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Tabulator: Xbox Live Video Marketplace vs. Apple TV

Up until yesterday, the living room set-top box was simply a "hobby" for Apple; its fumbled Apple TV product did little to unseat the HD video rental download champ, the largely uncontested Xbox Live Video Marketplace. With a fresh splash of software for new boxes and a free upgrade for current users, Apple TV Take 2 is giving it another shot.

Of course, for an audience of gamers (that's us!), Apple's product has a particularly severe handicap but, on a strictly video entertainment scale, it manages to best the Xbox Live Video Marketplace in just about every category. Now we realize this is, in many ways, an apples to oranges comparison (sorry), but Microsoft isn't just competing for gamer dollars anymore and competition is growing (in fact, the at-home-rental set-top box industry will see another entrant later this year with Netflix).

To get to the bottom of which service provides the most bang for your e-buck, we ran some data through our handy-dandy (and patent pending!) Tabulator and it spit out the table found after the break. Be sure to let us know in the comments if there's anything we're it's missing.

Xbox Live Marketplace iTunes / Apple TV
Price $349.99 $229.99
Hard Drive 20GB (120GB for $449.99) 40GB (160GB for $329.99)
New Release Rental HD $6 $4.99
New Release Rental SD $4 $3.99
Classic/Library Rental HD $4.50 $3.99
Classic/Library Rental SD $3 $2.99
Movie Purchase SD NA $9.99 - $14.99
TV Show Purchase HD $3 NA
TV Show Purchase SD $2 $2
Studio support
Paramount Pictures Yes Yes
Warner Bros. Yes Yes
Lion's Gate Yes Yes
Walt Disney Pictures Yes Yes
MGM Yes Yes
Touchstone Yes (Updated) Yes
Miramax Yes (Updated) Yes
Fox No Yes
Universal No Yes
Sony Pictures No Yes
Rental Details
DRM Rental Rules 14 days from purchase / 24 hours from start 30 days from purchase / 24 hours from start
Rental Codec WMV + DD 5.1 MPEG-4 + DD 5.1
File Sizes (HD/SD) ~ 6GB / 1.5GB ~ 4GB / 1.2GB
Platform Support Xbox 360 Apple TV, Windows, Mac OS, iPod, iPhone
Max HD Resolution 720p 720p
Rental Catalog 312 films currently ("number fluctuates")* 1K films by March
Rental Delay "Majority" are 30 days from DVD release, "some" day and date
30 days from DVD release
DiVX / Xvid Streaming Yes (MPEG-4 Part 2 ASP & SP) Nope
DVD Playback Yup (but it can be noisy!) Negatory
Video Games TONS Eh, not so much

Like it? Check out our other Tabulator-enhanced tables:

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