Cost: $199 for the console; $2 per episode.
The Xbox Live Marketplace is not just for game trailers. Xbox 360 owners can access a
slew of video content through the online service. Some shows—targeted at videogame
from media outlets like IGN.com
and Gamespot.com — are free;
other television episodes can be
purchased for $2. Movie rentals
start at $4 for standard definition
and $6 for high-definition videos.
Consumers who subscribe to both
Xbox Live ($50 per year) and
Netflix can also stream the rental
company's catalog of 12,000
movies through the console.
Cost: $399 for the console; $1.99 per episode
Best known as a bargain Blu-ray player, Sony's PlayStation 3 can also access a library
of video content hosted on the PlayStation Network Store. Similar to the Xbox 360,
television episodes are sold for $1.99 and $2.99 for high definition. Movie rentals start
at $2.99 and purchases start at $9.99. And it is possible to port that content to Sony's
handheld PSP, and the PS3's built in Internet browser allows people to watch content
from sites like YouTube and Hulu for free.
Cost: $229 for the device; $1.99 per episode
iTunes has long been the one-stop shop for consumers who either don't have access
to a TV or don't want to cough up the cash for a digital video recorder. With Apple TV, you
can transfer all those purchases you made with your iTunes account to your living room.
Television episodes on iTunes start at $1.99 (some shows are available in high
definition for an extra $1), or you could subscribe to a full season of a television series
for around $30.
Movie rentals start at $3.99 and movie purchases at around $14.99.
Amazon Video On Demand
Cost: $1.99 per episode
Amazon has aggressively moved into the digital delivery space--partly spurred on by
Apple's longstanding iTunes monopoly. Earlier this year, it converted its
download-driven Unbox store to streaming video. Now when you visit Amazon's Video
On Demand section, purchases will instantly begin playing through a streaming
connection (television episodes are $1.99, movie rentals $3.99 and movie purchases
start around $14.99). However, if you plan to operate offline or want to take video on a
portable device, you still have the option to download the media.
Hulu.com, the streaming-video love child of NBC Universal and News Corp., is one of
the best places on the Web to find free video content. While Fox and NBC have
contributed the bulk of the media, some Comedy Central programming and movies
from the likes of MGM, Warner Bros. and Universal are also available. New television
episodes usually appear the day after they air, but the licensing contracts vary by show.
All the content is free, but you will have to suffer through advertising spots.
Originally set up as a peer-to-peer video distribution network, Joost ran into a bunch of
problems since its January 2007 launch — it had little appealing content and forced
viewers to use an unwieldy media player. That changed in September 2008, when it
relaunched as a browser-based streaming service. Most full episodes come from
Viacom and CBS, both investors in Joost. Joost also just released an application for the
iPhone that lets you stream its video content when connected to wi-fi hot spots.
Cost: $299 for the box, $1.99 per episode
Vudu is another box set up to sell digitally delivered movies and television shows. The
pricing scheme is similar to its competitors— TV episodes are $1.99 a piece and
movies rent for $3.99 and sell for around $19.99. Vudu's main selling point is its
expansive library of HD titles (1,100) that are offered in 1080p resolution.
Copyright © Forbes.com & AMBIENTE MAGAZINE. Do not reproduce without citing this source.
www.ambiente.us FEBRUARY | FEBRERO 2009
Cheap Ways to Watch TV
Wait! Don't toss out your beautiful flat panel display - even if there are a plethora of ways
to enjoy your favorite shows without a TV. What you can kick is your
$30 a month (or more) cable subscription and digital video recorders. With the tanking
economy, why spend a minimum of $360 a year to access all those
shows that are too bad to watch? It may not be perfect (or live), but it is now possible to
survive solely off digitally delivered television. Any shows that
are not available for free can be picked up piecemeal from a variety of vendors. So cozy
up to your laptop or hook that old PC to your television set,
because here are some ways you can access content via the Internet.
See More Cheap Ways to Watch TV
Cost: Starts at $4.99 per month.
The DVD rentals-by-mail company has invested heavily in streaming video technology
over the past few years, and it's finally paying off. Every Netflix subscription grants
unlimited access to its library of over 12,000 videos — including some current television
offerings like NBC's Heroes. And the service is no longer bound to your PC. Now you
can stream movies through your Apple computer, Xbox 360, the stand-alone Roku box
and Blu-ray players from LG Electronics and Samsung.
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