I've written before that consoles are the stealth players in the coming media landscape. For the vast majority of Americans, the console is a box attached to your TV, and the computer is a box in the room over there. This has been particularly vexing of late because the house I've moved into in LA is way, way waaaay smaller (and therefore only twice as expensive) than the house I was living in in Ottawa. Among other things, I want to rip my DVD's and leave the physical artifacts in my storage unit. This is not to mention the addiction I've developed consuming TV online (I LIKE three ad-breaks a show).
I've been using PlayOn to stream Hulu and Netflix from my BootCamped iMac to my XBox 360 -- you still need bloody Windows XP for that functionality. However, the new update in the 360 allows direct streaming from Netflix. It's dead simple to set up. As in, "watching my streaming queue movies within four minutes and fifteen seconds" easy. There's a limited amount of TV on Netflix right now, but when/if people smarten up -- or Microsoft cuts a deal with Hulu -- then the "broadcast" landscape is only going to get more chaotic.
Considering the licensing and royalty issues involved, that problem isn't going to get solved soon. However, I'm constantly buffaloed when I talk to fellow Hollywood types about "when the techology arrives". The tech is here. The only thing stopping the consoles from ruling the entertainment landscape is, as far as I can tell, a general unwillingness to get involved in an industry far less profitable, with far more headaches, than their own.
The tone of voice when I talk about these things tend to be a disdainful "Well, sure but how are we supposed to monetize this?" Right question, wrong tone. We. Don't. Have. A. Choice.
All this to say, streaming digital entertainment from your Windows computer to an XBox was always pretty simple but if you had a Mac you had to deal with Connect360. It's a fine program, but the menu system is a bit primitive, and I personally ran into some connectivity issues. So I'd like to recommend Rivet. It installs in a flash, it's about $20, and it works off the internal file structure of your Mac -- so however you arrange your media on your Mac, that's what shows up on the XBox. Managed to set it up within a few minutes, possibly even easier than the Netflix setup. Was watching my ripped Inspector Lynley mystery in no time.
In the Comments, your latest tech hacks.