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Rumor: Xbox 360 to get DivX/Xvid support

Microsoft knows it depends on retailers to get its products shipped, so they regularly have training sessions for shop employees to educate them about current and upcoming products. Our Dutch colleagues of Xlife.nl were invited to one such session, and managed to get quite a spicy rumor.

It’s been possible for a while now to play DivX movies on the Xbox 360, but so far it involved using converter codecs taking a DivX original and converting it to WMV on the fly on a MCE PC. In comes Xlife bluntly asking questions (translated from Dutch):

After the event I had a short talk with the host and asked him whether there’d ever be support for DivX and Xvid playback. Much to my surprise he started telling me that Microsoft is working hard to implement this and a firmware update is expected within 2 months allowing you to play DivX and Xvid directly on the 360.

Mmmkay…. never to take one person’s word for it, we started digging for more info. I didn’t bother contacting official Microsoft spokespersons on a subject like this, because I’ve heard me enough “Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation” to last a lifetime. Bring on Xboxic’s private collection of deep throats within the Redmond giant’s ranks, of which one stated: “Well the PS3 used to have 1080p, high-def DVD and DivX playback as its strong points over the 360, and so far we’ve taken down two of them…”

That sounds quite probable actually, so my “reliability score” has just moved up a bit on this rumor, but I’m not giving it even close to 50% yet that we’ll see this in the upcoming Fall update, or ever at all. It’s nice to speculate though!

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52 comments on 'Rumor: Xbox 360 to get DivX/Xvid support'

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Please say its true! Got so many xvid,divx i wanna play on my tele!! Hate converting em all :(

Comment by Raptor on 2006-10-11 20:39:08 | Reply

Well the real issue with 360 vs ps3 in pc to tv playback is going to be support, will you have to pay for an application to stream vids from your pc to your ps3 (or will you simply only be able to use memory cards?) Because as it stands with the 360 I couldn’t care less whether or not it gets divx playback as I’d have to be an owner of Windows XP Media Center Edition to even use that capability. Untill Microsoft rectifies this serious shortcoming the 360’s ability to play these kinds of files is a moot point.

Comment by Chris on 2006-10-11 22:11:38 | Reply

actually you just need any premium version of vista :) premium and ultimate both have the extender functionality… :)

Comment by MeTHoDHacK on 2006-10-11 23:48:38 | Reply

I have vista RC2 and it works VERY well.

…taken with a tub of salt.

Comment by nix6six6 on 2006-10-11 20:52:29 | Reply

Transcoding DivX on the fly using transcode 360 is the only way i watch movies anymore. Why would I buy a Blu Ray or HD player when I watch them off my hard drive?

It would be nice not to have to transcode on the fly though because the fast forward doesn’t work too well.

Comment by Xbudz on 2006-10-11 20:53:35 | Reply

http://runtime360.com/projects/transcode-360/

(transcode360.com was just a guess- click that link instead)

Comment by Tom on 2006-10-11 21:05:22 | Reply

Firmware update is a bad idea , they are gonna have so many boxes returned with bad flashes.

Bwah?! We’ve had one dashboard (aka firmware) upgrade already… I don’t recall (m)any people with problems with that…

Comment by McGrude on 2006-10-11 21:14:24 | Reply

Yes, just like the spring dashboard update…

oops, I guess there wasn’t any news of bad flashes for the spring update.

Comment by Chris on 2006-10-11 22:13:01 | Reply

yes but the bad flashes were damaged 360s in the first place it was already determined…. and a correction their hvae been 2 dashboard upgrades one very early in dev cycle and one that was kinda recent… another is scheduled for december with the enw dashboard all i can say is HELL YA!

Dashboard updates do NOT involve firmware flashing and can NOT fail.

