Xbox 360 Media Center: How to use your Xbox 360 for movies, music, and more

The Xbox 360 is no slouch in the media hub department. Here's how to take full advantage of every media function!

In terms of media capabilities, the Xbox 360 isn't as robust as the PlayStation 3. But the Xbox 360 still has several functions that make it a worthy component of any home theater setup. Here, the experts from GamePro shed light on a few of the Xbox 360's best media features.

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5. Delicious DiVX!

Like the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360 is adept at handling a variety of video formats. For most folks, DiVX is the most useful of these; many downloaded films and videos use this codec. The Xbox 360 is actually a bit better at handling assorted DiVX files than the PS3, and you'll notice wide compatibility here.

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4. Plug and play

If you don't have a PC, or can't afford a larger Xbox 360 hard drive, the Xbox 360 is also compatible with a number of portable USB-powered drives.

Simply plug the hard drive into your console via the USB port beneath the power ring, and your Xbox 360 should detect the drive and allow you to access the videos, photos and music stored there. This is a quick, handy function if you've got something to show to your friends.

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3. Huge hard drive

Most Xbox 360s come equipped with either a 20GB or (more recently) a 60GB hard drive. To really open up your storage options, you might consider purchasing a separate 120GB drive (also included with the Xbox 360 Elite model).

Though these special drives are much pricier than the standard laptop HDDs used in the PS3, 120GB gives you plenty of flexibility to store music, movies, and more right on your console.

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2. Streaming audio and video

One of the Xbox 360's best, least-used features is its compatibility with Windows Media Center. When synced up to a PC with Windows XP or Vista, you can connect your Xbox 360 via a Wi-Fi signal or an Ethernet cable.

Once connected to your PC, your Xbox 360 can stream videos, music, and photos from your computer's hard drive directly to your TV. If you've got a huge library of videos and music on your PC, this is the best way to access them on your Xbox 360.

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1. DVD Pro

Though there's no Blu-ray support, the Xbox 360 is completely compatible with DVDs, and even comes with a custom remote control (the regular controller will work, too).

Better yet: the Xbox 360 has the best upsampling ability of any game console, which will help make your DVDs look sharper and crisper. Though the DVD upsampling feature offers improved picture quality, don't expect it to stand toe-to-toe with the PS3's Blu-ray quality.

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