Posts Tagged Netflix

Is an Xbox 360 or PS3 a better media hub?

People don’t just use video game consoles to escape to a virtual reality world and fight bad guys. Modern systems connect users with other media platforms, to stream and enjoy different content all through one device.

Though the Xbox 360 is over seven years old and the PS3 will be six soon, both systems have recently seen new versions and improvements. These devices do have significant differences in how they connect and with regard to what content is available from each. Options are never a bad thing, as they allow users to decide which console offers a better experience.

Sports streaming

Microsoft found one of the biggest partners possible to bring sports to the Xbox 360 when it paired with ESPN in 2010. The downloadable app gives viewers access to ESPN 3 and live broadcasts from the sports network.

The PS3 may not be able to stream content from ESPN, but still features plenty of apps to watch some of the most popular sports including apps from the NBA, NHL and NFL on Sony’s console. Users may not be able to access highlights and recaps, but some may enjoy having more live games available.

Movies & TV

PS3’s can stream content from Hulu Plus, Amazon, and Netflix. The device also features a Blu-ray player, so movie lovers that don’t subscribe to any services can still watch their favorite films in the highest possible definition.

While the Xbox 360 might only have a DVD player, it matches the PS3’s services for streaming movies. Also, HBO Go is an Xbox Live exclusive, allowing any HBO subscriber to access the channel’s programming and movie library.

Games

Even though both systems use different hardware, gaming experiences are very similar, according to CNET. Considering that some of the most popular games, like the Madden football series and Call of Duty, are available on both, there isn’t a lot of space for the consoles to differentiate themselves.

Going online

The PlayStation Network is completely free, so PS3 users can access all of the device’s content as long as they have subscriptions to those services. Xbox Live requires a subscription, but it is discounted based on the length of a consumer’s plan.

Microsoft and Sony have added so many partners and services to their gaming consoles, making the decision between the two more difficult for shoppers. When you’re looking at a new media hub, what features attract you? Are ESPN and HBO reasons enough to buy an Xbox 360, or is the free PlayStation Network too budget-friendly to pass up?

Summary: People don’t just use video game consoles to escape to a virtual reality world and fight bad guys.

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In Sun Valley, less adulation of tech startups

SUN VALLEY, IDAHO: After a year of mixed initial public offerings and continuing disruptions in the media industry and the broader global economy, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over this year’s Allen & Co.’s annual conference, aka the summer camp for moguls.

Last year, the industry was busy toasting the new Web kings – a group led by Mark Pincus, the chief executive of Zynga; Andrew Mason, the chief executive of Groupon; and Mark Zuckerberg, the head of Facebook, who brought his playful Puli, Beast. At the time, their companies were on the verge of going public at sky-high valuations.

And while many technology hotshots are back, their golden glow has faded. In the months since, the startups have received a swift lesson on the capricious nature of the public markets.

Zynga, the game maker, is about 50 percent below its offering price. Groupon is trading below $8, a record low. Facebook, after a tumultuous first month, has clawed its way back but is still 18 percent below its offering price. The pain in the public markets has seeped into still-private companies, damping enthusiasm for other prominent startups like Twitter, the microblogging service.

At least one technology powerhouse, however, has managed to hold its weight.

Amid all the big names, Timothy D. Cook, chief executive of Apple, has been a magnet for moguls here. His predecessor, Steve Jobs, was never a Sun Valley fixture. Apple, known for its secrecy, has generally been a no-show. That makes Cook’s attendance notable in itself.

On Wednesday, Cook tried to keep a low profile, although he has lined up several one-on-one meetings, fueling speculation that he is busy cobbling together partnerships for the next-generation Apple TV. Wearing a blue button-down shirt and jeans, he walked briskly past the photographer pit with Paul Sagan, chief executive of Akamai, the Internet content delivery service.

When asked what he was looking forward to at the conference, Cook demurred.

“I’m looking forward to all the private discussions I’ve set up this week,” he said.

There has been a power shift at the Sun Valley conference, hosted by the boutique investment firm.

Tensions remain between media and technology companies over the distribution of content via digital platforms. But in the past year, media executives have said they feel more positive about harnessing new media as a means to build additional revenue sources. Some attendees also expressed relief that the technology executives – once seen as infallible, with the keys to the media industry’s future – have been taken down a peg. Indeed, many media executives strolled in this week, with a spring in their step.

At the Duchin Lounge on Tuesday night, a small group of technology and media moguls took advantage of the opportunity to mingle and informally discuss potential partnerships. Mark Pincus and Eric Lefkofsky, the co-founder of Groupon, made quick visits before retiring to their rooms. (Mason of Groupon, joined at the hip to Lefkofsky last year, was noticeably absent.) Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and Square, held court with a small group outside. After a late entrance, Zuckerberg also showed up, alongside his friend Drew Houston, the chief of Dropbox. Clad in a gray shirt and jeans, Zuckerberg made a quick beeline for the lounge.

Politicians, business leaders and philanthropists are also among the prominent attendees this week. New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg arrived with former city schools chancellor Joel I. Klein (now chief executive of News Corp.’s newly formed education division) and Cory Booker, the Democratic mayor of Newark, N.J.

Kazuo Hirai, the recently named chief executive of Sony, rushed past reporters as his predecessor, Howard Stringer, lingered in the lobby. Filmmaker Harvey Weinstein also made a brief appearance.

Although it is unclear if any big deals will get done in Sun Valley, the moguls seemed optimistic that Sun Valley was at least ripe for productive discussions.

Time Warner’s chief, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, who once compared Netflix with the Albanian army taking over the world, said he had already chatted with the Netflix leader, Reed Hastings, at the conference, with more discussions planned during the week.

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