Comment by MeTHoDHacK on 2006-10-11 23:52:18 | Reply

Your right I read where the core firmware is never affected in a dashboard update. I cannot find the link. Sorry

Comment by splattered on 2006-10-11 21:13:21 | Reply

bad flashes? what are you talking about? They are going to include it with the fall update. What do you think that update is? its a firmware/software flash more or less. Microsoft asked what people wanted to see in the fall update and this was way up there on the list. Being able to stream video without media center pc, and support for divx/xvid codecs. This would be a dream come true.

Comment by Karl on 2006-10-11 21:22:53 | Reply

wtf is so special about divx, ive never even heard of it?

Welcome, to techno-geek land, my friend.

Comment by Chris on 2006-10-11 22:13:57 | Reply

lol divx… umm kinda the codec that most downloaded movies and clips are in … you know .avi lol

Transcodes great but it kills the PC… native support and maybe video on usb would be what i really want and maybe divx via cd :)

Comment by InsaneBastard on 2006-10-12 11:13:22 | Reply

Yeah, both illegal AND legal movie files. It’s a great format, but it’s been tainted by how it’s been used, just like Bittorrent. Which is unfortunate.

A good technology shouldn’t be dispersed just because it can be used for illegal things.

Comment by The_Glovner on 2006-10-12 14:02:47 | Reply

Eh?

If they really do support Divx then it’ll rock but as Major Nelson once said, MS don’t want to do divx or xvid because it opens the console to illegal media.

Comment by Chris on 2006-10-11 22:15:29 | Reply

lol so does transcode… they know that and thats why they will add it… the fact is as days pass divx and xvid are becoming more legit… dvd players and all kinds of devices are now starting to support them

And here is the biggie, ZUNE supports mpeg4… divx and xvid… definitly a hint at the turning “wmv only” tides at microsoft. Personally i like WMV9 better than xvid… but xvid are just faster to encode for rippers.

Funnily some guys working on Vista Media Center said this summer that was not related to their supporting DivX or not.

Comment by trj156 on 2006-10-11 21:36:52 | Reply

how about mpeg? from a regular pc?

Comment by Chris on 2006-10-11 22:16:03 | Reply

mpeg does stream… well not in the latest vista release lol but by rtm it will apparently…

Comment by Chris on 2006-10-11 22:17:25 | Reply

NEWS GUY: transcode doesnt convert it to WMV they convert it to MPEG.

The second one I refer to converts to WMV, so doesn’t really matter. Thanks for being on your toes tho ;)

Comment by kineticonline on 2006-10-11 22:41:45 | Reply

Hopefully this is true so i’ll be able to close the petition running at
http://www.petitiononline...om/Divx4360/petition.html
If you havent already signed it now might be a good time

Comment by kineticonline on 2006-10-11 22:48:47 | Reply

Just to let you all know, this petition has been running since just after the European launch, and still get a few new signatures every day. Last proper count was 3163 signatures, still not alot but it its considering i havent advertised it on every forum etc. Most signatures have come from spreading by word of mouth

Comment by marco on 2006-10-11 22:54:11 | Reply

I hope this is true because i have been sitting on the fence for some time now… about if i wanted to wait and see if Xbox 360 will recieve a firmware update to support Divx, or to actually just go buy a stand alone dvd player that supports divx. I know they are not expensive, but a dollar saved is a dollar saved.

Comment by kineticonline on 2006-10-11 23:05:38 | Reply

Money saved on buying astandalone player can be spend on the HD-DVD player :) or more accesories, or the best of all more games

Comment by OGC SnakeEyes on 2006-10-11 23:20:01 | Reply

Divx,wmv,MCE,PC….wtf? Can we get something in plain english….or better yet how bout we get some info on upcoming games or demos or some stuff about the live arcade? All this techno babble is making my head hurt. Secondly, all these recent upgrades Microsoft keeps makin are giving the impression that they are playin catch up with Sony. That just enables “Big S” to put out more propaganda on how the 360 is an inferior machine. Not to mention giving fuel to those ass clown Sony fanboys. I mean, have you seen “The Sony Defense Force”? Makes me sick just thinkin about that site…

I think this game of catch up is funny to watch. They’re out a year before their competitor, 2/3 of the price, and then they take out their Unique Selling Points one by one ;)

Comment by InsaneBastard on 2006-10-12 11:15:25 | Reply

Wikipedia is your friend

Comment by Voyager2k on 2006-10-11 23:48:01 | Reply

I thought SDF was kinda funny actually :) Of course, if you take that fanboy shit serious … you’re gonna get some good headaches from it.

