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Media streaming from WHS to xbox 360 and PS3 RRS feed

  • Question

  • What are the video file type limitations for Media Connect on the WHS? So far I have only gotten wmv and avi to work (on the 360) and nothing on the PS3. I am underwhelmed with the quality of wmv and would like to encode in Mpeg4 264 but the files will not come across to the xbox.

    Wednesday, December 5, 2007 12:50 AM

Answers

  • There is a Media Streaming document on the http://www.microsoft.com/windowshomeserver under "For Enthusiasts".

     

    FYI, it does need to be updated for the Xbox live update.

     

    Wednesday, December 5, 2007 12:55 AM
    Moderator
  • Currently, the Media Connect on WHS only supports a handful of file formats (see the link provided in a previous posting). Generally speaking, WHS handles wmv, avi, and mpg extensions. Keep in mind that WMV is the only format that allows 5.1 audio to be played on the Xbox 360. Not sure which formats allow 5.1 on PS3.

     

    If you want to serve other formats (such as mpeg 4), you will have to install additional media software, such as TVersity or Twonky...

     

    Alternatively, you may be able to serve out DIVX/XVID files which use the AVI extension. The Xbox 360 added DIVX support a few days ago in their December 2007 update.

     

    http://blogs.msdn.com/xboxteam/archive/2007/11/30/december-2007-video-playback-faq.aspx

     

    Thursday, December 6, 2007 6:04 PM
  • The Xbox 360 supports 5.1 surround sound on Divx/Xvid as well as WMV.

    **1.    What exactly does the Xbox 360 support for AVI?

    Xbox 360 supports the following for AVI:

    ·         File Extensions: .avi, .divx

    ·         Containers: AVI

    ·         Video Profiles: MPEG-4 Part 2, Simple & Advanced Simple Profile

    ·         Video Bitrate: 5 Mbps with resolutions of 1280 x 720 at 30fps. See question number 11 for more information.

    ·         Audio Profiles: Dolby® Digital 2 channel and 5.1 channel, MP3

    ·         Audio Max Bitrate: No restrictions. See question number 11 for more information.

    14. Do you support 5.1 channel AAC?

    No. Only 2-channel AAC is supported. If you want to play a 5.1-channel video on your console, you will need to encode it to WMV with WMAPro 5.1 audio or use the AVI container with Dolby® Digital 5.1 audio.

    The only thing I cannot seem to get to work is video artwork.  According to the FAQ, video on optical media or on a FAT 32 USB drive display jpg files of the same name but this does not seem to work from WHS.

    **18. Does the Xbox 360 support video artwork when browsing my collection from a USB 2.0 FAT32 removable drive or optical media?

    For all video types we will search for a corresponding .jpg file and use that as the artwork.  For example video1.avi would display the artwork in video1.jpg if it existed.  In the absence of this file, for the mp4 container, we will search if the video file has embedded album artwork and display that instead.  Please note you cannot use this method when streaming from Windows Media Player 11 or the Zune PC software.  See question number 21 for more information.
    Thursday, December 6, 2007 9:51 PM

All replies

  • There is a Media Streaming document on the http://www.microsoft.com/windowshomeserver under "For Enthusiasts".

     

    FYI, it does need to be updated for the Xbox live update.

     

    Wednesday, December 5, 2007 12:55 AM
    Moderator
  • There are challenges with the PS3 (MPEG4). The PS3 does not recognize the MPEG4 files on WHS which is a bit of a bummer but a known problem evidently.

    Wednesday, December 5, 2007 2:11 AM
  • Currently, the Media Connect on WHS only supports a handful of file formats (see the link provided in a previous posting). Generally speaking, WHS handles wmv, avi, and mpg extensions. Keep in mind that WMV is the only format that allows 5.1 audio to be played on the Xbox 360. Not sure which formats allow 5.1 on PS3.

     

    If you want to serve other formats (such as mpeg 4), you will have to install additional media software, such as TVersity or Twonky...

     

    Alternatively, you may be able to serve out DIVX/XVID files which use the AVI extension. The Xbox 360 added DIVX support a few days ago in their December 2007 update.

     

    http://blogs.msdn.com/xboxteam/archive/2007/11/30/december-2007-video-playback-faq.aspx

     

    Thursday, December 6, 2007 6:04 PM
  • The Xbox 360 supports 5.1 surround sound on Divx/Xvid as well as WMV.

    **1.    What exactly does the Xbox 360 support for AVI?

    Xbox 360 supports the following for AVI:

    ·         File Extensions: .avi, .divx

    ·         Containers: AVI

    ·         Video Profiles: MPEG-4 Part 2, Simple & Advanced Simple Profile

    ·         Video Bitrate: 5 Mbps with resolutions of 1280 x 720 at 30fps. See question number 11 for more information.

    ·         Audio Profiles: Dolby® Digital 2 channel and 5.1 channel, MP3

    ·         Audio Max Bitrate: No restrictions. See question number 11 for more information.

