Using XBMC with your HDTV


3rd - XBMC and your HDTV

Not only does an Xbox with XBMC work amazing with a regular old CRT television, but the Xbox also works miracles with HDTV's.

For only $10 - $20 you can pick up some component cables off of eBay and the video card in your Xbox will beautifully display high definition 480p, 720p, or 1080i video. Although DVD's are only 480i (480p when upscaled), watching DVD's through XBMC will now allow your Xbox to automatically act as an upscaling DVD player for your HDTV. Buying a standalone DVD player that will do this can cost hundreds of dollars!

Another common feature that XBMC allows for is to stream DVD image files from a network share. This allows people to simply store their library of DVD's on a networked computer, instead of physically inserting the disk into the DVD drive of the Xbox.

A common misconception among people is that because the Xbox only has a Celeron 733 processor, it can only handle lower resolution video. This is not true. In fact, the Xbox can handle up to 960x540 resolution video! (HRHD - Half Resolution High Definition)

Using an excerpt from, this following chart shows the supported video formats and resolutions:

Codec / Resolution 352x288 480x576 720x576 960x540 1280x720 1920x1080
MPEG-1/MPEG-2 1 2 3
? 4
MPEG-4 ASP (XviD, DivX)

5 ?
MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) without Cabac & Deblocking


MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) with Cabac & Deblocking

6 7
WMV9 (Windows Media Video v3)


? = Undetermined (the Xbox-hardware may or may not be to slow to decode at an acceptable frame-rate)
1. aka PAL VCD - More Info
2. aka PAL SVCD - More Info
3. aka PAL DVD
4. aka TS (Transport Stream MPEG-2 Video Stream) - More Info
5. aka HRHD (Half Resolution High Definition) - More Info
6. aka Quicktime 720P HD
7. aka Quicktime 1080P HD

Therefore, now knowing this, I arrive to my main and forth point!


  • Elron,

    You said xbmc can handle 960 x 540 xvid files. I beg to disagree.
    If you press info whilst watching such a file, you'll see a very rate for frames dropped. I'm using a 2007 build of xbmc and the best resolution for xvids I can watch with no frames being dropped is 720 x 576 and that is the resolution I have chosen to convert to when watching movies taken with an HD video cam on a HD plasma

    By Anonymous MZ, at 11:28 PM  

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