You Can Watch Your Netflix Instant Queue Using Your Xbox 360

by Debbie Dragon on 21 August 2009 11 comments

I've been a member of Netflix for about a year now, because I was previously guilty of forgetting to return movies on time and spending a fortune in late fees. My family watches movies at night a couple times a week in the summer months, and then in the winter we tend to watch a little more. We work around this by adjusting the membership to a lower cost, less-movies-per-month plan for the summer and can increase it for the winter months when we watch more.

Recently, my son noticed that the Netflix logo appeared on his Xbox 360, when he was just browsing through his “dashboard.” He knows way more about the Xbox than I ever will, but when he showed me the Netflix logo I investigated it and sure enough – you can watch the “instant queue” movies from your Netflix account on your television, streaming through the Xbox 360 Live.
 
We currently have a free membership to the Xbox 360 Live. There are a number of options for continuing the membership after our membership runs out, from $7.99 per month on a month-to-month plan, to $19.99 for a 3 month plan, to $49.99 for a full year. Doing an internet search online showed me a few ways to get redemption codes for Xbox live, too. If you're not aware, the Xbox Live community allows you to download game content, and play multi-player games with real people in real time. Turns out many of the games that you would buy in the stores are available for download, at a reduced price over purchasing the physical game – but eventually you would run out of hard drive space on your Xbox to store downloaded games and content.
 
Connecting the Netflix account to our Xbox 360 wasn't as easy as I expected. The Xbox gives you a special code to enter into your Netflix account, but we ended up having to restart the Xbox about three times and enter three different codes before it was accepted and “connected.” 
 
Once the connection was established, it was just a matter of scrolling through the “instant queue” using the Xbox 360 controller and the television screen. We found a movie we wanted to watch, selected it, and it streamed directly to the TV.
 
Netflix has a variety of devices which can be used to watch movies from the “watch instantly” collection (which by the way, doesn't include every movie in Netflix's database) but most of them are rather expensive. If I didn't already have an Xbox 360, I certainly wouldn't have run out to buy one just to stream movies from Netflix, in the same way that I wouldn't run out to buy any of the other instant devices just for that purpose. But, for anyone who already has both the Xbox 360 and a Netflix account – you might consider connecting them to enjoy your Netflix movies via the television instead of the computer screen.
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Xin Lu's picture
Xin Lu

In our house we just have a computer plugged into the LCD tv so we watch online streaming on it and also use the tv as a monitor to do other stuff on the computer.   We have the xbox plugged into the tv, too, and the Netflix feature is quite nice because Netflix has a ton of TV shows available for streaming, too. 

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Amy

my boyfriend and I watch shows/movies like this all the time!

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Guest

I don't own an xbox but I own a PS3. I have it connected to my TV, and part of my wireless network. Since I have PlayOn installed in my PC, I use it as a media server... meaning that I can watch Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube on my TV. I love it. I haven't paid for Cable TV in over 3 years now.

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Allie

We do this ALL the time now! I was so happy to find this feature b/c it's nice to not need another device. There's a lot of great stuff on the watch instantly section too.

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Jaime

We would love to do this, but Netflix instant movies/shows aren't captioned or sub-titled. Since my husband is deaf we're out of luck. Hulu (and several other video sources) do have captions now, so we can do some web-viewing. But it is limited.

Guest's picture

Where do I get the number code to plug in? Is it free?

Debbie Dragon's picture

Hi Wounded Ego...

You do have to have xbox live... and a netflix account. 

If you have both, then the code itself is free. You use the dashboard in your xbox to find the netflix screen... open it up, and it will give you a URL to visit on your computer and a code to enter. 

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Guest

I do this all the time. It was easy to set up, and when I'm bored on a rainy day, I love going through my queue and picking a romantic girly movie.
It's like looking at a stack of movies on a shelf, and taking one down.

LOVE IT!!!! (and you really get your money's worth, if you watch a lot of them!

And you CAN do this, even if you only pay for the ONE movie at at time. (someone told me I couldn't, at first, but I tried it, and it works fine.)

Just put a bunch of "watch instantly" movies in your queue, set up the xbox/netflix feature, and boom...the movies are on your xbox list.

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Pam

I love filling my 360 "instant queue" with movies and tv shows.

It is, however, worth mentioning that only a selection of titles are available for instant watch, and some titles are available only for a limited time. For example, I added the Gregory Peck version of Moby Dick and noticed the movie is only available until September 14th. But Netflix does add new titles periodically, and there's always something worth watching.

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Guest

Paying for live membership just to have Netflix is ridicule! Playstation and all DVD players let you play Netflix without any extra membership. Way to make good customers Microsoft!