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Watch almost any format on Xbox 360 without Windows Media Centre

Picture of Watch almost any format on Xbox 360 without Windows Media Centre
If your like me - impatient, and want a quick and easy solution to watching a video on your $650 - $1000 Xbox 360, without Microsoft's stupid proprietary video format (.wmv), then i suggest you try this tutorial.

THIS IS VERY SIMPLE TO DO AND WILL TAKE ONLY A FEW HOURS TO COMPLETE!!!

Since i pre-ordered the Xbox 360 (in march 06), i really badly wanted to watch video on the expensive console. This was finally answered with an update. Only problem was, .WMV SUPPORT ONLY!!!.
So here i was spending so much time looking for a quick and easy solution on sites such as engadget and xbox-scene. I was pretty impatient, dismissing most of the long tutorials, until i found out a nice little program that streams formats other than .wmv to your xbox 360.

This guide will basically show you how to play several different video formats on your Xbox 360 without having to buy and install Windows Media Center OS. (as if Microsoft wasn't happy with the amount of money they made from home and professional!!)

Formats i have watched so far on my xbox 360:
- .avi (divx and xvid compressed)
- .avi (non-compressed)
- .mpg 1 and 2
- .mov (Quicktime)
- .flv (Youtube format)

I'm still trying to obtain the .mp4 codec that is compatible with TVersity - The program that does all the streaming.
 
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Step 1: Required Software - Windows Media Player 11

Picture of Required Software - Windows Media Player 11
This is the only Microsoft program you need, which is very simple to install and use. Better yet, this is THE ONLY Microsoft program that is easy to install and use.

Download and install Windows Media Player 11 from Microsoft.com. It is imperative that you install version 11 because the previous versions haven't been written to help stream media to the Xbox 360.

Note: Do not miss this step as windows media player is a very important part of the process. It uninstalled itself on my computer (How this happened i will never know) and I was trying to figure out why I kept getting connection error messages when trying to play non .wmv formats on my xbox.

Step 2: TVersity - Streaming Program

Picture of TVersity - Streaming Program
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Now, you must download and install a freeware program called TVersity from tversity.com/download.

Once you have installed this program, enable the "TVersity media server" in the start menu.
Now open the TVersity GUI (program) and go through the transcoder settings and change them so that it suits whatever console you have. i.e. bit rate, connection type, wireless/wired, resolution, etc

Now, turn on the Xbox 360 console and go to the Media blade (blue background). Go to either video, music or pictures and search for computers on the network.

If you are already connected to a computer and want to disconnect from it, go to the System blade (purple background) and go to computers>windows based pc>disconnect. Remember, you can only connect to 1 computer at a time.

Once you have disconnected from the computer you are currently connected to, go back to the media blade and go to videos>computer. A message should come up detailing how to connect to a computer - press "yes, continue"

It should now start searching for windows based pc's that are connected on the LAN.

Once it has finished searching it should come up with a list of computers on your network. Click on "TVersity on (Computer Name)" (TVersity basically acts like another computer on the LAN)

If TVersity installed and worked correctly, then this option should come up, otherwise, if it doesn't, then you have a problem with your Xbox finding TVersity. I tried a different computer as I have 2, but if you only have 1, then I suggest going to the TVersity forums, there is a lot of help there.

The only things that i can suggest at this point are the following....
- Check you windows firewall by going to start>control panel>windows firewall.
Either change the programs being blocked by the windows firewall or turn the firewall off.... this isnt recommended but just turn it off if everything else fails
- Check your network settings by going into my network places and programs and clicking on view network connections on the side of the window. From here, right click on the connection u are currently using and click on properties.
Once inside properties, scroll down the list until you see "internet protocol (TCP/IP)". Double click and make sure both the IP and DNS server addresses are obtained automatically.... Having a number in here may cause a conflict with the router resulting in your computer not showing up anywhere, this even means you might not be able to use your internet connection.

*Note - The second point may even solve any network conflicts you are having. By having this obtained automatically, you are letting your router do the work for you rather than doing it yourself. This often solves the "limited or no connectivity" issue not related to the xbox 360.

Once you have the TVersity media server working perfectly, and it's accessible from the Xbox 360 dashboard, continue with the final step.

