The latest update to Xbox Live brings premium streaming video from Comcast Xfinity, MLB.tv and HBO Go right to your Xbox 360 console. The update, announced on Microsoft's Major Nelson's blog, isn't a cable killer because users will still need a cable subscription to access the features.
If you're a subscriber of Comcast, HBO or MLB.tv, head to the Xbox's App Marketplace on your Xbox 360's dashboard and download your flavor of entertainment. In order to get all three, you'll need a Comcast Xfinity cable subscription with HBO (roughly $90 per month), an MLB.tv premium pass with all-device access ($25 per month), and an Xbox Live Gold membership ($60 per year) -- so you'll be spending roughly $1,440 for the added convenience of utilizing your game console as the ultimate media streaming machine.
Add in one of Microsoft's Xbox 360 Kinect Sensors ($150, not the $250 Kinect for Windows version) and erase the static dullness of clicking remotes. With the Kinect, you can control Xfinity and MLB.tv with your voice or using hand motions, or search HBO's entire catalog with your voice.
Comcast has declared that Xfinity On Demand on the Xbox will not count against your 250GB bandwidth cap, saving you some dollars.
"Since [Xfinity On Demand] is being delivered over our private IP network and not the public Internet, it does not count against a customer's bandwidth cap. XFINITYTV.com and the XFINITY TV app stream content over the public Internet and count toward the customer's bandwidth cap," Comcast wrote in its Xbox FAQs.
This has raised the ire of the net neutrality advocate group Public Knowledge, which, in an e-mailed statement to Ars Technica, claims that this corporate-determined differentiation between public and private Internet "raises questions not only of the justification for the caps but, more importantly, of the survival of an Open Internet."