Gamers have been going online to battle friends (and complete strangers) for a long time, so it's not surprising that they also use their systems to stream Internet-based content. Take the Xbox 360 as a prime example. The Xbox 360 4-gigabyte console, which retails for $199.99, comes standard with built-in 802.11n WiFi, in addition to the standard Ethernet port and HDMI output. That makes it easy to connect the Xbox to your HDTV and to your home network.
Every Xbox console comes with a free Xbox LIVE account. This enables users to rent or buy TV shows and movies from the Zune marketplace and watch them instantly. You can also invest in Zune passes to get more bang for your buck. For $14.99 a month, you can get a Zune Pass subscription that gives you unlimited access to millions of songs you can stream to your Xbox 360. Another option is the Zune Season Pass, which delivers a full season of a show while it's on the air and get all the episodes as they come out.
If this isn't enough, you can upgrade your Xbox LIVE account to a LIVE Gold account (an Xbox Live Gold Family Pack costs $99.99 a year). This gets you more content from partners such as Netflix, ESPN and Last.fm. Netflix carries both TV shows and Hollywood movies, while ESPN brings you more than 3,500 live sporting events and highlights. Last.fm is a unique music service that lets you create your own radio station. Add the Kinect Sensor to your Xbox 360, and you can control the playback of songs and movies with gestures or voice commands.
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- Apple TV Web site. (March 19, 2011)http://www.apple.com/appletv/
- Boxee Web site. (March 19, 2011) http://www.boxee.tv/
- Google TV Web site. (March 19, 2011) http://www.google.com/tv/
- Hulu Web site. (March 19, 2011) http://www.hulu.com/
- Moyer, Michael. "The Everything TV." Scientific American. November 2009.
- Ninentendo Wii Web site. (March 19, 2011) http://www.nintendo.com/wii
- Roku Web site. (March 19, 2011) http://www.roku.com/
- Sony Internet TV Web site. (March 19, 2011) http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=10151&langId=-1&catalogId=10551&categoryId=8198552921644751998&N=4294951424&Name=Internet%20Televisions#/Feature_DualView
- Sony PlayStation 3 Web site. (March 19, 2011) http://us.playstation.com/
- TiVo Premiere Web site. (March 19, 2011) https://www.tivo.com/products/tivo-premiere/index.html
- Xbox Web site. (March 19, 2011) http://www.xbox.com/en-US/
A savvy communications strategist created a media pyramid focusing on how people should consume their media. HowStuffWorks talked to him about it.