube videos, international live TV and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) content.
Treat yourself to a new game system with the Xbox 360 Arcade Spring 2010 Bundle. At a price of $199.99, the system comes packed with games 'Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts' and 'Viva Piñata,' a wireless controller and A/V cables. Other features include family settings, access to Xbox Live and HDMI output (cable not included.)
After 16 years, Sega has finally designed a sequel to one of its most beloved game characters. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 will be available for Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It will have 2D graphics with 3D visuals. In an interview with GameSpot, Sega brand manager Ken Balough said that the game will be available this summer by download.
Netflix will soon be accessible to PlayStation 3 owners. Xbox 360 users, Roku owners and some Internet connected TVs already have the capability. The streaming service will be free to PS3 users who have a subscription starting at $8.99, as opposed to Xbox 360 owners, who must pay $50.00 a year and join the Xbox Live "Gold" club.
Recent word hits us that Wii will also have the capability. Users need a Netflix Instant Streaming Disc at a price of $9.99. In both cases, a broadband connection is needed.
Microsoft has finally decided on a date for its Xbox 360 Live update. As of Aug. 11, you will be able to receive Netflix Movie Parties, Games on Demand and the Avatar Marketplace. They will soon add HD movie streaming, and online access to Facebook, Zune Marketplace and other sites.
Those of you in the UK and Irish Republic will be happy to learn that Sky, teamed with Microsoft, will soon be offering film, sports and TV on the Xbox 360. Sky's channels will be available sometime this fall although no specifics have yet to be released. No extra equipment is required for those who are already Sky subscribers and content will be similar to the PC and Mac service.
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85 Mbps 4-Port Hub is an inexpensive way to connect DSL modems, gateways, or broadband routers with a single Ethernet port.
Microsoft and Netflix has announced that more than a million Xbox Live Gold members downloaded the Watch Instantly application since it was launched in November and have viewed about 1.5 billion minutes of TV and movies. Their streaming library is already up to 12,000 titles with more HD being added. The press release also states that Video Marketplace downloads have grown 174 % from December 2008 to January 2009. We don't know if the deal that Amazon has with a less expensive subscription to Xbox Live Gold helped those figures but it certainly didn't hurt.
What better way to start the week than with a super deal. For $38.99 you can have 13 months of Xbox 360 Live Gold, a service that usually goes for $50.00 for a year. This means you get multi-player games online, voice/video chat, and of course the Xbox 360 Video Markeplace with movies (including Netflix if you have that,) TV shows and music videos. Better take advantage of this one now before they decide to retract the generous offer.
Not too long ago, we told you that Netflix would be providing some "Instant Que" content in HD to the Roku Netflix Player. Well it looks like Xbox 360 owners have lucked out and get HD content first. According to the Netflix press release:
LOS GATOS, Calif., Nov 18, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Netflix, Inc. , the world's largest online movie rental service, today announced that Netflix members can have thousands of movies and TV episodes instantly streamed to the TV via the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system when the New Xbox Experience premieres nationwide tomorrow. Adding to a growing number of Netflix-ready devices, the Xbox 360 is the only game and entertainment console that lets users instantly watch movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix to the TV. There is no additional monthly fee for Netflix members who are also Xbox LIVE Gold members.
Netflix members simply add movies and TV episodes from a growing library of more than 12,000 choices to their instant Queues at the Netflix Web site. Those choices are automatically displayed on the TV screen via the Xbox 360 and, once selected, will begin playing in as little as 30 seconds.
"This is an important and exciting moment for Netflix and Xbox," said Netflix Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Kilgore. "We believe the New Xbox Experience -- with thousands of choices available to be streamed instantly from Netflix as one of its key enhancements -- offers consumers a great at-home entertainment option and provides terrific value as a holiday gift idea."
