MCE Extender: Xbox 360


Senior Member
Has anyone tried an xbox 360 as an extender?

I know the modded xbox classics are considered very cool, but the tv recording functionality does not work without automating a process from another mce machine to convert the files. Without the mod, there are reports of it being sluggish and not as responsive as is ideal.

Now that you can actually get a 360, I was curious if anyone had any experience with them. It certainly should have the horsepower.

Also, does anyone have information on the jukebox control they added to MCE? I did some light searching and could not find much at all. I will go back and try to dig deeper but if anyone has seen anything on this, point me in the right direction please.
yes, I used it as an extender really just to understand how it works. A bit of a PITA to setup and you have to run the CD in the drive (unless I didn't read the instructions right). I got it to work, but just not impressed due to the juggling to get it to connect.
Was it something workable once you got it setup, or is it a pain every time? The cd in the drive shouldnt be an issue as honestly it would primarily be an extender in this case.

If it is workable (which it should not be slow given the horsepower in those things) and you can hook in a jukebox somehow (using the MCE extensions) I have a scenario where that might be ideal (and I am aware of some of the more integrated options such as CQC and DVDLobby for DVD usage, just looking for a simple integrated solution that can be extended somewhat to other rooms). This is for someone else (although I might draw upon it as well)....
I've been using the 360 Extender for quite some time. You don't need a CD for the MCE Extender features. The software is on the hard drive, or can be pulled down over the network. The setup process is not difficult. It just requires a key exchange with your MCE. It took me less than 5 minutes to get it up and running. The new 360 Extender is way better than the old extender. The experience is nearly identical to the MCE itself. Some apps are compatible with the extender (My Movies). I don't have any experience with the Jukebox because I have all my CDs dumped to the hard drive (much faster). The biggest limitation is the codecs on the 360. You can only view MPG, MPG2 and WMV content on them. DivX and other non-standard codecs will need to be transcoded on the MCE to view them on the extender. There are software packages out there that try to make this process as seemless as possible.

The MCE Extender is a great way to offer all your media content to any room with an ethernet port or over a wireless connection.
My Movies works with the X360?? Is this using .ISO files, or some other trick? That's a good reason to get one for sure.
A friend of mine, runtime, has an app that aids the 360 in playing media that mce does not by itself support streaming.

Personally, I think it's stupid that ms purposefully limited the implementation of streaming to the 360, but whatever.

You can check out his app here:

runtime was heavily involved (and is to a smaller extent nowadays I believe) with xbmc for the original xbox (which I still prefer over the mce implementation on the 360).

If anyone is looking to play on live or chat, my gamertag is jmel :D
Let me edit my prior comment that I read this a bit quick and was responding based on the original Xbox - not the 360 which I haven't used yet.
I have the 360, and have it setup as an extender for MCE.

The process was incredibly simple and painfree. It went exactly the way black magic described. No issues whatsoever on my mind. It has all of the functionality of MCE, afaik.

Now, to get down to this whole "does it play this or that" issue:

I have tried all of the different transcoding apps for the 360 in mce, and Runtime's Transcode 360 is by FAR the best. However, there are some serious limitations at this time:

Firstly, it can play just about any codec (divx, xvid, mpeg2, mpeg4, wmv, etc..).
It also has the ability to play........get ready......... .ISO and video_ts folders!!
Now, for the limitations.

While it can play .ISO and ripped dvd's in the video_ts format, it can not ff or rr during playback. This has something to do with the AC3 audio transcoding fo 5.1 surround. The playback looks great and runs perfectly, just not ff or rr at this time =(

Also, in order to start the movies, you have to click on info, then more, then transcode 360 before it starts. not a huge issue, but a little bit of a pain.

Runtime (maker of Transcode 360) has announced that he is currently in cooperation with the maker of MyMovies to bring both of these applications together. Thats right..........My Movies is most likely going to have Transcode360 built into it (or work seamlessly with it) soon. How about that, e? hehe

Hope that helps to explain some things.
great news, guess it's time to save my money for basic xbox360 (don't want the games or controller).
I'm not a big fan of real-time transcoding. There can be a lot of overhead with doing this in real-time, plus you can't realistically handle high-def transcoding. Additionally, you will loose quality in the conversion. If I need contect playable on the 360 MCE, I convert it overnight with the batch encoder and Windows Media Encoder (for better quality). For My Movies, you can strip out the movie stream and use VideoRedo to clean up the stream. You'll get smaller files and it will be the original content (not reduced fidelity due to transcoding). The 360 is picky about MPEG2 streams, so something like VideoRedo is necessary to clean up anomolies in the stream.

MS didn't include non-standard video codecs because of licensing fees and IP issues. Also, several of these non-standard codecs get constant bug fixes, and that's a lot of test and deployment time for the 360.
I hate transcoding myself, because I hate taxing my main pc when xbmc will play nearly everything I want it to. It was a great reason to keep the old xbox ( or 3 of them ).

As far as why ms didnt include other formats, I think the answer is way more simple.

They are the 800 lb gorilla, and want to push their own format. As far as why the 360 doesn't play video out of the box, its because they are the 800 lb gorilla, and want to push mce.

Personally, I think mce is pretty garbage. To each his own.
I was unaware of the fact that you could do this to bypass having to transcode. I will test that out tonight and see how it compares!

So you use dvdshrink/dvddecrypter to rip the dvd, then send it to WMP to encode, then to VideoRedo to clean it up? Is this correct?

I guess we will also have to see if this collaboration between MyMovies and Transcode360 will come up with a better solution.

BTW: I love my modified xbox. I have the xecuter 2 chip in it, and have been using XBMC for quite some time. My only problem with it, is the inability to turn it on using the remote. This keeps it from being a practical solution for use as a video distribution unit in the new house. I know there are mods out there to have a remote power on solutoin, but they are expensive and tricky to do.

Just wanted to post to say that I found a cheap way ($10) to allow the original xbox to be powered on from any RF learning remote! This may be the best news yet for my extender needs! Now to pit the 360 against the xbox!
ph0n33z said:
So you use dvdshrink/dvddecrypter to rip the dvd, then send it to WMP to encode, then to VideoRedo to clean it up? Is this correct?
Use some ripper program to extract only the movie from a unprotected DVD that you own. It will extract it to a .vob file. Use VideoRedo (there is a free trial) to do a quick stream fix. This will result in a .mpg file that is playable on the 360 (with AC3 audio).