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Xbox 360 With Zune HD Integration (Fall Update Preview) – Fascinating Implications – Is This The Box I’m Looking For?

The TV on the Internet world has had a bunch of interesting announcements this week. We now know Apple TV is running IOS on the inside (TV Apps anyone?) and Hulu+ is coming to the Roku box. When will we get that ultimate box?

Does Microsoft have a chance with all in this?

Let’s cover the big issues (in my mind at least): Price, Netflix integration, Hulu+ integration, Movies to purchase/rent, Television to purchase/rent:

Roku: $69 and up – Netflix yes / Hulu yes / Movies yes (Amazon) / Television yes (Amazon)
Apple TV: $99 – Netflix yes / Hulu no / Movies yes / Television limited
Xbox: $199 and up – Netflix yes / Hulu yes / Movies yes / Television yes
Boxee Box: $249 – Netflix yes / Hulu yes / Movies yes / Television yes (free/paid)

We just don’t know enough about Google TV (yet) to include here.

Microsoft sent an Xbox with the Fall Update Preview Beta. Very nice integration. Haven’t been able to talk about it until today. BTW, here are Engadget’s thoughts.

Yes, Roku is cheaper but she doesn’t let me play Gears of War – nuff said.

I think Microsoft has something very cool here – but I’d love your thoughts. I got everything I want on this device (minus iPhone integration, of course) and don’t know or see how Apple can deliver on their Apple TV platform (or at least what we know of it today). Boxee is more expensive and does a lot less. Yes, I have some free Internet TV viewing options but there are ways to get that on the Xbox as well.

Embedded below is a video walkthrough of the Zune stuff on the new Xbox Fall Update Preview. More on that over at ZuneLuv.com.

Weekend Roundup: Breaking Eggs Edition

As I’ve chewed on / had a few days to think about the Hulu Plus announcement, I am both amazed at what a bad idea it is, on some many levels. I guessed I’ve moved from questions to lethargy. I tweeted yesterday that I thought Hulu was trying to make an omelet without breaking eggs on this one and was failing miserably. Still feel that way.

Here are a few other thoughts from people smarter than me (although I’d love to hear from Boxee or Roku right now):

There is also a lot of talk online about how you have to pay for the higher level of access to the PS3 or Xbox versions while paying for the access but I’m pretty sure the zillion or so Xbox users watching Netflix on their gold accounts have gotten over that pretty quickly.

I’m frustrated because it is a very very very weak attempt at bridging the gap, almost so weak that one might ask if it was designed to fail. I’ve said from the beginning that I think Hulu was designed to fail since day one and although the Hulu Plus announcement did surprise me, I can’t help but wonder if I’m still right.

What do you think?

Hulu Plus – Here Are My Questions

Update #1: Just found out / realized that the Hulu Plus stuff is “broadcast only” – meaning you won’t see any cable content on there. Yes, stuff like Burn Notice and Caprica ain’t gonna happen, even with commercials. Yes, the CEO seems scared that people might think this is a cable killer.

Update #2: Boxee ain’t the only one not on the list. No Android or Google TV either. No Roku. Silly.

I’ve been saying for a long time that I never thought a “paid/premium” version of Hulu was in the cards. Somebody somewhere has smelled some coffee (they woke up too) and I’m quite intrigued. Here’s some reporting from Engadget with a little more insight than the Hulu press release.

For the record, I have no problem paying $9.95 – even with commercials – it’s far less than any cable bill out there and (at this point) has less commercials than any cable bill out there. I’ve applied for beta accounts and am waiting to hear back.

I installed this bad boy on both my iPhone and iPad. Now I’m really glad that I have unlimited 3g on both of them. The demo stuff looks great over 3g – better quality than either Netflix or ABC (on the iPad at least).

But, I have questions:

  • Where is CBS? Nothing from them is in the lineup and we hear rumors of them going all HTML5 on us this fall. Will they be the ones to go totally free?
  • What about Boxee? The lie that “content providers wanted it removed” is about as plausible as (insert BP caring joke here). How come they weren’t listed as a means to get Hulu Plus? They’re on other boxes. What gives?
  • How many commercials on plus? We know the industry is moving to more than one. Will “Plus” go with it?
  • Why Xbox in 2011? Don’t really need commentary about this one.
  • Why no Zune or Windows 7 phone options? Did Remond upset someone at Hulu?
  • Will it “take?” Right now the commentary I’m reading says folk don’t want to pay $10 for this thing.

What about you, will you pay for Hulu Plus?

Do you have answers to any of my questions?

Do you have any questions of your own?