Saturday, 03 July 2010
The technology push to your living room

I've been reading articles about Google TV, Microsoft, Sony, BT, Sky and (now) Apple with interest regarding their push to your living room to put content on your TV.  There's a hell of a lot of content on the web and the age old issue of watching this content conveniently on your TV instead of having to fire up browsers on your PC is a problem none of the big companies appear to have really solved.

Sure you can watch some of Sky's content on your Xbox 360 now. But you won't get all of Sky's content because of content restrictions enforced by content distributors. You also won't get 4OD, BBC iPlayer or the ITV Player on this service. In addition to that you won't get YouTube, Hulu or Joost. Basically there is not one set top box that will give you all of these services through your TV without having to switch or unplug some box out of the VGA, SCART or HDMI slot on your TV. My guess is that Google are trying to address this with their new set-top box idea. Weather it will work remains to be seen, because at the end of the day it doesn't matter how fancy your platform is, content is still king.

Content distributors also hold a lot of sway, they dictate how their content can be distributed. If a channel is distributed via the Internet and over encrypted satellite in the eyes of the content provider they are separate mediums which require separate content rights. Hence Sky's problem of only being able to broadcast some of their Sky 1 shows via SkyPlayer and blocking the channels for the duration of that show for SkyPlayer customers while satellite customers get to view it.

Likewise content providers may give the writes to distribute a show over a streaming Internet Service with the caveat that it cannot be streamed to a service that connects to a TV as this right could have been solved to a terrestrial provider. This arrangement makes things incredibly difficult while all the user wants to do is watch their TV shows in the most convenient way possible.

I wish Google TV every bit of success although I am struggling to see how they will be able to offer the content we want all through one set top box. In addition to this problem when watching a series on TV sometimes people would like to start from the beginning of a series people are all raving on about. Content providers don't make it easy to get to this content and their appears to be a high amount of people using illegal downloads via services such as Bit Torrent to get to this content. The video/TV entertainment industry appears to be out of touch with how people would like to consume their content. The same thing happened in the music industry which saw a huge shift in how music was distributed which lead to services such as Spotify.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a service that held just about every movie, TV series, documentary that had ever been made, made available on demand? You could pay for the content per item or for a monthly fee have access to all of it?

posted on Saturday, 03 July 2010 10:42:38 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Project Canvas

The BBC, ITV, BT, Five, Channel 4 and TalkTalk have been given then go ahead for Project Canvas a project to enable people to watch Internet based TV on set-top box's connected to their TV's. Its a brilliant idea and one we disgruntled customers have wanted for some time. Its great content guys but I'd love to watch it on my TV screen easily instead of having to watch it on my computer screen. Yes there have been alternatives for instance Sony's PS3 openly supports and advertises that you can watch BBC iPlayer on its games console and the same service is also available on the Wii. The Xbox 360 being somewhat of a walled garden has snuggled up to Sky who also have rather good content but charge and horrendous amounts for their subscriptions to watch their on demand content on the Xbox and not all of Sky's content is available on the Xbox as it is on the PC.

So why Project Canvas? Well not all of the content from the above mentioned broadcasters Internet content are easily available on a TV as the BBC iPlayer is. Even if you do plug a PC into your TV, the usability of it still isn't as easy and seamless as it should be. The way we want to watch TV is changing we want to watch show's when we want to and not when a schedule tells us we can and the industry has been a little late giving us what we want and how we want it. The way I see it, is that Canvas isn't any different to another method of delivering content to your TV. In the past we have made use of set-top box's, the only difference with Canvas is - this set-top box gets its content over a cable, but so does Virgin Media's cable service? Ahh but we have quite a selection of broadcasters and its all on demand. Virgin Media does this to? Yes but you need a cable subscription Canvas in theory should work on anyone's Internet connection ah!

In theory Canvas should do away with the subscription model to see this content and break us away from a technology walled garden. Its no wonder BSkyB is not happy with the idea, Canvas would (if it worked) be open to all and on demand which gives it more coverage than Virgin Media's service. This threatens Sky's service which is mainly delivered over a satellite dish. Or if you are willing to pay for it get yourself an Xbox 360 and a subscription to a limited amount of their content on demand.

