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TVersity plus Xbox 360 = Perfect

by Brandon on December 31st, 2006

Well, nearly perfect.  Tonight I tried out the latest version of TVersity.  It’s a non-Microsoft implementation of the same kind of UPNP sharing that Windows Media Player and the Zune software do.  Except with some extra features, including one really big one:

It lets you stream non-WMV video files to your 360!  No media center needed.  And unlike the Transcode 360 option for Media Center, you don’t even have to do any tricks like picking “transcode” from a “more info” menu.  You just fire up your 360, go to “Videos” and then “Computer” and you have a list of everything you’ve shared out.  Just pick one and click play.  Couldn’t be easier.

It even works great on Vista (including the x64 version).  I had to add a firewall rule manually, and manually start the service (because of UAC I think) but it told me to reboot which would have started it as well.  For a free beta app that’s pretty good.

Only improvement I want is for the list to display videos in folders.  I have 200+ videos right now and it shows them all in an alphabetical flat list.  However, that’s something the Xbox 360 software will need to solve since right now a flat list is all it supports for video (it does folders for Pictures so I imagine it would be do-able).

Anyway, I’m especially glad they have this solution since yesterday I managed to break my Media Center PC (the Mac Mini) during an attempted memory upgrade gone horribly wrong.

From → Other

6 Comments
  1. Sean McLeod permalink

    Did you have the Mac Mini running Vista’s Media Center at all or only Windows MCE 2005?

    I’m curious about the Mac Mini’s performance, particularly with it’s on-board Intel graphics with Vista. For example can it playback highdef content, 720p at least without any hiccups?

    Cheers

  2. It was running Vista (with Aero and all). It is/was a Core Duo 1.67Ghz model and performance was fine. It was a bit slow running the MCE menus but I’m pretty certain that was the 512MB of memory holding it back. I was about to upgrade it to 2GB which I’m sure would have made a huge difference. Other upgrades you can do with it are a Core 2 Duo CPU and/or a 7200RPM hard drive. But I didn’t really think those would be necessary.

    Major drawback to it as a Media Center is the lack of 6-channel audio outputs. Your only options are stereo or optical s/pdif.

    I’m still not sure if I’m going to replace it with a new media center box. I think I’ll take it to the Apple Store this week and see about having them send it in for repairs. In the meantime the 360 plus TVersity seem to have me covered pretty well.

  3. Sean McLeod permalink

    Did you try out any high-def playback?

    Cheers

  4. I had problems with TVersity, Found My Movies (http://MyMovies.name) a bit more capable but… nothing worked as well as manually transcoding content to WMV (using SPB Mobile DVD)

    Would be so much better if the MCE functionality could stream DVD (video_ts rips, iso etc) to the Xbox but politics probably says it’ll never happen.

  5. Hi Brandon, this is Ronen from TVersity. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, we are very glad to see it works well for you.
    Regarding the flat list of videos, it is true that it is up to Microsoft to add support for hierarchy, however until that happens, we added a feature that prefixes item names with their parent folder, this can help quite a bit with large libraries. You can turn it on via the settings tab and then you need to reconstruct the library.

  6. I like TVersity too. I didn’t have any problems with it. It’s nice to see folks from the company watching blogs too!

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