Last night Peter Moore announced a partnership with CBS, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, Turner Broadcasting, UFC, and Warner Bros Home Entertainment to digitally deliver high-def (or SD) TV shows and Movies to Xbox Live Marketplace. The service goes live on November 22, and by the end of the year there will be more than 1,000 hours of content to download to own or rent.
Television shows and movies will be available in both high definition (720p) and standard definition (480p). While TV programs will be buy-to-own and remain on the Xbox 360 hard drive until it is deleted by users, movies will be delivered on a rental basis. Downloaded movies remain on the hard drive for up to two weeks, but once a user begins watching the movie, it is deleted 24 hours later. For that period, however, the movie can be viewed as many times as the purchaser wants.
Full-length high-definition movies push 5GB in size, which, as any gamer who has downloaded a demo from Marketplace knows, will take a while to download. Fortunately for those who want near-instant gratification, videos can be viewed while downloading once an ample buffer is established. Microsoft said that standard definition television programs were “ready to play within minutes” of the download beginning.
Here is a list of programming that is expected to be available on Xbox Live Marketplace before the end of the year:
- Adult Swim – Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force
- CBS – CSI, Survivor, Star Trek
- Comedy Central – South Park, Chappelle’s Show
- MTV – The Real World, Pimp My Ride
- Nickelodeon – Avatar: The Last Airbender, SpongeBob SquarePants
- Nicktoons Network – Skyland, The Nicktoons Network Animation Festival
- Paramount Pictures – Nacho Libre, Jackass: The Movie
- Spike TV – Carpocalypse, Raising the Roofs
- Nascar.com – Race Rewind
- UFC – The Ultimate Fighter, UFC: All Access
- VH1 – Breaking Bonaduce, Hogan Knows Best
- Warner Bros. Home Entertainment – The Matrix, Superman Returns, Batman Forever
Each studio will set their own release dates, and Microsoft expects TV shows to be available on Xbox Live the day after they air on television, just as some networks do online. Pricing has not yet been determined but will be competitive with other similar services, like on-demand cable or Apple’s iTunes store. Video content will be available to both Silver and Gold Xbox Live members simultaneously.
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