What I like about this partnership is that the broadband providers such as BT and TalkTalk are part of the group and can make allowances for the extra content that is being sent over their networks. This will inevitably be paid for with some paid for content being provided on this new platform.

posted on Tuesday, 22 December 2009 13:04:33 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Monday, 23 November 2009
My home entertainment revolution

You've seen the adverts on TV and on the Internet we are in the middle of a home entertainment revolution. Games consoles are at the forefront of how we are going to consume movies and TV shows in our living rooms, no longer will we have to watch digitally available content in front of our PC screens. Multi media consoles such as the Xbox 360 and the PS3 will revolutionise this experience they are  marketed as being the centre of your entertainment universe.

Are they? Well lets take my Friday night experience into account. Having survived the week, treated ourselves to takeaway and and collapsing on the sofa in front of our TV talking about how exhausting the week had been. We decided it would be nice to watch a film, I pick up the Sky Plus remote control and press the box office button 2 minutes before 8pm. The laboriously slow menu system on the Sky Plus box isn't very forthcoming on the entertainment it has to offer me tonight as it sluggishly provides very poor information on each film. We as usual look up the films available on www.imdb.com to see if they are any good using one of our laptops, and as usual there's not much that grabs us. Next I decide to fire up the PS3 as I've heard someone mention there are some new entertainment features available and I might be able to start downloading or streaming films. On firing up the PS3 I realise I need to plug the HDMI cable in as it was used earlier for my PC. I'm then presented with a hard disk corruption message and told the system will attempt to restore the hard disk corrupted sectors. The task succeeds but I'm presented with a message telling me that I will need to run a System update. I ignore the message click on the Playstation store icon and am told before I can proceed I must do a system update. Fine I'll do the system update, I set the PS3 to do a system update and decide while I am waiting I may as well fire up the Xbox 360 to see if there is anything in Zune or Sky Player.

I log into my Xbox 360 and enter the Zune store. But there's not that much new content in the Zune store, the majority of the content is old films and there are not many of them. The newer films that have been released such as the new Star Trek film and Moon are not available. I like the idea of Zune because it enables me to stream content instead of having to wait for a large movie to download. Having not found anything I want to watch there I checkout Sky Player. There's a lot of movies here but unfortunately I need to subscribe to the movie channels on my Sky Movie package before I can get any of these movies on demand. I already have a multi room subscription and I have a package that includes the entertainment and documentary channels. Having multi room enables me to use the Sky Player on my Xbox 360, I had kept multi-room because I had been locked in a contract on it from my previous home and had planned on cancelling it and taking the movie channels but this means I couldn't use Sky Player on my Xbox 360. What a dilemma! I can't even watch Sky Movies on the Xbox 360 on Pay per view because its on my Sky account. I shake my head and wonder how the PS3 is doing, it looks as though the update failed something about a server connection problem. So I decide to fire up the Mac Mini connected to my TV and look at the iTunes movie store. It also requires an update so I get that running and am eventually able to browse the store and find the film I wanted to watch Star Trek! I set the Mac up to download it. Apparently its going to take an hour.great. We decide to play Rockband on the Xbox 360 while we wait. After 40 minutes the film has download and I get it to play on the Mac through the RGB cable on my TV. The quality I must say wasn't stunning, for some reason films still have the "letterbox" view even on wide screen TV's. Why? The letterbox view is a lot narrower than usual and you can tell by the full screen mode that pixels are slightly stretched every now and again the action scenes give this away. I probably wouldn't have noticed this if I had watched it on my laptop screen, which I kind of feel seems to have been he target of this format. What family watches films on their laptop or PC screens together?

