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Buying and renting videos on your Xbox 360 console

Learn how to buy and rent videos (TV programmes, movies and music videos) on your Xbox 360 console.

If you have problems watching videos with Xbox Video, see Troubleshoot Xbox Video on Xbox 360.

Note To buy or rent videos on Xbox 360, you must:

On this page

How to buy or rent a film on your Xbox 360 console

  1. Press the Guide button on your controller, and then select Xbox Home.
  2. Select tv & movies, and then select Xbox Video.
  3. Select movies.
  4. Select one of the options to browse the available titles. For example, select Featured.
  5. Browse the titles, and then select a movie to watch.
  6. If you want to watch the movie, select Rent or Buy.

More information about renting films on your Xbox 360 console

When you rent a film through Xbox Video, it's available to you for 14 days. This 14-day countdown starts when you make the purchase. When you start playing the film, another clock starts ticking: you have 24 hours to watch the film as many times as you want.

Let's say you rent a film at 3:00 P.M. on 1 May. If you start watching the film at 8:00 P.M. on 5 May, your rental period expires at 8:00 P.M. on 6 May.

Note Unlike a film that you buy, you must view a film that you rent on the device that you rented it for (for example, the Xbox 360 console, a computer or a Windows Phone 7).

How to buy or rent a TV programme on your Xbox 360 console

  1. Press the Guide button on your controller, and then select Xbox Home.
  2. Select tv & movies, and then select Xbox Video.
  3. Select TV.
  4. Select one of the options to browse the available titles. For example, select New Releases.
  5. Browse the titles, and then select something that you want to watch.
  6. Select a purchase option like Buy Season Pass or select See all episodes to review and purchase individual episodes.

Watching free TV shows on your Xbox 360 console

Xbox Video provides you with a great selection of the latest free TV programmes in our catalogue. You can choose from 100 episodes to watch for free.

  1. Press the Guide button on your controller, and then select Xbox Home.
  2. Select tv & movies, and then select Xbox Video.
  3. Select TV.
  4. Select Free TV.
  5. Browse the titles, and then select something that you want to watch.
  6. To watch the video, select Purchase.

Watching HD TV shows or films on Xbox 360

You can download and play HD films and videos directly from your Xbox 360 console to your HD TV using an HDMI cable, the Xbox 360 Component HD AV Cable or the Xbox 360 VGA HD AV Cable. Full 1080p resolution requires a 1080p-capable HD TV that is HDCP-enabled, plus an HDMI cable or the Xbox 360 VGA HD AV Cable.

If your home network is fast enough, you can also stream videos. With the Xbox 360 console's HDMI connection or the Xbox 360 VGA HD AV Cable, you can view resolutions of up to 1080p. With the Xbox 360 Component HD AV Cable, you can view resolutions of up to 720p or 1080i.

You can also watch SD (480p) videos on most TVs by using one of the following: Xbox 360 Component HD AV Cable, Xbox 360 VGA HD AV Cable, Xbox 360 Composite AV Cable or Xbox 360 S-Video AV Cable. The cable you must use depends on the AV input on your TV.

Streaming and downloading videos on Xbox 360

When you buy or rent a video from Xbox Video, you may have to decide whether to stream or download it.

Stream to watch now

Streaming is a great option if you have a fast network and Internet connection and you want to watch the video immediately. Although any Internet connection will support downloading a video, Xbox Video requires at least a broadband Internet connection (cable, DSL or LAN), especially if you want to stream videos.

Note Xbox Video runs a connection test before it tries to stream a video. This checks if your connection can handle the video stream. Because network speeds can vary with network activity (including background downloads), Xbox Video performs this test each time you stream.

If your network isn't fast enough to stream the video, Xbox Video will notify you before you confirm payment. If your network is too slow for HD streaming, you might be able to stream the SD version or simply download the title instead.

Download to watch later

Downloading works well when you have a slower Internet connection, when you want to make sure you get the best possible video quality from start to finish, or when your computer or device will be offline when you watch the video.

Regardless of whether a network is wired or wireless, download speeds vary by region, Internet service provider and individual network. To optimise your download speed, use a broadband Internet connection and a wired (instead of wireless) connection for Xbox Video.

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