Xbox Video on Xbox One lacks downloading capabilities [Update]

Xbox Video, Microsoft’s movie- and TV-purchasing service, typically allows users to stream and download videos on their devices. No download option is available to users of Microsoft’s new Xbox One console, however.

Unlike the Xbox 360 and Windows version of the service, Xbox Video features no ability to download movies and shows, even for non-rented content. Instead, users appear to only be permitted to stream movies and shows on the Xbox One. As such, users with slower connections may not be able to stream their purchases or rentals. The official support page for Xbox Video on Xbox One notes a user will be “notified before you confirm payment” if his or her network “isn't fast enough to stream the video.”

The missing feature could be a product of Microsoft’s previous plans to make Xbox One an always-connected console, in order to save hard drive space. Microsoft currently doesn’t allow users to fully manage the console’s storage.

In addition to the lack of download option, purchases on Xbox Video also lack a disclaimer found in the Xbox 360 version as to how long licenses would last. Certain production and distribution studios, such as 20th Century Fox, limit how long a user’s license to purchase content will last on the Xbox 360.

Prior to purchasing “The Wolverine” on the Xbox 360, for instance, the following message will appear for U.S. users:

Can’t be streamed or downloaded from 5/25/2015. To make sure you get it, download before 5/25/2015. Stream instantly or choose to download later. Downloads will play on Xbox 360, PC, Zune player, Windows Phone. For more info, go to www.xbox.com/support.

Notably, Windows 8’s Xbox Video app also lacks such disclaimer about license expirations. It’s possible the lack of disclaimer may be related to the console appearing to use the same license scheme used by the PC version of the app. Videos that were exclusive to Xbox 360 and didn’t play on other devices don’t seem to be appearing for users in the Xbox One version of Xbox Video.

Neowin has contacted Microsoft regarding the download and licensing differences between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions of Xbox Video; this article will be updated if a response is received.

Update: Microsoft has provided the following response regarding the lack of downloading capabilities for the Xbox One:

Your Xbox Video collection is stored in the cloud so that it’s available wherever you go. You can access your collection of Xbox Video movies and TV episodes on Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8/8.1 and online at xboxvideo.com.

The response confirms that videos cannot currently be stored locally on the Xbox One, and the lack of a statement regarding its future availability seems to imply the feature won't be added in the immediate future. Additionally, Microsoft provided the following response regarding the licensing policies for Xbox Video on Xbox One:

As is common in the industry today, studios can set different policies for their films. We are working with our partners to ensure their content is available for Xbox customers in all formats.

Given the response, it appears studios could still set policies limiting the availability of movies and TV shows through a certain date, similar to the example of "The Wolverine" seen above. If that's the case, Xbox One owners may be unable to watch content they've purchased through Xbox Video after the licensing date ends because of the lack of a downloading option. Users with slower Internet connections are out of luck altogether, as they may not be able to stream content without significant stuttering and buffering.

Image via Microsoft

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Per the Article: " Users with slower Internet connections are out of luck altogether, as they may not be able to stream content without significant stuttering and buffering"

People with slow connections probably don't want to download an HD movie even if you could download it.

Just download to a device and use PlayTo? I stream primarily but I am a little perturbed that my purchases won't be available after a certain date. Then again, I can't even tell you where my original VHS of Empire Strikes Back is.

I loath these 'expiration's' for digital content and DRM. Its why the only reason I use itunes for video is because I have a VM running an old version of iTunes and the DRM remover Requiem; content I purchased gets the DRM stripped nearly automatically for permanent storage; the day this stops working, is the day I stop buying from iTunes.

I don't get it. It's a streaming service, so why would you be able to download it?

The timed movie ownership is one thing (and appalling), but I would expect a streaming service to stream movies...?

M_Lyons10 said,
I don't get it. It's a streaming service, so why would you be able to download it?

The timed movie ownership is one thing (and appalling), but I would expect a streaming service to stream movies...?


Xbox Video is not solely a streaming service.

Anthony Tosie said,

Xbox Video is not solely a streaming service.

If you can't download though, what else is there??

Everything I've seen has made it sound like they are trying to be nothing else too...

For people that are complaining about bandwidth, there are other alternatives out there - Redbox, InDemand, Netflix. Unless you are planning of purchasing it, your alternative is go to your local video or electronic stores ...even Walgreens.

