You've been able to watch movies on various Xbox consoles forever, but the arrival of Movies Anywhere on the platform is a "finally!" moment for many. Movies Anywhere, if you haven't heard of it, lets you sync all of your purchased movies from various digital retailers across platforms. Hence the "Anywhere" in Movies Anywhere.
The app is now available on Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Just search "movies anywhere" in the Microsoft Store on your console.
That means movies purchased on iTunes/Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Google Play/YouTube, Microsoft, as well as Xfinity, Verizon Fios TV and DIRECTV (for their subscribers) can all be watched on Movies Anywhere app. And they also sync across apps once you sign in. That means titles you own in iTunes you can also be watched on Vudu, once your accounts are linked.
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Movies Anywhere already had apps on Roku, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV and tablets, Apple TV and smart TVs from LG, Vizio and Samsung. The PS4 and PS5 consoles are notable by their absence now that Xbox has Movies Anywhere.
For anyone who is trying to limit their number of streaming devices cluttering their home entertainment area, Movies Anywhere is a godsend for consolidating your collection.
Movies Anywhere is huge for me, though, because of how the optical media world has joined in the conversation. Many, if not most, Blu-rays and DVDs you buy these days also come with a Movies Anywhere code. That way you can increase your digital collection and watch the movies you bought physical copies of no matter where you go.
So if I'm on a trip, but I want to watch Us, Parasite, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World or any of the other movies I own, I don't need to buy them on the hotel PPV system. I just need an HDMI adapter I plug one of my devices into my hotel TV.
The Movies Anywhere app also has a remote watch party feature called Watch Together. And select Movies Anywhere films can be shared without the other parties owning the movie. Just look for the "My Screen Pass" eligibility.
Movies Anywhere is simply great in a very "wait, these companies are working together?" way, if you ask me. To think that Amazon, Apple and the like would allow their online sales platforms to work together is utterly surprising.
Your mileage with Movies Anywhere may vary
Around the TG slack, I've just discovered that interest in Movies Anywhere is strictly binary. You either love it, as I and one other do, or haven't used it ever (and possibly have never heard of it).
And I get that, in a way. Movies Anywhere is for the people who want to own their movies. The collectors out there. And when Netflix, Prime Video and the like all have more movies than we can watch as a part of our existing subscriptions, it's going against the grain to want to pay to own a film.
But I love Movies Anywhere because I'm one of those collectors. Yes, the Criterion Channel is a great streaming service for discovering movies, but Movies Anywhere is the portable movie theater I always wanted.
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