Microsoft and NetFlix Team Up for Video Streaming for Xbox

July 17th, 2008 at 12:00 am

netflix on xbox

Microsoft and Netflix have teamed up. Their partnership will allow Xbox 360 users to stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix via the gaming console.

In the press release , which was quite long (loner than usual), Microsoft explains that this partnership will make Xbox 360 the first and only gaming console "that lets users instantly watch movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix."

Netflix has a library of about 10,000 movies and TV episodes, making it the biggest movie rental service on the web. "The library of movies and TV episodes that will be available for instant streaming from Netflix via Xbox 360 includes scores of Academy Award winners and nominees, episodes from a number of popular, currently running and classic TV shows, and 24 of the movies rated by the American Film Institute as the greatest ever."

Of course there’s always a catch for a service like the Netflix on Xbox 360. Subscriptions still have to be paid both for Netflix and Xbox Live Gold. However, there is no need to have computer running to watch on the Xbox. Once the media has been set-up in the user’s NetFlix Account, everything can be accessed through the console.

"From the Netflix Web site, members simply add movies and TV episodes to their individual instant Queues. Those choices will be automatically displayed on the TV screen via Xbox 360 and available to watch instantly. Once selected, movies will begin playing in as little as 30 seconds. In addition to instantly streaming movies to the TV, Xbox LIVE Gold members can fast-forward, pause and rewind, all using either their Xbox 360 Controller or Media Remote. In all, the user interface creates a highly personalized experience that puts viewers in control."

But, there’s an alternative. Unofficial and a hack of course, streaming onto an Xbox from Netflix is already possible with a few tweaks and even without a Xbox Live Gold subscription. Lifehacker has detailed the steps on how to do it but it’s simply having the PC and the Xbox connect with each other via Wi-fi.

Actually, the Lifehacker procedure should be the norm insted of an underground exception. Both devices (PC and Xbox) both have Wi-Fi, both can connect to the internet, so why does an Xbox gamer need to go through the Xbox Live Gold subscription to connect to the internet, pay more and watch the same thing?

Anyway, I hope that early adapters of this Microsoft-Netflix service would know that it’s possible to get all of it for free.