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Media Center / XBOX 360 and NAS

Posted on 2010-08-17
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Hello all.

On my network I have:
1. Laptop running Windows Media Center.
2. Xbox Running Windows Media Center
3. 5TB NAS that presents media to the XBOX and Laptop.

Now here is the situation - Only the XBOX has a connection to the TV, so I utlimatly want to stream media to it.  But the laptop is the one that can play MKV, MP4 files.  (Please dont ask me where I got those files :P)  
Anyways..Does anyone know a solution so that I can get my XBOX 360 to see and play these files?
or how to convert them to avi?  
Does anyone know if you can somehow put media on the Xbox hard drive?
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Question by:camoIT
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8 Comments
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Mike Thomas
ID: 33457529
Share the files and add them to media PLAYER, sharing media is configured in the PLAYER, not media center, then you should be able to browse and play your media via the xbox.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/knowledgecenter/howto/mp11/xbox360towmp11xp_stepbystep.aspx
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Author Comment

by:camoIT
ID: 33457603
Mojotech.  My question isn't how do I stream to my Xbox over the network.
My question is A) How do I play MKV or MP4 files on my Xbox or convert them to avi.
B) Is it possible to store movies on the Hard Drive of the Xbox.

But I will keep this article handy.
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Mike Thomas
ID: 33457685
Ah ok, you would have to convert them to avi which is what I do to stream to the ps3 if the xbox will not play those files then conversion is required.
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 33457839
Matroska and XBox360 traditionally don't sit well together - I'd recommend tVersity to stream the MKV files to a format that your console is happier with it will take a bit of trial and error to get the MKVs converting on the fly and if you've any 1080p you'll need some impressive processing power on the laptop.
Make sure you limit the number of codecs involved. You'll need DivX and an AC3 filter as a minimum. Don't bother storing the movies on the Xbox drive unless they are in a format it can handle natively. Run them from the laptop directly or on the laptop from the NAS depending on processing power/bandwidth.
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DaBagBoy earned 2000 total points
ID: 33457990
TVersity works pretty well most of the time, except in HD.

To simply convert the files I'd recommend Handbrake, it has presets for the 360.
here is a calculator

http://lifehacker.com/5610568/calculate-the-perfect-handbrake-video-encoding-settings-for-your-device

You didn't mention HD?

If your files are HD I'd strongly suggest you consider connecting the TV to the laptop in some fashion as between the conversion process  itself, the buffering, and all else you may be less the happy with the streaming/playing from the 360.
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Expert Comment

by:Lusankya
ID: 33642551
PS3 Media Server unofficially supports the XBOX 360.
I have both systems at home and have PS3 Media Server on my PC and both units can stream from it.  PS3 Media Server is free and it supports MKV files.

Check it out here:
http://code.google.com/p/ps3mediaserver/downloads/list

I use the latest stable release.  It is messy, but if this was on your laptop, and had the NAS drive mapped you could set it up to share the media files.

If you didn't want to install that on your laptop (to use it as a bridge to the NAS) you might be able to try MKV2VOB which will convert the MKV files to a VOB file.  It should still be HD. http://www.afterdawn.com/software/audio_video/convert_video/mkv2vob.cfm
I used to use this before I learned about PS3 Media Server to play MKV files on the PS3.
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 33654518
Lusankya thanks for the PS3 Media Server tip, I'll give that a try.
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LVL 14
ID: 33722516
I actually looked up about MKVs myself, when I was thinking about encoding movies in them, but they aren;t supported by your XBOX.   MP4s can sometimes actually be played because MP4s can actually be Divix codex disguised, try changing the extension to MPEG or AVI and see if they work for you.

 Ultimately it comes down the the Codec that your XBOX 360 itself supports.  MKV is NOT one.

Generally I like to rip my DVDs to VOB format whcih si the raw format on the DVD with no compression.  I then create a hard-link to the VOB files as .mpeg, Windows Media center streams them to the XBOX and the XBOX realizes they are raw DVD format and plays them using it's DVD Codec flawlessly (I learned this method from a Microsoft Employee's Blog on the subject.

your only possible solutions are to re-rip your DVDs in a compatible format, or to re-encode your existing files into a compatible format. Obviously the re-ripping of your DVDs is likely to be a faster process which woudl cause less errors, but re-encoding will work just as well.

Perhaps one day Microsoft will add support for MKV Files to the XBOX 360 by a software update.. lol, and perhaps one day Apple will add support for FLAC to the iPod so I don't have to encode all of my Music twice.  It's not likely, but one can hope.
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