How to stream movies from your PC to Xbox 360

Microsoft XboxWe have set up a home theatre system with a brand new 50 inch wide screen plasma and 5.1 surround sound. We also have an xbox 360 and wanted to get the most out of it by streaming the movies on our PC.

Once you’ve squirreled your movie collection on your PC you’ll want to reap the benefits.

What better way than to exploit the powers of your next-gen Xbox 360 to stream an endless flow of flicks to your TV. Here’s how…

Step 1: Get networking

To stream movies from your PC to Xbox 360 they’ll both need to be connected to the same network. To do that, you’ll need a router. It’ll also need to be near your Xbox 360 so you can connect it using the included Ethernet cable. If that’s not possible, you’ll need to buy a wireless adapter for Microsoft’s console in order to get hooked up.

Your PC will also need to connect to the network, so if it doesn’t have a network card or built in wireless, you’ll want to grab an add-on to get it connected.

Step 2: Run Media Player

To share videos with your Xbox 360 you’ll need to be running Windows Media Player 11. If you don’t already have it, run Windows Update from the start menu, and rest easy for a minute as it installs.

Once it’s downloaded and ready for action, power-up your Xbox 360. Then start your PC running Windows Media Player. Right, now click “Library” and “Media Sharing”. Next select “Share my media” and choose “OK”. Wait for your PC to detect the Xbox, then select it and click “Allow” and “OK”.

On your console, select the media menu, then choose Video, Music or Pictures. There you’ll see the same content from your PC. If it doesn’t show up, hit the “X” button on your controller, and select your PC. Now you’re good to go and start streaming movies.

Step 3: Extend your Media Centre

As well as streaming videos from a normal PC, if you’ve got a Media Centre PC you can use the Xbox 360 to extend the experience to the big screen.

That means live TV, recorded shows and all the usual extras. Just make sure both machines are on the same network using Step 1 above, and select Media Centre from the media menu of the Xbox 360. If you want to record digital TV your PC will need a TV card or a USB digital TV adapter like we have. We paid less than $100 for ours. This is a way better alternative for us since our DVD recorder has decided not to work anymore after 18 months. Why pay $500 for a dvd recorder when you can pay less than $100 to do the same thing.

Other Must have accessories

Wireless WIFI - The Xbox 360 doesn’t come with Wi-Fi built in, so connecting it to your home network means keeping it close to a wired router, or buying this add-on. The latter will make things much easier.

Plasma TV - Streaming videos from your PC to an Xbox is only worth it if your TV is bigger than your PC’s screen. Check out LCD TVs, as they’re generally cheaper than plasma versions, but can still be huge, while remaining great value.

Xbox 360 Remote - Unless you want to watch movies with a control pad in your hands, you’ll need to grab a universal remote. Microsoft make an official remote for the console, but there are cheaper 3rd party versions available too.

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