Xbox 360 owners can download and use Netflix software to stream television shows, movies and other content through their Xbox's Internet connection. Content can then be watched in standard or high definition on the television set to which the 360 is connected. Setting up the Xbox to use Netflix requires an Xbox Live Gold membership, a Netflix membership, a software download, and activation of the Netflix client. Users pay a monthly subscription rate, allowing unlimited access to streaming content.
Xbox Live Gold Required
In order to sign up for Netflix streaming service, Xbox 360 you must upgrade your Xbox Live account to Gold status. You can accomplish this either by entering your credit card information from within the Xbox Live service or by purchasing an Xbox Live prepaid membership card from one of many video game retailers. The basic Silver-level membership is not sufficient to play Netflix content on your 360. The official retail price of a one-year Xbox Live Gold membership is $59.99 as of February 2011.
Creating a Netflix Account
Visiting Netflix.com on a PC and following the prompts is necessary to set up a Netflix account. This involves entering credit card or gift subscription information. The charge for basic Netflix streaming service with no DVD-by-mail subscription is $7.99 as of February 2011, with free introductory trials offered regularly. Signing up for a Netflix account in this way does not limit you to the Xbox 360 as a content delivery device. Streaming content can be viewed on other gaming consoles, smartphones, tablets and over the Internet on a standard PC.
Downloading and Installing
To start the service, you will need to go to the Xbox Live Video Marketplace and select the Netflix application. The necessary software will be downloaded to the gaming console's hard drive, and an activation code will be given. Visiting Netflix.com/activate and entering this code validates the Xbox 360 system for content streaming. After this is completed, you can open up the Netflix application through the Xbox dashboard and can commence content streaming.
Using the Service
Netflix service for Xbox 360 works very much like the company's instant streaming for PC service. You can browse through all the movie and television show offerings, search for your favorites or spend some time entering information about your favorite types of media to receive customized recommendations from Netflix. If a movie is not available for instant streaming, and you have elected to subscribe to Netflix's mail delivery service, you can still watch Netflix DVDs using the Xbox 360 console's standard DVD drive.
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