Sunday, July 26, 2009

Free Solution to Stream Video To Xbox 360 (or PS3) from Mac OS X (or PC)

Barely my second post on helpful (and frugal) tips and already it seems that I have a trend going on with the Xbox 360, but do not be disheartened, I do not wish to turn this solely into an Xbox blog. I simply found stumbled upon this s
olution for streaming video, at very good quality, to the Xbox 360. Also, this will come in handy for all of you who are choosing to follow my very first tip.
The reason I deem it necessary to post this on this blog is because there are a few ways to stream video from a Mac computer to your Xbox, but there are not many free or easy ways. The most common way to do it is to use the paid program solution by Nullriver Software. The Connect360 seems to be the most popular choice, however, I believe that if you can find a free, and in this case better route, you should take it. I choose to focus on using a Mac to stream vs a PC because there are already many viable options for handling this from a PC perspective.
The free program I have come across handles streaming from a Mac to a Xbox extremely well, but what is most interesting is that this is not even the programs primary function. It is essentially a torrent program that handles the streaming as a big plus.
The solution is a program called Vuze. It is available for both PC and Mac and has requirements that anyone should be able to fulfill. Although this is mainly a bittorent application, I will only be focusing on its prowess as a streaming application.
There are only really a few easy steps to get this working for you:
  1. Download and install the Vuze here.
  2. Turn on your Xbox 360 (or PS3). It's best to do this early so you don't forget to do it later. Also, be sure to make sure that you computer and Xbox 360 are on the same network.
  3. Start the Vuze application.
  4. If you have done all of the above correctly, Xbox 360 should pop up under Devices on the left hand side.
  5. During your initial connection with the Xbox 360 there maybe some confirmation steps, but they should be very easy to get through.
  6. To get started streaming you just have to drag the movie you want to stream over from Finder into the Xbox 360 area under Devices. A new window will pop up asking if you would like to encode your video for streaming in HD or SD. I don't know what the exact difference is, but you can play around with those settings yourself to see which work best with your videos and TV set. I have found however that HD does take a much longer time to encode, which is expected.
  7. After you make your selection the encoding will begin. If you are trying to play a file format that the Xbox natively supports then you will not have to encode your video, but if you have a lot of .mkv files or other types, they will work but will just need to be encoded.
  8. Once that is complete, go over to your Xbox, head over to the Video Library section and then connect to "Vuze on [ your ip]"
  9. Your list of available videos will pop up.
  10. Press Play!

Notes: This software seems to support a wide number of file formats, among which are mpeg, avi, and mkv. There are probably others, but these are the only ones I have used so far. The Vuze website claims that it can be used to play HD movies on PC, Mac, Xbox 360, iPhone, PS3, and iPod, however, I have only had a chance to test it on a Mac streaming to a Xbox 360. Remember this is a free program, so feel free to use it to its max.

I hope you've found this solution to be both very useful and friendly to your wallet. Please help support this site by visiting our sponsors which can be found on the right hand side and bottom of this page and by passing this blog along to family and friends.

7 comments:

  1. It should be noted that the "devices" tab will not show up on a power-pc based mac so this tutorial will not work on G4 or G5 models.

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  2. Can you just use one ethernet cord if say you dont hve wireless and you router is a out of date unwarrenty piece of crap...say i just want to stream movies from my mac and only have a ethernet cord now? will there be a way to make that happen?

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  3. @Jason

    No, you would need a crossover cable, which looks like ethernet cord but functions quite differently. Honestly though, if you're going to spend 10-20 dollars on a crossover cable, you might as well put out the extra 20 dollars or so that it will cost to get another low-end router.

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  4. @jason

    instead of buying a low-end router you can switch the wires around in your ethernet cord and make it a crossover cable your self. its easy and a lot cheaper than buying a crossover cable.

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  5. I bought a movie on itunes store. Can it work with vuze to play on my xbox360?

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  6. @Micheal and jason

    You can but first you must configure the mac (givin you got 10.5.5) to share the internet connection with the xbox(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMZwaP9Vyes&feature=related) and then VUZE will see the xbox

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  7. I hardly ever write comments on blogs, but your article urged me to praise your blog.
    Thanks for the read, I will surely favorite your site and check in occasionally.Cheers
    Vuze

    ReplyDelete