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Play MKV files on Xbox 360 without transcoding


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#16 OhMuffin

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 23:38

I really wish people would stop using this crap.

This crap?

MKV is an amazing container. Just because you have no use for it doesn't mean thousands of people do.

Most of the *Video* I download is MKV. I would love to simply stream it to my 360 and watch it on my huge plasma.


#17 kazuyette

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 15:26

Media Center is independent of the Xbox dashboard. That's why with Vista you couldn't play Xvid in WMC but you could do it in the dashboard. Windows 7 Media Center now supports AVCHD which is H.264 + AC3. I think I was able to play 5.1. I will check that later today.

Mate, u're doing it wrong and don't understand a lot of stuff, let me show u it ... :)

As AB already wrote a lot of interesting stuff, I'm gonna add some stuff to this thread since I own both consoles and know my way around playing mkv on both.

1- The xbox CANNOT play 5.1 AC3 out of the box.
2- The xbox CAN play H264 content up to profile 4.1
3- The xbox CANNOT play files with a DTS track AT ALL ! ( except DVDs and HDDVDs if you still have one )
4- The xbox CAN play H264 files with an AC3 track once the profile is changed ( see n°2) and the AC3 track downsampled to AC3 2.0
5- when playing H264 content, you're limited to 1280*720.
6- The only way to get 1080p files, with 5.1 sound, playing on your xbox is to transcode them to WMV9 or 10.
7- The only software you'll ever need for converting/transcoding stuff on your 360 is GotSent ( A LOT much simpler than mkv2vob if you only got an x360 ).


That's all I remember now:))

P.S. : for all misinformed dudes out there check this link straight from msdn : CLICKY

#18 digitalsoft

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 15:29

Don't have time to read this thread but the only MKV converter you need is 'XenonMKV' - best one I've found. Perfect, literally!

#19 limok

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 16:02

Is anyone else else have problems playing m2ts and ts files on Xbox via Media Center, I get a slight noticeable stutter when playing these files. The same file but in a mpeg container play fine.

#20 kazuyette

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 17:03

Is anyone else else have problems playing m2ts and ts files on Xbox via Media Center, I get a slight noticeable stutter when playing these files. The same file but in a mpeg container play fine.

I never tried to play a m2ts file with Media Center since the Xbox can already play them via the dashboard

#21 OP BajiRav

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 05:33

Mate, u're doing it wrong and don't understand a lot of stuff, let me show u it ... :)

As AB already wrote a lot of interesting stuff, I'm gonna add some stuff to this thread since I own both consoles and know my way around playing mkv on both.

1- The xbox CANNOT play 5.1 AC3 out of the box.
2- The xbox CAN play H264 content up to profile 4.1
3- The xbox CANNOT play files with a DTS track AT ALL ! ( except DVDs and HDDVDs if you still have one )
4- The xbox CAN play H264 files with an AC3 track once the profile is changed ( see n°2) and the AC3 track downsampled to AC3 2.0
5- when playing H264 content, you're limited to 1280*720.
6- The only way to get 1080p files, with 5.1 sound, playing on your xbox is to transcode them to WMV9 or 10.
7- The only software you'll ever need for converting/transcoding stuff on your 360 is GotSent ( A LOT much simpler than mkv2vob if you only got an x360 ).

That's all I remember now:))

P.S. : for all misinformed dudes out there check this link straight from msdn : CLICKY

Oh boy, is it too difficult to understand this part?

Media Center is independent of the Xbox dashboard.

If you connect xbox 360 to a Vista media center, it won't even play Xvid/Divx. But with Windows 7 it supports a whole lot of different formats.

#22 The_Observer

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:00

Windows 7 has native support for AVCHD which is nothing but H.264/AC3 inside a m2ts container. This means that Windows Media Center can now play these files natively.
Most MKV media that I have seen (personally I have just two MKV files) is H.264 with AC3 audio. So all I needed to do was change the container from mkv to m2ts. Since this method does not need any lossy transcoding, it is far easier and much faster. As long as your source is good, the result is pretty much guaranteed.

Required:
1. A decent spec PC with Windows 7
2. SmartLabs tsMuxer (freeware, no install required)
3. Xbox 360 :p with Media Center extender enabled.
4. MKV media with AVC/H.264 video and AC3 audio

Procedure:
1. Start tsMuxer and add your MKV clip in the input section

2. In the Tracks section check if you see expected tracks. I included the subtitle track but apparently WMC and WMP don't use it.
3. Did not do anything in the General track options setting
4. In the Output section select M2TS muxing and select desired location.
5. Now hit Start muxing button at the bottom.

6. Depending on your PC, it will take 5-10mins to perform a pass through conversion of the clip.
7. If all goes well, Windows Explorer will display a thumbnail for this. Try playing it in WMP and check if it plays without problems.
8. Now move the m2ts file to your Video library.
OR
8. Media Center has a special library called "Movie Library" that you can setup from its settings. e.g. e:\Movies. Move the m2ts file to this location.
9. Now give Windows Search enough time to index the new file. For me it was roughly 5mins.
10. Launch WMC from Xbox 360
11. Navigate to either Pictures + Videos>video library or Movies>movie library and play the file.

