I have my XBox 360 set up as a Media Center Extender for my Windows 7 desktop. SD quality avi videos stream fine to my XBox, either though the video library or through Media Center Extender, but when I try a 720p mkv file, the frame rate plummets and the A/V sync is completely lost. I don't want to transcode or switch container formats (mkv isn't supported by the 360), but still want to stream.

Both my desktop and 360 are plugged into the same gigabit switch, which is plugged into my ISP supplied modem/router. The video plays fine on my machine in a number of programs.

Considering that I should have more than enough bandwidth to accommodate this video, why won't it play back properly?


It's very simple: The xbox360 is a DLNA device, and the DLNA specification does not support MKV. So it is not that the xbox360 doesn't support MKV: it's that DLNA doesn't. What any media server needs to do in this case is open the MKV container and look at the contents to determine if it can repackage them in a way that fits one of the DLNA profiles. Also all the component parts need to be in the DLNA spec -- and if any of them are not, transcoding is required to make things work at all. At the very least, there's going to be demuxing and repackaging into one of the DLNA supported containers. Needless to say, there is a lot of complexity, and any number of different media servers out there which can do the job, but almost all of which will require significant hardware resources to do it efficiently. It sounds like the contents of the MKV file(s) may require transcoding, and this is leading to an inferior end product. You might use some tools to take a look at the contents of your mkv's and the specific codecs being employed.

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Google PS3 Media Server. PS3 Media Server is a DLNA compliant UPnP Media Server for the PlayStation 3 video game console and also supports the Xbox 360. Written in Java, it is used with the purpose of streaming or transcoding any kind of media files, with minimum configuration. The program is free and install to your Win7 pc.

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    This is a brilliant piece of software. I wasn't aware that it supported the Xbox as well. I'll try it out. If it does, streaming mkv's is going to a piece of cake (assuming it functions the same as it does on the ps3) – QuiXilver Nov 25 '10 at 7:30

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