Buying or renting videos through Zune

Overview

With Zune Music + Video, you can buy and rent videos (movies and TV shows) from Zune Marketplace through your device or the Zune Music + Video software. After you buy or rent videos, you can play them anywhere you have Zune.

Before you can buy or rent a video, you’ll have to sign in and make sure you have enough currency in your account.

Here’s what you need to know about getting videos in Zune:

  • You can buy TV shows.
  • You can buy or rent movies.
  • Videos are available for streaming or downloading.
  • Many videos offer a choice of standard definition (SD) or high definition (HD).
  • You can watch videos on SD TVs or monitors, HD TVs or monitors, your computer screen, or a Zune player. If you have an HD TV and an Xbox or a Zune HD, you can take advantage of the HD format and watch the movie in up to 1080p and 5.1 surround sound.

Note Every movie and TV show displays the options that are associated with it.

Solutions

Buying movies or TV shows

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

Renting movies

When you rent a movie through Zune Music + Video, it is 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 or 48 hour period of time (depending on the movie) during which you can watch the movie as many times as you want.

Let's say that 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 (Xbox 360, your computer, or your Zune player).

How to buy or rent a video

  1. Start the Zune Music + Video software and sign in.
  2. Click Marketplace, click Videos, and then select a movie or TV show. You can browse by type, genre, and network. You can also search for a specific title.
  3. After you select a movie, click Buy or Rent, and then follow the instructions. If you selected a TV show, click Buy, and then follow the instructions.

Streaming and downloading

When you buy or rent a video from Zune Marketplace or Xbox Live, 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 a video immediately. Although any Internet connection will support downloading a video, a broadband Internet connection (cable, DSL, or LAN) is recommended for Zune Music + Video, especially if you want to stream videos.

If you don't know whether 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 a good option 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 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.

  • Zune Marketplace

After you confirm payment, the download progress is displayed in Marketplace, Downloads. When a certain percentage of the video has been downloaded, a Play button will appear with the download progress. You can then start watching the video. Or, go to your Video Collection to play the video later.

  • Xbox Live

After you confirm your payment, the download progress is displayed. When a certain percentage of the video has been downloaded, you’ll see a message that states that the video is ready to start playing, and a Play button will appear on the details page. You can then start watching the video, or you can go to your Video Library to play the movie later.

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 when you use Zune Music + Video.

Watching TV shows or movies

When you buy a TV show or movie from the Videos store in Zune Marketplace, you can watch it on an SD TV or monitor, an HD TV or monitor, your computer screen, or a Zune player. The same choices usually exist when you rent, except that you can only watch the video on the device it was rented for (your Xbox 360 console, computer, or Zune player).

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 your 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 your 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 Zune Marketplace on a compatible HD TV:

  • Connected to your 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 up to 1080p. With the Xbox 360 Component HD AV Cable, you can view 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.

  • Connected to Zune HD with a Zune HD A/V Dock
    In the Zune Music + Video software on your computer, download and sync the HD video to your Zune HD, set the player in a Zune HD A/V Dock (sold separately), and play the video from the Zune HD. The dock must be connected to the HD TV using an HDMI cable (one is included with the Zune HD A/V Dock). The highest HD resolution supported in this scenario is 720p.

For SD viewing, play the video on a Zune HD, Zune 120, or Zune 80 player with the dock using the composite video cables. You can also watch your video on Zune HD itself, but at lower-than-HD resolution.

Computer screen

Buy or rent videos using the Zune Music + Video software. You can choose the version for viewing on a PC (SD format) or for a Zune HD player (SD or HD format, depending on the title). However, the Zune Music + Video software displays videos in SD only. To view Zune videos in HD (720p resolution), download and play them on a Zune HD (see the “Zune player” section, below).

Zune player

Using the Zune Music + Video software, buy or rent a video and choose the version for viewing on a Zune player (the Zune HD format is HD, the PC version is SD.) Download the video, then sync it to your Zune player. The video is displayed in the native resolution of the player you're using:

  • Zune HD: 480×272 pixels
  • Zune 80 and Zune 120: 320×240 pixels

To use your Zune player to view videos on a TV screen—for example, to view an HD movie in HD on an HD TV—see the “TV or monitor” section, above

Windows Phone 7

Using the Zune Music + Video software, buy or rent a video and choose the version for viewing on Windows Phone 7. Download the video, and then sync it to your phone.

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