Interview with XBOX's Aaron Greenberg
We get a minute with XBOX Group Product Marketing Manager Aaron Greenberg to talk about XBOX 360's new Movie and TV store.

Labeled With  XBOX 360 Microsoft
Written by Josh Lowensohn on Tuesday, November 07 2006

We got a few minutes at the XBOX 360 showcase in San Francisco to talk to Aaron Greenberg, XBOX’s Group Product Marketing Manager about the new TV and Movie download service offered on XBOX Live marketplace.

GR: So can you tell me about this new service?

Greenberg: Yes, so we are announcing that on November 22nd, we are going to be launching in the U.S., a video marketplace built into XBOX Live. We have six partners for launch, which includes CBS, Turner, Warner Brothers, Ultimate Fighting Championship, MTV, and Paramount Pictures. MTV obviously also gives us things like VH1, Comedy Central, so really if you think about that as being more than one network, it’s really like nine networks at once. So we’re super excited, we’re going to have more than 1,000 hours of content available to download this holiday in standard and high definition. Over 200 hours at least of high definition alone. That will mean we’ll have hundreds of TV shows, hundreds of movies, from all those top partners this holiday. So anybody can have access to it, whether they’re a free silver member, or gold member of Live. Everybody will have full access to the video marketplace. You can click on your media and entertainment button on the marketplace, and go right into it. On the media blade, there will be a new button for the video marketplace, so there will be a couple different entry points. All the TV shows are going to be download to own, so you can download them, buy them. If you delete them you can download them again. So just like how an arcade game works, you can go over to a friend’s house, download it, watch it. Movies are just rental. So just like with Blockbuster, where you can go to rent a movie, you’ll be able to download standard of high def movies and watch them on demand. And you can download them and store them for 14 days. With movies, once you start to play them back you have 24 hours once you start viewing. So TV shows will be priced like they are on other services that are available to download. They’re going to be very competitively priced, and obviously this integrates into the XBOX Live experience. Say you’re watching something like Robot Chicken (we’re going to have all the Adult Swim content) and you get a game invite to go play Gears of War, you pause it, jump over to Gears of War, you come back and you can resume right where you’re at in TV, Movies, etc. So integrating all this into XBOX and the Live experience is something you don’t normally get with TV.

GR: So this is a tough question, but you’ve got 13 gigs on that drive, how are users going to manage that?

Greenberg: The way the drive works today, you can store about 15 hours of standard definition content and about 5 hours of hi-def content. And hey, we realize that for some users that’s going to fill up pretty quickly. The movies are designed so that you watch them and then delete them, so we figure those aren’t really something that’s going to take up space. With TV shows, if you ever have to delete one, you can always re-download it again. So as much as we can, we’re trying to work within the space confinements. With that said, we realize that the XBOX 360, because it is the only console on the market with a removable hard drive, gives us some flexibility over time. Right now we’re obviously not announcing anything, but in the future we do have the ability to grow and expand in that area.

GR: I know you guys can’t talk about future products, but are you guys working on something so that existing users can get a bigger drive without having to get rid of any game saves, demos or other content?

Greenberg: You know what, I don’t know. At this point we’re not ready yet to roll out a bigger hard drive. I can tell you what people tell me they do to get around this. What they do is they put their Live account on a memory unit and then they have one hard drive that they put their games or related content on, and then they have another drive that they put their movies and TV on. So you know, this isn’t ideal, but there’s some ways to work around that today. If you download the content on one hard drive, and save your Live account on the memory unit, you can still have your hard drives hold all the content. That’s not a perfect workaround, but there’s some flexibility that people can do.

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