Buying and renting videos through Xbox Video

Overview

With Xbox Video, you can buy or rent videos (films and TV programmes) from the Xbox store through your Xbox 360 console or other device.

Before you can buy or rent a video, you’ll need to sign in and make sure that you have sufficient funds in your Microsoft account.

Here’s what you need to know about getting videos from the Xbox store:

  • You can buy TV programmes and music videos.
  • You can buy or rent films.
  • You can stream or download videos.

    Note Music videos can only be downloaded.

  • Many videos offer a choice of standard definition (SD) or high definition (HD).

    Note Music videos can only be viewed in SD.

Every TV programme, film and music video displays all of the options that are associated with it.

Solutions

Buying films or TV programmes

When you buy a film or TV programme, you can download it up to five times. These downloads can be split between your computer and Xbox 360 console by using Xbox Video. After you've downloaded the TV show or film to your computer, you can sync it with your Windows Phone 8 or download it to your console.

Renting movies

When you rent a film through Xbox Video for download, it's available to you for 14 days. This 14-day countdown starts when you make the purchase. When you start playing the movie, another clock starts ticking: You have a 24-hour period of time during which you can watch the movie as many times as you want. If you choose the option to stream the movie to your console, the 24-hour period starts when you make the purchase.

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

If you rent a movie for streaming at 3:00 PM on May 1, your rental period expires at 3:00 P.M. on May 2.

Note Unlike a film that you buy, a film that you rent must be viewed on the device it was rented for (Xbox 360, computer, Windows Phone 8).

How to buy or rent a video

  1. Start the Xbox Video app.
  2. Select movie store or television store.
  3. If you've selected a film, click Buy or Rent, and then follow the on-screen instructions.
    If you've selected a TV programme, click Buy, and then follow the instructions.
  1. If you want to buy a season pass to the TV programme you've selected, click Season pass, and then follow the rest of the instructions.

Streaming and downloading

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, a broadband Internet connection (cable, DSL or LAN) is recommended for Xbox Video, especially if you want to stream videos.

If you don't know if your connection is fast enough for streaming, that's okay – there's a connection test that runs before you stream a video to make sure that streaming is practical for you. Because network speeds can vary with network activity (including background downloads), this test is performed each time you stream.

If your network isn't fast enough to stream the video, you'll be notified 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.

Downloading 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.

Watching TV programmes or films

When you buy a TV show or film from Xbox Video, you can watch it on an SD TV or monitor, an HD TV or monitor, a computer screen or a Windows Phone 8. The same choices usually exist when you rent, except that you can only watch the video on the device it was rented for (Xbox 360, computer or Windows Phone 8).

Note Several factors affect the resolution of the video, including the image quality of the video itself (HD or SD), the capabilities of the player, the cables that transmit the video signal from the device to the screen, and the capabilities of your screen. Most importantly, to watch an HD video in HD quality on an HD TV or monitor, you must play and view the HD video on HD-capable hardware using HD transmission (HDMI, component or VGA video cables).

TV or monitor

To watch HD videos in HD quality on an HD TV or monitor, you must play them on HD-capable hardware using HD transmission (using HDMI, component or VGA video cables).

There are two easy ways to watch an HD video that you've purchased or rented from Xbox Video on a compatible HD TV:

  • Connected to an Xbox 360 console

    Download and play the HD video 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 is available only with Xbox 360 and 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.

Computer screen

Buy or rent videos using the Xbox Video software. You can choose the version for viewing on a computer (SD format) or for a supported device (SD or HD format, depending on the title).

Watching free TV programmes on Xbox Live

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. And they're yours to keep if you want to download them.

To re-download free TV programmes to your computer

  1. Start the Xbox Video software and sign in.
  2. Go to Settings and then Account.
  3. Go to Purchase History, and then click TV programmes to list all the TV programmes you've purchased or acquired for free.
  4. Click Download next to the TV programme you want to re-download.

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