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(Pocket-lint) - The Xbox Video for Windows Phone app is now live, and you finally have the ability to access, stream or download movies and TV shows through the Xbox Video Store on a Windows Phone 8 smartphone.

Microsoft developed the Xbox Video service alongside Xbox Music in 2012, and it offers films and TV shows for rent or download via the Xbox Video Store. You can access Xbox Video on a wide array of Microsoft devices and products, including the Nokia Lumia 1020, Nokia Lumia 2520, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Windows 8 devices.

Beyond bringing the ability to purchase or stream content, it also allows you to use the new Xbox Video app to download movies and TV shows for offline use. In addition, if you already own purchased or rented content in Xbox Video, it will auto-appear in the app from the moment you first sign in. Just remember that HD films are only available on Windows 8, Xbox 360 and Xbox One at the moment.

Other app features include ratings, reviews and scores (including from Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic), the ability to resume watching from where you left off, trailers, and Season Pass. Microsoft's Season Pass delivers new episodes to your collections, and it serves up past seasons.

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Don't forget that you can also access Xbox Video on the web. Microsoft unveiled XboxVideo.com in November, ahead of its app release for Windows Phone. The web version offers the same access to movies and TV shows, and it is meant to replace Microsoft's Zune video service.

The new Xbox Video app is available through the Windows Phone Store starting today - and it's free to download.

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Writing by Elyse Betters. Originally published on 18 December 2013.