Windows 10 Tip: Master Movies & TV

Posted on April 24, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Movies & TV, Windows 10 with 26 Comments

Windows 10 Tip: Master Movies & TV

Even those Windows 10 users who are never going to purchase movies or TV shows from Microsoft’s online store should check out the Movies & TV app, which gets a nice refresh with the Creators Update.

Note: This tip is derived from the Windows 10 Field Guide, which is now being updated for the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Movies & TV is kind of a goofy-looking app, with a simplistic new user interface that looks nothing like other apps in Windows 10. And you’re right to distrust Microsoft’s online store for purchased movie and TV show content: Given Microsoft’s history, this content could very easily be orphaned somewhere down the road.

But that doesn’t mean you should ignore Movies & TV. As a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app, Movies & TV is lightweight and battery- and high DPI display-friendly app. And it’s a much better choice than third-party solutions like VLC for basic video playback. And while you may not want to buy content from Microsoft, there’s no reason why you can’t rent movies from Windows Store and watch them on your Surface or other Windows PC at home or on the go.

Better still, Movies & TV offers such unique features and advantages you may not be aware of. And some of these are new to the Creators Update. They are:

Free movie trailers. In the Explore view, you will find a collection of movies trailers, which are of course free to watch.

Free 360° videos. Likewise, Movies & TV provides an interesting collection of free 360° videos, which let you pan around the video in real time in any direction using a mouse, your finger (on a multi-touch display). Or you can change the view with the directional controls in the upper right.

Subtitle and audio options. Movies & TV supports all of the most popular video formats (plus a ton of esoteric formats too), and provides great support for subtitles and multiple audio tracks. Movies & TV also lets you add external subtitle files to videos you acquire outside of Windows Store. For example, videos from services like Vimeo often include SRT (Subrip subtitle format) subtitle files for download separately from videos. These files let you add and then view subtitles with compatible videos.

Mini mode. The Play in Mini Mode control places video playback in a miniature, Picture-in-Picture (PIP) type window that you can size and position on screen as desired. While in this mode, Movies & TV will remain “on top” of other on-screen windows, so you can enjoy video content while doing other things.

Cast to a bigger screen (or another PC). Movies & TV is compatible with a technology called Miracast that lets you wirelessly stream, or “cast,” content from your Windows PC to a compatible display, including the HDTV in your living room. You can even cast to another Windows 10 PC if you’d like, perhaps taking advantage of a bigger screen there.

Movie rentals. Microsoft’s movie rental capabilities are interesting: You can choose between HD and SD options, of course, but also between streaming and downloading a rental. If you choose the stream option, you can watch the rental on any Windows 10 PC, and can switch back and forth between them if you like. If you choose to download the video, you will only be able to watch it on that PC. Once you pay for a rental, you have two weeks to begin watching it. And once you begin watching a rental, you have 24 hours to finish watching it.

Unique configuration options. Even if you use a light app theme throughout Windows 10, Movies & TV is one of a handful of apps that lets you configure it with a dark app mode, or theme, which is perhaps more appropriate for an entertainment app. You can also configure Movies & TV to always switch to full screen mode at the start of video playback.

 

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Comments (26)

26 responses to “Windows 10 Tip: Master Movies & TV”

  1. Omega Ra

    I know you think I am crazy, but I actually buy movies from MS.

    • CaymanDreamin

      I do as well. When we cut the cord, Doctor Who was the only thing we missed. We just buy each season now and get to watch right away instead of waiting for it to come out on DVD.

  2. tehsina221

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  3. Vinod

    Nice post, At first i have faced problem to ubuntu change hostname now i have figured out easy way

  4. vijay

    I am facing problem with my Win 10 PC. So, I not watching movies and not able to operate it properly. So, I bought new Android phone recently. There i am watching free online movies for free and i am able to download free hollywood movies using the free movies apps. So, I am happy with it.

  5. nikon baby

    Thats really cool tip for Windows 10 users out there. I do not download movies from youtube to watch in my free time. Instead, I will use few free apps to watch wonderful movies and tv shows daily.

  6. appvalley

    Although this app has nothing jaw dropping to offer but it comes handy once in a while when you need to find certain hacked/Mod apps which is not available in Apple App store.


    Apps like TutuApp or Tutu Helper or TuTu Helper VIP App and vShare delivers similar purpose and features and you can select any of them to get your job done. So App valley is also a great call for downloading hacked apps in your iOS device.

  7. AP Government

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for providing these details.

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  8. arikan

    Amazon Prime Video is best according to my knowledge. My highly preferable movie app is Amazon Prime and you can also use other apps like ShowBox App and MegaBox HD App. You can install these movie apps using free movie apps store Appvalley Apk Store for android, ios and PC. Thanks for your article.

  9. juhid

    I cannot find this on my Windows 10. so sad that I love watching movies and Tv shows. I rely on movie apps and some online services. The best one for me is Netflix. And in movie apps, Onebox hd is a great one. You can download onebox hd app on Android devices to follow the new movies and Tv shows. I hope this helps.