So what's the problem? Well there is no doubt that services are now available for watching shows on demand through your TV. I have a Sky Plus box, Xbox 360, Wii, PS3 and Mac all connected to my TV. The problem is the Xbox 360 may provide a streaming high quality service which is brilliant for watching content on demand when you want it, but it lacks the content in Zune. The iTunes store has the content but it can't be streamed you have to download it and that's just as bad as having to wait for a film to come on at the right time on Sky Box Office. Besides the quality of the content on the iTunes store isn't as good, maybe I would have a better experience if I had bought the Apple TV box? (more money to spend and yet another box). The Sky Player service on the Xbox is prohibitively expensive, Sky appear to treat Sky Player content as though you were a completely new Sky TV subscriber. It doesn't work on the idea that you are a Sky TV subscriber already and just want another way of watching the same content on demand. It basically gives you that ability but it charges you for it in the way of multi room subscriptions.

What about the PS3? Well I eventually got the PS3 update to work and discovered it had a movie section which seemed to have the same content as the iTunes store. Great news I suppose, but it appears this content is not streamed content but has to be downloaded. Not so good..

Buying content to own is also another dilemma, what format do you purchase the content for? If I purchase the film on my PS3 I won't be able to play it on my Mac or my Xbox 360. I'm not a pirate all I want is the ability to play the media I bought on what ever platform I choose. Unfortunately content providers don't really understand or are unwilling to let their content be available on multiple channels even if it is watched by the same person who purchased it to begin with. Rights for content is distributed by channel not by who purchased the content to begin with. I believe we are going to face a big issue unless just like DVD and Blu-Ray, the industry comes up with a standard for the delivery of the same content across multiple platforms digitally.

posted on Monday, 23 November 2009 22:20:50 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Sunday, 15 November 2009
Where is the Sky One content on the Xbox 360 Sky Player?

The reason I signed up for the Xbox 360 version of Sky Player, was mainly because I was annoyed having to plug a laptop into my TV to watch missed episodes of shows from Sky One. I had naturally thought that any content that was available on the PC version of Sky Player would be available on the Xbox version of Sky Player right? No!

It looks as though Sky has to obtain separate broadcasting rights to broadcast most of the Sky One content on the Xbox version of their Sky Player service. It kind of makes you realise just how much production companies tie down their content. To me using Sky Player from an Xbox compared to a PC makes absolutely no difference its just a question of convenience to me. The only difference to me is one is mainly connected to my TV and the other isn't. To production companies it makes a big difference to them, there appears to be a distinction between providing the same content on a TV set as apposed to on a device that is not connected to a TV. Apparently this distinction is very important to production companies when it comes to revenues they can sell the online rights to one company for a region and the TV rights to another. In my case it looks as though Sky hasn't yet obtained those rights for the Xbox Sky Player. Its a shame there is such a distinction between the two, it can at times be infuriating when all you want to do is watch a show you missed on your TV screen instead of your PC screen.

 

Email from Sky below

 

Dear Mr Street

Thank you for contacting Sky Help Centre.

Unfortunately at this moment in time you will be unable to access Sky 1 content on the Xbox. The reason behind this is that we do not have the broadcasting rights to show this content on the Xbox as yet. We will be able to broadcast this sometime in the future however we cannot put a timescale as to when this will be. I apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause you.

Kind regards

[name censored]

Sky Help Centre

posted on Sunday, 15 November 2009 18:43:06 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Sky Player on Xbox 360 a bit slow off the ground

It seems as though today's highly anticipated Sky Player service for the Xbox 360 got off to a bit of a shaky start. It launched at 10am this morning with some good early indications, but by time I had got home to try the service on my Xbox it was displaying an advert on Xbox Live stating it was coming later today, the advert eventually disappeared. So what happened?

Well it appears according to Neowin some users were suffering issues streaming content. Microsoft have taken down the service because of "an unforeseen technical issue"  and it appears the decision was made to protect the quality of service for all customers. According to an article on Digital Spy it was a problem caused by the streaming coming from the Sky Servers which was affecting the whole Sky Player platform.

posted on Tuesday, 27 October 2009 20:03:10 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Friday, 29 May 2009
Sky to be available on Xbox 360

Well we all know it makes sense and a lot of you have said how it would be such a good idea to watch on demand TV on your Xbox 360. If you can see it on your PC why can't you see it easily on your games console which is actually connected to your TV? Well Microsoft and Sky have finally seen sense and quite soon Microsoft will be offering Sky content on the Xbox 360. If you look at how Sky delivers its current offering called Sky Anytime PC, they are using Microsoft's Silverlight technology while everyone else (BBC, Channel 4 and ITV) are using Adobe Flash.  As you can see Sky and Microsoft are quite compatible on the technology front.