Step 3: Required Software - DirectShow filters/decoders (codecs)

Picture of Required Software - DirectShow filters/decoders (codecs)
Now you have to install several DirectShow filters/decoders that are compatible with the TVersity media server.

A list of these programs can be found on the TVersity download page - tversity.com/download

Each decoder can decode a different format, for instance, QuickTime Alternative can decode .mov files while FFDshow can decode .divx/.xvid compressed .avi files and .mpg 1 and 2 files. Although this is the case, you can find packages such as the "k-lite codec pack" that installs several decoders/codecs as the same installation, but seperate programs.

Every decoder worked perfectly for me except for the FFDshow program which only decoded the following types of .avi files
- .xvid/.divx compressed .avi
- uncompressed .avi

I couldn't manage to decode .avi files that were compressed with codecs such as .mp4 using FFDshow, so bear this in mind.

If you have .avi files that have been encoded with other codecs and still want to play them, then download a program called "AVI FourCC Changer". This is a very simple program that gives you the option to change the four character code that is used to identify data formats. In other words, it lets you change the title of the codec used to compress the .avi file you want to watch. (it doesn't actually change the codec itself)

Browse for a media file by clicking on the folder icon. Now replace the original code with "xvid" in both boxes. (you can also try "divx" but i recommend "xvid")
For example, if the boxes show "dx50" which is "DivX codec 5.0", change them to "xvid".
The same applies for boxes that show, "div1" through to "div6".

If you type an incorrect code, it will result in an unplayable video, so it's best to backup the video first if your unfamiliar with this.

Note: The decoders must be compatible with TVersity. Go to tversity.com/download if you are unsure which programs to download.

Step 4: Your done!

Picture of Your done!
Once you have installed everything and everything's working, open up TVersity GUI (the program, not the server) and click on "start server now" which is in the start menu folder. Alternatively, you can right click on the tversity icon in the system tray and click "start tversity media server".
Add files and folders into the sharing tab.
TVersity is now able to stream media that is being decoded by FFDshow, etc into your Xbox.

Now, go to your Xbox 360 console. Go to the media blade, select "video" and choose "computer" (not "console"). Remember to skip the information about setup and select "yes, continue". Finally select the computer called "TVersity on (computer name)" - TVersity is shown as its own computer which is separate from connecting with "windows media connect".

Once this is done, search through the library for your video and click play, it should now freeze for up to a minute, only then will it start transcoding, letting you watch the video as it transcodes more content.

Your cannot fast forward or rewind during the video, as it is still transcoding into .wmv but you can pause and resume if the video or Xbox chooses to shut off or just stop.

Your computer is converting the video about 5 seconds ahead of what your actually watching

If your computer isn't fast enough, then your going to have to lower the transcoding quality and resolution, and raise the compression, etc.
Also, don't play any games or cpu-thrashing processes while transcoding. This is like converting a video while playing a game - the video will eventually slow down and stop converting.

While the video is playing, on your computer, there should be many icons in the system tray. These icons are the codecs and the TVersity media server.

It would also be a smart thing to do to pause the video for a little while when it starts. This allows the transcoding to be a few minutes ahead of the part you're up to so the video doesn't suddenly stop or restart half way, lol -œ it's happened to me many times and you cant skip.

One more thing - when going through the setup of each decoder, DO NOT attempt to change any technical stuff such as the libavcodec settings. Just install the program using the default settings unless you are absolutely sure on what you are doing.

If you are having any trouble with this, you can ask me through hotmail or msn, but please do not ask me about the Xbox not finding TVersity, I don't have a proper solution to it yet that actually works for everyone.

MSN: DannyboyINXS@hotmail.com

If you think this guide is great you can thank me for it but please do not copy it and claim it as your own work, as this has taken me over a year to figure out - since the 360 came out.
*If you want to include it in your work, change it, add to it, etc, ask me on msn or hotmail, and i will most likely let you on the condition that you include my name as the original author.

