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Media Microsoft XBox (Games) Games Entertainment

Xbox One Will Play Media from USB Devices, DLNA Servers 112

Posted by Soulskill
from the revolution-will-not-be-streamed dept.
New submitter Mauro sends word that Microsoft has announced upcoming Xbox One support for streaming media both from attached USB devices, such as flash drives, and DLNA media servers. Compatibility with a broad list of media formats will be added by the end of the year, including .MKV files. They also followed up last week's announcement of a digital TV tuner with an interesting twist: it will be able to stream broadcasts over a local network to devices running the Smartglass app, which is available on Windows, Android, and iOS.
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Xbox One Will Play Media from USB Devices, DLNA Servers

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Pirate media support: Why i bought an XB:OG in the first place, why I meh'd out on 360/PS3, and why I might just grab an XBO. Now just let me run linux on it!!!!!

  • by canowhoopass.com (197454) <rod@@@canowhoopass...com> on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @08:16PM (#47659675) Homepage
    PS3 had this support, but it was dropped in PS4. I hope this move will prompt Sony to re-add support.
    • by Lije Baley (88936)

      This sounds better than the PS3, and I second your hope that it spurs Sony to expand beyond their gaming focus on PS4. I fear, however that neither will ever turn out to be the HTPC we've been dreaming of for the last 10 years.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        If Sony ever adds it back for PS4, it'll still have the Cinavia audio fingerprinting the PS3 has that cuts off the audio 15-20 minutes in to movies.

        • Apparently, if you hit that problem, you can work around it by putting the system date/time forwards a day (and then get another 20 minutes with sound). Alternatively, the DVD rips don't usually hace Cinavia, just the Blu-Ray rips.
          • by GuB-42 (2483988)

            I thought that the 15-20 minute delay is simply because the cinavia signal is really low bandwidth (0.2bps according to wikipedia). As a result it takes a long time to check the key.

            • You may well be right. I know with cinavia infected films, you can't just go to the 20 minute position to check to see if it works or not - you actually have to play the film for 20 minutes for the error message to appear.
          • by kuzb (724081)

            So you're going to change the system clock 5 - 10 times per movie? Yeah, I'd probably just use a different device.

      • by asmkm22 (1902712)

        That you've been dreaming of for the last ten years. I personally want my console to play games very well, not do lots of media stuff OK. I have a PC for a reason.

        • That you've been dreaming of for the last ten years. I personally want my console to play games very well, not do lots of media stuff OK. I have a PC for a reason.

          Just because you don't have use for these features doesn't mean they're not useful to a lot of people. My PC is in my office, with a normal monitor, while my television and consoles are in a larger room with couches, suitable for family viewing. Playing a digital collection to this screen either requires me to hook up a laptop every time or have some device that can do the job. If a console (or the TV itself) can do it without me having to go out and buy or build a special purpose streaming device, all t

          • Most newer TVs and BD devices have DLNA support (amongst other things). Heck, the one my dad got (Panasonic) allows to browse shared folders.

            About 8 years ago I went out of my way to silence the HTPC in the living room with undervolted and underclocked CPU, 80mm fan running on 7v for the CPU, ATItools to reduce the GPU fan speed (and GPU speed itself), I even padded the case to reduce noise and vibrations. I even had to lock the DVD drives to lower speeds because they were sounding like they would take off

            • by GNious (953874)

              Xbox + Playstation in a ventilated cupboard in the hallway, HDBaseT used to connect to the TV - perfectly silent.
              (Except in the hallway - when everything is one, hallway is pretty noisy)

      • by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @08:02AM (#47662153) Homepage Journal
        That's because the HTPC we've been dreaming about is just that: a PC. Just find a small, quiet PC, plug its video out into your television's video in, and put a wireless keyboard and trackpad on your lap or smartphone-based remote control in your hand. Now that integrated graphics have surpassed the GPUs of the previous console generation (since roughly Ivy Bridge), you can even game on it if you put a keyboard and mouse on a TV tray or you play games listed on the first of several Google Search results [pccouchcoop.com] for pc couch multiplayer. Hairyfeet, can you chime in?
        • by phorm (591458)

          Rather than a traditional PC, it's probably a small box running Android. Some of the newer ones are pretty spiffy, and support apps for XBMC, Netflix, Hulu, and all the other goodies.

