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Play Movies - Media from MacBook via xbox 360

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I heard about Connect360 from Tim Verporten's podcast and it struck a cord since I've wanted to play movies from my MacBook through my HDTV without buying another piece of hardware. Here are my notes on how we did it. Pretty simple if your xbox is already on the Internet.


Want to Play your media from your Mac Computer to your TV. Use Connect360 from NullRiver. [ http://www.nullriver.com/ ] I wanted to do this since I only had one HDMI port on my HDTV and my sons xbox had claimed it. I’d love to have a Mac Mini but it has no HDMI and with the Apple TV there’s the xbox HDMI conflict.


Anyway, all you need to do is connect your xbox to your router (I wired it directly with an ethernet cable). Then download Connect360 from NullRiver. Unzip it. Then double click on the connect360prefpane from the unzip. This will ask you if you want to install Connect 360. Yes is obviously the answer.


If your xbox is already on the Internet for xbox live your router already knows about it. So with your xbox on, double click the connect 360 prefpane icon so it appears on your desktop. Then click the start button. It will find Music, Video and other items in your Mac and iTunes Lib. It will only list a few so you can demo it. All items will become available when you buy connect360 and register it. From here you open the Media selections on the xbox, select videos or music. You select and play using the xbox controller. You do nothing with the Mac computer.


If this is the first time your connecting the xbox to the Internet via your router you’ll have to go through numerous xbox menu selections and account setup with xbox live to get to the point where you can actually play the movies from your Mac. My son did all of this for us since this was the first time we allowed him with the xbox on the net. I’m sure all this is documented in the xbox world somewhere. He didn’t need a manual. Somehow he just knew. Through this process he had to download xbox video upgrades to allow movies to be played. They are all free. The xbox menus were easy to follow.


Once all the downloads were done we could play the items in the libraries. My MacBook actually showed up as a Device to Connect to for media. Select it and everything is there.


After sampling the movie “8 Legged Freaks” from my iTunes Lib and a few other items from my Mac I elected to buy and register. This went flawlessly. You can pay with Paypal. You instantly are taken to NullRIver where your activation code appears on your screen. Just copy and paste this into the Connect360prefpane screen within the register function and your instantly activated and Connect360 begins to index all of your libraries; movies, photos and music. Then you’re off and running.


Couple things: Make sure you know or ask your kids how to manage the video and music player controls via the xbox handheld device. It actually becomes quite second nature. If you've played DVDs via the xbox then you already know.


Also, we first tried to connect xbox to our Airport Express Access point via ethernet cable and thought we could hop to the Apple Extreme Router and then the net. No can do. We received “not connected” type messages from the xbox no matter what we did. We’ll buy a wireless adapter for the xbox soon to eliminate the cable. I’ll update the blog after we try it.


One last note. We actually did all this through a standard definition SDTV television and the picture is just great.

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