While Sky Anytime PC is a good service they do not offer all of their channels live through the service. The majority of the content provided is a catch up service for missed TV episodes (not bad) and for Box Office Movies. It doesn't (and I could be wrong here) look as if Sky will be offering their flagship channel Sky One live through this service, it would be great if they did.  In the ideal world I would like to see everything that is offered via my satellite dish also offered over an IPTV service including on demand content.

It used to be possible to view Sky Player content on your Xbox 360 but only using a Windows XP or Windows Vista machine as a proxy hopefully this should change all of that.

posted on Friday, 29 May 2009 21:53:44 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Thursday, 18 December 2008
BBC iPlayer now officially working on PS3!

After discovering that Joost works on the PS3 browser I then decided to to see if the BBC iPlayer worked in the same way and it did! The BBC iPlayer web site now detects if you have a Playstation 3 and then serves up a smaller vision of the site for the PS3. It even tells you to press the right controller in to maximise the content you are watching. I must say there were a lot less complications with it than there was with Joost, probably because the BBC kept it simple, simple works for me it means less goes wrong.

Now I know the iPlayer has been working on the Wii for a while now but its nice to see it working on the PS3 as its the only console I usually keep plugged in because it plays my Blu Ray discs, DVD's and is a lot better at playing streamed content from my Windows Media Centre PC better than my Xbox 360!

You can also see past episodes of Hero's on the iPlayer now BTW.

posted on Thursday, 18 December 2008 14:49:27 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Saturday, 19 January 2008
EzVision Video eyewear - the future of personal entertainment

ezVision Okay the title is a bit cheesy and I apologise for that, but the EzVision is sooo cool! I had seen one of these for sale ages ago and then when my wife left a Christmas catalogue from I want One of Those with the convenient little tabs you could use to mark what you liked (so Santa might buy it for you) on the coffee table. I made sure that this gadget was at the top of my wish list!

On Christmas day the first thing this little gadget was plugged into was my iPod video. I thought it would have plugged into the socket I used for syncing my iPod with my PC but it actually goes into the same socket as the headphones. The EzVision comes with its own headphones connected to the eyewear. The first thing I was expecting when I put these on was to feel as though I was right in front of a large 52inch TV screen or as if I was actually in the movie I was watching. Well its not quite like that, when the box it comes in says a 52inch screen its actually feels more like sitting near the back in a cinema and watching a large screen. At times you almost expect people to be getting up or arriving late to take their cinema seats.

The other thing I like about the EzVision is it just looks so cool, several times I've been tempted to rush outside with them on and say "Quick! What year is it?!"

Not just for your iPod

ezVisionConnectorIts important to note that the EzVision is not just for your iPod it also comes with a connector that will allow it to connect to any device with an RGB or composite video output. What this means is you can connect it to an Xbox, Playstation and Wii console. Yes you heard that right you can connect this to a Wii console. "But doesn't the Wii remote need to see the TV screen?" I hear you say. No actually, if you are playing games such as Wii Tennis it works just fine and I found it was even more fun playing it this way than it was on the TV screen! Just remember than when you are trying to select menu options on the screen before a game you need to be facing the Wii sensor that is usually located on your TV. Other devices this little gadget will connect to is your Sky box if you have a scart to RGB converter, these usually come with a PS2 or you can pick them up for a couple of quid from Maplin. You can can also connect it to your PC if it has a video output socket!

posted on Saturday, 19 January 2008 13:54:38 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Saturday, 12 January 2008
Xbox 360 to get on demand TV service!

Looks like Microsoft are teaming up with BT to provide BT Vision content on the Xbox!

