How to Watch Videos on the Xbox Video App in Windows 8.1 - dummies

How to Watch Videos on the Xbox Video App in Windows 8.1

By Peter Weverka, Mark Justice Hinton

You no longer need a DVD player and a television set to watch your favorite videos. You can watch videos on your Windows 8.1 machine through the Xbox Video app.

1Select the Video app on the Windows 8.1 Start screen.

The Xbox Video app home screen appears. Scroll to the right for an overview of the Video home screen, noting Movies Store and TV Store. Scroll to the left, possibly past the first screen you saw, to see your videos, labeled my videos. If the Video library does not contain any videos, you may see It’s lonely here. If you see videos here, ignore those videos for the moment.

If you see Can’t sign in, you’re not connected using a Microsoft Account. You need to be signed in only to buy or rent videos.

2To search for videos by title or artist, click the Search icon in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Then type the text for which you want to search. As you type, suggested matches appear below the text box. For now, ignore these suggestions (but take advantage of them in the future to save typing). Instead, select the magnifying glass or press Enter. Search results appear. Select any search result for the next step.

Selecting a suggested match may take you directly to the Details screen. Not a bad place to end up, but you can’t easily get from there to the next step without repeating Step 3.

3If the description screen opened, note the options (not all of which may appear on the current screen).

View Seasons: For a TV series, see information on the individual seasons and episodes.

Buy: You must sign in to continue.

Rent: You must sign in to continue.

Explore: This option opens a biographical page with an overview of the movie or TV series.

Play Trailer: Play the preview for the selected movie.

4Select Play Trailer.

If you don’t see that option, select a movie from the Video home screen or search for a movie.

5Check the volume level on your speakers.

Tablets and laptops often have physical volume controls — look around the edges. To adjust volume levels using Windows 8.1, display the Settings panel. Select the speaker icon above the Power control. Slide the control up for more volume and down for less volume. Select the speaker icon to mute or unmute all sounds.

Speakers should be unmuted but not so loud as to cause bleeding. Select anywhere outside the Settings panel to dismiss it.

6Display the app bar.

Note the following controls:

Get from Xbox 360: Purchase this video for use on an Xbox 360 console.

Previous: Go back.

Pause or Play: Pause the video and the button changes to Play. Select Play to resume. There isn’t a separate Stop button. You have to Pause indefinitely or close the app.

Next: Go forward.

Volume: Drag the slider to control the sound level.

Play on Xbox 360: This option plays the selection on an Xbox game console.

Your keyboard may have similar controls.

7Switch back to the Start screen.

The Video app pauses automatically — no need to use the Pause control. The Video tile displays the title of the video currently paused. Select the Video tile to return to the app, which automatically resumes playing.

You may be able to play video from your computer to another device, such as another computer, a Windows Phone, an Xbox, or a TV on your network. Display the charms bar and select Devices to see if any are available.

8Although you don’t have to close the app, if you want to close the Video app or any other, use one of the following methods:

Mouse: Move the mouse pointer to the top of the window. Click and drag down, and then release the mouse button.

Touchscreen: Swipe down from the top edge until the app window shrinks, and then lift your finger.

Keyboard: Press Alt+F4.