Xbox 360 TV download service is genius, movies not so much

Today on Xbox Live there is a ton of downloadable content in the video marketplace. Seasons of South Park, The Real World and adult swim’s new show Frisky Dingo are all online for download. The price for downloading a show is 160 points ($2) for standard resolution and 240 points ($3) if you want high definition. Not all shows have the option for high definition. CSI and the UFC matches are two shows that do. As of now the TV service isn’t a huge archive, only some seasons are available. South Park, which has a total of ten seasons, only has 1-4 and 10 online. It does have the most recent episodes including “Make Love Not Warcraft” and the two part Wii episode online early. Since the season 10 box set isn’t out yet you can download episodes you missed or begin a collection early. The only thing you can do with the TV download service is stream your download, which means you have to wait for the 10-15 minute download to complete before you can watch it.

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Movies are a different story. They cost 320 points for a standard definition download and 480 points for a high definition download. The problem with the movie downloads is that you don’t get to keep the movie. For $4 or $6 you get one day of watching. It could be a fair alternative to pay per view, except movie downloads are humongous. Each movie is around 1.5GB for standard def and a whopping 7GB+ for high definition movies. An hour wait to watch is hardly an impulse purchase, but waiting four or five hours for a high def rental is unbearable. By the time you wait for the download you could drive down to Blockbuster and watch it right away. There is another problem with the high definition movies, the amount of space they take up. If you want to rent a high def movie you have to delete other videos and demos to make enough space to watch the film once. Even if you have a blank hard drive you can only fit three high definition movies at one time. Microsoft really needs to release a bigger hard drive to support the HD content. When you can download and keep movies the feature will be more useful. As of now managing the limited hard drive space and waiting isn’t worth it.


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