Learn how to buy and rent videos (TV shows, movies, and music videos) on your Xbox 360 console.
When you rent a movie 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 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.
Let's say you rent a movie 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.
Note Unlike a movie that you buy, a movie that you rent must be viewed on the device it was rented for (for example, the Xbox 360 console, a computer, or a Windows Phone 7).
Xbox Video provides you with a great selection of the latest free TV shows in our catalog. You can choose from 100 episodes to watch for free.
You can download and play the HD movies 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 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.
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 optimize your download speed, use a broadband Internet connection and a wired (instead of wireless) connection for Xbox Video.
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