Now it wasn't to long ago that I mentioned how perfectly suited the Xbox 360 was to such a service when I started using it to view DRM content downloaded (via my PC) from on demand services such as BBC iPlayer, 4oD and Sky Anytime. I couldn't quite figure out why Microsoft hadn't signed up a dedicated content provider or several for that matter?

What is taking place makes perfect sense there are obviously more XBox 360's in circulation than there are BT Vision box's which according to the BBC only have 100,000 customers. The only problem I can see is that BT Visions content doesn't seem all that inspiring, either that or they are just not showing all the content they really have on their web site. The other thing is that Sky seems to have most of the interesting content as far as I am concerned and no one seems to have an on demand versions of killer shows such as Hero's, Battle Star Galactica, Prison Break etc.

posted on Saturday, 12 January 2008 16:36:31 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Friday, 28 December 2007
Tomb Raider Anniversary for Xbox 360 - guide

I'm not sure how different Tomb Raider is on the various consoles out there but on the Xbox 360 its got pretty decent graphics and game play. I was originally going to buy the Wii version but was advised against it by the guy at the game shop, however just to satisfy my curiosity I may go and buy the Wii version for a comparison.

Now just as a little help to anyone else who has been struggling in some parts of the game I thought I might just post a few guides every now and again to help people through. At the moment I am still on the Peru - City of Vilcamba trying to get through some more of those Inca doors.

Peru - City of Vilcamba

LaraPeru1 Part of this level had me for a while and that was the part with the Inca door that appeared to have two levers that were just out of reach. Other than that this part was pretty simple.

Go into the right had entrance next to the door and follow this all the way through. You'll encounter some bats here so have your guns ready. You'll then get to a room filled with water and some broken ledges. Its prettyLaraPeru2 simple to workout what you have to do here.

Simply jump onto the ledges and use them to get around the room to the entrance higher up off the floor. Remember Lara can do some pretty impossible jumps and it doesn't matter too much if you miss your hand holds the water will break your fall.  You will encounter a walk way with a divide you will need to jump. Jump the divide and you will see one of the wooden bars above the gate. Now this is the part that LaraPeru3through me. You need to jump and catch the wooden bars(or levers) that are jutting out, this will not work unless you have a good run up before jumping. After  catching the bar it will swing around. You will need to do the same thing again but on the entrance on the left hand side which is almost an exact duplicate to the one on the left. After this the gates should open.

posted on Friday, 28 December 2007 02:00:14 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Sunday, 25 November 2007
4oD on XBOX 360 and TV over the Internet

image If you've been reading my blog you will have noticed my fascination of trying to stream content via my Xbox 360 for services provided by the BBC iPlayer, SkyAnytime PC  and now Channel 4's 4oD service (TV and Film on demand). Basically the BBC, Sky and Channel 4 all provide separate services for which you can download content off the Internet. This could be an episode of Star Gate SG1 you may have missed (Sky), Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (Channel 4) or East Enders (BBC and no I don't like it but my wife does).

What all of these technologies have in common is they all use Microsoft's DRM (Digital Rights Management). What this means is that the content provider (BBC, Sky or Channel 4) can control how long you are able to watch this content until it expires, this also controls who can watch it. All this is taken care of in the background where a licence is downloaded to your machine enabling you to watch the content. While all of these providers may appear to have different innovative interfaces, under the covers they are all really using Windows Media Player which supports DRM. The BBC got a lot of flack for not using an open source platform for doing the same thing. The truth is this method has probably worked out cheaper, as so many other providers are using the same technology its tried and tested (until someone cracks it of course).

One of the let downs I found of these services was there was no way of watching the content you missed on your TV. You had to watch it on your computer. Unless you were a bit computer savvy and knew how to plug your computer into your TV (not all TV's support this) there wasn't really much of an alterative. That was until the Xbox 360 started to be able to stream content from your Windows Media PC. I found the Xbox 360 proved to be a cheaper alternative than having a dedicated PC for watching content from the Internet on your TV. I have also found it also works well with content from Channel 4's service 4oD. The only problem I have found is that 4oD's videos are not as higher quality as those provided by Sky (this may probably change), it gives the impression of a pixilated image on my 1080i LCD screen. I think Microsoft can provide a lot more upgrades for the Xbox 360 to take advantage of this place in the market. Although I suspect they may be keeping a bit quiet about the potential because they may be thinking of a separate content deal they want to put together, so they can charge Xbox Live subscribers for the privilege.  

