I pit Xbox Live

So we bought an Xbox 360 for our twins to bring them up into the early 21st century from Xbox and Wii. They’re thrilled. All good.

I was delighted to discover that the 360 allowed Amazon video streaming, since that’s the current hole in our video panoply… between the shortcomings of Comcast on demand and the limitations of Netflix streaming is a vast world of newer TV episodes and things not accessible other than from Amazon video. Our Blu-Ray player is just old enough that it lacks Amazon service. We have a media computer, but it’s fired up seldom enough that it always needs fifteen minutes of updates, reboots, etc. and so is reserved only for those times there’s no other choice.

So I sit down to set up the 360 for Amazon. Fifteen minutes later, having created a console account, set a login name, picked an avatar, set a password, and sat through a sales pitch for Xbox Live Gold (declined), I finally get to the rather confusing menu system for the auxiliary services like streaming video. I prepare to set up the login to my Amazon account…

…and am stopped because all such features require me to buy Xbox Live Gold. You can’t do any of the streaming, online services, etc. (or at least very little) without paying $5 a month an up.

Fuck that. If every BR player sold and the Roku box and half a dozen other solutions let you use YOUR OWN ISP and YOUR OWN Amazon, Netflix, Vudu, whatever account for the price of the gear you’ve already bought, exactly why does Microsoft think I am going to pay them $60 a year or more to use the $250 box I have already paid for to pull in Amazon content I have already paid for over a connection I am also separately paying for? Exactly what added-value is Microsoft providing here?

It’s a case of sticking something behind a paywall 'cuz they can. Fuck 'em; I’ll upgrade my BR player or buy a Roku or something that is happy to give me this costless connectivity without sticking a meter on it for ‘services not rendered.’

Total agreement. FUCK MICROSOFT

Microsoft owes you nothing. As you said, you can draw your content from any source you choose.

In truth, those services are ancillary to XBox Live’s primary purpose: to facilitate online gaming. I, and millions of others, pay for it for that reason. That I can now watch Amazon and Netflix videos is a nice bonus. Also, they never hid the fact that Live Gold was required. Your failure to notice that is hardly their fault.

Last, I think you can afford to give up a cup of Starbucks a month. Why so many people cry over 5 bucks a month is beyond me. Most of you have more than that in change in your couch cushions or in the ashtray in your car.

They are providing you with MicroSoft brand service. Now personally, I am not a Microsoft fan, and I’m sorry that I requested an XBox360 rather than a PS3 a couple of years back.

Microsoft DOES owe me something if I buy their console instead of another company’s console. At the very least, it owes me the information that choosing an XBox360 will cost me more in service fees than choosing another console. It’s really not the money, it’s the way that I feel that I’ve been scammed.

I want to know what sort of benefit that I’m getting for my subscription fee. I’m not really interested in online gaming.

Wait a minute! Are you the one who killed me in Halo, tea-bagged me and called me “noob faggit”? Claimed to be a 12 year old girl from Petaluma?

Congrats for pretty much having missed the whole point and then patting yourself on the back for it.

I bought the MS box. I bought the Amazon content. I pay for the connectivity that hooks them together. EXACTLY what am I paying Microsoft for to permit me to use the Amazon viewing app (which they likely did not even write) on this setup? I don’t care that the Xbox has pay service or a pay tier or pay content… but what on earth is the justification for putting this passthrough, costless-to-MS service behind their paywall?

Well, let’s see…

Why would I care what you think I can afford to give up, be it for dialysis or a wholly parasitic Microsoft fee?

Why do you think I spend dime one on Starbucks anything? I am delighted to live in one of the most blessedly Starbucks-free zones in the country (nearest is 15+ miles).

Why on earth would I pay Microsoft that $5 for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL even if I shit Krugerrands?

And why on earth do you think I own a car with an ashtray?

It’s their product, their service, and their terms and conditions. They are now, and have always been, completely up front about their justification: they want to make money.

I’m beginning to strongly suspect that NitroPress is an agent provocateur whose mission is to raise sympathy for the policies of big corporations. It’s not an easy task, but you’re doing a hell of a fuckin’ job.

I won’t argue that it’s not bullshit, but FYI - if you keep your eyes open you can find xBox live memberships cheaper than $60 a year. I paid $36, iirc. Which reminds me that I should start watching the sales as well because my re-up date is approaching. It’s worth it to me, but I get why some people are annoyed by it.

In the words of Darkman, you gotta be shittin’ me.

Of course, if you mean that my rants about corporate stupidity invariably troll up a poster or two who will adamantly defend stupid policies, you may have a point. NOT my intent, however.

Absolutely correct in every respect, Air-dude.

If you want to defend the absurdity of them putting a paywall on a service everyone else passes along for free (Roku, every BR player made these days, most TVs made these days), I defend to the death your right to defend it. I will challenge you to go find just how deep you have to get into the Xbox marketing materials before it is definitively stated that the Amazon feature is behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall.

Which is no nevermind, in the end; we didn’t buy the box for the Amazon feature. It was a momentary pleasure to think that we had gained the function - at no added cost, as it would have been with a new BR player or TV - and it’s no real loss that it’s not a freebie. My entire point is the absurdity of MS’s choice; if you don’t agree, please do send them more money on my behalf - I think about $1k would be right.

I can - and will - go buy a Roku for the same price as a year of the otherwise useless Gold Live service, and expect at least 2-3 years useful service from it, if not more - long enough at least to have replaced another piece of gear with that vast streaming selection built in.

Sorry, Vinyl Turnip, I don’t have time to boldface all those corporate names for you. You can do it in your reply, though.

I actually found Roku less than helpful. Their “customer service” is atrocious and they couldn’t care less if updates break “channels”.

What I’d really like is something that allows web browsing from my TV (and no WebTV, please, if it even still exists) without requiring me to have cable.

I have XBox Live. It is right up front, if you want any services you have to pay for them. Right from the start.

You sound like the type that would be upset that when you paid $10,000 for a car the dealer didn’t include your gas in the purchase price.

It sounds to me NitroPress is more the type that would be upset that the dealer charges $ each time you take the gas cap off, just so you can fill the tank.

It would appear the answer to that is “one.” That is, you have to go one deep before learning that. Rather craftily concealed.

You could consider a Wii U, in which there isn’t a pay wall to stream video.

The easiest way is just a computer hooked up to the TV via HDMI cable. Get a bluetooth mouse and keyboard and you can easily browse from the couch…however, don’t blame me if it’s really hard to read the tiny, blurry text. :stuck_out_tongue:

What the hell kinda porn requires you to read anything?

I’m not a porn browsing type. :slight_smile:

Mostly just want to be able to do streaming video on a screen bigger than my laptop (and be able to use the laptop for other things while watching), and will probably need to give up cable when DH gets laid off in a few months.

I streamed Breaking Bad off Amazon from my laptop to my TV using a 25 foot HDMI cable I got off Amazon for $6. I also picked up this Logitech Bluetooth keyboard at Staples for about $25. The setup worked fine.