How to watch things on Xbox 360

Want to watch videos on your Xbox 360? There are various ways to do so, many of which we've listed here in our how to watch things on Xbox 360 article, including advice on how to watch Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video in addition to videos you've got stored on your computer.

How to watch videos on Xbox 360: Xbox Video Store

The Xbox 360 has its own Xbox Video Store service that lets you buy or rent movies straight on your Xbox and watch them through the console.

To do so, press the Guide button on your controller and select Xbox Home. The, select TV & Movies followed by Xbox Video. You can now browse the available titles from the Xbox Video app and then, when you've found one you want to watch, you can select 'Rent' or 'Buy'.

If you rent a movie or TV show through Xbox Video rather than buy it (it's the cheaper option but not always the best option), it'll be available for 14 days from making the purchase. However, when you actually start watching the movie, you'll only have 24 hours in which to finish watching it and then watch it again if you want to before it'll become unavailable to you unless you pay for it again.

Plus, renting content through Xbox Video also means that you must view it on the device it was rented for.

There are some free TV shows available to watch on Xbox Video on your Xbox 360. You'll find the free videos by pressing Guide, selecting Xbox Home, selecting TV & Movies and then Xbox Video, then selecting TV and then Free TV.

NOTE: When renting or buying a video from the Xbox Video Store on the Xbox 360, you might be faced with the option of streaming or downloading it. Streaming the video will allow you to watch the video immediately (but it'll only work if you've got a good internet connection), while downloading it is the better option if you're concerned about the speed of your internet connection or if you're planning on being offline when you watch the video.

How to watch videos on Xbox 360: Windows Media Player

You can stream video, in addition to computer music and pictures, to your Xbox 360 console from your computer through Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center.

You'll need to make sure that your Xbox 360 is connected to your home network first, and you'll want to update Windows Media Player on your computer to version 12 if you're running Windows 7 or later or version 11 on Windows Vista.

If you're running Windows Media Player 12, open the application, select 'Turn on media streaming' from the Stream menu, and then click 'Turn on media streaming. You'll need to name your media library, and then click OK.

In Windows Media Player 11, right-click 'Library' and then click 'Media Sharing.' You can now click 'Share my media' and then 'OK'. Now, if you go to 'Sharing Settings' you'll be able to click 'Xbox 360'. Click 'Allow' and then click 'OK'.

On your Xbox 360 console, after pressing Guide and then going to 'TV & Movies,' you should see your video content in the Xbox Video tab.

How to watch videos on Xbox 360: Windows Media Center

If you have Windows Media Center installed on your computer, you'll need to make sure that your Xbox 360 is connected to your home network, then go to Apps > My Apps > Windows Media Center. You can then select Continue. You'll now see a setup key, which you should write down because you'll need it next.

On your computer, launch Windows Media Center, then go to Tasks and click Add Extender. Now enter that setup key and lick Next.

On your Xbox 360, you can go to Apps > Windows Media Center.

How to watch videos on Xbox 360: PlayTo Xbox

Additionally, you can use Microsoft's PlayTo feature to play streaming content from a Windows 8.1 device that is on the same network as your Xbox 360.

To do so, turn on PlayTo on your Xbox 360 by going to Xbox Home > Settings > System > Console Settings > Connected Devices and then turn on PlayTo.

On your computer, launch Xbox Video, and then select a video you want to watch. Open the charms bar and select 'Devices' then 'Play'. Find your Xbox 360 on the list of devices (chances are it'll be the only device listed) and the media should automatically play on your Xbox.

If you can't see your Xbox 360 on the list of devices available, you need to go to the Charms bar, select Settings > Change PC Settings > PC & Devices > Devices. You can then click the '+' plus button and choose your Xbox 360.

How to watch videos on Xbox 360: Amazon Prime Instant Video

Xbox Live subscribers can watch Amazon Prime Instant Video and straight from their Xbox, too. You'll get access to thousands of TV shows and films if you subscribe to the streaming service, and there are also Amazon Instant Video purchases and rentals available, which will appear in Your Video Library on your Xbox 360.

You'll first need to go to the Apps section of the Xbox 360 and then click Amazon Instant Video to download the app. Once you've downloaded it, launch the app and sign in to your account to start watching. See also: The 25 best movies and TV shows to watch on Amazon Prime Instant Video

How to watch videos on Xbox 360: Netflix

Alternatively, Xbox Live subscribers can use Netflix on their Xbox 360. Again, you'll need to go to the Apps section on your console and click Netflix to download the app. Then launch the app and sign in. See also: What to watch on Netflix: The 86 best movies on Netflix UK

Read next: Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video