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Xbox360 as Media Extender - any good? (or, Media Extenders in General...)

kaniz

TRIBE Member
Looking to get a Media Extender, and was considering the Linksys Media Extender which is currently $139. But then I remembered that the XBOX360 can work as one also, and the arcade edition of the 360 isn't that much more and sorta figure "Why not? there's a few 360 games I wouldn't mind playing...."

Just wondering, anyone use the Media Extender of the XBOX 360?

- Is it any good?
- Is it loud? Hoping that since it's not using the DVD drive, sound wont be much of an issue
- Can it play anything your PC can play?
- How responsive is it? When you select a movie to play - how fast does it start? Does it need to buffer awhile first or is it almost instant? Can you still fastforward/rewind/etc quickly?
- Is there much lag time between pressing a button on the remote and seeing the response on the screen?

We have a codec pack installed on our PC that lets Media Center play files that it normally cant out of the box, can these files play using the Media Extender? or are we limited to the standard/supported ones by Microsoft. (ie: Does the extender do the decoding, or does the PC still do the decoding and just sends the video/whatever to the box to play?)

Looking to be able to get one of our computers away from the TV but still be able to use Media Center on it, and just wondering if an Extender will do what we want, or if we are just better off getting a TV card for the extra lap-top we have sitting around and getting a dedicated machine for it.
 

kaniz

TRIBE Member
Live TV. Unless I'm missing something, there is no way to record/watch TV from the PS3? Only thing I've seen is PlayTV - but its Euro only unless I'm missing something?
 

Rajio

Well-Known TRIBEr
If your pc has media center on it (or if you're running vista which has media center built in) then you're golden. it just runs identical to that. Supports divx. mines not loud but some older models are. Its as responsive as me media center which i have plugged direct to the TV anyhow (sometimes i opt to use it through the xbox so i can chat with ppl over xbox live or whatev)

it supports divx and stuff but out of the box it doesnt play 'all' files. most though. for those it wont, you COULD live transcode.

Personally I'd rather have a dedicated media center machine. Nothing beats having total software and hardware control.

If you have a laptop sitting around, why not just use that? It'd be free yo.

if you want to play live tv from a media center pc through a 360 its perfectly fine. I does it all the timeses.
 

kaniz

TRIBE Member
Still need to shell out $89+tax for a USB-TV card for the Laptop, but it is the cheapest option vs a Media Extender or 360.

Was just considering Media Extenders in general, then sort of had the "Oh ya.. the 360" - and from what I read, it does a better job than the Linksys, only $60 bucks more and can play games - and theres a few (but not many) games for the 360 I want to play that are not avail for the PS3.

Sort of like getting a PS3 as a Blue-Ray player even if you dont care that much for it's game library :)

But, thinking the use-the-laptop route may be the best/cheapest option. Maybe if I didn't already have a PS3.
 

deep

TRIBE Member
I use Tversity to stream media to my 360. Works fine with normally compressed files but doesn't seem to have a working option for streaming 720p mkv files without transcoding or other finagling.
 

sheik rock

TRIBE Member
I use my 360 to stream video. It doesn't work with HD, but whatever I do stream still looks good. It is loud, you have to turn the volume up. It also doesn't support subtitles. If I didn't already have a 360 I would go with a laptop.

Does the PS3 support subtitles? I left mine as a media extender for my parents and never checked.
 

Flashy_McFlash

Well-Known TRIBEr
Does the PS3 support subtitles? I left mine as a media extender for my parents and never checked.
Yes, but it's a bit finicky. I find it only works about 80% of the time (I watch a lot of subbed stuff).

TVersity was a big headache on the PS3. It worked well for a while, but it was a bit of a resource hog and didn't play everything. Some french bastard hacked together a much more elegant and robust solution called PS3 Media Server which works perfectly. I'm not sure if there's a better solution for the 360.
 

Dr. Grinch

TRIBE Member
I'm not sure if there's a better solution for the 360.
Nope.
Hence my diddlings with that new WD box.
Some people claim to have done subtitles on 360, but it's done through transcoding which isn't always ideal, particularly with the sluggish TVersity.
CUDA support would fix that....
 

Spinsah

TRIBE Member
UNRELATED: I would imagine streaming HD 720 or Bluray content over a wireless network would cause a lot of hiccups. Am I right in thinking this?
 

Dr. Grinch

TRIBE Member
UNRELATED: I would imagine streaming HD 720 or Bluray content over a wireless network would cause a lot of hiccups. Am I right in thinking this?
Unless you have a wireless N network connected to a device capable of utilizing those speeds (like a proper htpc) then yes, probably.
Wireless G + Hi Def do not mix well. Too much latency/packet loss = stutters and frame skips.
 

Flashy_McFlash

Well-Known TRIBEr
UNRELATED: I would imagine streaming HD 720 or Bluray content over a wireless network would cause a lot of hiccups. Am I right in thinking this?
Depends on a lot of things.

Is your PS3 is next to or close to your router?
What are you using to stream?
Are you planning to stream it in full quality? Any compression at all?

I use PS3 Media Server, streaming from my laptop/router which is a floor away and on the other side of the house. A bluray skips a fair bit, but not quite to the point of being unwatchable. If I haven't smoked a gang of couchlock cess though, I'll copy it to a USB key and watch it locally.
 

MOD ONE

TRIBE Member
Depends on a lot of things.

Is your PS3 is next to or close to your router?
What are you using to stream?
Are you planning to stream it in full quality? Any compression at all?

I use PS3 Media Server, streaming from my laptop/router which is a floor away and on the other side of the house. A bluray skips a fair bit, but not quite to the point of being unwatchable. If I haven't smoked a gang of couchlock cess though, I'll copy it to a USB key and watch it locally.
I just copy everything to my external HD and play from there and avoid the streaming part. I haven't had a problem with skipping at all that way.
 

Eclectic

TRIBE Member
No, if you play directly off the PS3 the movie has to be in mp4.

Streaming it over a wired connection though, is B-E-A-utiful!
 
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