I have been searching for a media extender box to stream some of my content on my PC to the TV in my lounge-room. This has been more difficult that I thought it would. This does not seem to be a big enough market yet that all the available systems are being imported into Australia yet, which limits my selection. The ones that are available here all seem to be limited in some way, generally either they are not wireless (a definite preference) or they only work with certain media types, Apple TV being the biggest example.
I already own an Xbox360, and as a media extender it works really well. I can wirelessly stream photos and music to it very easily through the media center interface. I was even streaming live and recorded TV to it before I bought a new TV with its own digital receiver. When it comes to pushing video down it, it too is restricted to only certain media type, that being WMV video. Since the decoding is done on the 360, the only solution I have found is to run an active recoding on the media center box, which takes up a lot of resources and does not have a fantastic output.
Recent news though suggests that Microsoft may finally be offering DivX support on the Xbox, which would solve most of my problems. It would still leave a few gaps, mainly in quicktime and possible h.264 mp4 encoded video, but would cover almost all of the media I would like to stream. It also means I can xVid encode some of the kids DVD’s into the media center and stream them across through the 360. Ever since my daughter learned how to load the DVD player I seem to spend half my life cleaning fingerprints off discs, and the occasional food contamination off the DVD laser head.
I will hold off on my searching now and see whether this is rumour or fact. If it is true I think it will be a huge boost for the xBox in the console battle. Neither PS3 nor Wii offer the depth of media streaming that an Xbox with DivX would. If they make it a “Vista only” option I will be upset.