Monday, February 25, 2013

Xbox LIVE Gold Membership for Media Streaming

Xbox 360 with Xbox LIVE Gold membership

An Xbox LIVE Gold membership allows you to take your Xbox 360 online to play Kinect and controller games with friends wherever they are. You can access the internet to do searches, watch videos on YouTube, or video chat with friends and family through your TV.

Xbox 360 as an HD Cable Box

The LIVE membership enables you to instantly watch HD movies and TV shows.  The Xbox LIVE membership converts your Xbox 360 console into an additional HD cable box. This means that you can access On Demand movies and shows through your Xbox 360, like you would with your HD cable box. There is no additional cost for XFINITY TV on your Xbox 360, but you must be a subscriber to XFINITY TV with On Demand, XFINITY Internet and Xbox LIVE Gold. This is an alternative to renting an additional HD box from your cable company.


We had our HD box in our kitchen because we spent most of our time there than in any room in the house. We had two other regular cable boxes in the main bedroom and family room. The problem was that this meant that we had limited channels and cannot access On Demand shows in the family room because we only had a regular cable box for the TV in that room. We already had an Xbox 360 set up and so we opted to buy an Xbox LIVE Gold membership. Within minutes of purchasing, we were connected to the internet and downloaded apps for Xfinity, HBO GO, Stars, etc. to access the movies and shows on our cable plan.

To watch XFINITY TV directly on your Xbox 360 you need the following:
  • XFINITY TV with On Demand
  • XFINITY Internet Service
  • An Xbox 360 console and Xbox LIVE Gold subscription
  • XFINITY TV App installed (the XFINITY TV App is available from the Xbox Marketplace)
  • The primary account holder's Comcast ID or Comcast.net address and password

 

Xbox 360 for Media Streaming

We still use our Xbox 360 with the LIVE access now that we got rid of cable and have switched to media streaming. We ended up only buying two Roku boxes, which is a streaming device for the TV, instead of three since we still had our LIVE membership. The Xbox 360 now acts as another streaming device for the family room TV.

 

We access Netflix and Hulu Plus on the Xbox 360 just like we would with the Roku box. Although in the long run, it is still more cost effective to buy a Roku box than buying a LIVE Gold subscription every year. With Roku, you buy the box and it's yours - no annual rental or service fees.

Since we already had a 12-month subscription, we are able to still continue using the Xbox when we switched from cable to media streaming. In the meantime, we are watching out for deals on Roku boxes so that we can get a Roku box for a great price by the time our LIVE Gold subscription runs out and we need another device to stream TV shows and movies.

Xbox LIVE Gold Membership

Overall, we are very happy with having the LIVE Gold membership for the Xbox. We purchased the membership through Newegg.com for $39.99 at the time. I have seen other retailers sell the LIVE Gold year membership for less than that lately. Best Buy has the 12-month Gold membership available for $34.99 (Regularly $59.99) at this time. I think $32.99 is the lowest price that I have seen for the 12-month subscription. If you are thinking of purchasing a 12-month subscription, it is a good idea to check for deals as there are always deals out vs. paying the full $59.99.