The Xbox 360 has Windows Media Extender technology built-in, which means it can read music, pictures, video and even television from your Windows Media Center 2005 PC, or music and pictures from a regular XP (Professional Edition or Home Edition) Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later machine.
To stream media from a Windows Media Center 2005 PC to a Xbox 360 you must install the Update Rollup 2 for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, which is available here. You can find more information about the rollup here
Regular XP SP2 users need to install the Windows Media Connect 2.0 software, which is available at the Windows Update site under Optional Software or you can download it here.
Xbox 360 owners can go to http://www.xbox.com/en-US/pcsetup/ for an Xbox-focused setup routine, which provides a front end and additional logic for the standard Windows Media Connect (wmcsetup.exe) installation and performs additional configuration for Windows Media Center 2005 machines. After you install Windows Media Connect, you configure it via the Windows Media Connect Control Panel as the figure shows.
On the Xbox 360, you manage connections to computers via its System main menu as the figure shows. You then can play music and images by selecting the Computer as the source.
If you connect the Xbox 360 to a Windows Media Center 2005 PC, you get a richer environment, including video streaming and album information as the figure at figure shows.
The Windows Firewall software will open the required ports during the installation of the Windows Media Connect software. However, if you use a different firewall be sure to open these ports:
- TCP – 2869, 10243
- UDP – 1900, 10280, 10281, 10282, 10283, 10284 Windows Media Connect can communicate with other Digital Media Receivers in your environment–not just the Xbox 360. You can find more information about Windows Media Connect at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/devices/wmconnect/default.aspx.