Lifehacker Xbox 360 hard drive

Official Netflix Streaming on Xbox 360 Isn't Bad, But You Can Do Better  May 31, 2015 – 12:07 pm

Official Netflix Streaming on Xbox 360 Isn't Bad, But You Can Do BetterI've been streaming Netflix Watch Instantly videos to my Xbox 360 for months now using Windows Media Center and a free program called vmcNetflix, but now that the New Xbox Experience released this morning also supports Netflix streaming, users have two different options for streaming movies to their Xbox. The question is, which option is better? The obvious answer is that the official offering is the hands-down winner, but having used the alternative for the past few months, Netflix on the New Xbox Experience left me cold. Here's why.

What's Great About Netflix Streaming on the Xbox 360

Netflix streaming on the Xbox 360 has a few major pros over vmcNetflix.
  • For one, the video quality is better. In fact, you can even stream the video in HD—which I don't believe is an option (yet) in vmcNetflix.
  • Also, as opposed to vmcNetflix, you don't need a Vista PC to use it.
  • And last but certainly not least, it's less buggy and subject to breaking, since Microsoft and Netflix are actually working together on it.
  • Aside from that, the official Netflix offering has an attractive interface, which is always a draw.

    Official Netflix Streaming on Xbox 360 Isn't Bad, But You Can Do BetterHow Could vmcNetflix Possibly Be Better?

    Okay, so at this point choosing the official Netflix channel seems like a no-brainer. To a large extent it is, but vmcNetflix is actually way better than the official Netflix-on-Xbox streaming in a few very important ways.
  • vmcNetflix can browse the entire Netflix Watch Instantly library, and when you find something you want, you can play it. The app organizes movies by genre, popularity, and new releases, so it's not only a destination when you want to watch a movie you've added to your Netflix Watch Instantly queue—it's also a destination when you're just looking for a movie to watch. The New Xbox Experience currently only lets you stream movies you've already added to your Watch Instantly queue.
  • vmcNetflix can do way more, including search the Netflix library and add to or remove movies from your Instant Queue or your DVD queue.
  • vmcNetflix allows you to save movies to your hard drive. It's not necessarily copacetic with the Netflix ToS, but it can come in handy if you have a slower connection.
  • The extreme limitation placed on the New Xbox Experience version of Netflix streaming really cripples what should be an excellent addition to the Xbox. Maybe in time an update will fix all of my complaints, but for now the new offering is sort of a lame duck compared to an enthusiast-built alternative already available. (Learn more about using vmcNetflix to stream videos to your Xbox 360 here.) Then again, maybe I'm being too hard on it. If you've used both, let's hear what you think in the comments.


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    • avatar What is the hard drive for in the xbox 360.
      • The hard drive is in the 360 for alot of different reasons. Many uses of the hard drive include:

        • Downloading Xbox 360 and Xbox originals
        • Accessing music
        • Accessing videos
        • Saving data for games

    • avatar How to Format a Hard Drive for Use With Xbox 360.
      • This article will tell you how to format a hard drive so that you can use it with your Xbox 360 for extra space for your photos and music etc. Only Western Digital hard drives work, and there are specific storage spaces that are compatible: 80GB and 250GB work so far.

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