Sorry, you cannot watch your favorite TV show on Windows Phone 8 during your commute

Sorry, you cannot watch your favorite TV show on Windows Phone 8 during your commute

Summary: It was so obvious that I assumed there was no question about support, but it turns out you cannot watch video content you rent or purchase from Xbox Video on Windows Phone 8 devices. Did Microsoft release an unfinished product to the public?

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Yesterday Mary Jo pointed out some issues with Windows Phone 8 and luckily none of the devices I have been using for a few weeks has suffered any of these. However, I just ran into something this weekend that was confirmed by the folks at WPCentral and that is Windows Phone 8 doesn't support Xbox Video and that's not even a bug. I am not sure if it was just expected by everyone writing about Windows Phone 8 or what, but this issue is just now getting publicly discussed.

I was quite excited about the new Xbox Music service and think it offers the best of all worlds (streaming, offline, radio, storage locker) so I was actually shocked to find that you cannot view Xbox Video content on these new smartphones. I don't watch a ton of movies on my smartphones, but I do rent them on Google Play, Samsung Media Hub, or HTC Watch on my large screen Android devices to view on flights and even during my two hour commute. This weekend I was downloading the latest episode of The Walking Dead to enjoy on my iPad and realized that was all I was using my iPad for so my plan was to buy the next season on my Surface RT. I thought I could then extend that experience to the Lumia 920 or HTC 8X. This assumption is wrong and for some odd reason Microsoft does not support video content on WP8.

I understand there are not a ton of people that will watch a movie or TV show on their phone, but this support WAS present in earlier versions of Windows Phone so there is no reason it should not be expected to be present today. As you can see in the WPCentral article the purchase experience and terms of purchase even show you can watch it later on your Windows Phone. I don't think by later they mean in Windows Phone 9, do they?

It's is funny to now realize that Android is the becoming one of the best smartphone platforms for media content with multiple means to stream or download music (Google Music, Amazon MP3, Samsung Media Hub) and enjoy video content (Google Play, Samsung Media Hub, HTC Watch) on larger high resolution displays. I never watch video on my iPhone because the display is just too small so Android smartphones like the HTC Droid DNA and Samsung Galaxy Note II are my preferred phone video consumption devices. This lack of video support in Windows Phone 8 does cause me to pause and reconsider the platform as a viable alternative for daily usage. Does it bother you that Microsoft doesn't support video rental/purchase content on Windows Phone 8?

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Topics: Mobility, Smartphones, Windows

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122 comments
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  • Another failure from Microsoft

    Windows Phone 8 will fail, just like Windows Phone 7 did.

    Imagine if Google released a phone that couldn't access Google's YouTube. It just wouldn't happen. Imagine if Apple released a new iPhone that couldn't access iTunes. It would be the laughing stock.

    Yet this is what Microsoft just did. It released a phone that can't access Microsoft's Xbox music as was previously promised. If Microsoft wants to survive in the smartphone biz, it's gotta hit the ground running. Instead, Microsoft is releasing half-baked products that lack features, lack apps, and are buggy (many people's Windows Phones suffer a black screen of death and keep restarting). This is from the same people who brought you the Kin.
    Vbitrate
    • .

      It can access Xbox music.... Why do idiot's like you run your mouth off when you know nothing about the product.

      What it can't access is Xbox video, which is hardly used by anyone, I, nor anyone I know have ever used it. However i was listening to my Music with xbox live music pass this morning.
      danjames2012
      • Yes, it's the video that doesn't work.

        Sorry, I meant to say Xbox video doesn't work.

        When the service started, Xbox video was billed as Microsoft's answer to YouTube. They called it "video everywhere." It now seems to be "video nowhere." At least not on Windows Phone 8.
        Vbitrate
        • Moar

          Moar hyperbole and innacurate non seqs, please troll. Meanwhile, Apple Maps? Yeah. I went there.
          Oh, or i would have, if I could find the location -- ZING!
          Brenden Nickless
          • And for those wondering

            how long it would take for a Microsoft defender to whip out a totally unrelated Apple program in non-sequitur defense of a huge failing, here's the answer. Moar!
            gregv2k
          • Re: Meanwhile, Apple Maps?

            A swing and a miss!

            Note that the writer did not say that Apple was better for watching his videos: he said that Android was better for watching his videos.
            ldo17
        • stupid

          Stfu dude...no one watches video now a days due to data. Being cap by carriers,people are conscious about it..feature rich you say..people wants simplicity. And that's how you win peoples hard earned money..
          ej1024
          • Not stupid

            That's why so many people use their wi fi. So that they don't need to consume all their data. Many of us rely on video streaming to catch up with the few good shows that are out there on TV and don't get to watch because of their busy schedules.
            lcea
      • I wondered how long it would take

        to get to the "Who cares?" defense. Answer: second post. Hysterical.
        gregv2k
        • sort of like

          who cares if you map apps sucks

          or who cares if your phone is littered with viruses and crashes all the time?

          swings and roundabouts.... swings and roundabouts...
          danjames2012
        • I wondered how long it would take

          for you and your fellow trolls to post.

          Once again, you vindicated me!

          LOL! Thanks so much!
          William Farrel
          • It's tougher to be a Microsoft troll

            But at least WP8 is keeping the Microsoft trolls from getting bored. One fail after another requires a lot of spin. Wheeeee!! Lets hear how not being able to play video from your own store is a good thing :-))
            gregv2k
    • All iTunes content can be viewed on iPhone

      All of it. Movies, TV shows, music videos, how-to videos, interviews, documentaries, all of it. Unrestricted and flawless. Viewable within seconds of purchase even as its downloading. Oh, what was that, you wanted to say something about Maps?
      gregv2k
      • maps

        I find it amusing some still bleat on about iOS maps. For me in my area it works better than google. I run an iPhone 5 and a note 2. Love them both but iOS maps are still more reliable for me for turn by turn
        andybart
    • Nice to see you SC

      I bet you love the smell of troll in the morning. :)
      William Farrel
    • its a fail

      MS is pulling people from other platforms and the DRM is jacked. Xbox,win8,win7,winph7&8 should all be supported. Its a fail.

      You can say who cares and that maybe true for 90% of the people or even 100% but when someone says video does not sync people think the phone is jacked and won't buy into the platform.

      People won't quantify it. It will just be the platform that cannot sync movies.
      DeathDealer35
  • Not the first time

    This is not the first time Microsoft releases an unfinished product, Windows Me, Windows Vista to name a few.
    Chkaiban
    • .

      I think all companies do, was android finished? was IOS finished? In the tech world nothing is ever finished.
      danjames2012
      • if this was microsoft first phone OS you'd have a point

        Windows phone 7 was supposed to be microsoft's anwser to iOS and Android. It wasn't.
        Now windows 8 is supposed to be the answer but it's far from complete and thus won't be able to compete. How many version will they need to get something comparable to iOS and Android?
        Jean-Pierre-
        • funny

          So, not being able to play ZBOX video means it's "not able to compete". Right. How do you call having a laughable maps solution?". Just curious
          yribarne