Ask Paul: Can I Rent Movies on a PC and Watch Them on Xbox One?

Posted on November 30, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Movies & TV with 0 Comments

Ask Paul: Can I Rent Movies on PC and Watch Them on Xbox One?

With Microsoft offering crazy 10 cent deals over the 10 days through Cyber Monday, many people are checking out the firm’s Movies & TV service for the first time. But what if you rent a movie on your PC and want to watch it on the Xbox One instead? Is that possible?

Dale H. asks.

I went to rent a movie on my laptop. I realized I didn’t want to watch it there I wanted to watch it through my Xbox One. So I fired up the Xbox, went to the store, and the movie was $5.99, with no $0.10 deal. Is there a way for me to play the 10 cent version on my Xbox? Or better, just buy it and play it from my Xbox?

The 10 cent movies I’ve rented during this promotion—and, as a reminder, today is the last day—are in fact available for me on the Xbox One. But I think it’s because I choose to “stream” the rented movies at purchase time rather than download them to the current device.

To test this theory, I just rented two more movies from the Windows Store app in Windows 10 on my desktop PC. For the first movie, “Jurassic World,” I chose “Stream movie online.” For the second, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” I chose “Download movie to this device to watch offline.”

stream-or-dl

As expected, “Jurassic World” showed up in my Movies & TV collection on the Xbox One, with a note that it “expires in 13 days,” which isn’t exactly a lot of time. (This is among the many reasons I don’t like Microsoft’s video service, which used to be called Xbox Video.) But “Mad Max: Fury Road” did not appear on the Xbox One.

Obviously, you can use an HDMI cable or Miracast to watch a PC-based movie on your HDTV if you do download a rented movie.

As far as renting or buying movies directly from your Xbox One, you can of course do that, but the 10 cent promotion is for Windows 10, not for Movies & TV. So you will not see the 10 cent deals on Xbox One, only on a Windows 10 PC or device.

So if you haven’t taken advantage of this deal, today’s the last day: There are many excellent movies available for rental in HD for just 10 cents.

 

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