Tip & How-To about Audio Players & Recorders

Play videos on Xbox 360 and stream videos to Xbox 360

How to play videos on Xbox 360 and stream videos to Xbox 360 – including Blu-ray, DVD movies, and videos in various file formats



This tutorial intends to list out all the video formats supported by the Xbox 360, and explains all the available ways to play videos on Xbox 360 in HD quality or stream videos to Xbox 360. The videos include Blu-ray movies, standard DVD movies, and various other videos, such as ISO image file, Camera footages, MKV, MTS, VOB, M2TS, TS, TP, FLV files, etc.

Let's Get Started.

Part 1: The details of Xbox 360 supported file formats

1. AVI:

File Extensions: .avi, .divx

Containers: AVI

Video Profiles: MPEG-4 Part 2, Simple & Advanced Simple Profile

Video Bitrate: 5 Mbps with resolutions of 1280 x 720 at 30fps.

Audio Profiles: Dolby Digital 2 channel and 5.1 channel, MP3

Audio Max Bitrate: No restrictions.

2. H.264:

File Extensions: .mp4, .m4v, mp4v, .mov

Containers: MPEG-4, QuickTime

Video Profiles: Baseline, main, and high (up to Level 4.1) profiles.

Video Bitrate: 10 Mbps with resolutions of 1920 x 1080 at 30fps. Audio Profiles: 2 channel AAC low complexity (LC)

Audio Max Bitrate: No restrictions.

3. MPEG-4:

File Extensions: .mp4, .m4v, .mp4v, .mov

Containers: MPEG-4, QuickTime

Video Profiles: Simple & Advanced Simple Profile

Video Bitrate: 5 Mbps with resolutions of 1280 x 720 at 30fps.

Audio Profiles: 2 channel AAC low complexity (LC)

Audio Max Bitrate: No restrictions.

4. WMV:

File Extensions: .wmv

Container: asf

Video Profiles: WMV7 (WMV1), WMV8 (WMV2), WMV9 (WMV3), VC-1 (WVC1 or WMVA) in simple, main, and advanced up to Level 3

Video Bitrate: 15 Mbps with resolutions of 1920 x 1080 at 30fps.

Audio Profiles: WMA7/8, WMA 9 Pro (stereo and 5.1), WMA lossless

Audio Max Bitrate: No restrictions.

Notes: You can not mix and match the video and audio codec outside of the above defined lists randomly.

Part 2: Different ways to play videos on Xbox 360



With regard to playback videos from a USB storage device, please note that the Xbox 360 will support as big of a storage device as you can format using FAT32, and the maximum size of any single file on FAT32 is 4GB. Besides that, the maximum file size for an AVI, MPEG-4 Part 2, and H.264 file that can be played is 4 GB as well. To play a file greater than 4GB on Xbox 360, you can use Windows Media Player 11 and the Zune software to stream videos from your PC to Xbox 360 console, and notice that the file format must be WMV only. Why is it so special with a WMV file? That maybe WMV is a codec developed by Microsoft.

Well, that is to say, to some extent, we can consider WMV as the optimal format to play or stream to Xbox 360. When you are gonna watch a Blu-ray/DVD movie, or an MKV video, or some files else that are out of the range of Xbox 360 workable formats, what is your solution? We usually make use of Pavtube Blu-ray Video Converter Ultimate to do format conversion. Why do we choose it? Mainly because of its splendid output quality and its feature of an all-in-one application: a Blu-ray ripper, a DVD ripper, and a versatile video converter.

Part 3: How to convert Blu-ray/DVD and videos to WMV for play/stream on/to Xbox 360

We have mentioned in the above contents that the program we will use is Pavtube Blu-ray Video Converter Ultimate. Go to find a step-by-step instruction from the following part.



STEP 1: Load Blu-ray, DVD or other video files into this program

Click "Add Video" to import video files, and click "Load DVD" to import Blu-ray or DVD files.

STEP 2: Select subtitle and audio track

Click on the pull down menu after "Subtitle" and "Audio" respectively to select your needed subtitle and audio track as your choice. Your selection can be reviewed in the preview window to the right hand of the main interface.

STEP 3: Select WMV as output format for Xbox 360

Click on the drop-down list at the opposite side of "Format", and then choose "WMV3 (WMV9) (*.wmv)" as output format.



