Microsoft Xbox 360 owners will be able to stream HD movies and TV episodes directly into the living room in less than four weeks, as anticipation builds for the "New Xbox Experience."
Xbox 360 owners will have access to 12,000 "near-DVD" quality movies, and 300 HD movie titles. The HD catalog is small at the moment, but Netflix promises that it will continue to grow.
The "soft launch" will include high-definition content, with around 8-10 Gbps of bandwidth recommended. It looks like the Netflix 360 player will auto detect if your Internet connection has the required bandwidth to stream the HD movies.
Users must add content in their streaming queue through a PC, but hopefully Netflix will change it so the entire Netflix web site can be viewed through the console.
The Netflix streaming is part of the "New Xbox Experience" (NXE) that Microsoft hopes to officially launch on Nov. 19. Microsoft hopes NXE is able to help the Xbox 360 become the ultimate entertainment resource in the living room — and streaming content will help ease nagging about a possible Blu-ray add-on for the Xbox 360.
Netflix is working with several Blu-ray manufacturers interested in streaming content directly to consumers. Aside from several standalone Blu-ray players, the Xbox 360 and $100 Roku can stream content, but the Xbox 360 is the only one who can stream HD content. All these partnerships gives Netflix a better chance to invade our living rooms while reducing the demand of physical media.