The original version of this guide showed a method where you can use TVersity to play DivX and XviD file on the Xbox 360, even though the Xbox 360 did not natively support DivX and XviD playback. TVersity allows for realtime transcoding (conversion) of the DivX/XviD file to WMV, a format that the Xbox 360 does support. But with the 2007 Fall Update for the Xbox 360, DivX and XviD playback was added to the list of natively supported video formats on the 360, and hence, the old guide was no longer necessary. This revised guide, now shows you how to set up a media server, by using either TVersity or Windows Media Player 11. There is no transcoding involved with either method, and you can easily apply the instructions to setting up other UPnP compatible media servers.
The Xbox 360 is a great games console, with HD output. It is now also a good alternative to buying a HD DVD player, if you purchase the HD-DVD add-on drive. With it's Windows MCE extender and UPnP functions, it can also serve as a media hub for your home entertainment system, streaming video, audio and pictures from your central media server (Windows MCE or UPnP server). With the 2007 Fall Update, both DivX and XviD is now supported through the AVI and .divx containers. This guide will teach you how to setup your own UPnP server using the free software TVersity or Windows Media Player 11, so you can stream DivX/XviD files to your Xbox 360 without having to burn any media or to copy the files over.
Before we get started, DivX and XviD support has the following restrictions:
Maximum Resolution: 1280x720 (720p) @ 30 FPS
Maximum Bitrate: 5 Mbps (files with higher bitrates will play, but playback quality is not guaranteed)
Audio Support: MP3, AC3 (2.0 and 5.1)
MPEG-4 ASP Features: B-Frames, Interlaced Frames, Q-Pel, GMC and MPEG Quantization
As you can see above, the "restrictions" are pretty lax, meaning you will be able to play almost every kind of DivX/XviD AVI out there (and being able most of the DivX encoding profiles without worrying about incompatibility). The inclusion of AC3 5.1 support is much welcomed.
For the old version of this guide, an alternative method was available. This method converts your DivX/XviD files to WMV first, and then play back the WMV file on your Xbox 360. Before native DivX/XviD support as added, this method was great if your computer was not fast enough for realtime transcoding, or if you want higher quality WMV files that do not suffer from buffering or skipping problems during playback. You can find out about this alternative method by reading our AVI to (Xbox 360 compatible) WMV Conversion Guide. Obviously, with native DivX/XviD support, the convert to WMV method is less attractive.
Before we proceed and as mentioned before, there are two software you can use to get your media server up and running to stream DivX/XviD files to your Xbox 360. One method is to use TVersity, a free UPnP media server. The other is to use Windows Media Player 11's built in "Media Sharing" capabilities. If you already have Windows Media Player installed (and you should have, even if you are planning on using TVersity, since it is an requirement as well), then my recommendation is to try the media sharing in WMP 11 before deciding to use TVersity or not. TVersity is a nice and simple tool to manage your media sharing, but it is not without its problems.
If you choose to use Windows Media Player 11, then please continue on to the next page. If you choose to use TVersity, please skip the next page and continue to page 3 ("Setting Up Media Sharing using TVersity - Part 1").