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Xbox Live

Though primarily a game console, Microsoft's Xbox and Xbox Live platforms offer Internet connectivity from your TV. Xbox Live is known for bringing online gaming features to the Xbox, as well as allowing users to try new games and buy games or add-ons.

However, Xbox Live also allows you to watch movies and TV shows available through Microsoft's Zune Marketplace (integrated with the Zune application on PC and Microsoft's Zune HD media player, as well as the new Windows Phone 7 platform). Music, movies, and TV shows accessed via Zune.net allow you to purchase and download content or to buy a Zune Pass that allows unlimited access to music via a monthly subscription format.

With an Xbox Live Gold membership, you can use the Xbox to stream movies and TV shows from Netflix, watch sports via ESPN, and listen to personal music selections from Zune and Last.fm. (Gold membership is required for multiplayer online gaming.)

A/V connections supported: HDMI; TOSLINK digital audio; composite analog audio/video.

Pros: Game console; Zune Pass subscription option; online community.

Cons: Limited content selection; some options require Xbox Live Gold membership.

Best for: Individuals and families interested in online gaming; Zune Marketplace and Zune Pass users.

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