Buying and renting videos through Films & TV
With Films & TV, 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. You’ll also have to 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.
- You can watch videos on an SD TV or monitor, an HD TV or monitor, a computer screen, or a Windows Phone 8. For more information, see Watching Xbox videos on different devices and screens.
Buying films or TV programmes
When you buy a film or TV programme, you can download it up to five times. You can split these downloads between your computer and Xbox 360 console by using Films & TV. After you've downloaded a TV show or film to your computer, you can sync it with your Windows Phone 8 or download it to your console.
When you rent a film through Films & TV 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- or 48-hour period of time during which you can watch the film as many times as you want. All rentals outside of the United States are 48 hours/14 days. Most rentals within the United States are 48 hours/14 days, but some are 24 hours/14 days. If you choose the option to stream the film to your console, the 24-hour period starts when you make the purchase.
Let's say that you rent a movie for download at 3:00 P.M. on 1 May. If you start watching the movie at 8:00 P.M. on 5 May, your rental period expires at 8:00 P.M. on 6 May.
If you rent a film for streaming at 3:00 PM on 1 May, your rental period expires at 3:00 P.M. on 2 May.
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
- Start the Films & TV app.
- Select movie store or television store.
- 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.
- If you want to buy a season pass to the TV programme that 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 Films & TV, 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. Any Internet connection will support downloading a video. However, we recommend a broadband Internet connection (cable, DSL, or LAN) for Films & TV, 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 in the following situations:
- You have a slower Internet connection
- You want to make sure you get the best possible video quality from start to finish
- 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, by Internet service provider, and by individual network. To optimise your download speed, use a broadband Internet connection and a wired (instead of wireless) connection for Films & TV.
Watching TV programmes or films
When you buy a TV programme or film from Films & TV, 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. These factors include 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 Films & TV 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:
The cable you must use depends on the AV input on your TV.
- Xbox 360 Component HD AV Cable
- Xbox 360 VGA HD AV Cable
- Xbox 360 Composite AV Cable
- Xbox 360 S-Video AV Cable.
Buy or rent videos using the Films & TV 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
Films & TV 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
- Start the Films & TV software and sign in.
- Go to Settings and then Account.
- Go to Purchase History, and then click TV programmes to list all the TV programmes you've purchased or acquired for free.
- Click Download next to the TV programme you want to re-download.
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