Streamlined media

Read on as WINDOWS shows you how to stream media onto your Xbox 360 via Windows, Linux or Mac OS X systems.
Streamlined media
By Gareth Van Zyl
Tue 05 Jan 2010 04:00 AM

Read on as WINDOWS shows you how to stream media onto your Xbox 360 via Windows, Linux or Mac OS X systems.

Perhaps you have an Xbox that has limited memory or maybe you have a wireless network and want to stream your media throughout your home.

Let’s start then with showing you how to do it on Windows 7, Vista or XP.

Windows

For streaming media onto your Xbox using Windows 7, Vista or XP; there is TVersity, a program that converts content to proper formatting. Additionally, you’ll also need to download ffdshow tryout and Codec Sniper.

The two latter mentioned software products will be used to clean up your codecs. To install TVersity, navigate to your control panel, and go to your Add/Remove programs. Be sure to uninstall any codec packs you might have, with utilities such as AC3Filter, Xvid and DivX.

The idea behind this is that you’re going to remove these filters to the extent where you’re going to the extent where you won’t be able to play these files again. So, when you reboot, try to play the media and are told that there is a missing codec, you’re on the right track.

Now, you’re going to reinstall all of those codecs again. So, you install ffdshow to have all the necessary codecs again. If you want more advanced high definition for H.264 for instance then you’ll need to download CCCP. Either way, if you’re using ffdshow, make sure to select the default audio option (Stereo – 2 speakers).

Once you’ve installed it, you should be able to view the videos on your computer again. Now you’re ready to install TVersity. When installing this software use most of the default options except for TVersity Codec PACK.

If you want to stream media on a network share, in other words on another machine, NAS box or a Windows Home Server; you’ll need to configure TVersity service to run as a user who has permission to access the network share. To change the login information then, go to the Log On tab, click This Account button, choose a username and password that has permission to access network share.

Now, you need to restart the service. Then, once you’ve got it going, you can add media to the TVersity library. Be sure to indicate at the bottom of the screen about what type of content to expect in each of your folders. It’s a matter then of opening the TVersity client on media streaming video, clicking on the green plus sign.

With Xbox, check the Media blade, the video option, x to select the source and browse to the video option.

Streaming on Ubuntu using Ushare

If you’ve downloaded the latest Ubuntu operating system, 9.10, or Jaunty Jackalope, installing Ushare on Ubuntu requires the following steps. Download Ushare from the website.

So, first start off by installing uShare on your Ubuntu system. Open up your terminal screen and type the following:sudo apt-get install ushare

Then you’re going to need to configure your uShare Media Server by typing:sudo dpkg-reconfigure ushare

Now in the configuring process, you’re going to have to deal with such issues as which port you’re going to use (i.e. if it is wireless or wired).You’re setup could end up looking something like this:

1 USHARE_NAME=Inz Linux2 USHARE_IFACE=wlan0 /bin /boot /dev /etc /etc.db3 /etc.db4 /etc.mailserver2 /etc.presentation1 /etc.presentation2 /etc.publishing1 /etc.smtp3 /home /lib /lib64 /lost+found /media /misc /mnt /net /opt /proc /root /sbin /selinux /srv /sys /tmp /top50 /usr /var (the name of which Ethernet adapter you’ll send the data over)*/3 USHARE_PORT=491534 USHARE_TELNET_PORT=13375 USHARE_DIR=./home/inz/music6 USHARE_OVERRIDE_ICONV_ERR=yes7 ENABLE_WEB=no8USHARE_ENABLE_XBOX=yes /bin /boot /dev /etc /etc.db3 /etc.db4 /etc.mailserver2 /etc.presentation1 /etc.presentation2 /etc.publishing1 /etc.smtp3 /home /lib /lib64 /lost+found /media /misc /mnt /net /opt /proc /root /sbin /selinux /srv /sys /tmp /top50 /usr /var (the USHARE_ is missing in the file you to add it)*/9 ENABLE_DLNA=no

Bear in mind that with the USHARE_IFACE you should go with wlan0 or etho0 depending upon whether you’re using a wired or wireless connection.

To get it started then, type ushare –x in the terminal. The –x stands for Xbox compatible mode, so that when you pup you’re Xbox, you’ll be able to find it.

Mac OS X

Apple Mac users often find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to streaming audio. In order to get streaming media on your Mac, you need to get a program called Connect 360. Like streaming media onto Linux, this software works on the premise that it ‘tricks’ the Xbox into thinking that you are using a Windows computer.

So here’s how to get it working. Once you’ve installed Connect 360, turn your Xbox on, go to the Systems Tab, then Network Settings and Test Media Connection. After you’ve made sure that everything is connected properly (and after ensuring that your Xbox’s IP settings are correct, go back to the main Xbox 360 screen and click on the Media tab.

Now you can stream any kind of media you want, such as, for example, Music. You will be prompted to go to a Microsoft website and download a program to run on your Windows computer to allow for the connection to take place. Just click on the button that says, ‘I have already downloaded this program’.

The next thing for you to do is go back to your Mac, open the Connect 360 preference pane (in System Preferences) and make sure Xbox 360 Media Sharing is enabled by clicking on the Start button. It might then need to automatically adjust the firewall. You will need your username and password.

Your Xbox should then appear in the ‘Discovered Devices’ section.

Not so Live

Of course, using the Xbox Live service, you’d be able to stream media to your Xbox via NetFlix. But Xbox Live is not available in the Middle East.

As was recently reported in ITP.net Microsoft has still not confirmed when their Xbox Live online gaming and media service will be available in the Middle East, with a company spokesperson blaming the delay on a "number of reasons".

Xbox Live made its debut in the United States late in 2002 and is now available across 26 countries including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Japan, India and Sweden. Unfortunately, countries in the Middle East that have a strong gaming community such as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates will have to wait a little longer to log in to the experience.

"Unfortunately we haven't been in a position yet to confirm launch dates where we don't have Live," commented Robert Dekker, E&D marketing manager for Microsoft EMEA. "Launching Live now in any country is more complex than it was four years ago and obviously we are seeking to provide that high level, rather than to say we could potentially launch something easy and quick. That's not the direction we want to do and I don't think customers will appreciate it if we do that."

With the recent inclusion of Facebook and Twitter to the Xbox Live experience internationally, along with greater compatibility with Microsoft's Zune player, Dekker says that the bar has been raised in terms of the minimum experience they'd like to offer when rolling out the service in any new country.

"Whenever we do go into a country and roll out Live, there's all these feature sets that have to go with it. Not all the features are the same globally," clarified Dekker.

The company is also trying to get the necessary certification and legal approvals in order, but admits there have been challenges in terms of deciding how to distribute and control digital content so as not to offend local sensitivities in emerging markets.

Dekker did however assure gamers in the Middle East that rolling out Live is something their "definitely working on".

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