The Microsoft Xbox 360 is a next generation video game console that is designed to be absolutely central to your home entertainment. In addition to playing games, the system will play DVD's and CD's out of the box. Additional add-ons are available to allow the system to play the new HD-DVD format movie discs and to wirelessly stream the photos, music and video from your home computer.
In order to stream video, there are a number of things that you will need.
- Xbox 360 video game console. This can be purchased at any major electronics retailer for about $400.
- Windows-based PC. There are many options, but Microsoft does require that the PC streaming the videos be a Windows-based PC.
- High-speed internet connection (DSL, cable). The Xbox 360 is not designed to work with any low-speed internet connections, such as dial-up. All networking on the Xbox will need to be done with a high-speed internet connection, such as DSL or Cable.
- Wireless home network (WiFi router). When setting up your home network, purchase a router that is approved for use with the Xbox 360 (visit http://www.xbox.com for more details). The set up is usually straightforward and is explained with the router.
- Wireless receiver attached to the Xbox 360. The last piece of hardware that you need is a wireless receiver for the Xbox 360. The console is not capable of receiving a signal out of the box, so you will need to purchase an additional piece. Microsoft offers the "official" connector for about $100 at all major electronic stores. It can also be ordered online from major retails, such as Amazon.com and EB Games.
You are now ready to set up your Xbox 360 to receive the videos from your computer.
- Get the software. Go to your Windows PC and visit the Xbox 360 Media Download Center to download the necessary software based upon your current operating system.
- Install the software and configure it to stream videos from a particular folder. Within the Microsoft software, go to "preferences" and select the sharing option. Indicate which folders you would like to share with your Xbox 360.
- Return to your Xbox 360 and go to the dashboard. From there, you will select the "Media" blade and select videos.
- Tell the Xbox where to find the videos. The system will ask where you would like to view videos from. Select the computer option and your Xbox will look for a Windows PC with the correct software on the network. The system should now log into your PC and grab the folders you indicated!
If you have any trouble during set up, visit www.xbox.com and take a look at the troubleshooting guide.