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xbox 360 trials
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After hours of googling and a lot of testing I believe I have found the best case scenario for h.264 on an xbox 360 extender.  

A little background, I'm running an HTPC: i3-3220t 8GB, 10TB, 6 cablecard tuners, AMD HD5450, W8.1 Pro+WMC, Xbox 360s (ethernet), slingbox.  Been trying to get h.264 to play on the xbox (no transcoding) as that would be the best system to have streaming, TV, and local media on one input.  I already have a couple hundred mkvs encoded with handbrake that I don't want to re-encode (quality loss).

So if you google around you'll get all manner of do's, don'ts, will's and won'ts; some good information, but a lot more misleading.  Here's what I've found:
1. You cannot have subs in the container - pretty sure this is true, took a couple working mkvs, added subs, broken. not a huge deal just use external files (easier to spell correct anyway).  but may have to burn in foreign language for xbox.

2. You cannot have hd-audio in the container - somewhat true.  I could not get the downmix to 5.1 working in shark, so my mkvs which typically only have the hd track won't play. However, if I add a 5.1 ac3 as the FIRST audio track, mkv/mp4 plays fine and I can just choose the second hd track when I watch from the htpc on the main tv.  Want to try getting media control working next.  Problem is, the mp4 format is a pita (thanks apple) to add extra audio tracks and I don't believe it can take True-HD like mkv can.

3. There is a max h.264 bitrate that the xbox can handle.  I'm not sure about this one, but I think the answer is not really.  The xbox can handle at most High4.1 profile though.  When MS first added mp4 support in 2007 there was a disclaimer of 10Mbps limit, but maybe that was just for the first gen console or they upped it in a later patch.  People say they can do 15Mbps without issue.  I muxed an episode of Mad Men off a blu-ray, no encoding, to mkv and it plays fine.  Average Bitrate is 27Mbps.

4. Chapters are not supported in the container.  No issues so far, but chapters don't work on the xbox.

5. Cannot seek on the xbox.  For mkvs I can do the 30s fwd/6s back, but that could take a long time.  Also, if you double tap you'll end up at the end or beginning.  I much prefer mkv, but mp4 does allow you to FF/RW (MS codec only? 10x max).  Was thinking about remuxing to mp4, but I don't want to give up True-HD.  So I guess I have to put up with going to the HTPC if I want to seek to a particle time in the movie, and restart on the xbox.  


All in all, not too bad.  It looks like I can keep my high-res mkvs with hd-audio I just have to take out subs, add 5.1 first track, and remux (possibly re-encode) if >High4.1.  I'll have to see how big a deal the FF/RW is, I could create a second copy of each video in mp4/wtv.  But that's pretty unappealing.  Unless I can load external audio in WMC like subs or add longer skips to the FF/RW buttons on the xbox during mkv playback only?  Let me know if you have ideas.

Thank you shark for all the work you put into this codec pack.  It was easy to get it working, just figuring out the files right took a lot of research.  I couldn't count the number of forum posts where the proposed solution was "I don't use WMC use xyz", or "the Xbox can't handle mkv" or "plex is great".  I hope someone else finds this useful. 

 
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Messages In This Thread
xbox 360 trials - by go43cvi - 04-02-2015, 07:10 PM
RE: xbox 360 trials - by Shark007 - 04-02-2015, 07:57 PM
RE: xbox 360 trials - by jfreiman - 04-11-2015, 08:26 PM
RE: xbox 360 trials - by go43cvi - 04-12-2015, 03:04 PM
RE: xbox 360 trials - by DavidinCT - 04-19-2015, 01:27 PM



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