  10. bbennett40

    I actually like the app and service. I ditched cable tv and use Movies and TV with Netflix, Hulu, and OTA to fill in the gaps. (I pretty much subscribed to every streaming service available and still saved lots of bucks!) The only TV I purchase is Doctor Who. As for movies, I have the account attached to Disney Anywhere so all of my Marvel movie purchases are available on any other service I link to it as well. I've yet to have any problems with Movie and TV.

  11. lordbaal1

    Don't listen to Paul, there is nothing wrong with  Windows movies and TV. If you want to use it, use it.

  12. Tony Barrett

    I use Netflix and Amazon for the subscription services. Actually *not* having a subscription option puts me off Google, as it can work out really expensive watching a few shows or movies - easily surpassing what I pay both the others very quickly.


    No interest in MS Movies or whatever it's called. I haven't forgiven them for how they treated Media Center, which I still use daily on Windows 7 as my primary DVR.

  13. Care

    I am not a gamer, and I have a music pass, so my Bing rewards go toward movies, usually ones I got on DVD long ago before they came with Digital. I do wish Microsoft would make it possible to access my UV movies, as is the case with Disney. And support on more platforms would be ideal.

  14. Eric Nay

    As others have noted, it is all about the ecosystem. Disney does a good job, in that when you buy their content it is accessible across Amazon, Vudu/UV, Apple or Google. Other studios lock you into Vudu/UV, pretty much. If Microsoft or another player were trying to get in offered a cross-library capability then I would consider them, otherwise no. For them I would suggest starting with the Disney integration.

  15. Bats

    After reading this blog post, I still see no good reason to not ignore the "Movies & TV" service. The battery advantage is not deal breaker, because it's all about the way the app was written. Video player apps will eventually update and this becomes a non-issue, if it was one to begin with.

    All in all, people are just better off with investing their entertainment with either Amazon and Google. Both services offer frequent promotions; they both have hugely popular devices to access content on the tv screen; their ecosystems are so powerful, you can trust that they're service will be around forever.

    Seriously, who would be foolish enough to buy movies from Windows "Movies & TV", Amazon, Google, VUDO and Apple? That's too many places and too complicated. 

    People should just keep it simple, and just use Amazon (first) and Google (second). 

    • gregsedwards

      In reply to Bats:

      Me, that's who. I have a ton of "off the books" content I've, ahem, acquired over the years. So I don't have a ton of purchased content in Amazon, Google, or any other ecosystems.

      I like having easy access to all my purchased media across my Windows 10 PCs, phones, Xbox Ones, and any other devices via the web. I like not having to bother with cover art, metadata, subtitles, codecs, and all of the endless organizing. I keep an eye on deals, and I'm working on replacing my bootlegs with licensed titles.

      And as I'm purchasing content, I'm going with Microsoft. A lot of the content I've already bought is Disney (Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar...they basically own my family's entertainment), and the nice thing about that is Disney Movies Anywhere content is completely platform agnostic; basically, if you buy it here, then you are licensed to play it there. The DMA titles I've bought on Movies & TV are accessible much anywhere. I'd hope/expect more publishers to adopt this kind of model moving forward.

      And my experience is that content publishers seldom "maroon" their customers like you're describing; that's just a lot of FUD, guys. For instance, a few years ago, Target shut down their digital video business, but they worked out a deal to give their customers access to previously purchased content on another platform and/or credit.

      I for one am glad to see Microsoft pushing into the consumer entertainment content space. I'm glad they finally have an  eBook store. I don't see the harm in them offering any of it, and it feels good that they're no longer sitting on the sidelines watching other companies gobble up all of the consumers.

  16. redstar92

    I do buy/rent movies from Movies/TV on PC and Xbox. I like the app but it needs two features desperately :


    1. Availability on other platforms - roku, etc...
    2. Integrate WTV files and US closed captioning fully (right now these files don't show up and yes Paul I still use WMC :)
    3. Ability to rate movies or mark as watched
    4. Integrate with other services / apps (Kodi guys just mentioned potentially being able to show Netflix, etc... within this app)
    5. Ability to use remote control within the app
    6. Integrate live TV into the app


  17. Rob_Wade

    It really is this simple for me: Very little of our purchased content is visible in this app. Everything we've purchased and registered is visible and playable from Vudu. Microsoft's library is pale in comparison. We don't rent movies. If we don't see them originally in the theater, we have no interest in seeing them, period. If we like them enough, then we purchase them and register them with Vudu. That way we have access anywhere, anytime. If MS interfaced with that library, then we might be inclined to use their app. But they don't, so we don't waste our time with it. None of those other features interests us---particularly the mini mode. Seriously, why watch something at all if you're just going to have a picture-in-picture? No, thanks.

  18. jt5

    No really- It is my preferred way to get/rent movies. It seems to be really good on the battery- which helps on long flights. They also partner with some third parties like Disney- and those movies are available on any device- so that is nice as well.

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