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XBOX 360- External Harddrive

by jamvt / February 15, 2011 3:10 PM PST

Just to preface this entry, in order to attain the appropriate response: I am not too savvy when it comes to technology, but I do have all the normal skills of a young twenties adult of this generation. So when I ask if something is "easy" or "difficult" take that into considertion
The Issue:
I have a friend with a playstation 3 and he has accumulated thousands of movies and tv series which he keeps on an external hard drive and then plays them through the playstation. I was planning on buying my own external hard drive,getting all his files, and doing the same thing through my 360. Is this a simple act or am I getting in over my head? I am more than willing to sit down and work with it, but I dont want to invest the money if it is going to take all sort of modifications and continuous tinkering. My friends seems to work without a hitch. So I guess what I am asking is is it a simple hookup to play movies through your XBOX 360 off an external harddrive? If so, what harddrive would you suggest and are there any other materials (cords,plug-ins,etc.) I would need?

I appreciate any help I can get on this topic.

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Won't work
by Jimmy Greystone / February 15, 2011 10:19 PM PST

Won't work, at least not directly. You'd need to have a computer sitting between the HDD and 360 to basically translate. And if you have to do that, you may as well just hook the computer directly to the TV, unless for some reason you're just dying to use the 360 controller as a remote.

Long story short, game consoles make horrible movie players. Sony used the PS3 to help push it's bluray format over HD-DVD, and Microsoft really only added video playback (beyond DVD) to the 360 as an afterthought. The main focus of each is still gaming, and everything else is a distant second. Use them accordingly.

What you may want to consider looking into, are things like Western Digital's TV Live product. It's basically a small set atop box that functions as a media player. There's even a version that comes with a 1TB HDD to store content on, and of course you can always connect an additional external HDD or two via supplied USB ports. There are other competitors out there to this such as Apple's AppleTV, Google's which I can't remember the name for, Asus has the O!Play, pretty sure Seagate has something, there's the Boxee Box, etc. These all accomplish the same basic goal but will do so using a fraction of the energy of a 360/PS3 or computer. So relative to what you'd be paying with some other solution, eventually these products will pay for themselves in lower utility bills every month. A good middle ground type solution is an Apple Mac Mini. Small, fairly energy efficient (max power draw of the Mini is about the same as a 100W lightbulb), and quiet. You can stash it out of the way somewhere, it has an IR sensor standard for a remote, and you can load a somewhat more capable media center app like XBMC onto it. It has HDMI for digital audio if you have a surround sound system. Don't go getting ideas about upgrading anything more than the RAM on that thing, but there's 4 USB ports so you should be able to connect plenty of external drives for storage.

It should also be noted that unless your friend is extremely well to do and buys a ton of DVDs, the bulk of his collection is likely pirated/illegal. I'm not here to judge, just say that copyright laws in western nations (like those where English is the primary language) have been increasingly favorable to copyright holders. Most of Disney's cash cows like Mickey Mouse SHOULD have passed into the public domain a decade or two ago, if not for Disney pumping millions of dollars into brib... I mean "lobbying efforts" and "campaign contributions" to the US Congress. And companies are getting increasingly nasty about protecting their "investments" by suing people. If your friend hasn't gotten at least one or two DMCA notices, then he should count himself extremely lucky, and you should assume that you will not be as lucky. Punitive damages in the US for each copyright violation can be around $5,000 IIRC. So you download a single song off a file sharing network, it could cost you $5,000 plus legal fees. Each additional song would be another $5,000. So, before you get too gung ho over this idea, you may want to consider if it's worth that kind of a risk to you.

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Here's a solution.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 16, 2011 12:16 AM PST
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ok so the person that replied to your question is 100% wrong
by dragonofwar1 / November 15, 2013 6:32 AM PST

I have 4 external hard drives filled with movies TV shows and music ,I can plug the usb chord from the external hard drive into one of the usb ports on the xbox and when you try to play a movie off of it , your xbox will tell you that you need an optional media update which will allow you to play mpegs,avi, mp3 and mp4s ....very easy to do .....but you will need to convert your external hard drive from ntfs to fat 32 can download the converter program for free off the internet ....just google search ntfs to fat 32 converter plug your new hard drive into your computer and allow the converter to make it a fat 32 file system instead of a ntfs file system and then put your movies on the hard drive and presto you can play it through your xbox 360 ..........but make sure you convert your hard drive before you transfer the movies onto it because it will erase everything on the hard drive ....hope this helps

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I do believe
by Jimmy Greystone / November 15, 2013 8:55 AM PST

I do believe, though I'm not planning to go back and double check, that this is a relatively new addition Microsoft added to the 360 software well AFTER my original post to this thread which was almost 3 years ago now. If memory serves, you can also only attach up to a 4GB drive. Or rather you can attach any size you like, but it'll only recognize up to 4GB on the Xbox.

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Due to how old this thread is.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 15, 2013 9:14 AM PST

Please start a new one because we can't edit the old threads.


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