          The biggest thing that seems to be missing from Android devices: disc-based playback. I've yet to see one that will play any optical discs, let alone Blu-Ray. This doesn't make much sense to me as many blu-ray players already come with Netflix apps etc on some proprietary crappy/buggy UI (I need to pull the plug on mine periodi

          • My first guess about the lack of Android app support in any Blu-ray Disc players is Oracle v. Google. BD-J menus use Oracle Java ME, while Android uses Dalvik.
            • by phorm (591458)

              I thought that might be the case initially, but if they've gotten it working with rips having full-menu support, it should work for actual discs as well?

              • by tepples (727027)
                Getting it working with discs is a whole different licensing regime from getting it working with rips.
                • by phorm (591458)

                  Oh for sure, but that's not a technology limitation.

                  I'd imagine that the companies selling stuff like this [vidon.me] may not be concerned so much about the licensing if they're primarily playing rips, but companies like Samsung have already sorted out licensing for their existing blu-ray players, so why not exchange the crappy UI with something running Android that has more features. They happily use Android in their phones and tablets, so combining the two technologies would seem logical.

                  • by tepples (727027)

                    companies like Samsung have already sorted out licensing for their existing blu-ray players

                    By licensing part of BD-J technology from Oracle. This license comes with strings attached, and I'm not sure what those strings are.

                    so why not exchange the crappy UI with something running Android that has more features.

                    Probably because Oracle doesn't want its code and Android Dalvik in the same device.

                    They happily use Android in their phones and tablets

                    Which are separate devices. Should Oracle prevail on remand, it's likely to come after Samsung and other Android device makers for an injunction.

                    so combining the two technologies would seem logical.

                    Copyright isn't logical to an outsider. Nor are corporate licensing terms.

                    • by sosume (680416)

                      I wonder, given how Oracle abused its licensing position in Blu-Ray, if the next playback format will come with even stricter licenses. In whose interest is this exactly? (except Oracle's ofcourse) Time for consumer groups to lobby for banning such restricted products. You want to sell playback devices? Then they must be open.

    • by soren42 (700305)
      Technically, I believe PS4 simply hasn't added these features to it's OS yet. Many features of the PS3's XMB still aren't supported on the PS4 or on the Vita yet. In fact, the Vita even emulates the XMB to provide access to many of these features.
    • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot AT worf DOT net> on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @12:07AM (#47660517)

      Yes, Sony will re-add it back.

      It's why even though the PS4 is technically better, the Xbone is still a contender. And it has to be, given the third entrant is a no-show this round.

      Yes, laugh all you want about resolutiongate (oh wait, did you just dismiss that Killzone 1080p lawsuit? I thought PS4 was better because it could push 1080p vs. whatever the guys could do on Xbone).

      And yes, the Xbone is a weaker system - but it doesn't matter, because the PS3 was a weaker system for most developers at launch too (half the system RAM since the other was dedicated graphics, if you didn't use the SPUs, you had two two-thread PowerPC cores vs. three two-thread PowerPC cores), etc. And it sold poorly the first few years. But after that, the PS3 was a decent contender to everyone else and it was pointless to joke about it.

      Xbone is in the same position versus the PS4, and yet everyone is writing it off that Sony would dominate. Yes, Microsoft is stupid and arrogant (just like Sony was with the PS3), but they'll learn.

      And both PS4 and Xbone are horrendously immature - if you take them now versus launch day, they are tons better, but there's still a shit-ton of work to do.

      And what's making both better? Competition - you notice how PS4 and Xbone are now basically adding features the other had? Xbone gets Blu-Ray 3D in August, PS4 goes and gets it a week earlier.