For me this worked without any problems at the very first attempt. I haven't experimented much with tsMuxer besides whatever I wrote above. This obviously will not work through the dashboard since Xbox 360 doesn't recognize the format (it did not show up in list for me). I am sure they will add the support soon because all consumer HD camcorders use m2ts(or mts) files. PS3 probably supports m2ts format already because of Sony's handycam connection.

Hope this helps people who have Windows 7 installed. I am using build 7057. Although Media Center can be shaky at times so YMMV. :/


what a waste of time, i just installed the codecs ran xbox 360 media center ext, and played the file! Windows 7 build 7000-7077 has allways done this for me!

#23 Audioboxer

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 09:16

If you connect xbox 360 to a Vista media center, it won't even play Xvid/Divx. But with Windows 7 it supports a whole lot of different formats.


I don't quite understand how software on your PC can magically change the codec support built into the 360 firmware?

Are you sure Vista Media Center isn't transcoding?

#24 OP BajiRav

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 13:01

what a waste of time, i just installed the codecs ran xbox 360 media center ext, and played the file! Windows 7 build 7000-7077 has allways done this for me!

Umm, no you did not. MKVs won't be shown in the media center no matter what you do. Although I will be glad if proven wrong. Will save me time. Can you elaborate?

I don't quite understand how software on your PC can magically change the codec support built into the 360 firmware?

Are you sure Vista Media Center isn't transcoding?

I have no idea how media center extenders render video. I am guessing that it doesn't involve the dashboard at all (beyond launching the extender app). For a while other extenders were supporting xvidd, divx and h264 whereas xbox 360 extender (vista) did not. But now with Windows 7, they all work on 360.
Audio, did you ever try running AVCHD(.mts, .m2ts) content on PS3? wikipedia says PS3 supports it natively.

#25 Audioboxer

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 13:05

I have no idea how media center extenders render video. I am guessing that it doesn't involve the dashboard at all (beyond launching the extender app). For a while other extenders were supporting xvidd, divx and h264 whereas xbox 360 extender (vista) did not. But now with Windows 7, they all work on 360.
Audio, did you ever try running AVCHD(.mts, .m2ts) content on PS3? wikipedia says PS3 supports it natively.


Yeah I'm just wondering because native video playback either off hard drive or streaming depends on the codecs your console supports, not your PC. The only time PC codecs matter is if you require to transcode a video on your PC first before streaming it.

Also yes, .mts/.m2ts and AVCHD's work on the PS3.

#26 +Audien

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 13:14

Yeah I'm just wondering because native video playback either off hard drive or streaming depends on the codecs your console supports, not your PC. The only time PC codecs matter is if you require to transcode a video on your PC first before streaming it.

Also yes, .mts/.m2ts and AVCHD's work on the PS3.


There's two ways you can play media on the 360 - either stream it over the network, or connect through windows media extender. The former relies on the codecs available on the 360 whereas the latter works like remote desktop (it essentially logs into your PC under a special account) so that works on codecs available on the comp.

That's why you can't play XVID through the 2nd method if you're using Vista 64bit atm because there's no 64-bit divx codec for Windows Media Center.

#27 Audioboxer

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 13:22

There's two ways you can play media on the 360 - either stream it over the network, or connect through windows media extender. The former relies on the codecs available on the 360 whereas the latter works like remote desktop (it essentially logs into your PC under a special account) so that works on codecs available on the comp.

That's why you can't play XVID through the 2nd method if you're using Vista 64bit atm because there's no 64-bit divx codec for Windows Media Center.


So what is it streaming to your 360 then, a video of your video? [That's what remote desktop would be like no?]

Because if it's streaming the actual video file natively to the 360 it would still need the codec support on the 360 hardware would it not? The 360 can't do the decoding itself if it has no software/codecs to do so... Which means if it's being decoded on the PC, the PC must be sending a video of the video?

Auch, I'm not sure, I'm confused about how it works...

#28 OP BajiRav

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 15:23

So what is it streaming to your 360 then, a video of your video? [That's what remote desktop would be like no?]

Because if it's streaming the actual video file natively to the 360 it would still need the codec support on the 360 hardware would it not? The 360 can't do the decoding itself if it has no software/codecs to do so... Which means if it's being decoded on the PC, the PC must be sending a video of the video?

Auch, I'm not sure, I'm confused about how it works...

As a MCE, it remote desktops but then it has a dedicated video stream but it still depends on the codec support on the extender and renders UI on Xbox 360. If you install ffdshow codec on a Vista box, the MC on the computer then will play Xvid/Divx but the extender - Xbox 360 won't. I am equally confused but you can read more here.

#29 Briandl79

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 15:00

I just stick to WMV's. Sure that can create some availability limitations, but not that much, and I can get 1080P with 5.1.

(800GB)

#30 OP BajiRav

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 16:33

I just stick to WMV's. Sure that can create some availability limitations, but not that much, and I can get 1080P with 5.1.

(800GB)

How do you create/encode those?