I’ve been spending some time optimizing my Windows 7 Media Center installation, and in doing so I’ve found some good information that has helped me pinpoint why I don’t always see perfectly smooth video when streaming to my Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 is more than capable of streaming video at full 1080p, but you may see mixed results depending on the type of video you’re streaming. You can, for example, playback a 1080p H.264 video and you’ll notice that it only gets choppy when there is a scene with a lot of movement. If you watch the network usage on the machine serving the video you’ll likely find that it is streaming more than 10Mbps, which the Xbox 360 may not be able to handle according to the official site. Here’s a rundown of the various video formats that are supported along with the maximum bitrate and resolutions for each one:

  • AVI (.avi, .divx): 5 Mbps with resolutions of 1280

There Are 10 Comments

  1. True, all of these tips certainly will help with network throughput. However, I think this problem is more a result of WMC, and less one of network configuration because the same video that play choppy via Windows Media Center plays smooth as silk if played directly from the video library area of the Xbox main menu. This tells me that the problem HAS to be a result of poor data transfer control in WMC itself. Anyone have any thoughts on this one?

  2. Yep, I have found that 1080p doesn’t play well through the WMC Extender interface but the same WMVHD video plays with no issues through the Xbox Video dashboard.

  3. I am not even playing HD videos and have major issues with complete sections of videos played going missing. They play fine in Windows media player. I would agree it is a WMC issue. And it does the same wether XP Media Center or Windows 7 Media Center

  4. I’m going gigabit from the host pc to the router and wi fi to the xbox and it’s pretty solid…had wired it all up until I realized that the wifi is significantly faster than the 100mbit bs nic on the xbox…So I’m assuming the wireless in the xbox I have is 300mbit N…They should of put a gigabit nic in this thing and it would be butter…But it is kinda cool to have less wires…

    my 2 cents

    • Well my setup started off with the PC had a wireless N150 and the 360 had the N adaptor, and overall performance in WMC on the 360 was bad.

      I decided to give the Ethernet Cat 5e route a shot for both but had to use a ADSL router as a Network switch because of cable length. Funny thing is playback of VOB files still kind of sucked somewhat but nowhere near as bad this time, so modified the NIC’s settings with what was mentioned above and now it works without any problems now.

  5. Morning,

    I have the same problem playing AVI video via xbox 360 connected to WMC7 – But using the same network and media center pc and playing the same content via a Linksys DMA2100, the DMA plays content same perfectly.

    So surely can’t be PC, or network, surely more likely xbox.. Could it be a config, or the way xbox talks to WMC7..?

    Thoughts on a postcard as I need the xbxos for wake on lan function, so trying to decommission Linksys DMA’s

    (btw – my setup is quandcore HP pc, SSD disks for O.S & 3tb WD HDD for content), decent graphics, Gigabit LAN, business network switch provider (HP ProCurve 2610-24)

  6. i found that these settings made playback considerably worse

  7. Videos that do not work on my WMC connection to my Xbox 360 I just convert with Xvid4PSP. It’s a great piece of software. It will even convert videos that have 5.1 – AAC which the 360 cannot read to AC3 5.1 in an .avi container. Usually most of the videos I download are 720p with AC3 5.1 or AAC 5.1 audio so it comes in handy. My videos play great after conversion, on the Dashboard, or from WMC with full 5.1 surround through my receiver! It’s so great to burn a blu ray rip for a friend or family member on a Standard DVD for a great HD video experience on the Xbox 360 which doesn’t even play Blu Rays! WMC or the Xbox 360 are in no ways a perfect piece of software/hardware. But they are great all the same! Just takes a little patience…Keep in mind that not every video will play correctly. You must take into account the source of the video, and the person who ripped the video may have not done a good job. I’ve ran into that a lot.

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