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Best file format for DVD rips to play on Xbox 360.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for some advice regarding the best format for ripping my DVDs to be played on an Xbox. I found this link that explains which codecs are supported. However, from there, I'm not really clear what's best. I'll be playing on a 50" 720p TV. More importantly, I'd like to keep the audio at the highest quality possible.

post #2 of 6
Best video quality is H.264 in MP4 however the Xbox 360 only supports stereo AAC, if no surround sound is not an issue then just crank the AAC bitrate to the maximum.

So in Handbrake use the high profile preset for best video quality and then on the audio tab set AAC bitrate to 384.

For MPEG-4 ASP aka XviD, video quality is not as good as H.264, but the Xbox 360 does support Dolby 5.1 audio in AVI containers so if after surround sound this is your only real option.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply Alx330! I definitely want to keep 5.1 audio. In the instance where I have a disc with both a DD and a DTS track, I would really prefer the DTS track. Am I correct in my understanding that my only option for keeping 5.1 is the DD track though?

I am using Nero Recode. I see the following three options: LC-AAC; HE-AAC; AC3 (pass through). Is one higher quality than the other?

The page the I referenced above also says the following is supported by Xbox:

WMV (VC-1) video, up to 15Mbps, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 30 frames per second, WMV7 (WMV1), WMV8 (WMV2), WMV9 (WMV3), VC-1 (WVC1 or WMVA) in Simple/Main/Advanced up to level 3 in asf containers with WMA7/8, WMA 9 Pro (stereo and 5.1), WMA lossless in .wmv file formats.

How does this compare to MPEG-4 ASP/XviD?
post #4 of 6
If I were you I would save yourself a whole lot of trouble and go buy a WDTV Live, the Xbox 360 cannot do what you want, it's too basic. With the WDTV you can rip the discs as ISO images and play the DVD's the same as if they were in a disc player with menus and everything else intact or play them as lossless standalone videos by ripping with MakeMKV.

Nero Recode, I haven't used that in years but does it generate XviD/AVI files ?, last time it was MP4 only but that was a long time ago. The Xbox 360 does not support AC3 (Dolby 5.1) in MP4 I think.

For generating XviD/AVI files you could try Freemake as the video encoder.

I intentionally left out WMV as it's terrible and should be avoided at all costs, WMV encoding tools are some of the worst out there, image quality is bad, support for WMV on non-Microsoft platforms is poor and I'm not even sure the Xbox 360 supports WMA 5.1 any more, there was some talk a while back that a dashboard update removed WMA 5.1 or maybe it was WMA lossless/WMA Pro.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks Alx330!

Nero does offer AVI as an option. I don't see XviD though. I'll take a look at Freemake. Appreciate the suggestion.

The Xbox 360 Supported Video Formats section at This link confuses the heck out of me. It lists MPEG-4 Part 2 twice. One mentions 5.1, the other doesn't. And, is there a difference between MPEG-4 and MPEG-4 Part 2? I suspect I need a primer on all the video formats/codecs.

I'm not sure about WMV, but the Xbox definitely dropped support for WMA Lossless. I ran into this limitation pretty quickly as this is how my entire music collection is ripped. In fact, I just discovered the workaround to this is to stream from my PC to the Xbox System Music Player. Not ideal, but I can live with it.

To your larger point, I am thinking about throwing in the towel on the Xbox. I actually do have a WD Live on our secondary TV. Use it daily for Netflix and Hulu Plus. My few attempts at using it for media files have been disappointing... not a very intuitive user interface.

I'm seriously thinking about picking up one of the Oppo BDP-93 players that have the old firmware to play ISO. Boy, what I wouldn't give to be able to get my entire DVD-A, SACD, and Blu-ray music collection on a media server! smile.gif
post #6 of 6
It's just different terminology used and abused as the MPEG-4 specification has a few different groups behind it with alternate names for the specification combined with bad marketing.

MPEG-4 ASP is the specification which lots of 'MPEG4', 'MPEG-4 Part 2' encoders are based off, your XviD/DivX.

MPEG-4 AVC is the specification which lots of 'H.264', 'MPEG-4 Part 10' encoders are based off, your x264, Apple H.264 etc.

I'd say Apple is more responsible than anyone else for making H.264 stick. Nero Recode is both an MPEG-4 ASP and MPEG-4 AVC encoder.

HDI Dune have a high end box in development the Dune MAX HD 3D, this will play DVD/BD's with full menus and it runs XBMC as it's GUI. But I've no clue as to when that will hit the market. The UI's are not so great on a lot of media players boxes, you can get a cheap XBMC box the Pivos XIOS DS but it will only be able to play your DVD/BD's if ripped with MakeMKV which is lossless, also the XIOS is beta software.
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