      Likewise, media support will be coming. And Xbone has external USB drive support for save games - PS4 will probably get that soon too (that was actually a launch feature to make up for the fact the Xbone's hard drive isn't easily removable - the external USB is a full featured citizen storage unlike the Xbox360's where there are differences between attached hard drive storage and USB).

      Hell, perhaps we can kick their asses to do something fun with Kinect and the Playstation camera (which on launch day added rudimentary voice control to compete with Kinect - huh.).

      Both Microsoft and Sony going after each other is good. Believing the PS4 will win may be true (like the Xbox360 won), but writing Microsoft off simply makes everything worse for us. It's the only way to keep Microsoft AND Sony from doing what Microsoft wanted to do with the Xbone in the first place.

  • That's a nice idea, but even tv's that cost less than 200£ can play mkv's and mp3's from a USB stick. My Samsung tv can stream straight from any PC in the same LAN [As long as a certain samsung app is installed in that pc].

    • by VTBlue (600055) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @08:28PM (#47659727)

      That's a nice idea, but even tv's that cost less than 200£ can play mkv's and mp3's from a USB stick. My Samsung tv can stream straight from any PC in the same LAN [As long as a certain samsung app is installed in that pc].

      I use Plex server (free) on my laptop which then is discoverable as a DLNA server on my Panasonic smart tv. Works great even with mkv files! The only downside is that non-HD files don't render as cleanly as when viewing on PC.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The only downside is that non-HD files don't render as cleanly as when viewing on PC.

        Use PS3MediaServer and if you have enough CPU time to burn, you'll get a nice clean transcode.

    • by Anaerin (905998)
      It doesn't have to be a Samsung app (Which, by the way, is kinda awful). DLNA means it can be any DLNA server, like Serviio (for instance) that also happens to have the wonderful feature that it will auto-transcode into a suitable format if your TV/Console/Whatever doesn't support it. Which means the PS3 and X360 (Also supported by Serviio) can also get in on this party.
    • by Zaelath (2588189)

      Yeah, they can, sort of. My Samsung TV can do it without any Samsung application (just general DLNA), but it sucks ass at it compared to the PS3.. and it's remote is garbage.

      Besides, it's means the TV has to be connected to the network and TV network security makes Sony network security look good, and how sad is that?

  • Can my hospital detect DLNA in my blood to identify my blood?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Will the XB1 support Cinavia [wikipedia.org], or not? This is likely to be a make-or-break thing - if Microsoft puts in a Cinavia detection algorithm, and there's no way to bypass it, I can see a great many people who might otherwise spring for an XB1 instead moving off to find another platform (homebrew running XBMC, most likely.)

    I'm tipping that they won't make any explicit references to Cinavia, and just hope it flies under the radar - until somebody tries it and finds out, one way or the other. But even more fun: even

  • by gstoddart (321705)

    for streaming media both from attached USB devices, such as flash drives

    Are you telling me that Microsoft shipped the XBone without the ability to read USB drives?

    That they're announcing support for 10+ year old media and we're supposed to be impressed? Something you can buy next to bubble gum in the express checkout at the Wal Mart? Wow, that's some innovating there.

    The XBox 360 had memory cards, and it's not like Microsoft doesn't have access to the technology to do this trivially. As in so blindingly

    • I'm pretty sure the Xbox 360 could read h.264 files from a USB thumb drive. I remember watching a movie off one at a friends house. It's been well over four years now. Is that no longer the case with the console since the last major firmware update for the unit?

      • It can read h.264 just not in the MKV container. MP4 is fine though just like it is when using DLNA push to the Xbox One. I do wish they would remove the Xbox watermark from every video it plays though, I know I own a freaking Xbox already.

    • by Xest (935314)

      Sigh, what a pathetically ignorant post.

      It's not as straightforward as just implementing the ability to read FAT, it's about making sure people can't just copy downloaded games onto a USB drive and make multiple copies and pirate games that trivially whilst making sure they can use USB storage for games if they want to take them to their friends. It's about making sure you can't trivially manipulate a game copied to a USB device to cheat and so on and so forth.