Comment by Pedle Zelnip on 2006-10-12 02:28:40 | Reply

I’m with those who are a little underwhelmed by the announcement as I don’t have a MCE version of Windows handy (nor do I plan on getting Vista). OTOH, if you could say burn your AVI’s on a DVD+R and then throw that into the Xbox and play them that would be SUPER SWEET.

Comment by Karl on 2006-10-12 04:11:31 | Reply

i thought i was a geek but i guess im not compared to these guys

Comment by Wild Homes on 2006-10-12 06:28:04 | Reply

this would be especially welcome considering Transcode will not launch on the RC1 build of Vista.

Comment by KultiVator on 2006-10-12 10:39:09 | Reply

I agree with Pedle - the most crippling oversight / limitation of the 360 is that you can’t play your regular video files off of a DVD or CD inserted into the 360. If you’re anything like me, you see the potential in everything… and the 360 could be an excellent HD video jukebox for MPEG / AVI / VOB / DivX and Xvid files.

Should work just the same way as the 360 handles a CD/DVD full of (jpeg) photos and allow you to start playing them AND more importantly create a video playlist. This would be a killer feature for folks like me whocollect music videos / gigs and want to create their own home-brew retro MTV (I guess a lot of you don’t remember the 80’s when MTV was an edgy & cool station promoting rock music).

Ah well - nuff said - 360 needs to up it’s game and not be so reliant on a Windows PC to supplement its missing functionality.

Set the 360 free - it’s plain silly to have to boot up the 360 AND a PC in order to play a video file on my flat screen tv!!!

KultiVator

Comment by The_Glovner on 2006-10-12 14:04:39 | Reply

It’s a console.

It’s for playing games.

Nuff said.

Everyone needs to stop their bitching.

Comment by InsaneBastard on 2006-10-12 11:08:20 | Reply

Well, support for the commercial version of Divx doesn’t sound to unlikely. Support for Xvid does however. I’m very skeptical towards Xvid support.

Furthermore, I’m not taking this rumour with a grain of salt, not even a hand, but a pile of salt the size of the Antarctic! :-P

I would appreciate more the feature to be able to stream videos without MCE though. Larry Hryb has already stated that streaming was a feature they were going to put in, but didn’t have time for.

Well, let’s see what the update have in store for us. I’m suspecting it’ll be underwhelming though, as we’ve already learned that the update is supposed to be filled with upgrades for the back end. The spring updates are the ones packed with features.

We’ll see, we’ll see :-)

This is all good news if it’s true whatever way you want to spin it. Are we any closer to having an idea of when to expect the fall update? I want my 1080p!

Comment by flippy on 2006-10-12 13:37:57 | Reply

anyone know anthing about possible DVI support?

Comment by kineticonline on 2006-10-12 14:10:49 | Reply

Yea, buy a vga2dvi adapter

Comment by flippy on 2006-10-12 15:32:45 | Reply

no

Comment by Yardman on 2006-10-12 17:27:06 | Reply

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Home arrow News arrow Vista arrow Transcode 360 supported under Vista RTM thanks to Microsoft
Transcode 360 supported under Vista RTM thanks to Microsoft PDF E-mail
Written by Poorman
Sunday, 08 October 2006

According to sources in the “Microsoft Vista Extender Team” Transcode 360 should be fully supported in it’s current incarnation under Vista RTM.

For those who do not know what Transcode 360 is:

“Transcode 360 enables the playback of unsupported video over Xbox 360 and Media Center Extender devices. This software is designed to run on Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.

