XBOX 360 Fall Update Video Playback

The XBOX Team announced on their blog that it will be possible to play Divx (and Xvid) movies on the XBOX 360 after the Fall update (which will be available at Dec. 4th). They announce the following about the video playback on their website (only the new features will be mentioned here) :

What exactly does the XBOX 360 support for AVI?

XBOX 360 supports the following for AVI:

  • File Extensions: .avi, .divx
  • Containers: AVI
  • Video Profiles: MPEG-4 Part 2, Simple & Advanced Simple Profile
  • Video Bitrate: 5 Mbps with resolutions of 1280 x 720 at 30fps. See question number 11 for more information.
  • Audio Profiles: Dolby® Digital 2 channel and 5.1 channel, MP3
  • Audio Max Bitrate: No restrictions. See question number 11 for more information.


What specific features of Mpeg-4 Advanced Simple Profile does the Xbox 360 support?

The Xbox 360 supports Bidirectional Frames (BVOPs), Interlaced Frames, Quarter Pixel Motion Compensation, Global Motion Compensation, and MPEG Quantization.


What types of AVI files are supported?

The Xbox 360 supports files encoded using MPEG-4 Part 2, Simple and Advanced Simple Profile. These files are often referred to as Xvid or DivX® video files. Many common PC DVD authoring tools, cameras, and camcorders are capable of encoding files using MPEG-4. Note that some files authored for DivX devices may also contain additional functionality(menus, subtitles, multiple audio tracks, etc). The Xbox 360 will attempt to play these files, but does not support any of the additional functionality and in some cases will be unable to play the file.


Does the Xbox 360 support video artwork when browsing my collection from a USB 2.0 FAT32 removable drive or optical media?

For all video types we will search for a corresponding .jpg file and use that as the artwork. For example video1.avi would display the artwork in video1.jpg if it existed. In the absence of this file, for the mp4 container, we will search if the video file has embedded album artwork and display that instead. Please note you cannot use this method when streaming from Windows Media Player 11 or the Zune PC software.

How does the “Sort by Type” and “Sort by Title” option work when browsing my own generated video content?

The “Sort by Type” option is the typical Windows Explorer view that a computer would show your files in. It will first alphabetically sort your folders and then alphabetically sort your files. The “Sort by Title” option allows you to sort all folders and files alongside each other. Both of these sort options are persistent and linked to your profile so that you do not need to set them every time.


What shortcuts can I use with my gamepad while using the Video area?

LB skips backward one chapter. RB skips forward one chapter. RT fast forwards. LT rewinds. Start toggles between play and pause. X and Y bring up the On Screen Display for more advanced options. While browsing through your lists of videos you can also push Start to automatically begin video playback using the bookmark if it exists bypassing the Resume/Restart page. You can also use RT or LT to page up or page down through lists of items.

Why do I see the message “Updating content. This may take a few minutes. Please wait.” the first time when entering the Console video area?

To support grouping television and game videos your content metadata needs to be updated. Once this process is completed subsequent entries into the Video area will be very quick. Please be patient during the update process and allow it to complete updating all of your content metadata.


What changes have you made to selecting the source for Videos, Music, and Pictures?

The source selection is now mapped to the X button for each of these areas. The Xbox 360 will remember the last source that you picked and default to that. We have also removed the computer affiliation from the System Blade and we now show a list of all the computers that you can connect to directly in the Select Source scene. This allows you to quickly jump between Windows Media Player 11 and Zune PC software media shares.


How can I play music from my iPhone® and iPod Touch®?

Unfortunately the iPhone® and iPod Touch® uses a different mechanism for storing your music then a traditional iPod®. We are currently unable to play music from the iPhone® or IPod Touch®. You can still browse the pictures stored on these device through the Pictures area in the Xbox 360 dashboard.

Can I play videos from my iPod®?

The Xbox 360 does not support playing videos from an iPod®.