One of the parts I like the most about the Fall Dashboard Update for the Xbox 360 is that it’s added video streaming of WMV-encoded video via Windows Media Player 11 — before this I was incapable of trying any video streaming since I did not shell out beaucoup dollars for a Windows Media Center enabled PC. I also like it because the video streaming functionality lets me view flawlessly rendered HD content that my laptop would otherwise be struggling to play. Once you’re all setup, you don’t even have to be running WMP11 to share your videos (and music and photos) through your Xbox 360.
There are still a couple hurdles to get this to work, so I figured I would detail the process to get started with streaming video. NOTE: This will break your Windows Media Connect setup. You will have to uninstall WMP11 to go back to using WMC.
Here is a step-by-step on how to get WMP11 video streaming working on your network.
(Click on any of the images below for an enlarged view of what you should be seeing — all images open in a new window.)
1. Download Windows Media Player 11 and complete the install process.
6. Hopefully in the list of devices under “Sharing settings” you will an icon for your Xbox 360 with a yellow “!” sign on it. Click on it and then click on “Allow.” The Xbox 360 icon should have a green checkmark sign on it.
7. You can change your default settings under the “Settings…” button or by clicking on the “Customize…” button. Make sure that either your default settings or your custom settings for your Xbox 360 includes all the media types you want to stream: Music, Pictures and/or Video. If you’re doing this for video streaming, make sure “Video” is checked and make sure the “Star ratings” and “Parental ratings” are also set so you can see the videos you have in your library. Once you have all the settings you want, click on “OK.”
8. Back at the “Media Sharing” window, click on “OK.”
(Optional) If you do not keep all your video in your “My Documents” or “My Videos” personal folders, you’ll need to point WMP11 to the directory you have them saved in. To do this, click on the “Library” tab and then on “More options…” Then click on “Monitor Folders…” and then on the “Add to Library” window, click on the “Add…” button. In the “Add Folder” window, highlight the folder you keep all your videos files in and then click on “OK.” Repeat until all your video folders have been added to the library. Click on “OK” on the “Add to Library” window and WMP11 will automatically start searching for music, pictures and video on your computer in all the Personal Folders and folders you have added and automatically add them to the library.
9. Check that all your videos have been added by clicking on the “Library” tab and then on “Video” to load up your video library. It should have a list of your videos — with thumbnails if you kept the default settings.
10. You can now exit WMP11 if you choose. The rest will all take place on your Xbox 360.
11. In the Guide, go to the “Media” blade, highlight and select “Video.”
14. On the following screen, highlight and select the name of the PC that has the videos you want to share.
16. Select one and then you should be streaming straight from your PC. If you don’t have any WMV HD files, head over to GameTrailers or somewhere else and download yourself some amazing WMV HD videos for your first run.