    14. Do you support 5.1 channel AAC?

    No. Only 2-channel AAC is supported. If you want to play a 5.1-channel video on your console, you will need to encode it to WMV with WMAPro 5.1 audio or use the AVI container with Dolby® Digital 5.1 audio.

    The only thing I cannot seem to get to work is video artwork.  According to the FAQ, video on optical media or on a FAT 32 USB drive display jpg files of the same name but this does not seem to work from WHS.

    **18. Does the Xbox 360 support video artwork when browsing my collection from a USB 2.0 FAT32 removable drive or optical media?

    For all video types we will search for a corresponding .jpg file and use that as the artwork.  For example video1.avi would display the artwork in video1.jpg if it existed.  In the absence of this file, for the mp4 container, we will search if the video file has embedded album artwork and display that instead.  Please note you cannot use this method when streaming from Windows Media Player 11 or the Zune PC software.  See question number 21 for more information.
    Thursday, December 6, 2007 9:51 PM
  • RossoDog--

     

    Thanks for pointing that out! Missed it completely (maybe it was updated since it was originally posted?).

     

    I have been unable to get the artwork working with WHS either.

    Friday, December 7, 2007 4:15 PM
  • ALBUM ART!!!

    I know it sucks, but I believe album art when used as a ?.jpg ONLY works from Optical or Local Attached Storage.

    Seriously, this sucks.  Started encoding my movies Xvid w/ 5.1 and so far I am liking the quality/filesize/versatility combo going.

    I have XBMC and Xbox 360 scattered throughout my house.  XBMC's ability to fetch info from IMDB and auto thumbnail movies is a boon.  I am seriously upset about the "no album art" on WHS stuff.

    If anyone can get this to work, different resolutions please post here/

    However, offical sources tell me its not possible to attach album art on AVI

    Check my post on xbox.com in the audio video forum.
    Monday, December 10, 2007 5:40 AM
  • I'm reading this with interest as this is something I want to start doing, but I also think the this 'Album art' issue could be a problem.

     

    Maybe a little basic, but could you not just put the 'art' .jpeg and the .avi in a folder with the name of the movie in question?

    Just a thought.

    Monday, December 10, 2007 10:14 AM
  • I got the album art to work by 'upgrading' the sharing services on the WHS to WMP11.  It is not supported by MS right now, but if you search through the forums you can find some very detailed instructions.  Basically you turn the media sharing off on WHS, install WMP11 and use that to share media.  Work like a charm, shows album art, and seems to run more efficiently than the out of the box sharing service in WHS. (If they add support for W2K3 to WMP11 this will not be an 'unsupported' option)
    Monday, December 10, 2007 5:14 PM
  • That does work.  But ONLY for Optical or Local Attached Storage.

    Just got confirmation from CrunchyChix that streaming for WHS does NOT display art.  WMP11 or Zune is our only option right now.

    So we have to have at least two machines on now. Sad
    Tuesday, December 11, 2007 4:04 AM
  •  

    Well that is not true.  I have three PC's on my network besides the WHS.  Streaming meda to them from the WHS shows the album cover art no problem.  It DID NOT do this until I disabled the media sharing services on WHS and manually installed WMP11 on WHS.  I have cover art, improved performance, and better streaming of video as well. I'd post a picture to prove it if I could here.
    Tuesday, December 11, 2007 4:35 AM
  •  Jlohrenz wrote:

     

    Well that is not true.  I have three PC's on my network besides the WHS.  Streaming meda to them from the WHS shows the album cover art no problem.  It DID NOT do this until I disabled the media sharing services on WHS and manually installed WMP11 on WHS.  I have cover art, improved performance, and better streaming of video as well. I'd post a picture to prove it if I could here.


    I have a headless WHS system that I bought from HP, so I don't know how I would go about manually installing WMP11 on this box, though you have me intrigued.  But how exactly do you have "better" performance?  It is just streaming the data not transcoding it, regardless if media sharing is on WHS or WMP11 or Zune Software.
    Tuesday, December 11, 2007 11:05 PM
  • Has anybody had any adverse effects to using WMP11 as the way of streaming from WHS?

     

    Also, using this method does it only stream to Vista machines? Jason, you mentioned that you are streaming to 3 PC's in the house - are they all Vista units? - I've read somewhere that streaming doesn't work with XP?

    Friday, December 14, 2007 4:07 PM
  •  

    I stream to a PS3, Windows XP Home, and 2 Vista Home Premium PC's.  The disadvantage of going the WMP11 route on WHS is that you have to disable the built in sharing in the WHS console.
    Friday, December 14, 2007 5:05 PM
  • Many thanks Jason - Can you see 'album art' for both music and videos on all the units - PS3, XP and Vista?

     

    Also, is loosing the built in 'sharing' a such a problem if it doesn't seem to do what we need?

     

    Friday, December 14, 2007 5:52 PM
  •  

    No album art on PS3, although I think this is a limitation of the PS3 and not the server.  I get album art on all of the PC's running WMP11.

     

    No it isn't a problem, but it is unsupported by MS.  If you are interested in going that route there is a thread here that explains in detail how to accomplish this.

