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Fanboy explores the fall dash update

So, we finally got our greasy hands on the Halloween dash update this morning. Unfortunately, our LCD TV here at Fanboy Towers doesn't support 1080p, so we are currently unable to utilize it. We can confirm that the resolution is selectable, though. Marketplace is, um, different, but we're not sure we'd call it an improvement just yet. We have to admit, the images on the buttons are pretty slick. Live Arcade, on the other hand, has definitely improved. The list populates instantly, so you don't have to wait for your game of choice to pop up. You can now also sort your games by category, alphabetically, or by most recently played.

In the end though, the real meat of the update -- in our eyes anyway -- is streaming video from XP. We spotted this feature in Media Player 11 last month and lamented that it didn't work. We're happy to say that it does now. All you have to do is set up media sharing in WMP 11 and you're done, instant video streaming. You know all those hi def trailers that look like crap on your little monitor? Well, now you can watch them on your HDTV. We can also confirm that you cannot stream video from an iPod, at least not the tiny videos that are formatted for the device -- and really, why would you want to anyway? We're pretty sure the Zune will work just fine, though. The video marketplace feature that has been bandied about the rumor mill is there as well. It is, however, not as exciting as many thought it would be. It isn't a video store or anything; it's just the video section of Marketplace.

All in all, it's pretty good stuff. So now that the update is here, are you satisfied? What features would you like to see implemented in the next update?

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21. Oh, and one other question... why is everyone so hung up on a web browser?

I have absolutely NO desire to use a web browser on my HDTV. I've even tried it already... I hooked up my roommates computer via DVI and played around with it. HL2 is certainly fun at 1360x768, but browsing the web did absolutely nothing for me. I'd much rather be sitting at a desk where I can type and use the mouse comfortably.

Posted at 12:15PM on Oct 31st 2006 by jax sedrin 0 stars

22. I'd not be surprised if Giddieon never owned a 360 in the first place.

Posted at 12:14PM on Oct 31st 2006 by Tony 0 stars

23. To those wanting a web browser. I actually think MS is taking a "wait and see" approach to the idea. If it's a good idea, they may throw it into the Spring update, but remember they ran Web TV, and Peter Moore ran Sega durring the Dreamcast years... so, the Xbox crew knows about console Web Browsers... and that they tend to be craptacular. And you can see abouve how people want to rip into MS over useful features that are "Only added in from pressure by compitition" ie Video streaming and 1080p support.

As for Video streaming being added from pressure by apple tv.... uh... apple tv is basically ripping of Windows MCE.... If anything I think they either a) since most editions of vista were comming with Media Center anyway, they probabbly put video streaming in due to user pressure.. or b) FInally enabled that feature that's been in the Xbox 360 since launch.

But the new marketplace navigation is much appreciated, and actually it's, so far, my favorite feature of the update. It was stupid how it sent you back a screen when trying to queue up a bunch of stuff. Espically on those long-ass "Bringing It Home" lists. I think that was one of my most wanted feature updates.

Posted at 12:21PM on Oct 31st 2006 by Duscrom 0 stars

24. @24

Just FYI, it only sent you back a screen previously if you hit the "Continue" button after starting a download. If you just hit "B" on the controller, you could queue up more stuff on the same list.

Posted at 12:27PM on Oct 31st 2006 by jax sedrin 0 stars

25. Does anyone know if the rumors about upscaling DVD's are true? I've tried out a few DVD's and can't notice any marked improvement.

Posted at 12:27PM on Oct 31st 2006 by Luke 0 stars

26. Why are people crying for a browser? Go back 7 years ago and get a dreamcast. Its nothing new and it was certainly not something gamers needed or used.

I'm scared to see what sony does with their dashboard.

Screw you we're playstation pay us $600.

Posted at 12:22PM on Oct 31st 2006 by tacklebox 0 stars

27. 1080p through VGA friggin' rocks! Now my Dell 24 inch LCD shines! And for those of you who own this monitor, if it's too bright just access the service menu (hold the plus sign and menu button while powering on the monitor) and you can adjust the channel offsets which are too high by default. But I digress, I'm loving 1920x1080 with a better response time from VGA. Time to play Dead Rising again!

