So, you know that nifty New Xbox Experience you’ve been hearing about all over the place? Well, our pals up in Redmond gave us the opportunity to grab the dashboard a few weeks before it becomes publicly available on November 19th. We have a bunch of info coming your way in the coming days (and, please, feel free to leave any questions on the forum and we will answer them all - seriously, ask away!). In the meantime, though, we thought we would take you through the setup process. After downloading the update (which takes a good, I dunno, 10 seconds), your Xbox 360 will reboot, load the new firmware, and hit you with a high impact video before dumping you into the new dashboard. It really is all sorts of fancy. We’ve created a New Xbox Experience setup gallery with a bunch of pictures showing you the process of installing, setting up, creating your avatar, and browsing around the new interface. Go ahead and take a look, and don’t forget, leave your questions here.
Read More | New Xbox Experience Gallery
Netflix has been charging new members a $1 monthly fee, in addition to the price of their standard monthly rate, for the pleasure of renting Blu-ray discs, while those who have been members of the service for a long while have had no such increase to deal with. Well, as of November 5th, Netflix will make the $1 fee mandatory for all members. If you don’t want to rent Blu-ray discs, you are fine, no change in price - but if you, like us, are all about the 1080p, lossless surround sound goodness, then I think you’ll find that paying one extra dollar isn’t really so bad. Seriously, it could have been a lot worse.
Read More | Netflix Blog
LG’s BD-300 Blu-ray Player is almost here. As we told you back in August, the player up-converts standard DVD to 1080p and allows Netflix subscribers access to over 12,000 titles. You can now pre-order the player from Circuit City for $349.99 and it will begin shipping soon. Amazon offers the BD-300 in price ranges of $379.00 up to $399.95 and says that they are in stock. This is certainly one instance that Amazon is not the bargain site for ordering.
Read More | Boy Genius Report
One of the main reasons we switch from Blockbuster Online to Netflix here at our home is the Netflix Watch Instantly functionality that is set to come to the Xbox 360 with the New Xbox Experience Fall dashboard update. However, if you don’t have a 360, or you just want more variety in your Watch Instantly lifestyle, you’ll be pleased to know that the functionality is finally gonna hit OS X by the end of this year, after being available only on Windows for almost two years. By our estimation, that means sometime in the next three months, and that excites us. Apparently, the holdup was based the fact that the DRM used on Windows boxes wasn’t compatible with OS X, and since Apple doesn’t license out their FairPlay DRM to third-parties, Netflix had to roll their own. From Netflix:
And, for all of you Mac users (of which I am one) we’ve been busy working getting a solution that will allow you to watch instantly on your Mac. So hang in there - we’ll have something for you by the end of the year.
Good news all around.
Read More | Netflix Blog
Okay, Apple, we know that you’ve had some trouble getting your act together since the iPhone 3G launch, but when you list two different prices in different areas of iTunes for the same app, that is when it is just getting ridiculous. Case in point, Dashbuster. I downloaded the free version from the App Store about a week ago, as it sounded fantastic to be able to manage my Netflix queue from the iPhone. The app, however, was missing a couple of features that I wanted - namely, the ability to add movies to the queue, select the format of the disc, etc. That was to come in the pad version.
Well, due to the fact that Apple has been unable to push updates out in a timely fashion, the paid version was finished, but I had to wait about a week for it to hit the App Store. I searched for the app, saw it was available for $5, and proceeded to download it. I then saw that there was a bug in the app, where it wouldn’t show my queue at all. I emailed the developer, and he responded (almost immediately) offering help. He also mentioned that the app should have been $3.99, not $4.99 like I paid.
Read More | Gallery: Dashbuster pricing screwed up
LG and Netflix have teamed to create the first Blu-ray disc player that will also stream from Nextflix directly to your TV. In addition to beginning play in about 30 seconds, the BD300 will up-convert standard DVDs to 1080p and allow subscribers to view over 12,000 movies and TV shows. After adding them to your online queue, you can then access them on your TV. The player includes fast-forward and rewind applications, and you can rate your picks and advise others. Look forward to a fall debut for the BD300.
Read More | PR Newswire
Apparently Netflix is closing down their Red Envelope Entertainment division. It had invested in more than 100 films including “John Waters: This Filthy World,” “Sherry Baby,” and “The Giant Buddhas” (which we just saw and highly recommend.) Over 75 employees will lose their jobs because of the change. One of the reasons we dig Netflix is because they feature Indy films, so maybe we can deluge the company with e-mails and save them.
Read More | Hacking Netflix
In this episode, coming to you straight from E3 2008, we chat with Xbox’s Heather Snavely about all the news that Microsoft announced during their Xbox Media Briefing. We have keynote clips here as well, in case you missed it and want to see all that went down, while Heather gives us a bit more detail and answers a few questions we had about some of the specific announcements.
Specifically, Heather tells us a bit more about the new Xbox 360 Experience dashboard, answers a few questions we had about the Lips game and the motion-based microphone controller, as well as Xbox avatars and questions we had about the future of Gamer Pictures on Xbox Live. All in all, a nice look at all the new details uncovered at E3 in relation to Xbox 360.
We’ve entered the auditorium here in the West Hall, and are currently waiting for the E3 2008 Xbox Media Briefing to begin. Very nice setup in here, by the way. Bunch of stage lighting, high definition displays, and…oh, even a mock living room setup. Snazzy. Anyhow, keep it locked here, as we will be bringing you live updates from the keynote as it happens. Any predictions on what we will be seeing announced today?
Oh, as for images, we will update the post with a bunch of those after the keynote ends. We wanna focus on bringing you the text updates for now, mkay?
We start with some Xbox 360 Street Talk, where apparently Microsoft went around town and interviewed people off the streets, and asked them about what they like about Xbox 360. Obviously, all good comments here. Now we get answers for questions like “What is a noob?”, “What does it mean to be ‘pwned’?”, “What does melee mean?”, “What does RPG mean?”, etc. Basically, what do average people know about video game terms. This is kind of like sitting through the advertisement trailers in the movie theater, the ones that come before the actual trailers.
Check out the rest of the keynote after the jump:
Ever wonder how Netflix selects who gets the newest releases first? Apparently Sound and Vision Mag did. They contacted the company and although they wouldn’t reveal any trade secrets, they did divulge how the queues basically work. Here are some of their results:
- Ordering a movie first does not necessarily mean you will be the first recipient.
- The more popular the movie, the longer the wait.
- The more films you watch, the less likely you are to receive new releases. (We hate that one.)
- The more new releases you watch, the less likely you will receive other new movies. (Okay, that one is awful, too.)
Irregardless of our queue status and the algorithms used in them, we have to admit we are still Netflix advocates. It’s amazing how many obscure/old/cult films we have been able to screen with our subscription. And that makes it greatest thing since unsliced bread for us.
Read More | Sound & Vision