This morning I purchased and queued up 1 HD TV show and 1 HD movie. The hope was that by the time I came home from work I would have some content to test out and report on. Well apparently MS didn't prepare properly for the bandwidth onslaught. When I came home I found my MS powered off and the TV show only at 66% (the movie download has not started yet). I kind of forgot about the 360's auto shut off feature, but still it is set to power down after 6 hours.
So I got 66% of 2Gs in around 6 hours. That works out to around 225Mb per hour. This is roughly 620.5Kbps (assuming 10bits per byte with overhead as a conservative rough estimate). Hmm, Not a very good first impression. Looks like I'm not the only one having trouble. MS even told this guy that the current issues he was having are not typical. Actually if I do the math the best I could probably do anyway would be 1G per hour at my current 3Mb bandwidth. So an HD movie would take me 6 hours to download. Assuming MS Live will eventually be able to keep up that is. It's good I'm getting more bandwidth soon.
So when I got home I quickly disabled the auto-shut off feature and restarted the downloads (it would be nice if that feature took into account the fact that you were downloading, but I digress). The system appeared to continue where I left off, but didn't really make any progress. I got some sort of error about 45 min later. I kicked it off again later on in the evening, and after a couple more hours I got a cryptic message that said "download could not be completed". This time when I restart it just seems to be stuck at 0%, so I'm guessing I won't be trying this out anytime soon.
I'm sure that this will be smoothed out eventually, but maybe they could have done some better planning? Maybe rented out a warehouse full of temporary servers? Or how about doing a staggered roll out over a couple of days to work out the kinks? Oh well, what do I know anyway? I can hear Steve Jobs laughing from here.