Learn how to buy and rent videos (TV shows, 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:
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 24 hours to 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, you must view a movie that you rent on the device you rented it 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 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 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, 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 optimize your download speed, use a broadband Internet connection and a wired (instead of wireless) connection for Xbox Video.
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