     

    I've also been toying with TVersity and one other media server option.  If you have a PS3 your best bet for video streaming is something that can do MP4's and WMP11 can't do that.

     

    My goal is to get all of my CD's (about 3/4 done) and all of my DVD's (just starting) onto my WHS so I can put the physical media in storage and be able to view any movie anywhere in the house whenever I want.

    Friday, December 14, 2007 8:12 PM
  • Well, I got WMP11 installed with no problem. And I can stream all my files but still no Album Art on the 360. Has anyone gotten this to work? Is there some other setting that needs to be changed?

     

    It does seem to be readying the ID3 tag info now, but just shows a "Music Note" where I think the album art should be.

    Thursday, December 20, 2007 5:00 AM
  • Just wanted to give some more information. I have Home Server running on my network without any problems. I also have an Xbox360 connected. 

    Standard built in media sharing:

    I was able to see all of my *.mp3 files, *.jpg files and *.avi files on the Xbox. However, I could not see folder art or embedded art for any of the music or video files. I was also unable to see any videos ending in a *.mpg or *.divx.

    Note I was able to view divx encoded files after renaming them to *.avi

    From my testing and from what I have found through searches the default Home Server media sharing does not support these file types nor does it support album art embedded ot in a folder. (Dont think this is new news as it is in many posts including this one)

    WMP11 Media Sharing

    I was able to see all of my *.mp3 files, *.jpg files and *.avi files. However, I could not see folder art or embedded art for any of the music or video files. I was also unable to see any videos ending in a *.mpg or *.divx. So no change from default.

    Note I was still able to view divx encoded files after renaming them to *.avi

    I also noticed the 360 was now pulling ID3 info or most likely database info from the WMP11 instance running on the Home Server box. But still no artwork.

    So it is my conclusion that artwork is not supported on the XBox 360 via streaming from Home server or a home server running WMP11.

    Next I am going to try streaming from a Vista Ultimate machine that I have and see if my results are any different as I will need to use the XBox Media Center on the 360. I will also try an XP machine running WMP11 and see if the results are any different.

    I really like this setup with Home server and the 360. Would love to get the Artwork issue resolved and lobby for some additional meta data to move over to the 360 for music and movie files.
    Thursday, December 20, 2007 6:40 AM
  • Have you been able to get TVserity working on WHS? My goal is similar to your and I could do it with an XP box, but I would much prefer to use a true server OS.

    Friday, February 1, 2008 7:48 PM
  • I have, but you need to have either or both a good processor and plenty of memory if you want Tversity to do any on-the-fly transcoding.

    Personally I've had better luck streaming video with Twonkyvision than I have had with Tiversity.
    Friday, February 1, 2008 7:57 PM
  •  

    Hi guys, ahem, saviors ... Wink

     

    I can't seem to get my Xbox360 OR my PS3 to find or recognize my WHS (HP MediaSmart Server). I've done everything right as far as I know, UPnP is enabled (on server, router and PS3) and Xbox should just find it --- right??

    Is there anything small I may have overlooked or is it my crappy DLink router?

    Thanks in advance.

    Monday, March 3, 2008 6:17 AM
  • In case it helps...

    I can get album art for .mp4 container video files to display when using zune software to share/stream to the xbox360. I haven't been able to get album art for my mp3 audio files though. I would love to know how to do this.

    Other than .mp4 container files I have never seen album art appear for any other video file type...and it also didnt work with WMP11. I guess WMP11 doesnt deliver any album art info in its sharing.

    This was in the video FAQ by MS --
    ( http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemuse/xbox360/digitalmedia/videoplaybackfaq.htm#embedded )

    Q: Does the Xbox 360 console display embedded artwork for MPEG-4 Part 2 or H.264 files?

    A: Yes. You can embed artwork smaller than 400 KB in the video files.


    If someone knows definitely how to get the xbox360 to show audio file album art it would be a huge help. Please list the exact software and setup...



    Saturday, March 8, 2008 8:47 PM
  • So...I was humming along really jolly with my WHS on my network storing my videocasts (video podcasts) and watching them on my 360 as I saw fit. Everything was nice.

    I decided that I hated that ghastly wire so I decided to get a Microsoft xbox360 wireless adapter (because I just wanted everything to work nicely).

    Well, I plugged it in....went to network settings, entered my WPA key and everything was good. The only issue was that the signal was weak. So now, when I am streaming my HD podcasts from my WHS server, rather than everything humming along I see an annoying "buffering" bar at the top every so often.

    Anywho,so as annoying as that was for me, I decided to get a wireless range extender from Linksys (the WRE54G to be exact) because I already had a WRT54G, so I figured I would stay within the family.

    Hooked it up, got it configured to the network and my wifi signal in my living room with the 360 boosted to full bars. I checked the network connection on the 360 and got full bars there too.

    So I went to my 'media' tab, to browse my wonderful videos on my WHS and ofcourse they aren't there. The 360 is telling me that "no videos" are found on my WHS-Server.

    What do I do? HELP!!!
    Wednesday, May 21, 2008 12:23 AM