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Extender (xbox360) Feature Questions

656 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  setabs138
I was hoping someone could shed some light on this for me - I've seen conflicting answers posted in various threads and wanted to start a dedicated topic for this.

When using an Xbox 360 for an extender....
  • Does your view of WMC appear exactly as it does on the primary HTPC? Themes, tweaks, plugins, hacks...
  • Does codec support go through? I'm using Shark007's codec pack, and it's been great. To cut to the chase -- do MKV's stream well to the Xbox (in extender mode)?
  • Netflix - does it work in extender mode? This one concerns me because MS forces you to be an XBOX Live Gold subscriber to access Netflix via the xbox interface. I was wondering if the extender gets around this, or if you're stuck paying MS.
  • Ignoring performance / boot times, are there any other shortcomings from the extender experience as compared to directly using your HTPC?

Thanks, really looking forward to hear what you all think.
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1) yes

2) i believe sharks07 will let you play .mkv. i installed the divx codec pack and it works

3) netflix will not work on the extender through WMC, can only access it through the xbox dashboard

4) only short coming i found is that it can not play HD content (1080). the xbox can only handle bitrates of up to 10Mbps (its a hard limitation within the code). 720p is generally 5-8Mbps which play fine on mine.
-It does not appear exactly like the pc but is very close. the themes show up, but some plug ins will not work. for example media browser will work if youre using it, but Arcsoft TMT 5 will not. There is not Internet TV. If you put a DVD in a disc drive it will not play through Media Center, but will play through the dvd player application.

-Codecs are a mixed bag. MKV files work to a certain bitrate. After about 10mbps the Xbox cannot handle it. DVD folder structures will not work show up, nor will ISOs. There are ways to use Media Browser or My Movies to transcode and allow access to more filetypes.

-Netflix will not work in extender mode. You can access it from the dashboard if you are paying Xbox Live subscriber.

It works well at what it was designed for. TV is fine on it, as are most movies.
1. Yes

2. Sort of but your still limit on if the xbox can play what's been decoded.

3. Not natively, but you can use PlayOn/vmcPlayIt or similar to get netflix in the MC UI, however it will be located in the vncPlayIt pluggin along w/ anything else you've added int to PlayOn.

4. Sluggish remote, can't play everything a HTPC can w/o transcoding, can't the many other things PC can do. What it can't play is the biggest problem, unlike extenders for SageTv and nPVR that can play just about anything you want.
Wow, thanks for the great replies!

So what I'm getting is the xbox will be a good extender for me so long as a) my bitstreams are below 10mbps and b)netflix isn't too important (i'm not paying for xbox live).
I could have sworn that they added either dvd folder or iso support along with mkv support in an update within the last year. But I can;t find anythign to back up this up.
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