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How Xbox Live Works


Silver and Gold
With an Xbox Live Gold membership, you can log in to Netflix from your Xbox 360 and stream some of your favorite movies and TV shows.
With an Xbox Live Gold membership, you can log in to Netflix from your Xbox 360 and stream some of your favorite movies and TV shows.
Netflix

Xbox Live has two levels of membership: Free and Gold. Free membership, which used to be called Silver, costs nothing but has limited features. At the Free level, you can do the following:

  • Create a profile and a Gamertag
  • Create a friends list
  • Preview games
  • Stream video content from the Zune network
  • Download games and add-ons from the Xbox Live Marketplace
  • Send and receive messages with other Xbox Live users as text or voice
  • Make a video call to a friend using Video Kinect (for Kinect owners)

Xbox Live Gold is a subscription service that varies in cost. As of this writing, you can purchase subscription cards for Xbox Live Gold at about $25 for three months or $60 for a year. Microsoft and other vendors run limited-time specials on subscriptions, both for the cards and for purchasing from your Xbox dashboard. For example, one special from Microsoft in the Spring of 2011 is a Family Pack, which includes four Xbox Live Gold memberships for less than the price of two [source: Microsoft].

With Gold membership, you have access to all the features of free membership plus the following:

  • Interactive online game play
  • Steaming video content from Netflix
  • Streaming TV and movies from Hulu Plus (see the sidebar on this page)
  • Streaming live sports events using ESPN on Xbox Live
  • Social networking with Facebook and Twitter
  • Streaming radio from Last.fm
  • Streaming music selections from Zune (additional Zune Pass subscription required)

We've just seen the advantages you'll get by going for the Gold. Now let's talk tech about the network and using it on your Xbox 360 console.


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