Netflix Now Streams In HD? (Xbox 360)

Dave Zatz —  October 29, 2008 — 10 Comments

Like all dedicated Xbox 360 fanboys, I’ve spent my morning delving into Engadget and Gizmodo‘s New Xbox Experience (NXE) coverage. Buried within Engadget’s write-up was one very compelling picture (above) and related commentary:

A small perk — but huge deal as far as we’re concerned — is the inclusion of a limited amount of HD content. We previewed Heroes in HD, and the quality was stunning. Right now there’s only about 300 titles on offer, but we think after folks get a taste of this, they’ll be begging for some expansion.

The inclusion of select HD streaming is quite promising, especially in conjunction with the new Starz lineup and as long as Netflix continues to freely bundle online video with unlimited disc rental plans. Though I wonder if this will be an Xbox-only exclusive for now, or if we’ll be seeing HD streaming on computers and other hardware platforms soon. We do know the Roku Netflix box is capable of outputting HD resolutions, but is the hardware capable of crunching and caching the content? Remember, most 360s have plenty of hard drive storage…

While the Xbox team was taking preview applicants, I imagine most of us will be impatiently awaiting the official launch of NXE on November 19th.

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10 responses to Netflix Now Streams In HD? (Xbox 360)

  1. I noticed this on engadget this morning too. I signed up for the preview because I can’t wait. Major tweeted last night that e-mails will probably go out today for people who got into the preview. Seems strange tho, wouldn’t this eventually cut into xbox marketplace sales once netflix’s content hits critical mass?

  2. This alone might get me to finally join Netfix. We don’t watch DVDs much any longer which is why I was holding off.

  3. I hope this comes to the non-Xbox-360 crowd fairly soon.

  4. This is a very welcome addition. Gaming’s always been great on it, but I never thought I’d get so much extra use from my Xbox.

  5. I think this could be huge for the non hard core gamer. Now a 360 can really offer something else to the family. Maybe even be a reason to add a 2nd 360 somewhere else in the house.

  6. Dave, have you heard much about the play from harddrive feature with the NXE? If a 360 game is ~9GB, it seems that this feature won’t be particularly useful to those of us with 20GB HDDs.

    I may need to invest in a 120GB one.

  7. I think the biggest impact will be reduced noise – no spinning DVD drive. Not sure if load times are reduced, but honestly I’ve glossed over that topic.

  8. I really hope that they allow us to buffer videos so you get a full-quality playback.

    Hopefully, MS releases larger HDD and/or lowers prices on existing ones to take advantage of play-from-hard-drive feature. $140 for 120GB is craaaaaaazy!

  9. $140 is the lower price. It used to be $180 before the Xbox price drop.

    I found this article on a DIY harddrive upgrade. http://www.pcworld.com/article/150970/upgrade_your_xbox_360s_hard_drive_on_the_cheap.html

  10. @ Tom: Yes, I read that same article — too much work. Plus, 120GB is not enough these days. There’s no reason for them not to offer larger storage. There are plenty of 320GB and even some 500GB laptop drives around. Dirt cheap too — can pick up 7200 rpm Hitachi 320GB drive for $67 after rebate.

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