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XViD 360
posted by: Tristan Mayshark
developer: Albert Griscti-Soler
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date posted: 08:24 PM Thu Apr 13th, 2006
last revision: 02:44 PM Fri Apr 14th, 2006

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Click to read.The XBox 360, when on a network with a PC running Windows Media Center Edition, provides a slick interface through which you can access image, audio and video files from your XBox 360. Since this technology was announced, critics have been blasting Microsoft for only including support for WMV and some ASF file formats for video. While I\'d like to report that Microsoft has amended that with a dashboard update, if that were the case, you would already know it. On the plus side, Albert Griscti-Soler (of XBox Media Center fame) has released a neat piece of software that solves this problem.

Transcode 360 is a perfectly legal piece of freeware that can be downloaded from http://runtime360.com/projects/transcode-360/transcode-360-download and then installed on your Windows XP Media Center Edition PC. At this point, the process of actually playing videos encoded in formats that are not supported natively by the Xbox 360 Media Center becomes nearly transparent to the user.(commonly, MPEG-4 codecs such as XViD or DiVX, although this will work with nearly any codec). All you have to do is browse to the file as you normally would, but instead of playing it, select \"more info...\" and then \"more\". You will then have an option for \"Transcode\". Click this, wait a moment, and the video will start playing through your 360.

There are some limitations. At present, the current release forces all output to 16:9, so if your input video is 4:3, 20:9, or anything else that\'s not 16:9, the aspect ratio of the output is distorted. However, clever people on the forums on the official site have already found workarounds for this, and all signs indicate that a new release that solves this problem (by forcing the output aspect to be the same as the input, instead of blindly forcing to 16:9) should be available soon.

Secondly, transcoding involves decoding the video in question and then re-encoding it to a different format (in this case, one that plays nicely with the 360) in real time. This requires a reasonably fast PC, and transcoding higher resolution videos will require a faster PC than transcoding lower resolution videos.

With these minor hiccups in mind, Transcode 360 is worth checking out if you\'re an XBox 360 owner, as it greatly extends the functionality of the XBox 360 as a Media Center hub.

Speaking from experience, a 1.6 gHZ AMD64 with 1 gigabyte of RAM is quite sufficient to transcode XViD and DiVX that has been encoded at 720p.

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