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Wednesday, December 27, 2006 

TVersity brings YouTube to the Xbox 360



The TVersity Media Server Version 0.9.9.2 was just released with two major improvement areas. The first is concerned with delivering a superior user experience to Xbox 360 users, overcoming many limitations Microsoft put in place when using it with a non media center edition (MCE) PC.

From on the fly transcoding to WMV (the only video format the 360 accepts unless it is running against MCE) to adding more info to video titles in order to make it easier to navigate the single flat list of videos Microsoft currently allows, we have gone into extreme effort to make it easier to use the Xbox 360 as a multimedia gateway.

This effort seems to be paying off, our users tell us that TVersity has become their solution of choice for streaming media to their 360. And they are not just saying it verbally in our forums, they are also downloading our software like never before. Our Amazon S3 bill has grown from $10-$15 in October to $70-$80 in December. We actually got a call from an S3 sales person asking to learn more about TVersity... It is time Amazon takes notice, we could be a strategic partner for them when it comes to the digital home.

Which brings me to the second area of improvement - Internet content and RSS feeds. We built TVersity in order to bring Internet content to the living room via a wide range of connected devices. We are adding to the "anytime, anywhere " buzzwords (concerned with time and place shifting) the increasinly important and yet to be completely realized feature of "any device".

While we have been supporting almost any type of Internet content (live or on demand, streaming, downloading or via RSS/Atom/RDF feeds) for a long time, we have recently made it easier to subscribe to YouTube feeds and access them from your device of choice, and right now our users are choosing the 360 over any other device...

Do not think, however, that we are forgetting users of other devices (such as the Sony PSP, the nokia 770, or the leading digital media adapters - DLNA, Viiv, UPnP...), they have been a great inspiration and we are always improving and increasing our support for those devices as well. After all we are here to create a universal media server, both in the range of devices it supports and the media formats it can handle.

Yet, the numbers indicate that there are 100 times more game consoles with mutlimedia capabilities installed today in living rooms than other devices and so we cannot ignore this fact (in case you wonder, support for the Sony Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii is in the works so please stay tuned, oh and yes, we will transcode your entire audio and video library on the fly to play on those devices and you will be able to play Internet streams and podcasts as well!).

So, there it is, what our recent release does in one sentence is bring YouTube to Xbox 360 users even if they do not have an MCE PC. Enjoy!

Ronen, great to see a further up-swing in TVersities Internet presence via increased interest and use from Xbox 360 users :-)

I also posted a small note in my own blog today, stating that I am not concerned about the concentration of recent improvements for 360 users.

http://mikesl300i.blogspot.com/2006/12/tversity-release-0992-dec-25-2006.html

Note: Uncanny similarities in overall sense of TVersity direction & goal?! :-)

PS. Posted this particular comment using my Nokia 770 connected to a random Wi-Fi host, whilst on Hol in France ;-)

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