I’ve spent long periods of the weekend watching video streaming on the Xbox 360. I didn’t think I would. I thought the new video streaming features would be superfluous to me. But I got a free trial of Sky Go so I watched four live football matches while working and my wife watched two (dreadful) Christmas-themed films.
We also bought some DVDs from Tesco and those show up in your Blinkbox account (after you link your Clubcard number) so we watched Super 8 through that service’s new Dashboard application.
I have to admit: I thought the video quality was, on the whole, very good. Certainly, it was better than the LoveFilm application was streaming to my PS3 a few months ago. But it was a little flat, as streaming video almost always is.
Well, it seems like this is actually a bit of a step back for the Xbox 360. Digital Foundry, which is often the best thing on the internet, has posted up an in depth comparison article in which Richard Leadbetter takes a look at video before and after the Metro dashboard update. There is a noticeable greying of blacks and general washed out look to the video on the new dashboard. This is in media playing from the console, not just streaming media.
Perhaps the most alarming thing about this news is that Microsoft knew about it during the beta testing phase – many testers raised the point in their forums. Unfortunately, Microsoft has been deleting those forum posts and still saw fit to release the dashboard update in its current state. Of course, the fact that Microsoft knows about the issue gives us hope that they are working on a fix but we’d still like some sort of official statement other than the asinine message they’re leaving in place of deleted forum threads:
Thanks for the feedback! Though we will not be able to incorporate your feedback into this release we will save it for consideration in future releases. Thanks for using the new Xbox Update and please keep up the feedback!
Not really something that should need “consideration” for future releases, is it? Fixing your borked video playback should be an automatic inclusion, surely?
Source: Digital Foundry