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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure if this is the right area to ask this question, but what is the video quality of the X-Box 360 as Media Extender?


Does it transcode video from the server (eg. the PC running Media Center) or does it stream it directly and you see 100% original video quality?
 

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Depends what you are watching. For livetv, DVR TV it's untouched. Most feel that the color accuracy and deinterlacing on the xbox is better than most HTPC's. So, for tv, it's great.


Other formats we'll have to wait for someone to chime in. I know the xbox supports many, but not all, formats natively. For the unsupported formats and can't advise you as to what happens there.
 

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For tv its great, as a media streamer, IMO its a pain in the ass as it is very picky about formats.


I have one in the living room i use for tv, but will be adding another htpc for media streaming functionality in the near future.


Some people dont mind re-encoding/transcoding but i dont really want to do either.
 

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as was stated, the recorded tv is great. if you use dvx7 there is no transcoding and teh quality is great. transcoding is hit or miss for me, sometimes i cantget it to work, sometimes it looks like sd, other times its much better, depending on main htpc load i guess.


i found that i will just convert to dvr-ms or mpg for anything i want to stream, its doesn't take that long and quality is much much better.


if the xbox ever get mkv and vob support it will be nearly perfect, or if dix7 ever gets full 5.1 support with mkv.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How do you know if transcoding is taking place?


From what I've gathered, the 360 is capable of decoding H.264 but can't open the MKV container.


The DivX MKV Preview (for Windows 7) adds MKV capabilities to the Media Center and then MKVs play just fine on Media Center (and extenders).


I already have all of this working but was curious if it was transcoding. I don't think it is though because I think it's just exposing the H.264 stream...


I'm still curious though on how to tell if my media is being transcoded or not...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sofakng /forum/post/18314610


How do you know if transcoding is taking place?


From what I've gathered, the 360 is capable of decoding H.264 but can't open the MKV container.


The DivX MKV Preview (for Windows 7) adds MKV capabilities to the Media Center and then MKVs play just fine on Media Center (and extenders).


I already have all of this working but was curious if it was transcoding. I don't think it is though because I think it's just exposing the H.264 stream...


I'm still curious though on how to tell if my media is being transcoded or not...

Much Divx/264 content could be played native once the divx support was installed to the 360. Easy way to check if transcoding is taking place is to check cpu load on the host pc. Should be 0-5% if no transcoding. Probably another easier way to tell, but I don't know what it is.
 

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Yeah I've used one in the bedroom from time to time. It's OK..but as mentioned previously it was a pain for me to get certain movies to play.


After adding another HTPC to the arsenal recently and moving an HTPC to the bedroom. I can say without a doubt the video quality is much better on the HTPC than the Xbox. It is also less hassle to use over my Xbox along with it being considerably quieter.


I wouldn't want to depend on the Xbox as a media extender, for me it was a little disappointing..love it for games though!
 

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were any of you able to get surround sound with the divx7 tech preview? that's reason i don't use it.
 

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Short answer: Skip it if you can.


Long answer: I tried for years to get my Xbox 360 to integrate into my home theater as an extender. When it worked, it was very good. As others have stated, TV was pretty impressive. However, Streaming movie content was a pain at best. It seemed very particular about what container a file was wrapped in. At times, even on a wired network, the UI would get sluggish. Also, there were sooooo many workarounds required just to get FF/RW and surround sound to work that I just gave up. And let's not forget the sound: even my brand new Elite makes a noticeable background noise, even when operating as just a Media Extender.


It's disappointing because there is a ton of potential there. On paper, all the pieces are in place to make the Xbox (more or less) one stop shopping for all of your home theater needs. A few years back, I swore this was the future of the HTPC. In fact, it was our HTPC for a period of about 6 months. But in the end, it was too inconsistent for me. Now, for all of my media except TV, I use an Apple TV.


That being said, the new Ceton tuners have piqued my curiosity. It may be time for another adventure
 

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I use it with mymovies built in transcoder and it works pretty well. It's for my daughters room so we only watch kids dvd's on her 32" 720p LCD but it looks pretty good to me. I basically only use it transcode DVD's though and have it setup using a win7 virtual machine on my 2008R2 server. This way I don't need my HTPC on when she wants to watch a movie. I do get some problems with it not playing a movie but that might be because it's on a virtual machine and using limited ram.


Does using mymovies transcoding make it loose video quality?
 

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One other important consideration is the xbox-side codec required to play divx is part of an xbox download...and that download requires a live connection (and for each playback) and only ONE xbox can be authorized for this per gamertag.


I'm not sure if this impacted divx via extender or if it was just for playing divx natively (no host pc).
 
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