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Tech problems hit Xbox Live video service

Extremely high number of downloads in first 24 hours meant content was delayed or never got to the user.

True on-demand TV has been a long promised dream of many, and that dream appeared to move closer this week when Microsoft launched its Video Marketplace service. Offering TV programs for keeps and movies to rent, the service quickly became a popular component of Xbox Live.

But as a result of "the extremely high number of downloads" over the first 24 hours, the site hit technical problems Friday, which meant that content was delayed, or in some cases, never got to the user at all.

Xbox Live's director of programming Larry Hryb has described the first hours of the downloading service as an "unpleasant experience" for members, but promised that Microsoft was working to resolve the issues.

He said on his official Xbox blog, "We've made progress over the past 24-hours, and the team is dedicated to fixing the issues and continues to work as fast as they can around the clock to get the service running as seamlessly as you have come to expect."

Anyone who ordered which had not arrived would be given a full refund, he stated. He added that sometimes the message "Points have been deducted..." would appear when users were downloading free content, and reiterated that points were not being deducted for this.

People based in the US who had received error messages or not received their purchased downloads were asked to call Xbox Live customer support on 1-800-4MYXBOX.

Emma Boyes of GamesSpot UK reported from London.