How to Play Any Video on Xbox 360

You may find it hard to play video on Xbox 360 or the original Xbox. If you have such questions, this article will help to solve your problem. Before we get to work, please see whether your video format is supported by Xbox.

My article will be divided into 2 parts. In the first part, you'll know what video formats are supported by Xbox 360. As for Xbox 360 unsupported video formats, you will need a Video Converter to convert the video formats. Then I will tell you in details about how to make the conversion. However, If your video format is Xbox 360 supported already, please navigate to the second part directly. In the second part, I will tell you how to stream video on Xbox 360 for playback through 4 different methods.

Part 1: Xbox 360 supported file formats

Please read below for more information on the Xbox 360 supported video and audio formats.

Video File Formats
AVI, WMV, MPEG-4 Part 2, H.264 and QuickTime
File Extensions
.avi, .divx, .wmv, .mp4, .m4v, .mp4v, and .mov.
Music Formats
WMA7/8, WMA9 Pro (stereo and 5.1), WMA Lossless, AAC, MP3, Dolby? Digital
Music File Extensions
.wma, .mp3, .aac

If your video format is not included above, like iTunes M4V, MKV, Xvid, FLV, MTS, etc, please try a Xbox 360 video converter. There are many converters on the market like Handbrake, MPEG Streamclip or FFmpeg converter. However, if you are the one that cares much about video conversion speed and the output video quality, the Wondershare Video Converter (Converter for Mac) deserves your try. It helps you achieve this in 3 simple steps.

  • Professional video converter: It converts videos in 150+ formats including iTunes M4V, MOV, AVI, MKV, FLV, and more.
  • High output video quality: Apart from converting to common videos, you can use it to convert to 3D and HD videos in high quality and ZERO quality loss.
  • Fastest Conversion Speed: This Xbox 360 converter provides you with the blazing fast conversion speed, 30X fastest than any competitors on the market.
  • Great video editor: You can use it to enahnce your video by trimming, cropping, rotating, adding effects, etc.
  • Burn video to DVD: You can even use it to burn your video to DVD to enjoy on your TV.

Download Win Version Download Mac Version

Step 1: Import videos by clicking Add Files or directly dragging your files,

Step 2: Choose an optimized format for Xbox 360 through the presets available,

Step 3: Hit Convert at the bottom-right corner of the interface,

After retrieving the output files in its output folder, you can easily follow the steps below to stream videos to Xbox 360 with various tools.

xbox windows media player

Video Tutorial: How to Use the Video to Xbox 360 Converter

Part 2: How to stream video on Xbox 360 for playback

There are several methods to play media from a PC on your network by streaming. This section will be further divided into 4 categories to introduce how to stream media to Xbox with Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, Zune software and Windows Home Server.

1. Stream Windows Media Player to Xbox 360

This method of playing videos on Xbox requires Windows Media Player 12 (Windows 7) or 11 (Windows Vista). Lets takes Windows Media Player 12 for example.

  1. In Windows Media Player 12, click the Stream menu and then select Turn on media streaming.
  2. In the pop-up dialog, click Turn on media streaming.
  3. Name your media library and click OK.

For Window Media Player 11, go to Library>Media Sharing.

xbox windows media player

2.Play Videos on Xbox 360 from Windows Media Center

Windows Media Center is an application for Windows users to view and record live television, as well as play videos and music. But it's only included in these versions of Microsoft Windows: a) Windows 7 Ultimate, Professional, Home Premium, or Enterprise; b) Windows Vista Ultimate or Home Premium; c) and Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005. You could follow these instructions to play videos and music on Xbox with Windows Media Center.

1. Connect Xbox 360 to your network using a wired or wireless connection.

2. Remove previous pairs (optional).

If you previously connected your Xbox to computer, remove the existing connections as follow.

On your computer

  1. Start Windows Media Center.
  2. Go to Tasks, and then click Settings.
  3. Click Extender.
  4. Select Xbox 360 Media Center Extender.
  5. Click Uninstall.
  6. Click Next.

On your Xbox 360 console

  1. Go to My Settings, and then select System.
  2. Select Computers.
  3. Choose Windows Media Center.
  4. Choose Disconnect.
  5. Press the B button on your Xbox 360 controller to return to the Xbox Dashboard.

3. Add Xbox 360 to Windows Media Center

  1. On your Xbox 360, go to Apps>My Apps and then select Windows Media Center to get the 8-digit setup key.
  2. Start Windows Media Center on your computer and go to Tasks, click Add Extender and enter the 8-digit setup key.
  3. Click Next to complete setup.

4. Start Media Center on Xbox 360

Go to Apps, select My Apps, and then select Windows Media Center. This will build your media libraries on Xbox 360 for the first time and let your play media on Xbox.

play videos on xbox 360

3. Play Video on Xbox 360 from Zune Software

  1. Install and launch Zune software and then click Settings.
  2. Click Software>Xbox 360.
  3. Select the media types you want to share, and then click OK.

4. Play Videos on Xbox 360 from Windows Home Server

Windows Home Server lets you store all your photos, movies and much more in a central location that can be accessed from any computer or device like Xbox on your home network. After connected to a Windows Home Server, you can play videos and music on it, and even create a slideshow with pictures that are saved on your Home Server. Here is how to connect your Xbox 360 to Windows Home Server:

  1. Connect Xbox 360 to Home Server using Ethernet cable or an external wireless adapter.
  2. Copy files to Shared Folder and open Windows Home Server Console to turn on media sharing through Server Settings>Media.
  3. Now power on your Xbox and go to the System blade.
  4. Move over to the Network Settings option and press A to select it.
  5. Enter Edit Settings option by pressing A on Xbox, and setup network depending on wired or wireless connection.
  6. Go ahead and select Test Media to make sure everything is working.
  7. Now you can access the video, music and pictures in Windows Home Server from Xbox 360.

Note that Windows Home Server is free to try, but dollars to buy.

Play Streaming Videos on Xbox 360

In order to enjoy your media on your Xbox, please follow these steps:

  1. Press the Guide button on your controller, go to Media, and select the media type you want to play.
  2. Select the name of your computer and then press the A button. If a media source is already selected, press X to select a different media source.
  3. Select the item you want to play or view.

Done! Now you can play videos and music on Xbox streamed from another PC.

Streaming Tips

Download a third-party video converter to expand the amount of video formats you can stream to Xbox 360 and the original Xbox.

See a detailed video tutorial:

Download win version Download mac version

Product-related questions? Speak directly to our Support Team >>

I want this pc to show up on xbox 360. So that it stores to the hard drive and i can apply it as background wallpaper. But in windows media center, i can't do it and its not on the hard drive. Please show me how to do it. Thanks.
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