How to Stream Media and Live TV to an Xbox using Nero MediaHome
As well as doing the standard things a number of the other Media Servers can do on the Xbox, Nero MediaHome can stream live TV (if you have a TV card in your PC) and also delivers a greater range of categorisation, thus, making it easier to find your media. It is a commercially available product and the cost is around $40 USD/ £25 GBP but despite this small charge, these extra features push it way up the list of my favourite media servers for the Xbox. It still, however, requires a couple of tweaks to make it the perfect streaming application.
To view your Video content from your Nero MediaHome server, switch on your Xbox and scroll to the My Xbox menu.
From here you can select your Video Library. Press the A button to continue.
Select your Nero MediaHome 4 Source from the list and press the A button on your controller.
Nero MediaHome offers a number of different ways of accessing your recorded Video content. These are:-
- All Movies - Displays the list of Movies without having to drill down into folders. Will display screen shot of movie.
- By Album - Drill down using folder list
- By Date - Shows films by creation date (i.e. when it was ripped to disk, not when the movie was made)
- By Folder - Similar to Albums giving you the option to drill down using folder list. Only different to Albums if you have move that one movie share.
In this guide, we will select All Movies and press the A button to continue
From this screen you can browse and then play you selected Movie by pressing the Y button.
To stream TV Channels, follow the same instructions above but select TV Channels when this is displayed on the list.
You can browse your list of TV channels that Nero MediaHome scanned in and press the Y button to play. Standard Terrestrial and Satelitte TV broadcast using MPEG-2 and even though the Xbox 360 Media Center Extender does support MPEG-2, you can't play this content in the Xbox 360 video player. This means that the TV channel has to transcode the content before sending it over to the Xbox.It does this by transcoding it to a Windows Media Video Format. Although Nero states its perfect picture quality, it could be a little better.
As you can see above, there were some quality issues on the channels tested. Lots of blocking on medium to high motion video content (shown above) as well the video image needing to be deinterlaced (removes blurring lines during motion from left to right). Nero need to add a few more options to allow the user to configure the transcoding of videos, at least more then just being able to select the type of codec and whether or not to choose PAL or NTSC.
To access you music collection, go to the My Xbox menu and scroll to Music Library. Press the A button to continue.
Select the Nero MediaHome 4 as the Music Source and press the A button to continue.
You can now drill down and select to play albums, playlist or individual songs by navigating the menus and pressing the A button.
To access your Photos from your Nero MediaHome Server, go to the My Xbox Menu again and this time select the Photo Library. Press A to continue.
Select your Nero MediaHome Photo Source and press the A button to continue.
As with accessing your Video content, Photos also have a number of drill down options but there one or two issues with the way it does this. The problem here is that Nero also shows the photos you may have in your Video and Music Directories. In my case this was the folder.jpg that is used to display a thumbnail of the dvd cover for the movie which swelled the number of directories and photos dramatically.
- All Photos - Shows all the photos in the your collection.
- By Album - Shows you all the folders you have images in.
- By Date - Drills you down to the year and then the month the pictures were taken on
- By Folder - simple folder list drill down to view your Photos.