That being said, what the article didn't mention that in Windows 8 tablets, the option to download the movie is available. Granted, you have to log in to Xbox Video first for it to play.

Well that just plains suck, this really screws people over with bandwidth caps as well, so in order for me to watch a stupid movie a 2nd/3rd time sometime later or just a to view a scene again, i would have to eat up my bandwidth by having to stream it again.

Hmm... I don't know about you, but "Can't be streamed or downloaded from 5/25/2015" is unacceptable in so many levels I can't even start to describe it. It's not "purchasing", it's renting for unlimited viewings until 5/25/2015 - Let's call it by name.

This is the reason why I keep buying Blu-rays and not digitals (digitals are fine for renting)

Spicoli said,
That doesn't apply to this service. That was a limitation on a downloadable movie.

That's not how it works. There is nothing requiring movie studios from limiting the availability of a movie for streaming -- there is not that guarantee in place. It's unlikely that the downloading and streaming licenses are any different in that regard.

Why is it unacceptable? You can still watch it after that date if you've downloaded it. If you want to watch your movies, don't delete them.

Anthony Tosie said,

That's not how it works. There is nothing requiring movie studios from limiting the availability of a movie for streaming -- there is not that guarantee in place. It's unlikely that the downloading and streaming licenses are any different in that regard.

That's exactly how it worked. That reference is specifically from a restriction on a download period. Everything else is speculation and not based on anything.

Spicoli said,

That's exactly how it worked. That reference is specifically from a restriction on a download period. Everything else is speculation and not based on anything.


No. Read the article again -- it was for streaming or downloading a movie.

Memnochxx said,
Why is it unacceptable? You can still watch it after that date if you've downloaded it. If you want to watch your movies, don't delete them.

What if my hard drive runs out of space, what If the file gets corrupted, what if I feel like streaming it after that date ? What if you re-install your OS and can't sync the license again ?

The whole point of the cloud is to NOT manage files...

This is not even far in the future like 2025, we're talking about buying a movie which you know won't work within 2 years...

I paid for something, and I wish to use the way I want. If you're fine with them telling you what to do, go for it

elangab said,
What if my hard drive runs out of space, what If the file gets corrupted, what if I feel like streaming it after that date ? What if you re-install your OS and can't sync the license again ?

The whole point of the cloud is to NOT manage files...

This is not even far in the future like 2025, we're talking about buying a movie which you know won't work within 2 years...

I paid for something, and I wish to use the way I want. If you're fine with them telling you what to do, go for it


None of those things are relevant to your original point that you're actually renting it. You're purchasing it. It won't stop working in 2 years if you still have it on your hard drive.

Yes, you purchased it. If you delete it, that's up to you. But at that point, they have no obligation to let you download it again. They aren't telling you what to do. You're trying to tell them what to do.

Memnochxx said,

None of those things are relevant to your original point that you're actually renting it. You're purchasing it. It won't stop working in 2 years if you still have it on your hard drive.

Yes, you purchased it. If you delete it, that's up to you. But at that point, they have no obligation to let you download it again. They aren't telling you what to do. You're trying to tell them what to do.

I'm also paying for streaming. If all I want is to get my movies from the cloud on my tablet - I won't be able to do so after that given date.

Of course I'm telling them what to do, I'm the one with the money that's looking for a purchase. On their defense, they're telling you up front about that, so I know what to accept and take my business to competitor's offers.

When I pay for a cloud service, I accept it to be available for me whenever I want. Otherwise, it's pointless to use one. If I wish to manage file, I have much cheaper, much better quality options out there.

Of course, your mileage may vary and you're OK with paying for streaming for just two years - which makes this service good for your needs.

So, in other words, a big FU to anyone with a slowish connection or data caps?

Another reason to not bother with digital purchases of video content from Microsoft then.

Wrong, it's primary function is a games console. Everything else, especially if you're not in the USA, is an extra feature that the console doesn't need to fulfill its primary function.

FloatingFatMan said,
Wrong, it's primary function is a games console. Everything else, especially if you're not in the USA, is an extra feature that the console doesn't need to fulfill its primary function.