Netflix also said it is taking the first step in instantly streaming movies and TV episodes in high definition with the introduction of approximately 300 HD choices that will play with standard definition audio via the Xbox 360. The company said it intends to increase the number of HD choices available and will eventually add multi-channel audio. Classic, adventure, musical, foreign and comedy movies now available to watch instantly in high definition include "La Vie en Rose," "Flawless" and "Heroes."
All Netflix members can rent from over 100,000 titles on DVD. They can instantly watch movies and TV episodes from a growing library of choices on their PCs and Intel-based Macintosh computers, as well as on their TVs via one of the Internet connected Netflix ready devices sold by Netflix partners.
About Netflix, Inc.
Netflix, Inc. is the world's largest online movie rental service, with more than eight million subscribers. For one low monthly price, Netflix members can get DVDs delivered to their homes and can instantly watch movies and TV episodes streamed to their TVs, PCs and Macs, all in unlimited amounts. Members can choose from over 100,000 DVD titles and a growing library of more than 12,000 choices that can be watched instantly. There are never any due dates or late fees. DVDs are delivered free to members by first class mail, with a postage-paid return envelope, from 55 distribution centers. More than 95 percent of Netflix members live in areas that generally receive shipments in one business day. Netflix is also partnering with leading consumer electronics companies to offer a range of devices that can instantly stream movies and TV episodes to members' TVs from Netflix. For more information, visit http://www.netflix.com/.
Netflix HD content goes live for Xbox 360 owners tomorrow, so be on the lookout.
We here at NAV are huge wireless headphone fans. One thing we've noticed is that most standard wireless headphones just don't cut it when gaming. We've been eyeing the Earforce X4 Xbox 360 Wireless Surround Sound Headset ever since it came out and now Gizmodo has a decent review. The review states:
It should be noted that these "surround sound" headphones are really transposing a 5.1 channel signal into two stereo speakers, but the results are excellent all the same. In Call of Duty 4, I could track a helicopter's proximity to me perfectly (with exception of just behind my head). And in Project Gotham Racing 4, cars whizzed by ears with aggressive speed.
As for the chatting, it's a complete pleasure in the X4s. Not only do both sides of the conversation benefit from improved audio clarity, but you hear your own voice mixed in with the game audio. This audio loop is to help keep you from shouting, and I think it works in practice. Plus, the mic's wire is supported by a pliable but durable metal skin--it feels 100x better than the stock 360 headset mic, like production-level gear.
$200 seems like a lot to drop on a pair of wireless headphones but if you take your gaming seriously, you might want to start saving your nickels.
You can also check out this video on the Earforce X4:
It seems that just a few months ago there was a lot of buzz that Netflix was going to have a tough time surviving in today's marketplace. Since the buzz started we've seen Neflix creatively adapt and look at other opportunities besides just DVDs. Their partnership with Roku was brilliant and now Netflix and Microsoft have teamed up to allow Xbox Live Gold members to stream Netflix content over their Xbox 360 at no extra cost.
According to TVSnob:
The partnership was announced yesterday at the E3 gaming conference and will bring over 10, 000 TV shows and movies to members when it launches. Combining the new Netflix offerings with other Xbox Live content means the Xbox 360 will be home to more content than any other "connected" device on the market at the moment.
Now might be a great time to take advantage of the Xbox 360 price drop we told you about yesterday.
A few weeks ago we told you Microsoft was going to drop the price of the Xbox 360 Pro. Well they also threw us a curveball by releasing a 60GB model. According to PCWorld:
We knew a price cut for Microsoft's mid-grade Xbox 360 was imminent, but who knew it'd be such a tempest in a teapot? Instead of a permanent price drop on its "Premium" 20GB $350 model, it turns out that Microsoft's merely discounting that model and selling it for $300 "while supplies last."
In its place, the company says it'll sell a new 60GB version for $350, identical to the 20GB version except for the 40GB bump.
So the big question is do you go after the $50 price break for the 20GB model or spend an extra $50 and get the 60GB model? Don't you hate tough decisions? Leave us a comment and let us know what your big decision will be.