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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

The Home Entertainment Revolution

When Microsoft first introduced the Xbox 360 back in 2005 there was much talk about “the battle for the living room” and how the Xbox 360 would eventually transform the way families consume entertainment. Although it was easy to imagine the possibilities, most people still viewed the Xbox 360 as a video gaming console, focusing on the core strength of the Xbox brand, rather than the dreams of a few Seattle-based visionaries.

Fast forward to December 2012 and it looks like most of those dreams have come true. Not only is the Xbox 360 still the premier gaming console on the market (with the added dimension of the Kinect motion sensor), but it has also morphed into the one true home entertainment hub.

The Xbox 360 is now the go-to device for games, movies, TV shows, sports, web search, and more. And unlike other home entertainment systems, the Xbox 360 is not trying to confine you to the living room. Thanks to smarter mobile devices, faster networks, and cloud-based services, Xbox 360 entertainment can go wherever you go, seamlessly transferring audio and video to your smartphone or tablet.

Microsoft has further enhanced the Xbox experience by adding the SmartGlass feature, which allows your phone or tablet to interact with your Xbox 360, acting as a controller for what’s happening on the TV. With SmartGlass, you can pause or rewind your favorite movie, get interactive companion guides or behind-the-scenes commentary, and even swipe, pinch or zoom as you surf the Web.

Driving this 24/7 entertainment experience is Xbox LIVE, Microsoft’s online service for music, movies, TV, games, and more. And being online with Xbox LIVE means friends and family are right there with you, for photo-sharing, video chat, multi-player gaming, and even Facebook updates.

Enjoying a TV show or a movie has never been easier. With Kinect, you just say the name of the show and the Bing-powered search engine will deliver what you’re looking for. Plus, you can control the action by telling Kinect to play, pause or rewind. Xbox Music is just as straightforward. The Xbox Music Pass gives you access to millions of songs across all your devices, including your Xbox 360, PC, Windows smartphone and tablet.

If you haven’t experienced the latest that the Xbox 360 has to offer, then there has never been a better time. You can buy an Xbox 360 with Kinect for as low as $99 with a 2-year Xbox LIVE Gold membership, or stand-alone Xbox 360 with Kinect Holiday bundles start at $249.99. Whatever option you choose, it’s time to experience the Xbox 360 home entertainment revolution!

The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional campaigns for Xbox. All opinions are my own.

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