The VideoPlay player is compatible with the Windows XP family of operating systems and Windows Vista. The content can be viewed using the VideoPlay Video Player, Windows Media Player, a Media Centre Compatible computer (coming June 2007) and a PlaysForSure portable device (coming July 2007). With the Media Centre launch, content can then be streamed to a television using a Windows Media Center Extender such as an Xbox 360 console from a PC running Windows XP Media Center Edition or Windows Vista (Home Premium or Ultimate). Downloaded videos may be burned to a DVD disc for storage purposes, but the resulting DVD will not play on a DVD player.
The content delivered by VideoPlay is "DVD quality". The encoding rate used creates a file size which makes one hour of programming roughly equal to one gigabyte (1 GB) of file space in a computer. In comparison, a typical DVD makes a 2-hour movie about 4.7 GB.
Due to the large size of the files being downloaded, the service requires a broadband internet connection capable of sustaining transfer speeds of 800 kbit/s. A 2-hour movie may take 7 hours and 20 minutes to download using a 750 kbit/s DSL/cable connection or 1 hour and 50 minutes with a 3.0 Mbit/s DSL/cable connection.
For VideoPlay users with an internet connection of 3 Mbit/s or more, the service delivers a progressive download feature which aims to have any VideoPlay file start playing within 5 minutes.
For display on a computer or transfer to portable device, the service requires the installation of a client application (Media Player) which manages playback and the transfer of video to portable devices (coming July 2007) that bear the Microsoft PlaysForSure certification, such as the Toshiba Gigabeat or a Portable Media Center.
VideoPlay videos will only play in desktop applications that support Windows Media DRM, of which none exist for Mac OS X and Linux.
When portable capability is launched in July 2007, VideoPlay will only support portable devices that support the Microsoft PlaysForSureformat, thereby excluding popular devices such as the Apple iPod.
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