When Microsoft released the Xbox 360 in November 2005, they explained their vision was for the system to be the centerpiece of your home entertainment system. One of the upgrades that they made was to allow you to stream photos from your home PC to your Xbox 360 using a wireless network. The process is fairly simple and involves only a few steps.
- Set up a wireless router on your home computer. I highly recommend, prior to purchasing a wireless router, that you visit the Microsoft Xbox site and confirm that the router you are choosing is compatible with the Xbox Live network. After finding the right router, follow the instructions included with your new router to set it up with your home computer and high speed connection.
- Get your Xbox to receive the wireless signal. The Xbox 360 is not capable of receiving a wireless WiFi signal out of the box. You will need to purchase a WiFi receiver -- either the official Microsoft brand, which retails for about $100, or another brand that will connect to your Xbox 360 using the Ethernet plug or the USB plug on the back of the system. After making your 360 wireless-capable, the system should recognize your network and connect wirelessly. The installation process is a quick one, you just need to plug the receiver into your Xbox and the system should recognize it.
- Set your computer up with the Windows Media Center software. Luckily, this software is a free download from Microsoft. To download the necessary software on your computer, visit the Xbox media download page and download the software that is appropriate to your operating system.
- Set up folders for sharing. When the software completes loading, go to your preferences and view the folders that you are sharing with your Xbox. Simply add the folders that you want to share to the list of available photos. The computer will then add those folders and files to the list of photos that can be shared on your Xbox 360.
- Help Xbox find your computer. Now, go back to your Xbox 360 and go to the blade that lists your music/photos/videos. Select photos and the system will ask where you want to view photos from. Select, "A Networked Computer" and the Xbox will find your computer. Using your Xbox 360, click on the computer you wish to use to share your photos. You have now found the folder and you are ready to view the pictures! You can set the pictures up to run as a slide show or just rotate through the pictures using the right and left trigger buttons.