It looks as though no one has really taken advantage of the potential for a TV Over Internet Provider (TOIP) box that could pull all these providers together maybe even including Joost?

posted on Sunday, 25 November 2007 12:44:40 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Tuesday, 23 October 2007
SkyAnytime PC on Xbox 360

Just to recap on my last article about how to watch BBC iPlayer content through your Xbox without using Media Centre I have now tested it with Sky Anytime PC and it works like a charm.

The best way to make this work is to log into Sky Anytime PC and click on the "Account & Settings"  button from here you can find the "Default Download Location", copy this and then open windows Media Player 11, click Library > Add To Library and click add to add the folder location you just copied from Sky Anytime PC. Now next time you download a file from Sky Anytime PC it will automatically be added to your Windows Media Player library. If you followed the steps in my previous article to share your library with your Xbox you should be able to now watch SkyAnytime PC content on your Xbox withut having to drag the downloaded movies into the My Movies folder.

posted on Tuesday, 23 October 2007 21:45:37 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Sunday, 21 October 2007
Watching BBC iPlayer content on your XBox 360

Having recently bought an Xbox 360 I heard there was a way of streaming content from your Windows XP machine to the XBox, the reason I was particularly interested was that I had started using the BBC iPlayer and Sky Anytime PC service for watching TV programs on demand. It was great for catching up on shows I had missed or forgot to record on my Sky Plus box. The only problem I had was that it wasn't much fun watching these shows on my laptop screen when I had a 42inch LCD screen with surround sound sitting around being unused naturally the Xbox filled this chasm.

Having looked around the net many people who do not have the Media Centre edition of Windows XP do not seem to be able to stream DRM protected content to their Xbox. Well the solution to the problem is pretty simple and you don't need to use TVersity (great free program by the way).

The Solution

  1. Ensure you have Windows Media Player 11 installed you can download this from Microsoft's web site. Chances are if you have the BBC iPlayer or Sky Anytime PC installed you will already have the latest version of Windows Media Player.
  2. Click on the Library tab and select the option Media Sharing. From here tick the checkbox "Share My media to:". If you click on settings in this window you have the option to select what type of content you wish to share. Click OK to close this window.
  3. Now after you have downloaded some content from BBC iPlayer first select to watch the content. What this will do is get the licence (DRM) to allow you to view the video. No need to watch the video you can close the BBC iPlayer window.
  4. Copy the movie into your movies folder (found under my documents) and then drag it into Windows Media Player. This part is quite important I couldn't get this to work unless I carried out this step for some reason it has to be inside the Movies folders located under My Documents.
  5. On your Xbox select the media tab, select Video and then select computer. If all goes well you should see your Windows XP machine. Select your computer.
  6. Back on your Windows XP machine go back to Windows Media Player select the Library > Media Sharing over here you should see your Xbox. Select it and then select Allow and then OK. (Don't worry you only have to do this once).
  7. Go back to the Xbox and press the backup button and select the Video option again as in step 5 you should now see the video's you had placed on your Windows XP machine. Select the video and enjoy!

Now don't panic you don't need to carry out the steps above all the time. Every time you want to add a new movie try to watch it first to acquire the DRM licence then place it into Windows Media Player and then watch from the Xbox. This seems to have been the only way I could get this to work. I see no reason why the above will not work with SkyAnytime which I will be testing shortly. If you are not able to see your Windows XP machine from your Xbox backup to the media tab itself and go back in. If this doesn't work ensure your Xbox is connected to your network.

