Microsoft XBox live is HD gatekeeper – get your content onto it
Think the XBox is just a games console? Think again. It’s possibly one of the cleverest and richest portal strategies around at the moment.
With Xbox Microsoft may be able to succeed in becoming a true video service provider (something Media Center never really did).
Here’s how it works, you buy your XBox, and a subscription to XBox Live, plug your box into the internet and then as well as all the gaming content you get, you can download TV previews, film trailers and if you want, pay to download the full versions, which much of the material being in high definition.
It means that Microsoft is now a serious video supply service, and serious competition to other TV distribution technologies (broadcast, cable, satellite).
I think content (particularly HD) creators should take a critical look at this form of distribution, it’s a great way to free your material from the web browser (and chances are, it’s currently running in a You Tube frame)
I don’t know anyone with a Windows Media Center, (an edition of Windows which turns your computer into a TV recording device) but I know several people with an Xbox.
It only works in the US for now, but further roll-out in Europe is a certainty, and for Europe the availability of high-definition material will be a big plus, at least while we dither about how and when (and even if!) HD broadcasts will be switched on here.