      Like it not, the reason there is so much more i

      • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @09:04AM (#47662537) Homepage

        it's about making sure people can't just copy downloaded games onto a USB drive and make multiple copies and pirate games that trivially whilst making sure they can use USB storage for games

        Right, so it's not a technology issue, and never was.

        I'm so tired of technology being crippled in the name of copyright and DRM it's not funny -- the copyright lobby has more or less decided we can't do anything without their permission.

        worse, the 360 even had it's own bespoke memory cards originally

        I'm aware of that, and again, I've always assumed it was because of corporate greed.

        At the end of the day, the Xbone is a very anti-consumer piece of technology, and I simply will not buy one.

        I will buy a spare for my beloved 360 before that ever happens.

        Microsoft can shove their DRM, copyright protection, and POS system up their collective asses.

        Will they care even a little that I'm doing this? Absolutely not. Do I expect others likely are making the same choice? Definitely.

        • by Xest (935314)

          Well it depends what you class as a technology issue - I'd say that trying to make an application portable but not copyable is quite a technological challenge. That doesn't mean it's politically ideal but I can see why they're going down that route. This isn't really like PCs where companies try to bolt DRM onto an open architecture, this is about an architecture that is explicitly closed, being kept closed, because sometimes that's the intention - no one's pretending consoles are these great open devices,

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            I don't really understand why you have so much love for the 360, but so much hate for the X1

            My XBox 360 hasn't been plugged into a network in several years, and the XBone isn't backwards compatible with my existing library of games.

            Microsoft has sent so many mixed messages about this platform that I don't know what to believe about it any more.

            I don't care about DLC, I don't care about on-line gaming, I don't care about multi-player, I don't care about pretty much anything they said was a "feature" of this

            • by Xest (935314)

              Sure, but my point is that by the time it's a year into it's lifecycle the X1 will have been patched with all the things it was lacking such that it can do everything the 360 did and then some, whilst being actually less of a pain in terms of DRM.

              If all you use your 360 for is offline gaming and viewing media then the X1 will do all that too, so the only real thing that matters about it is whether it has any games you want, if not then there's really no big deal.

              Personally I'm a bit of a console whore as I

  • by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:45PM (#47660019)

    Seriously, what is the major malfunction of device makers that basic, guest share Samba support is never put into these devices? Everyone has it, everyone comprehends it. Just let us access a damn SMB share as a list of files and play things.

    No one anywhere, ever, cares about the clusterfuck that is DLNA.

    • Seriously, what is the major malfunction of device makers that basic, guest share Samba support is never put into these devices? Everyone has it, everyone comprehends it. Just let us access a damn SMB share as a list of files and play things.

      No one anywhere, ever, cares about the clusterfuck that is DLNA.

      I care about DLNA. Does that mean I do not exist?

    • by jhol13 (1087781)

      Exactly. I once tried to get DLNA working and ... succeeded. If was a nightmare. The player was broken (did tcp resets), the protocol was so diverse as to make two players require two servers, the player could not play even PCM (not to mention flac or even mp3 higher than 320kbps). Totally useless.

      • by GNious (953874)

        Interesting ....
        I've used DLNA and UPnP for years, from a Nokia phone 10 years ago, a couple of radios over the years, to currently having it on an iPad, Android tablet, Jolla phone, XBox360, PS3, Samsung DVD player ...
        Only the XBox360 has had protocol issues (They clearly prefer people using something windows).
        Only the Android apps are having playback issues (ignoring poor video quality on the XBox360), which seems related to them insisting on punting the playback over to the built-in player.
        Media format i

        • by tepples (727027)

          DLNA itself is perfectly capable of handling any audio/video/picture format, but if you chose to use a shite application, that's on you, not the DLNA specs.

          If an application supporting all major unpatented audio and video formats (and only unpatented formats) is "a shite application", then perhaps DLNA is a shite standard.

          • by GNious (953874)

            If the application (the Media Render) can play these as files, but not via DLNA, then it is a shite application - the source of the data should not matter.