Posted at 12:31PM on Oct 31st 2006 by qbix 0 stars

28. DVDs are only upscaled if you have a VGA cord. The same was true previously, apparently.

Posted at 12:38PM on Oct 31st 2006 by Tony 0 stars

29. F a web browser. I dont need any viruses on my 360. What i really want is divx support.

Posted at 12:37PM on Oct 31st 2006 by DeddyL├╝ger 0 stars

30. I would love to see a web browser as well. I think M$ is hesitant to make the 360 a true competitor to desktop pc's since income from licensing from Dell/HP/ etc. is what butters their bread. Major and Letskilldave have both balked at the idea and I think Major even said it reminded him of the old webTv (which i think is a bad comparison, webTv was for technophobes who were afraid of computers)

I don't think we are asking for a IE replacement here. it would be nice to be able to hit gamefaq's or the xbox forums without having to go to a pc. Even an RSS reader for the 360 would be nice.

Plus I want the disc info displayed on the eject/play game button. Even if it only worked for 360 games it would be worth it.

Posted at 12:28PM on Oct 31st 2006 by Ciscomancer 0 stars

31. I'm planning to get a 360 when I get my next student loan installment in January (Wii60 FTW), but the thing that would really make the Xbox my main media/gaming platform would be compatibility with with Apple's OS X, as I keep most of my music and video files on my MacBook Pro.

Given that Apple is going to release the Windows Media Centre-baiting iTV system in a few months time and Microsoft has stopped supporting WMP for Mac and just launched the Zune, it's not going to happen. But it's a nice dream none the less.

Posted at 12:09PM on Oct 31st 2006 by Hammer 0 stars

32. Anyone try a WMV HD dvd like T2 or one of the IMAX discs yet? I think they should work now.

Posted at 1:14PM on Oct 31st 2006 by Pavesk8 0 stars

33. They do work. I've confirmed it.

Posted at 1:18PM on Oct 31st 2006 by Luke 0 stars

34. does anyone care to throw out some links to sites with (legal) media in WMV format, like movie trailers, demo clips, etc? I have a feeling the availablity is quite thin today. Once the Zune marketplace hits full steam, then I think this video upgrade will make a lot more sense.

What the heck ever happened to the much talked about "DirecTV" blade? Did that die?

Posted at 1:33PM on Oct 31st 2006 by JRock3x8 - 2o2p 0 stars

35. The update is good. On the next update I would like to see party video chat, and party audio chat as well which would help out a lot in clan based games.

Posted at 1:42PM on Oct 31st 2006 by Drew 0 stars

36. @qbix (#27). Do you have the 2405 or the 2407?

I have the 2405 and it won't accept 1080p over component. I'm wondering if it's worth it to spend $40 on the vga cable.

Posted at 1:50PM on Oct 31st 2006 by Alan 0 stars

37. no web browser is needed.... do you really want to DL stuff and get spyware and virus's or need to buy antivirus for your 360??? just use a PC.

a web browser is a bad idea, now if they let you get to that would be cool but a open browser is a bad idea

i can wait until PS3 fanboys start having the sony prolems, then they'll stop their bitchin'

Posted at 2:09PM on Oct 31st 2006 by nonrandomhero 0 stars

38. @Alan (#36) Yes, I have the 2405. I also tried the 1080p using component with no luck. The monitor doesn't support it. However, using the VGA cables you can enable the 1920x1080 resolution which is obviously supported by this monitor. The colors will look washed out at first but if you tweak advanced settings using the service menu, you'll get it really close to the richness of component video with the benefit of VGA response time.

I loved how the 360 looked on the 2405 but the response time was horrible when playing time-sensitive games like Halo 2 and GeoWars. VGA was much faster but the colors were dull and too bright regardless of how I set the brightness and contrast levels. Then I found out on a forum how to access the service menu which let me adjust the offset for each of the RGB channels. Think of offsets as individual brightness and contrast settings for each of the three channels, plus a gain setting for fine tuning.

I say get the VGA cable from Best Buy or some other place with a decent return policy in case you are not satisfied. I can't see why you'd have any problems. And if you are stuck just add me to your friends list and I'll help you out over Live. Gamertag is the name I use here.

Posted at 2:27PM on Oct 31st 2006 by qbix 0 stars

39. @ Stranger:

Why don't you develop a browser for 360? I believe the SDK is out...

PS - why would you want to browse the web from a console anyways? is it too far to walk to a PC when you're stuck?

Posted at 2:26PM on Oct 31st 2006 by KoolKeith13 0 stars

40. avi inputs would be nice. and maybe video messaging. other than that i'm happy

Posted at 3:10PM on Oct 31st 2006 by gir 0 stars

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