On November 22, the Xbox Live Marketplace will start offering movie and television downloads for the Xbox 360.
Microsoft has announced agreements with CBS, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, TBS, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Warner Brothers to offer an initial lineup of over 1,000 hours of TV shows and movies on the Xbox Live marketplace.
Initially, about 800 hours of content will be standard definition, while about 200 hours will be available in high definition (720p) format. An average HD movie should run about 4 to 5GB, with 1 hour HDTV programs (abour 44 minutes after removing commercials,) should take up about 2.2GB. Rumors have also started to emerge that an hard drive upgrade may be announced soon, to encourage more downloads. Personally, if I were Microsoft, I’d think about offering subsidized drives to encourage downloads; maybe something like, “buy a drive, get 10 free movie rentals.” We can only hope.
Movies will be offered on a rental basis for around 320 to 480 Microsoft points ($4 to $6), and TV programs will be offered for purchase, and cost about 240 points ($3.) Once downloaded, you’ll have 14 days to begin watching movie downloads, then you can watch as many times as you want within a 24 hour period. Additional plays beyond the 24 hours will be charged as an additional rental. On the other hand, television programs are yours permanently, and can be re-downloaded at any time.