June 02, 2009
| by Arlen Schweiger
As far as “full HD” 1080p video goes, just about every new HDTV features the resolution but the options for taking advantage of it are still limited.
Upscaling DVD players aside, you’ve got native 1080p high-def from Blu-ray players and Blu-ray discs; HD DVD discs and some HD DVD players, some media servers that let you load Blu-ray; on-demand video from satellite providers DirecTV and DISH Network (though Blu-ray scoffs at the satellites’ claims of Blu-ray-like 1080p performance) and the Vudu player; and some web video services (in which you’re at the mercy of your bandwidth) that you may be savvy enough to have viewable on your TV.
Microsoft is adding another outlet to the 1080p mix: Xbox 360. And no, it’s not adding a Blu-ray add-on (though you can still get the HD DVD add-on on the cheap) to try and match Sony’s PlayStation 3 Blu-ray capabilities.
The corporation announced today that in the fall it will begin 1080p video streaming of movies and TV shows to the Xbox 360. And Microsoft’s pretty confident in its streaming prowess, labeling the video, which will be from the Zune video marketplace, as being “instant-on” in its speediness.
No discs, no waiting for downloads and no delays. Get the selection of a video megastore, the best video clarity available and the convenience of on-demand, only on Xbox 360.
The 1080p videos will be accompanies by 5.1 surround sound to consoles via the Xbox Live network, which already packs in Netflix streaming.
If you don’t have Xbox 360 already, are you hopping on this new 1080p performer?
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.