That was the 360. That's clearly that's not the intention of this product. Why is it so hard to grasp that it's not just a new version of the 360. If you want a rehash, get a ps4.

just download it on windows,and use playto/DLNA to play it on xbox if you are worried about data caps and streaming

FloatingFatMan said,
So, in other words, a big FU to anyone with a slowish connection or data caps?

Another reason to not bother with digital purchases of video content from Microsoft then.

lolwut? If you have a slow connection or data caps, why would you be downloading HD content that's usually several gigabytes in size anyways? It sounds like you're complaining just to complain.

More like you're defending just to defend.

Many people can afford the data limits to download something they've paid for once. But to do that EVERY SINGLE TIME they want access their already purchased content? That's not right.

Maybe in the future, when everyone on the planet has unlimited data and speed, it'll be feasible, but not now.

FloatingFatMan said,
More like you're defending just to defend.

Many people can afford the data limits to download something they've paid for once. But to do that EVERY SINGLE TIME they want access their already purchased content? That's not right.

Maybe in the future, when everyone on the planet has unlimited data and speed, it'll be feasible, but not now.

Blah blah blah. I'm so sick of the low data cap whining. The PS4 has the exact same limitation. So does Netflix, or any other streaming service in existence. They're not designed for low data caps or crappy connections. Why should everyone else have to suffer for your limitations? Progression of technology doesn't work that way.

Rent/buy the freaking dvd if you love the movie/show that much and your connection is that terrible. And before you bitch about it not being digital in that format, stop being lazy and rip the dvd to your preferred format so that you can watch it ANYWHERE. Your data cap for a single month would probably be obliterated anyways just by downloading a single 1080p movie. My original statement is even more valid- you just seem like you want to bitch about something that doesn't affect the vast majority of people who are looking to purchase devices like these.

I can't believe how may people need to travel with their Xboxes! Seriously though get the Blu-ray if you are unable to stream or need to view off-line. I never downloaded to my Xbox 360 as it doesn't have a hard drive and it's never been off-line. All my purchases are still tied to my live account not to any particular piece of MS hardware.

Wow... No chance I'm buying a digital movie for practically the same price as a bluray (with less features/quality) and not even be able to view it offline... Why would anyone do that?

What a dumb decision. They should add this back. It makes no sense that I need to stream when the 360 lets me download and it never had as much space as the xb1 does.

I love Xbox Video. I only Stream on the Xbox but I do download the movies and shows to my Surface tablet for travelling. Never had an issue, and I am still able to buy on Xbox One and download to my Surface.

its just a comparison with the competition. don't over analyze the meaning of my comment,because its real simple.

jakem1 said,
Do they advertise it as a download service?
No but they don't do that for streaming either. In the past I would rent the HD version however I would set it to download then watch it later. I don't have bandwidth capacity to stream a HD version.

That's why I keep iTunes everywhere as my primary source for entertainment. Last time I've got something from the Xbox Marketplace for movies was Gundam Unicorn.

Mr.XXIV said,
That's why I keep iTunes everywhere as my primary source for entertainment. Last time I've got something from the Xbox Marketplace for movies was Gundam Unicorn.

But let's face it, iTunes multiplatform support blows. Xbox video will soon be on android and iOS making it 10x more portable than anything apple or Google offer.

To you.

I never wanted Apple to be open to every other device. We want independence and exclusiveness for a reason. And God, why would Apple want to share things to Android like that? Android to iPhone is like every social network who uses Facebook's API right now.

Mr.XXIV said,
To you.

I never wanted Apple to be open to every other device. We want independence and exclusiveness for a reason. And God, why would Apple want to share things to Android like that? Android to iPhone is like every social network who uses Facebook's API right now.

In your opinion. I think more people (myself included) would disagree.

bguy_1986 said,
bunch of BS if you purchase something and then can't even keep it for a year....

nm, I do think expiring DRM is lame. Especially, the 24hr to watch once you start BS.

uxo22 said,

nm, I do think expiring DRM is lame. Especially, the 24hr to watch once you start BS.

That's only for rentals...

siah1214 said,
That's only for rentals...

Incidentally identical to physical rentals, keep it more than 24, pay again for each day.

Yea it seems like MS are pushing hard for everything online. This feature doesnt worry me, cause im not using it. But if i used it i would want to download the movie.