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Noob needs help with Xbox / Media Center Extender / ISO Files


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We just got an xbox 360. We would like to use the media center app to play all of our media. Currently we also have a laptop hooked to this TV on which we use Media Center to play our media. We're short one HDMI port on the TV, so using Media Center via Xbox will let us put that laptop out to pasture. Everything works except for playing our DVD collection, which is ripped to the hard drive of a PC on the network, in ISO format. I came across a web site that showed how to use Media Browser and Transcode 360 to get this to work, and I'm close. Here's where it stands right now...


First we set up the Xbox as a media center extender, to basically link the Xbox to the Media Center on the PC where the DVDs are stored. On the Xbox, I go to the Media Center app. I can go through the pictures, MP3 files, videos etc. using the normal media center options. It all looks just like you're using Media Center on the PC (i.e. all the libraries are already set up etc.). When I want to play a DVD, I go to the Media Browser plugin in Media Center, select a movie, then hit play. The DVD gets mounted on the PC (I can see it assigned a new letter drive in Windows Explorer), but this is where it gets weird. Once it's mounted, it starts to play...on the desktop of the PC. A media Center window opens on the PC, and the movie starts playing. On the Xbox, it still shows the menu with Play / Refresh options.  


How can I get this to stream to the Xbox like the other media does? Recorded TV files (wtv) and other video files (AVI / WMV etc) play fine through the Media Center menu options, and on the Xbox ONLY, but the mounted DVD (the only items I'm playing through the Media Browser plugin in Media Center) play on the PC's desktop only.


Any thoughts? I know I could convert these ISOs to a video format, but I'd really rather not, if I can get the ISOs working. Thanks.



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Quick follow up...I went to "Media Browser Configuration Wizard" -> Advanced tab -> Extenders + ISO. There is a section for Extender Settings. I have "Enable Transcode 360" checked. I noticed that there is a list of extender formats, which currently has 2 items: ".dvr-ms" and ".wmv". I added a WMV file to the folder where my ISOs are stored. I then was able to see that WMV file on the Xbox within the Media Browser plugin, and play it ON the xbox. I'm guessing I just need to add DVD movies as an option in the "Extender Formats" list so that MB and/or T360 knows to stream this through transcode 360. I click "Add" and get prompted to "Add format to be handled natively by the extender", but I'm not sure what to put there. Any idea what I would enter?

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First off, welcome to the MediaBrowser community. Stick with the product and I guarantee you will love it. I have completely abolished any form of TV/Movie service in my home, completely replaced by MediaBrowser.

I'll first say that the MediaBrowser Classic (ie. using xbox 360 as extender) is as far as I know, fully supported, but being slowly phased out. The only reason to use MediaBrowser Classic would be if you just love the themes and use a PC as your 'Set-top Box', or use MediaCenter Extenders. I do myself still use some x360's, but just replaced one tonight with a Roku 3.

Now, down to the point and the issue you are having. Hopefully someone will chime in to confirm this, however I do believe that mounting an ISO and playing through an extender (x360) is not supported / does not work. It only works directly on the MediaBrowser pc, as already mentioned, as a set top box. Again, I can't 100% confirm this, hopefully someone else will confirm this or provide a different solution.

Now, if you are ready to bite the bullet and start transcoding all those DVD's to MKV's, that may be your best bet, I would recommend handbrake as a program for transcoding (https://handbrake.fr/). Although if you are going through that effort, I would recommend using either the web interface to play the movies via the laptop, or MediaBrowser Theatre.  But then you run into the issue of limited HDMI ports on the TV.  So, certainly playing the MKV's via the x360 as a mediacenter extender does work just fine, once you get proper codec's installed on your mediabrowser classic machine.  And that will just open up a new world of hassles for the video files (no subtitles will work, no DTS audio, etc. etc.).

What else do you have connected to the TV that could perhaps be another source of your input video? I'm happy to help more, please post a reply and let's see what we can work out for you.

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Yeah, the 360 cannot play an ISO.  Your best bet is to convert those to more modern video formats.  You could also force the extender to stream them through the server and that might work but could be hit and miss.


In short, the old ripping formats of ISO and video_ts are just not supported by most modern devices (and also some old ones like the 360).

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