Print 35 comment(s) - last by jarman.. on Jan 9 at 1:34 PM

Microsoft's Xbox 360 bulks up even more

Early Friday morning, a story made its way over to Engadget detailing the next generation Xbox 360 console. Engadget showed a single image of the I/O ports on the back of console complete with a new HDMI port. The story also noted that Zephyr would feature a cool-running 65 nanometer IBM Xenon PowerPC processor and larger 120GB hard drive. The leaked details of the upgraded hardware on the Xbox 360 have lead to furious debates online spreading to sites like AnandTech, Engadget and Xbox-Scene.

But that is not all that Microsoft has in store for Xbox 360 owners this year. The other half of Microsoft’s grand scheme, a serious Microsoft bid for the IPTV market, was leaked on early Saturday by Dean Takahashi. Takahashi, a blogger for A+E Interactive, has always had excellent access to industry leaders including NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsuan Huang and Microsoft COO Kevin Turner.

Microsoft today confirmed what was earlier reported by Takahashi -- the Xbox 360 will not only serve as a game console, Media Center Extender and a portal for TV show/movie downloads, but it will also serve as an IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) device.

Although Microsoft made no official announcement of providers for IPTV service on the Xbox 360, AT&T already uses Microsoft IPTV software and is likely to jump onboard. And with services like video-on-demand (VOD) and digital video recording likely to be provided, it makes perfect sense that Microsoft would be likely be pushing a larger 120GB hard drive instead of the "paltry" 20GB currently in service.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 currently has the ability of streaming high-definition content through the use of a Windows Media Center PC. IPTV allows users to take advantage of high-definition TV programming over a standard broadband connection without the need for a PC. Microsoft says that the service will roll out later this year.

The addition of IPTV on the Xbox 360 platform would give Microsoft a distinct advantage over its Japanese rivals. Consumers will now having gaming, access to PC multimedia content, online access to music/music videos, downloadable TV shows and movies,  IPTV with PVR and VOD and the option of HD DVD playback with the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive all from a single console. Microsoft is truly attempting to make the Xbox 360 the multimedia centerpiece for your connected home and this may just be the icing on the cake.

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By quiksilv3r on 1/8/2007 4:27:24 AM , Rating: 3
It's almost complete...
Now just give it an interchangeable/replaceable hdd and i'll go buy one right when it comes out.

RE: Holy...
By swatX on 1/8/2007 5:45:38 AM , Rating: 2

cant wait to get this version when it comes out!

RE: Holy...
By camix on 1/8/2007 8:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
No need, if you got the cash you could get a Windows Home Server. Then you'll pretty much have unlimited space for your Xbox 360 via your home network. Check the info about it at either one of these:

RE: Holy...
By otispunkmeyer on 1/8/2007 9:38:17 AM , Rating: 2
isnt IPTV useless unless you have good internet?

i know the UK and the US are abit behind in the internet stakes.

i only have 4mb at home and NTL only provide 10mb max with their cable service and even then it has a 75Gb a month limit. the 2 and 4mb options do not have limits

other companies offer up to 16Mb, but they use ADSL technology and use a standard/usually decrepid BT telephone line. your speed then depends on distance from the exchange and line quality. my experience with ADSL was horrid. didnt run at its proper speed and lag was such an issue that online games were a no no

RE: Holy...
By borowki on 1/8/2007 10:34:48 AM , Rating: 2
No, IPTV doesn't go through the Internet. It's just uses the IP protocol for communication between the set-top box and the content server. The pipe is essentially dedicated to video.

RE: Holy...
By afkrotch on 1/8/2007 12:56:26 PM , Rating: 2
ummm....IP. Internet Protocol. Guess what, it does go through the internet. Do you really think in every case, a user will get a direct connection to the content server? No, many ppl will end up having to get their signal through the internet.

Now a small ISP will end up having a dedicated portion of your bandwith set aside for IPTV. This isn't the case, for the over 2000 free IPTV stations available in the world, where connecting to them would affect the undedicated portion of your bandwith.

RE: Holy...
By borowki on 1/8/2007 2:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
Don't say jack when you don't know jack. I don't think you even know what IPTV is. Take a look at this Microsoft PowerPoint presentation:

Note that in slide 3, it says "Delivery over a closed IP, QOS enabled network." Really, it's pretty obvious that you can't route the data through the Internet if you want quality comparable to cable.