I hope it works for everyone. :)

This is just one of the many ways around this evil man's plans of making Microsoft products required for just about everything. Just look at DirectX 10 Games and Vista... Classic Example. They must've been some bullies while he was growing up LOL! You gotta feel sorry for the guy though, actually nah, he's on roughly AUD$1.1 mil a year, who can feel sorry.
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hydro20004 years ago
HEY THANKS SOO MUCH!
I AVE BEEN CONVERTING THE VIDEOS WHICH TOOK A HELL OF
A TIME BUT THIS IS SO COOL..
WORKS PERFECT!!
AGAIN THANKS MAN....
DannyboyINXS (author)  hydro20004 years ago
Really? I would've thought this wouldn't be of any use to anyone anymore seeing the xbox has the major codecs as part of it's software now.

Nonetheless, thankyou for your comment :) I'm glad it worked for you!
stablebetter3 months ago

"Xbox 360 supports the following movie format WMV(unprotected),MPEG4, H.264, AVI. Below is the detailed:

**A1: Here are Xbox 360 AVI support details:**

File extensions: .avi, .divx
Containers: AVI
Video profiles: MPEG-4 Part 2, Simple and Advanced Simple Profile
Video bitrate: 5 megabits per second (Mbps) with resolutions of 1280 x 720 at 30 frames per second (fps)
Audio profiles: Dolby Digital 2 channel and 5.1 channel, MP3
Audio max bitrate: No restrictions
Note See question 11 for more information.


**A2: Xbox 360 provides the following H.264 support:**

File name 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 30 fps
Audio profiles: two-channel AAC low complexity (LC)
Audio max bitrate: No restrictions
Note See question 11 for more information.


**A3: Here are the details about Xbox 360 support for MPEG-4:**

File name extensions: .mp4, .m4v, mp4v, .mov
Containers: MPEG-4, QuickTime
Video profiles: Simple and Advanced Simple Profile
Video bitrate: 5 Mbps with resolutions of 1280 x 720 at 30 fps
Audio profiles: two-channel AAC low complexity (LC)
Audio max bitrate: No restrictions
Note See question 11 for more information.



**A4: Here are the details about Xbox 360 support for WMV:**

File name 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 30 fps
Audio profiles: WMA7/8, WMA 9 Pro (stereo and 5.1), WMA lossless
Audio max bitrate: No restrictions
Note See question 11 for more information

To Play all kinds of video files on Xbox 360, you may refer to this solution on How to Solve Can't Play Videos on Xbox 360 at http://www.idealshare.net/video-converter/can-xbox360-play-mp4.html

KendraG9 months ago
Thanks for the article Danny. Just want to inform all folks who live outside US that Xbox360 is a great media Player. If you want to access Netflix and other streaming stations on your Xbox360 you can use UnoTelly as I do to get around the geo block.
Wailter1 year ago

From forum se7ensins, I known:



Xbox 360 has strict requirement for the input
formats and only WMV, AVI, H.264 and MPEG-4 are compatible with Xbox
360. In other words, it's impossible to directly play MKV on Xbox 360.
It is pity since MKV is an open standard free container format and very
popular so far.




To play MKV on Xbox 360, you'd better to convert MKV to Xbox 360 more compatible formats with Faasoft Video Converter.

Yep. They'll probably never make it compatible, either. MKV format is very popular with pirates due it it being open like it is. More often than not someone playing an .mkv film on a flash drive plugged into their Xbox has pirated the film. Which is to bad, because .mkv is such a fantastic format that can hold quality stuff at significantly smaller sizes.

Wailter1 year ago

From forum se7ensins, I known:



Xbox 360 has strict requirement for the input
formats and only WMV, AVI, H.264 and MPEG-4 are compatible with Xbox
360. In other words, it's impossible to directly play MKV on Xbox 360.
It is pity since MKV is an open standard free container format and very
popular so far.




To play MKV on Xbox 360, you'd better to convert MKV to Xbox 360 more compatible formats with Faasoft Video Converter.

