If your like me, you have stuff on your computer that you want to stream to your 360, but its in the wrong format, and you really dont want to do encoding on the fly becasue that really screws up the quality of the video (especially HD video). Well, I found this guide on a site called VanillaHD. I will copy and paste the whole guide here for your convenience, with a few changes. Best part is that it uses window encoder, not some crappy freeware program.
Skip to the end to see encoding time and file sizes before you do this
Encode360 is incredibly easy to use (once installed). The installation process takes a few moments to explain as you need some additional software installed, all free I can assure you.
You will need a genuine copy of windows to download the WME, WMP11, and .NET 2.0
1. Download and install the latest .net framework
2. Download and install Windows Media Player 11 (if you haven’t already done so)
3. Download and install Windows Media Encode (WTF?!!1!? Microsoft has a media encoder?)
4. Download and install the Combined Community Codec Pack (not needed with new version of encode 360 (linked below), but still very useful codec pack)
5. Download and install Encode360
Thats alot of crap to install! After you download everything, Just install Encode 360, previous versions required downloading more stuff, but not the newest one, linked above.
1. Open Encode360.exe
2. Add files to be encoded by clicking on the + sign and browsing for your files or drag and drop. Encode360 allows you to queue as many files as you want. Also you can set the resolution in the “Automatic Scaling” dropdown (always make the output resolution the same as the original video). Click the Encode button to start the encoding process. This could take a while, depending on the video size. Generally the size increases by about 2.6 times. You can preview the video as in encodes by clicking “Post View”. I believe this will however slow down the encoding process.
When you are all done, you are ready to view the video files on your Xbox360. Read this tutorial for instructions on how to do this via Windows Media Player 11. (Can be found in Mister Chief's thread, here)
3. Adjusting settings
This is where you want to look if you want quality. First off, in the codec dropdown, if you want the best, then of course, select WVC1, for anything else, I suggest WMV9. For mode, if you want best quality, choose VBR 1 pass, for anything else, pick CBR 1 pass. Dont pick any of the 2 pass options, it will make encoding twice as long. Now, if you chose VBR, don't worry about anything else, if you didn't, go down and choose which bitrate for the video, if you'll be streaming over wifi, pick the corresponding options, but LAN streaming is the best becasue of highest bitrate.
Video sizes and encoding times:
One full encoding I did was of a 30 minute video which was originally 279mb. It took an hour to encode, no quality loss, and came out at 625mb.
Now then, for HD videos things take MUCH longer, but remeber, NO quality is lost. The time it takes to encode a 1 hour 720p video at highest settings is about 7 hours. If you want to test a encoding before spending hours on it, start encoding then stop after like 2%, and the video will be playable.
Yes things take forever to encode, but this is really only for people who want their HD videos in HD, not some dumbed down quality reduced encode from a crappy freeware program. Same with any other video really.