The Movies & TV app has received plenty of updates over the past few years since Windows 10 was first launched. However, you might have only tried it once or twice, or perhaps didn’t even know it existed — similar to Groove Music. But now that Microsoft is integrated with Movies Anywhere, there is a bigger incentive to start using it. And you just might find yourself using it a lot more to watch flicks on your PC. Here are a few tips and tricks for getting the most out of the entertainment app.
Explore, Rent, or Buy Movies and TV Shows
Like the Amazon, Google, and Apple – Microsoft has an enormous section of digital content available to purchase. To find content, launch the Movies & TV app and select the Explore tab. There you’ll see a few select featured movies scroll by at the top and under that, you can choose Trailers, 360-degree videos, Movies, or TV if you want to jump to a specific section. Using the app is straight-forward and the best way to get acclimated is to dive right in and start looking around. Once you’re ready to buy your first flick, check out our article on how to purchase or rent movies or TV on Windows 10.
Watch Your Own Videos
While Windows Media Player is still in Windows 10, for now anyway, you can also use the Movies & TV app to play your own locally stored content. You can play an individual app at a time by right-clicking the video file and choosing Movies & TV from the “Open with” context menu.
You can also browse to the location of your video collection by opening the app and clicking the “Personal” tab at the top. Then browse through “Video folders”, “Removeable storage”, or “Media servers” if you have a NAS.
You can also tell the app where to look for your videos. The process is similar to telling Groove Music where to look for your music files. Launch Movies & TV and head to Settings > Choose where we look for videos and adding the location of your collection.
Use Picture-in-Picture Mode
One of the cool features you might not know about is Picture-in-Picture mode. It lets you keep the video player on top of other windows while using your PC. While you’re busy working on spreadsheets and TPS reports at work, you can have the latest Marvel movie playing in the corner. To use it, start watching a movie or TV show and click the “Mini Mode” button at the bottom-right corner of the window. The video window will remain on top of your other windows, but you can move it around and even resize it. You can also hover over the video and basic playback controls will pop up.
Make Movies & TV Start in Fullscreen Mode
If you do find yourself using it more, you might want movies to always play in Fullscreen mode when you’re ready to watch a flick. Launch the Movies and TV app and click the More Options icon (…) and then choose Settings from the menu. Then scroll down and turn on the “Playback” switch. That will make videos always start in full screen. Whether you have a high-quality 4K display or not, it’s good to know you can make movies always play in full screen for a better viewing experience.
Enable the Dark or Light Mode
Similar to making videos start in Fullscreen Mode, you can also head to Settings to enable the Dark Theme. Just scroll down in Settings under the Playback section and choose Light, Dark, or Use system settings and restart the app to get the look you want. Note that if you have it set to system settings, it will take on the color of the theme you’re using. So, if you have the Dark Theme enabled for Windows 10 it will be dark as well. But you can make the app light if you want and vice versa.
Again, since Microsoft has finally integrated with Movies Anywhere, there is a lot more of an incentive to start looking at purchasing content from Microsoft and using the Movies & TV app. Since it’s a modern UWP app, and not integrated into the OS, it can be updated on a regular basis and we should see even more improvements over the coming year. One update that would be welcome is better integration with the Store. Finding a movie in the Movies & TV app, and then having to open the Microsoft Store as a separate app is clunky, to say the least. Currently, if you plan to purchase a film or TV show, it’s easier to just go into the Microsoft Store directly. Still, the app is fairly robust, and these tips should help get you started.