Thanks so much for this great tip, never imaged it could be done so. While you can try to use some video converters to convert them to the xbox supported .wmv format and then watch it. 
While anyway, i just googled and found here is an article introduced totally 4 solutions for playing any video on XBOX. Just hope it helps.
carlosqmcg3 years ago
i did find this useful but I had a program called Vuze already on my computer that did all this for me.
Thanks A Lot FOr This
Am Gonna try it
From PK
dcm0695 years ago
I use twonkymedia server, It works great and plays Mp4 files.
DannyboyINXS (author)  dcm0695 years ago
That's now mate. This tutorial was made when there was hardly anything out there.
I was only trying to note an alternative, Not rain on your parade. Great Instructable is what the first line should have read. Sorry i did not note the date posted.
DannyboyINXS (author)  dcm0695 years ago
Yeah sorry mate, lol i was actually writing a less offensive reply, but backspaced it and re-wrote it cos i got pissed at something else ahahah. It just triggered my angry side a bit. What i was meant to say was that there are many programs for this task out there now. To be honest though, i would just use them for say mkv files, rather than mp4. Xbox have included mp4 playback in their video player for a few years now, so i hardly see this worth it anymore, unless you want to play back mkv like i said. Unfortunately though, mkv is an HD format, and streaming it on the fly would be pretty pointless seeing TVersity kinda shrinks it a bit into a format for the xbox. So i doubt it would even serve that purpose. I suppose if you were serious about mkv, to try and convert it to WMV-HD seeing that could probably play back without much quality loss. Good luck
buttersnake7 years ago
After having problems with WM11 freezing up and not connecting i tried tversity and it worked great the first 2 hours. After that i kept getting a message saying that the server couldn't start etc. I can't get the server to work for my life now.
DannyboyINXS (author)  buttersnake7 years ago
if u have tried right clicking on the TVersity icon in the system tray and clicking "start server", then i suggest you restart the computer or something.... because it should start. Also, another thing to try is when you installed TVersity, in the start menu, there should be a batch file to start the server... run that and get back to me
I have done both of those and also debugged the server app and it came back as being ok. I even re-installed it. It works fine after an install but if i close the program and open it back up to get it streaming again thats when it wont start the server. I read on some forums where other people are having the problem and they are suppose to be working on it. I really like the program because i could never get WMP11 or anything else for that matter to even get started by choosing files. Breakbox 360, what a masterpiece of multimedia.
DannyboyINXS (author)  buttersnake7 years ago
lol isnt it great? i spent so long trying to find a way to watch movies ahahaha hmm if you tried both of those, then i dont know what to suggest other than to check out on the forums and look for new versions... there is an optional xbox update though that gives the console a few extra codecs... like mp4, avi (xvid/divx), etc just try and play an .mp4 or something and itll give u an error with the link
My breakbox is up to date as far as updates go. I tried another program called orb and it worked just fine with no problems with the server. Only problem with it is that it is very clunky and just not up to par compared to tversity so im not even going to use it. I will just watch movies the way i did before. I take the avi file or whatever it is and just burn about 6 or 7 as data on a dvd and that way i don't waste a dvd on just one movie.
DannyboyINXS (author)  buttersnake7 years ago
yeah i've heard about orb but then again i havent tried it because of other options i had.... also, if you are able to watch movies of a data dvd then maybe u could just try and get WMP11 to stop freezing and just use that because it seems you can still watch avi files. if you plan on watching movies your way though, another option you have is to go and buy a notebook hard drive and an enclosure to make a small external (or just buy it pre-made). Leave the filesystem as FAT seeing the xbox only picks up FAT hard disks and put all your movies on to there then connect it to the xbox's USB ports.... either way - watching movies in different formats is the main thing :)
Its just easier to burn 6-7 movies at a time ( if they are in a format such as avi, mpeg, etc. ) and watch them that way. I have 2 HD's laying around and a usb set-up i could use but meh, just more things in my entertainment center and more heat to help my red rings pop up :)
DannyboyINXS (author)  buttersnake7 years ago
ahahah yeah u gotta watch out for the heat... lol microsoft used the unexpected humidity of australia as an excuse for our RRoD... they said we were so humid, that some xbox's were instant red rings... lol bullshit
