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Decide whether to stream or download Xbox Video to your Xbox 360

When you buy or rent a video from the Xbox Video Store on a Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 PC or device, or on a Windows Phone, you’ll want to decide whether to stream or download the video on your Xbox 360 console. This article helps you decide.

Stream to watch now

Streaming is a good option if you have a fast network and a fast Internet connection and you want to watch a video immediately.

The first time you try streaming a video on your Xbox 360 console, a connection test runs to determine whether streaming is practical. 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 (high-definition) streaming, you might be able to stream the SD (standard-definition) version as an alternative, or simply download the video instead.

Download to watch later

Downloading a video is a good option if you have a slower Internet connection, if you want to make sure you get the best possible video quality, or if you'll be offline when you watch the video. Although a broadband Internet connection (cable, DSL, or LAN) is recommended for Xbox Video, most Internet connections support downloading a video.

After you confirm payment, the download will start immediately. When a certain percentage of the video has been downloaded, the Play button will appear, and you can then start watching the video. Or you can complete the download and go to your Video Collection to play the video later.

If you have trouble streaming or downloading video, contact Xbox Support.

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