Stream Video to Your Xbox 360 with Zune!

November 8, 2010, By Christian Cawley

As the owner of a brand new Windows Phone 7 device, I was fascinated to discover that rather than resorting to Windows Mobile Device Center Microsoft’s new mobile platform utilises the desktop version of their Zune media player for syncing pictures, movies and video.

More interesting though was the fact that with this Zune client I could stream content from my Windows 7 PC to my Xbox 360 across my home network.

There are many ways of managing this kind of streaming, from using Windows Media Player 11 or 12 (depending on your OS) to employing a third party like TVersity. While TVersity is a good choice, however, Windows Media Player has traditionally been a bit flaky in maintaining a reliable connection. Luckily Zune doesn’t have this problem…

Read on for more on how to stream videos with the desktop Zune media player!

How to Stream Videos and Music with Zune

Before you start, you will need:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or Vista (XP can be used with 32-bit systems)
  • Microsoft Xbox 360
  • Both systems connected and running on your home network (as long as you have access to Xbox LIVE via your home network and your PC can get on the web, everything should be OK.)
  • A copy of Zune software for PC, available from http://www.zune.net/en-US/products/software/download/default.htm

With all of these ready, you will be prepared to start streaming videos, music and images across your home network to your Xbox.

With the Zune software downloaded, you will need to install it on your PC. This shouldn’t take too long, and once complete you will be ready to start streaming!

Setup Your Zune Library

With Zune installed on your PC, it will automatically detect all of the default locations for saving media to – such as My Music on Windows XP or Public Music in Vista or 7. Content in these locations (and default locations storing images and video) will be added to the Zune library. If you have additional content stored elsewhere on your PC, you will need to add these manually. This can be done via the Settings menu, found at the top of the Zune media player.

In Settings, go to Collection. Here you will discover your libraries, and by clicking Manage you will be able to Add… and Remove folders. Note that non-default locations that you add will not be setup to share automatically, and must be added manually. You can do this by browsing to the folder and opening its properties (right-click > Properties). On the Sharing tab, choose Share – if you’re using Windows Vista or 7, choose Homegroup, and then click OK.

View Your Library on Your Xbox 360

Now you know how to stream videos to your Xbox 360 with Zune – but how do you view them?

First of all, the obvious steps: switch on your TV and your Xbox. Flick to the external/auxiliary channel you use to play games on your console, and wait for the device to load up. Using your controller, navigate to My Xbox, then to My Videos, My Pictures or My Music.

In each of these screens, wait a moment or two – your PC name will then be displayed, with the Zune icon displayed next to it. Your content is ready to be browsed and viewed, and depending on your network speed will be streamed to your console. Simply click on the menu option where your PC name is displayed, and start browsing!

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