Haha, yeah humidity isn't a valid reason for massive hardware failures all over the globe. If humidity was a problem mine would be broke by now, Alabama is pretty damn muggy. I am waiting on mine to break so i can get my free repair, im wanting to tear into it and put a new case on it and all but im not until it breaks because i won't be able to get a free repair if its tampered with.
DannyboyINXS (author)  buttersnake7 years ago
yeah perth isnt too good either in terms of humidity but i've also had my eyes on the free repair ahahaha if its going to red ring on me, lets hope it does it before the 3 year warranty runs out
for the RRoD it doesnt need to be under warranty, you dont even need your receipt...
DannyboyINXS (author)  st1626 years ago
yeah... unless you feel like paying $140 for warranty-less repair (i think that's a USD figure)
el greeno6 years ago
Good instructable but i don't see the point. Most video's can be downloaded in avi format nowadays and media player will stream this to the xbox by file sharing without any conversion required at all. Thats how i watch films and TV series.
Hi, el greeno, you couldn't briefly tell me how you file share with WM11 and Xbox360 could you? I have a hard drive with loads of avi movies and an xbox 360 and am desperately trying to play the avi files through it on my TV as simply as possible! Thanks!
DannyboyINXS (author)  alex123456 years ago
Load up Windows Media Player 11 and follow these steps... 1. Up the top, there are tabs (Now Playing, Library, Rip, Burn, etc). Highlight the "Library" tab, and click the small arrow underneath it to open the pull down menu. 2. Click on "Media Sharing" and then click on the "share my media to" box. Click on the devices you want to allow and click "allow" underneath it. I.e. Xbox 360 (The Xbox 360 should be on, looking for PC's for WMP11 to pick it up as a new device) 3. Once the xbox 360 is allowed, open up the same menu again (Library Tab), but this time, click on "Add to Library" which is above "Media Sharing. 4. This window is pretty straight forward. Choose the folders you want to share, and click done. Once the xbox 360 has been allowed, and the folders are shared, The computer should show up on the xbox 360, and you should be browsing the folders you shared. Alternatively, you can just download "windows media connect" which is outdated, but still works perfectly. Windows Media Connect is easier to use, because it is its own program. Windows Media Player pretty much has windows media connect built in so it's really your preference. Hope this helps
DannyboyINXS (author)  el greeno6 years ago
yes we know this, but perhaps you should look at the date this was created... this is roughly a year old, and the xbox didnt have these supported codecs available on xbox live until after this was made
Yes, point taken, however people were/are still commenting on this instructable as if its still relevant. Very good for its time though.
DannyboyINXS (author)  el greeno6 years ago
Thanks for the input. I might not take it down though, im sure people will research other alternatives that are relevant to today before trying this. Thanks anyway man.
naru-fan6 years ago
Try downloading the moyea FLV converter only for FLV to convert videos :D
DannyboyINXS (author)  naru-fan6 years ago
yeah, you could download a converter to convert all your movies, but this instructable was made so that you don't have to sit there and wait for them everytime you wanted to watch something... this method does it on the fly, so you only transcode AS you watch it. Besides it's really annoying finding a good free video converter these days :P That being said, it also wouldn't hurt to have a converter sitting there in case you need it XD
conradev6 years ago
You should update this because the new version, version 1.0 RC3, has a codec pack included, and your pictures are not up to date
DannyboyINXS (author)  conradev6 years ago
yeah, just cos there is a new version out doesnt mean i have to update the tutorial... when people visit the site, they will look for the latest version. so i don't really see any point updating it, besides, this is pretty useless now seeing an update pretty much added most of these formats...
chinnerz7 years ago
I was looking on the net and I found out that Nero8 dose all the parts in this Instructable, and it comes with many codecs. if you ask me I think they copied your work.
chinnerz7 years ago
dude, zune software is hard to use and is just plane crap! it can't see an .avi movie(probably the most common) I have tried the "Hacks" and they still don't work. also its blury and looks like wallpaper...
DannyboyINXS (author)  chinnerz7 years ago
lol, personally i dont trust most microsoft products, the only reason i used WMP11 is because i have used it for ages and it is the only program with windows media connect in it. you cant get media connect by itself anymore... pfft micro$$oft
the only Microsoft product I like is the xbox. Vista is buggy and xp doesn't say fast. windows media players is rly slow and when the songs play they r laggy. wmv sounds low-fi, wmv is un popular and looks crap, Internet explorer is ok I guess... in short spend more time refining you products Microsoft! I may sound like I hate Microsoft, and well maybe I do a little bit. but it rly messes me up when technology doesn't work the way is should.
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