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Surf the web from your 360*


July 10, 2007 09:17 PM PST

* While using it as a media extender

There is always a catch right? Well if you are using your 360 with MCE, which totally rocks BTW, then surfing the web is actually pretty simple. All you need to do is install the free MCEBrowser on your MCE (or Vista) computer. Once installed, fire up your 360 and in the media center menu go to more programs. There you will find the browser.

MCEBrowser was written to allow MCE machines to surf the web using the remote. But the program also works with any media center extender - including the 360. You can use either a media center remote or a normal controller to navigate. The browser basically extends IE so anything your browser on your MCE box can support should work fine. Note that streaming video performance may not be the best however. The browser supports zoom if you need to make things easier to see. The major downsides are the lack of easy text input (if you don't have a USB keyboard plugged in), and the fact that without a mouse you have to 'tab' through all the links to find the one you want to open. The text input without a USB keyboard can be done with 3 tap on the remote, or the 360 on screen keyboard. Tabbing through links is probably something most smart phone users are used to anyway.

Here is a quick video of what it looks like. It was shot using my digicam instead of my camcorder, and was pointed at the projected image on my wall so the quality is not very good - but that will probably be masked by YouTube's low resolution feed anyhow.

Oh if you are a YouTube regular you might notice something 'wrong' with this video - it's called using a tripod. To get the effect you are used to, just move your head around randomly while you watch.

Comments (4)
J, July 11, 2007 11:35 AM:

Cool video - But it doesn't seem like youtube because of the tripod AND the lack of someone mouth-breathing heavily in the background.

I like how it shows how long the wait times are, and how the navigation is. The refreshes are a little slow - is this over 802.11b? I don't really like the flashing it does sometimes - it seems to double refresh the page?

Not to be too negative though - it is a pretty cool feature, and I'm sure there are some handy web apps that will be developed for it.

Doesn't the keyboard that plugs into the controller work?

John, July 11, 2007 04:31 PM:

You mean the keyboard that plugs into the controller that will be released in Sept? Yeah I guess it will.

J, July 11, 2007 04:43 PM:

Yes, that one. I didn't know it wasn't out yet... they were showing it on gadget sites like two months ago. I thought it came out with the Elite. Anyway, that should solve a lot of the typing problems and make web surfing and IM very workable.

FredB, July 12, 2007 01:05 PM:

In other words, the alleged "internet appliance" may be closer than you think. It turns out to be a 360 linked to an MCE box. Nice, should fit in my pocket, no problem.

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