Yes, it’s that time of year again when we pay tribute to software. For without it, our badass rigs would have nothing to do to but look pretty. Indeed, it’s the programs we run that show us what our machines are truly capable of. The challenge, of course, is in deciding which applications and utilities are most deserving of special honor, not to mention a coveted silver-esque statue.
Tired of Vista installation bloat? Looking for an easy way to set up an unattended install process? Wishing for a faster way to tweak your favorite settings after Vista is installed? There’s an easy solution for all these scenarios, thanks to a little program called vLite.
It turns out that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is good for more than just
playing games and streaming the occasional transcoded video file.
Indeed, the game console can also be a source of movie and TV-episode
downloads using Microsoft’s online store, Xbox 360 Marketplace.
Vudu delivers more HD content than any other service, but achieving that image quality requires you to purchase a $300 box that can’t be truly integrated into the rest of your home network (meaning you can’t stream the content downloaded to it from one room to another). And the company currently has HD licensing deals with only Lionsgate, Paramount, and Universal; the rest of its offerings are limited to standard definition.
Vongo’s subscription business model puts it in a category all its own:
The service’s primary focus is to provide an all-you-can-eat
smorgasbord of movies and other video content that can be downloaded to
your PC for a $10 monthly fee. It doesn’t offer any for-purchase
content, and its TV offerings are nearly nonexistent.
Movie-rental outfit Blockbuster Entertainment acquired movie-download service Movielink in August 2007, but the company seems to have lost interest in its latest asset. When we contacted Blockbuster’s corporate communications department in preparation for this story, they couldn’t be bothered to provide us with Movielink’s phone number (which wasn’t listed on either company’s website). It’s easy to see why.