Microsoft XBox 360 Dashboard Update – Old Vs. New

Microsoft has rolled out a new version of the XBox 360 dashboard update that, apart from some interface level changes, also introduces users to some new features. Primarily, users can now watch ESPN over XBox Live. Besides this, users also have access to over 3500 live sporting events through the year. On-demand action is available too and along with this, users also get access to a number of out-of-market games.

Other features included in the new release include compatibility for Zune Pass, a smart DJ device, better track searching tools and also an improved Netflix search service that makes it easy to streamline all the movies and TV shows that the user wants to watch. Additionally, the update brings improved sound quality on voice chat, a streamlined in-line virtual keyboard, improved Gamertag, an enhanced Live Marketplace interface and easier access to a wireless network.

This is not a geographical update and users should be prompted for an update when they login to the Live service. While there are several enhancements, is it really better than the older interface? Here are some reactions

“First and foremost with the old dashboard update you gave us a choice on what we wanted our dashboard to look like…with this update no such thing! you have made the panels too big on which i have read many people stating they will get motion sickness from and i 100% agree that it has already given me a headache for using it in the last 5 minutes.”

“I have to pay $10 extra dollars so some guy “can” watch football on his xbox? I say “can” because if he is going to watch football,  he is probably going to watch it on his big screen tv with beer and friends, and not on his xbox. Yet I have to pay extra money for it when I will NEVER use that service?”

“Not as clean as the last Interfce running at 1080p this one looks like a kid did it more pixelated.  and the EULA was in French.”

Some users though seem to be finding great improvements in performance,

“I really like this update because it’s made my system run a lot faster and smoother. So far since the update, I haven’t had a single crash in Fable 3 where I was getting them often before the update. Also my load times have been shorter while playing my WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011. Unfortunately, my friend has not had the same luck with the update that I have. We both have came to the conclusion that this update was probably only tested with the latest generation of the Xbox (I have a slim, my friend has the previous version)”

Do you like the latest XBox 360 dashboard update? What are your complaints and wishlists? Tell us in the comments.

Turn XBox 360 Into A Set-Top Box With AT&T U-Verse TV Streaming

Microsoft and AT&T have announced a new partnership that will let users of XBox 360 use their gaming console as a secondary U-Verse Reverser. Basically, if you are an AT&T U-Verse subscriber and also own a Microsoft XBox 360, you can save up on multiple U-Verse receiver rentals by alternately using your XBox to stream TV.

Two points to note here. Firstly, you will need to be owning at least one receiver already which means that while you cannot use your XBox as the primary U-Verse receiver at home, you can use it to substitute for additional receivers if you need to set them up at more than one room. Secondly, not all XBox 360 models are compatible. You need to be owning a device that has an internal hard drive with storage space.

If you satisfy these prerequisites, then you are all set to go. The new ‘XBox 360 as a U-Verse Receiver‘ partnership is set to start rolling in from November 7.

Get IPTV On XBox 360 On AT&T U-Verse Soon

If you are a subscriber of the AT&T U-Verse service, you could soon be able to watch television over the internet thanks to a new partnership that the company is supposed to be working on with Microsoft. Those of you following the XBox 360 space for long might have heard of rumors regarding a new IPTV service. Now according to reports on the Engadget, AT&T employees are presently testing the new XBox 360 IPTV service internally at this stage.

The report has also published screenshots of AT&T’s support documents from recent times. This corroborates recent statements from Microsoft that AT&T U-Verse customers could soon be seeing a MediaRoom functionality on their gaming consoles. Now though there is no official word on the upcoming functionality, sources are indicating that the new service is less than two months away from launch.

Check out a demo of the XBox 360 IPTV service in the video below.

Watch Live TV On XBox 360 In Canada With Telus

IPTV is now available in Canada thanks to an announcement from Telus that their live TV broadcast can now be accessed via Microsoft XBox 360 consoles.

To be able to do this, the user will have to be a paid Telus Optik TV subscriber and has to claim a disc offered by Telus to run the special software required to run the live programming. However, the broadcasting does not do away with set-top boxes and the user will still need to rent a set-top box to view the channels. Telus has revealed that the technology will allow its subscribers to view over 400 digital channels – 50 of them in HD.

The technology however has a few kinks that are yet to be ironed out. For instance, the users may not record TV shows on their XBox 360 storage. However, expect these things to get sorted out in time.

Telus Optik subscribers who do not own an XBox 360 have something more to rejoice. The company is now offering free XBox 360 units to its customers provided they sign up for a two year contract with the network’s high speed internet service. That looks like a bargain if you are anyway planning to stick to their network for this period.

Live TV On Xbox 360 Coming In 2011

A Canadian website is claiming that Xbox 360 could come with live TV capabilities by 2011. According to a “trusted source“, the website notes that the feature could be much bigger than what European users get with Sky TV. Microsoft is claimed to be repositioning the XBox into a digital TV set top box with PVR capabilities supported by a prominent Canadian network carrier.

You may remember rumors from late last month that a live TV channel could be coming to Xbox. The source claims that this is going to be much bigger than just a solitary TV channel. Instead, the source says this will be “like putting Netflix, Zune Marketplace and Sky TV all in one place.

We have our doubts. But let’s pretend to believe it for now.

[via Game Focus]

Microsoft Xbox Live TV Launch Soon?

Microsoft may be in talks with former President of News Corp., Peter Chernin to launch a television channel exclusively for customers of their popular gaming console, Xbox. The discussions held between the two parties on April 12 worked out strategies to bring new original shows and reruns to the predominantly young male customers of Xbox.

According to reports on Bloomberg, the offering could be done in association with an increase of $1 or $2 in the monthly fee that gamers pay to Xbox Live. This could be a new way to monetize television content from viewers watching films and TV shows over the web.

Peter Chernin’s publicist however responded vaguely to the rumors saying, “Peter is talking to lots of people about lots of ideas in the digital space

[via Bloomberg]