STEP 4: Do optimal settings for the output WMV files

Click on "Settings" button, and afterwards you can adjust audio and video parameters including video/audio codec, resolution, video/audio bit rate, frame rate, sample rate and audio channel on the popup window. To make it excellent for playback on Xbox 360, you can follow the optimal settings as below:

Video codec: wmv3 (the default one)
Resolution: 1920*1080
Bitrate: 150 kbps
Frame rate: 30 fps

Audio codec: wmav3 (the default one)
Sample rate: 48 khz
Bitrate: 320 kbps
Channels: 5.1 Channels



Do remember clicking "OK" button to confirm your settings.

STEP 5: Click "Convert" button to start BD/DVD ripping or video conversion

Once finished, click "Open" button at the bottom to get the output WMV files for Xbox 360, which now is prepared for playback or streaming.

Part 4: How to stream videos to Xbox 360

Well, as we have mentioned in Part 2, there are at least four ways to stream videos to Xbox 360, from Windows Media Center, Windows Home Server, Windows Media Player 11, and Zune Software. Actually, lots of online articles have detailed the setups and operating steps, just check the following links to find the one which is most suitable for you:

How to stream videos to Xbox 360 via Windows Media Center

How to stream videos to Xbox 360 via Windows Home Server

How to stream videos to Xbox 360 via Windows Media Player 11

How to stream videos to Xbox 360 via Zune Software

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Movie Formats To Work With Xbox 360


As you may have heard, with the Xbox 360 Flash Fall 2006 System Update they are adding support for WMV video playback from new sources. Videos can be streamed from a PC running Windows Media Connect, Windows Media Player 11, or the new Zune client player, and can also be played from Optical Disc and most USB mass storage devices. For all these sources, only the WMV video file format and codecs are supported. How do I know if a video file will work on the Xbox 360? Currently only the Windows Media Video (WMV) file format and codecs are supported. If you have a file with a ?.wmv? extension, then the odds are pretty good that it will work. Technical details on the types of files we support can be found at the end of this post, but the easiest way to find out if a file will work or not is to just try it. Hopefully after you click play the video will show up on your display, but if the content is not supported you will simply get an ?Unplayable Content? message blade from the side of the screen and then be returned to the Video blade. How do I create videos that will play on my Xbox 360? Windows Movie Maker, a standard feature of Windows XPSP2, will output WMV video files compatible with the Xbox 360 console. Either use the default settings when you finish a movie and click ?Save to my computer,? or just make sure that the output video format you select shows the file type as ?Windows Media Video (WMV).? Videos will usually look best when they are closest to the original resolution that they were created with. Try to create video files at least 360 pixels high in vertical resolution in order to minimize content upscaling on the console. If you decide you want finer control of the output video file format, download a version of Windows Media Encoder (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/) and then start encoding away. Optimal size and bitrate settings will vary depending on the source material you are encoding. As a general guideline though, 1.5 Mbps is a typical bitrate that should be suitable for most standard definition content, and 8 Mbps is a common bitrate for high definition content. Can I get more technical details about the kinds of files you support? WMV video files with the extension ?.wmv? are stored in a generic file container format known as ASF. ASF files can contain many different types of codecs within them. Xbox 360 supports most common WMV video codecs, as seen in the following chart: Supported Video Codecs: Name FourCC Windows Media Video 7 WMV1 Windows Media Video 8 WMV2 Windows Media Video 9 WMV3 Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile WVC1 There are some files with ?.wmv? extension that may play on a PC, but are unsupported on the Xbox 360 console. Windows Media Screen, Windows Media 9 Image (Photostory), and some older Microsoft codecs are unsupported, as seen in the following chart: Unsupported Codecs: Name FourCC Microsoft MPEG-4 Video Codec V3 MP43 Microsoft MPEG-4 Video Codec V2 MP42 Microsoft MPEG-4 Video Codec V1 MP41 Windows Media Screen V9 MSS2 Windows Media Screen V7 MSS1 Windows Media Video 9 Image WMVP Windows Media Video 9 Image v2 WVP2 ISO MPEG-4 Video V1 MP4S Anamorphic content with nonsquare pixels is currently unsupported on Xbox 360 console, and will be displayed as if the pixels were square. If you want to play such content on your console, it is recommended that you re-encode the content in a square pixel format.

May 17, 2007 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

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