Transcode 360 is completely free for non-commercial use, donations are always appreciated. If you like Transcode 360 and find it useful please make a small donation to sponsor further development of this project. ”

Microsoft Media Center 2005 can playback pretty much any format of video on the main PC… but extenders are completelly different. Current extenders can only playback WMV and MPEG2 video format. Transcode 360 was there to change all that by allowing “faster than realtime” transcoding/streaming to the extenders of most commonly unsupported video/audio format. Up until now more than 50,000 copies of the transcoder have been downloaded and installed around the world.

Late in the summer it was discovered that the transcoding plugin was not functioning under Vista Media Center. The problem was with the way Vista Media Center was now handling duration of MPEG2 files. In previous release (MCE 2005) duration was continiously updated during playback. This allowed Transcode 360 to perform transcoding magic while the file was played back on the Media Centre Extender.

Under Vista, duration was read once, resulting in an incomplete playback of transcoded files (around 30 seconds).

One could have seen this as a “too bad if it is broken under Vista” but for reasons that are not totally clear at this point, Microsoft Extender Team decided to side with the user community and to integrate a late fix in the Vista Media Center application. As stated by a Microsoft Vista Media Center Engeeneer:

“Although it may be fun to point the finger, no published/supported piece of functionality broke in this situation. Transcode 360 is a very clever app (that btw I personally think is really cool) that relies upon us continually requerying the duration of the file being played to account for the fact that the file is getting larger as the transcode operation progesses (something that happened to be true in Media Center 2005). Except in the case of real-time transcoding, requerying duration for arbitrary media files doesn’t really make sense (files don’t usually change size randomly as you’re playing them :-)

All that aside, this is something we’re looking at. ”

It has then been confirmed by the same source that:

“I’m happy to say that T360 beta 4.1 is now working in house on the latest internal builds (meaning it should likewise work for you in the next build released externally as part of the Media Center beta program).”

This is a generous move from Microsoft to help it’s user community.

Please send Comments/Feedback/Toughts to the HappyBeggar!

“http://happybeggar.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19&Itemid=2″

Well the talk about divx support opening the console to illegal media is crock. It’s a bit like saying “mp3s” are illegal. you can rip dvds to wmv just as well as divx, h264 & mpeg4.

It’s just a file format & MS suffer from “not invented here syndrome”.

If they supported more formats then I’d buy a 360 so I could watch my downloaded video podcasts etc through it. As it stands a chipped Xbox 1 is more useful.

Comment by The_Glovner on 2006-10-12 18:20:24 | Reply

Console.

Games.

Not Apps.

Stop bitching.

PS: Anyone know if the ps3 will stream divx/h264?

“Console.
Games.
Not Apps.
Stop bitching.”

Sorry, but that dosen’t stack up. If this were true MS wouldn’t have included support for playing music & streaming wmv video. The present situation is a bit of a tease as people know it would be a very small step technically to support non ms formats.

Comment by Han Solomente on 2006-10-12 22:30:58 | Reply

Personally I would like Divx support, but it doesnt matter to much to me as I use Xbox Media Center (XBMC) on my Xbox 1. It’s the freeware ersion not the one that Microsoft made and makes you pay for. XBMC supports divx, xvid, quicktime, WM, realplayer, and just about every other video and audio codec that you can think of all on your original xbox. It has a way better visualizer than the 360 (milkdrop from the PC) and it’s completely free.

So at the end of the day I watch all my movies and listen to my music through my xbox 1 running XBMC and use my 360 for games. Personally I havent seen anything that even remotley competes with XBMC period. If you haven’t checked out Xbox Media Center for the Xbox 1 check it out: http://www.xboxmediacenter.de/info_project.htm

Comment by Pesky on 2007-04-28 12:36:35 | Reply

if you have the elite version and you want to use dvi, just get a hdmi to dvi adapter. It apparently works :)

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