RE: Holy...
By AxemanFU on 1/9/2007 11:50:30 AM , Rating: 2
Amen. The IPTV fiber, or fiber hybrid networks, which already have over a million customers in Europe and a couple of hundred thousand in the US, have more than adequate bandwidth for HD programming using the IP protocols on a DEDICATED network. The IPTV is usually part of the total bandwidth of somethingl like 30-40mbps to each customer. Part is reserved for an HD channel or two, and part is for conventional internet service, and probably part for VOIP, too. The IP data exchanges on the IPTV portion of the network are shunted onto the regular "internet" at a pop location at regional hubs, while the entire IPTV portion remains on a network that is entirely dedicated to video. The bandwidth is massive, and local and regional video server locations ensure the entire network is not burdened with baindwidth requirements. Your video content comes from the nearest node containing the requested programming.

The point is, for effective IPTV, you have to have substantial bandwidth per customer back to the regional or area node that contains the programming servers. Wave division mulitplexing on fibers, and passive optical fiber networks, or networks hybridized with copper or coax for the last couple thousand feet are the only way to get the required bandwidth.

Sadly for the cable companies, they are way behind in getting that type of infrastructure deployed. Cable can do HD, or digital cable, but it is currently crammed into a bunch of analog channels, and is an analog video system for the most part. It cannot do any of the innovative things an IP network will soon be capable of. Neither can a low bandwidth conventional cable or DSL internet connection. You need something on the order of 8-12Mbps sustained for a compressed HD channel with today's tech, and that is to each customer.

Microsoft is looking towards the future in this respect. At some point, the telcos will have large numbers of homes wired for IPTV, and cable will start to catch up as well with the technology, and having a relatively cheap set top box that can play games and video, and get access to large volumes of content extremely quickly will be a big plus for Xbox360 "v2" owners.

RE: Holy...
By Lonyo on 1/8/2007 11:29:54 AM , Rating: 2
NTL don't have a limit on their 10meg anymore anyway

RE: Holy...
By Tsuwamono on 1/8/2007 12:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
Must be your area because i am with and they provide me with 3mbps down and 800kbps up and its always running roughly 2.96mbps when im downloading or uploading from my private server(hosted at a datacentre) so im not sure what company you were with but they obviously sucked.

I also live in montreal and my ping to Chicago is about 40ms and my ping to NY is about 15-20 ms. Unless you use Steam.. then its about 15 and 5 respectively because they have no idea how to calculate ping obviously

RE: Holy...
By Doughboy on 1/8/2007 10:08:57 AM , Rating: 2
I'll buy one when they give it a wireless Keyboard and Mouse. I can't understand why they don't do this already.
Also, they could make external hard drives work withe the USB plugs.

RE: Holy...
By AxemanFU on 1/9/2007 11:59:18 AM , Rating: 2
If MS would download firmware that would enable a keyboard/mouse, and we could get some key/mouse combos standardized for Xboxes, and port some of the better FPS titles to XBOX, they could bring in a lot more PC gamers. conventional console controllers still totally suck for FPS games that don't have "aim assist" or largely eliminate the need for precision and speedy reflexes in game design (a-la-Halo). If they'd do that, I'd seriously consider buying a console, anyways. Until then, the PC keeps getting upgraded.

RE: Holy...
By Lazarus Dark on 1/8/2007 11:49:40 AM , Rating: 2
A big problem that I see is that ISP's are still not ready to handle IPTV traffic on a large scale. It's already taking forever for services like FiOS to get to more than a handful of large cities. I can guarantee if I try to stream quality IPTV to my xbox for four hours a day or whatever when this launches, comcast will cut me off or slow my speed within a month because I know the local 'tubes' aren't big enough for that on a large scale.

On a side note, this and hdmi and bigger hdd plus the option of hddvd, well I wasn't really interested in 360 much before, but I must say I am starting to get tempted. Gears of War looks great and of course Halo 3 is on the way. I may just consider picking up a v2 360 come next christmas.

RE: Holy...
By drubly on 1/8/2007 3:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
I think XBOX 360 has got Sony beat

now only if the xbox 360 could brush my teeth....

RE: Holy...
By jarman on 1/9/2007 1:34:11 PM , Rating: 2
...or clean my apartment.

RE: Holy...
By crazydrummer4562 on 1/8/2007 5:51:55 PM , Rating: 2
The HD just pops out when you press a button...So yes it would be interchangeable

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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