Encoding and streaming to the XBox 360

December 19, 2007 | Comments Off

Some very kind friends of mine availed me of an XBox 360 and Halo 3, an act for which I continue to thank them every time I see them. Having owned the original XBox (thanks to Vlad, are you sensing a pattern?), I was interested to see the next iteration, which I hadn’t to date. It’s a very solid product and I’m pretty happy with it.

I was pleased that it automatically detected my Twonkymedia server but it wasn’t playing my videos properly. The playback worked for a few seconds but then would subsequently deteriorate the further into the video it got. I don’t think it was a bandwidth issue because the original XBox with XBMC had no troubles playing the video. I concluded it was just some wonkiness between how I had encoded and what the XBox was capable of. I tried downloading some movie trailers and they played fine from the same device. My next task was to figure out what encoding settings to use.

I’d ripped all of Anna’s DVDs with Handbrake to h264/avi and those were having trouble playing. I searched the web hoping to find an XBox 360 preset for Handbrake but all I found was other people looking for the same. I finally remembered that Andrew had mentioned that he was playing videos across the network, so I consulted him. He suggested using the Apple TV preset, and that still wouldn’t work for me, until I figured out that Twonkymedia was keying off of the file extension. Changing the extension from mp4 to avi fixed Twonkymedia. Once I realized that things started working perfectly.

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