If you know of an easier way of doing this I'd love to hear from you.

posted on Sunday, 21 October 2007 19:03:07 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [6]

 Saturday, 20 October 2007
Xbox 360

Every now and again we do a few drastic things or have a few spending urges and its going to sound a bit hypocritical regarding my past posts about saving money but I splashed out on an Xbox 360. Now I am a pretty big Sony PS3 fan but the PS3 is still just too expensive for me right now and I really wanted to play the game Gears of War ever since I saw it. What was the result? Well I am very happy with my purchase Gears of War was better than I ever thought it would be and its nice to have a device that take advantage of my High Resolution TV at 1080p I really hadn't realised how good the picture could be especially how the Xbox upscales DVD movies it was a nice surprise.

The other thing I like about the Xbox and I know the PS3 is capable of this is actually streaming movies from your PC to your Xbox this pretty neat as you don't really want to watch movies on your PC right? The only thing I haven't tried yet is streaming my Sky Anytime PC or BBC iPlayer content onto it. I'm hoping the DRM content is not going to be a problem.

Gears of war is excellent and my wife loves playing it with me in split screen mode, only problem is she thinks she's better at it than I am...pah!

posted on Saturday, 20 October 2007 09:36:08 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Friday, 30 March 2007
PS3 Again

Interesting post containing a video on my friend Julians blog about the decline of the PS3 by Sony. The video does seem more inclined towards the Xbox.

As far as I am concerned I think the PS3 is an amazing machine and had the benefit of seeing one at a demo with the most amazing graphics I have seen in a long time. However I think the price tag will be its downfall, maybe what Sony should have done was specked down the machine so it wasn't so expensive when they launched it which I think is the only thing that puts people off the console. The console has just about everything included making it a powerful multimedia machine. If Sony had included a desktop OS, keyboard, mouse etc they may even have been able to target it towards part of the desktop PC market (maybe this would be included at a later date as an optional extra).

posted on Friday, 30 March 2007 20:49:40 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Friday, 23 March 2007
PS3 Launched

Well the PS3 Launched but the reaction seemed a bit mixed and Microsoft rained on the parade with quotes such as "Sony.....you're late!". The biggest launch was in London however over the rest of Europe in some cases the press outnumbered people purchasing the consoles. I was just wondering if the price was what was putting people off the console? I'd really like to own a PS3 but will probably have to wait until they became a bit more affordable. I was hoping Microsoft may have brought the price of the XBOX down but sadly that didn't happen yesterday.

posted on Friday, 23 March 2007 21:11:23 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Tuesday, 20 March 2007
PS3 or XBOX 360?

I am a huge fan of the Playstation ever since I got my Playstation 2 I have had hours of entertainment playing games on this console. However I noticed after a while I was buying PS2 games played them once or twice and then they stayed on the shelf collecting dust. Playing games started to become a bit of a task they weren't the type of games you used to play on the old Atari consoles where you could have a quick game of pong or space invaders. Each game has an intro and loads a bit like a movie its a great experience for those ultimate games but it gets a bit annoying each time you load the game. But none the less I still loved the console it provided a great Karaoke machine and it was my first DVD player (a darn cheap one at the time). My natural thought was to go onto the PS3 when it came out over Christmas 2006, but then it didn't turn up in the UK. The only console available was the Wii, I had heard little about the console until I started seeing people playing on it on TV and in shops, what a cool idea! Why hadn't anyone else thought of a such a cool way to play computer games. The Wii was a great console for playing fun games and it had made me forget about getting my hands on the PS3 it was a console that allowed all your friends to join in your games instead of waiting one at a time and then trying to figure out all the different combo's.

Now that I have a Wii console I want a more serious console for playing serious games and when I looked at the XBox 360 I was amazed by the game Gears of War there was nothing that seemed close to it on either of the other consoles and I am considering buying the console just because of the game. Also the fact that the PS3 will cost £429 from Amazon and the XBOX 360 is £269 and I have heard a rumor that the XBOX 360 may come down by £50-£80 in price when the PS3 launches. I am wondering who will pay £429 for a games console you can buy a plasma TV for that price in some places.  So what game will convince me to buy the PS3 or shell out so much cash, the truth is there isn't on at the moment and the console is much to expensive. I just hope Sony hasn't overstretched itself a bit too much trying to bring out the PS3 which could probably make or break Sony as the leader in the games console market. 

posted on Tuesday, 20 March 2007 22:22:39 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]