            Also, remember, there are 3 components in DLNA:
            * Server
            * Browser
            * Render
            The Browser and Render is usually the same, though in the case of XBox One it seems it will only be the render.
            If the Browser or the Server doesn't understand the media you're trying to play ("render"), and fail to send correct MIME type to the player (or just refuse to send anything?

            • by tepples (727027)
              Perhaps a PC media player application can play a particular video when acting as both server and render, but its server component can't transcode to a format that another company's render prefers because its codec patent license covers only a decoder, not an encoder. Does that by itself make a server shite? Or is the other company's render shite because the company refused to incorporate any royalty-free formats?
        • by jhol13 (1087781)

          The idea of the DLNA is to play audio. If it does not specify what kind of audio it plays, then the spec is idiotic. If it does not specify PCM (44.1khz 16bit) it is double so. But then I have a faint recollection it did specify low-bitrate mp3 and wma ONLY, but am not sure. Anyway the dlna loses on every aspect to NFS, Samba, anonymous ftp, pure http, ... you name it. Give one reason for it to exist.

          Back then when I tried it, PS2 and and quite a few others refused to play if the HTML header was not exactly

          • by GNious (953874)

            Would you really expect it to transfer PCM 44k1/16bit over network?

            Remember, the "idea" of DLNA is not "to play audio", it is to facilitate media between a server, a browser and a render. It does dictate some very basic media-types to support, which I personally think is a bit silly, but I guess that ensures some limited shared-functionality.

            More interestingly, the idea of DLNA is to make using it simple for the non-nerds.
            I'd hate to see random-joe-sixpack set up NFS/Samba/FTP/HTTP sharing of media files, a

            • by jhol13 (1087781)

              Would you really expect it to transfer PCM 44k1/16bit over network?

              Oh, boy ... how on earth does your daughter watch cartoons over DLNA, if 1.35 Mbit/s is too much? Choppy pixelated crap?

              DLNA server is a program, which is to be run in the server (which is assumed to be Windows). HTTP server is a program, setting it up is as trivial as DLNA server. DLNA is http with extra, unneeded, headers & complications. Similar programs are anonymous ftp, etc. Sharing a folder in Windows is one click operation. My Android found my samba share without any problems. Try "smbclient -L

    • by Xest (935314)

      Speak for yourself, I have 4 different DLNA enabled TVs, a DLNA enabled Bluray player, a 360, a PS3 as well as an iPad, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S3, and a Nexus 7.

      DLNA works fine with all of it, it's always been painless and effortless to get working. I guess if you had problems you must've been doing something very wrong or maybe using some shitty cheap devices that only bothered to implement half assed support as all I ever had to do was give Windows Media player access to the library, enable DLNA streaming a

  • I have a no-smart-tv (LG) and it can read any USB drive (including HD)

    • by donaldm (919619)

      I have a no-smart-tv (LG) and it can read any USB drive (including HD)

      I think you are not understanding what a USB stick/drive is. Basically The most common USB connectors support USB 1, 2 and now USB 3 and normally have a type A (the most common) and type B (more boxy) connectors see here [wikipedia.org]. What is important to note is what type of file-system is actually on the device.

      For USB devices that are 16Gb or less the most common file-system is FAT32, however over 16GB you may find NTFS, exFAT or even FAT32. If you are like me who has a Linux OS on my machines then you may find

      • Why don't USB flash drives bigger than 32 GB just use the Universal Disk Format? Linux can read and write it, OS X can read and write it, Windows Vista and newer can read and write it, and it doesn't appear to have the same patent issues as exFAT.
  • by Jahoda (2715225) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @11:45PM (#47660421) Homepage
    So, am I actually to understand that, in 2014, the Xbox One is not currently capable of playing standard media formats such as MKV and that to this point, a console owner has been unable to play media off a flash drive or DLNA?

    Well done, MS. Keep fuckin' that chicken, guys.
    • by GrandCow (229565)

      You realize that there is NO current gen console that can do that, right? This isn't an XBone exclusive.

    • You can play most media formats over DLNA, you just need to push the file to the Xbox One that acts as a DMR, there is no pull interface on the device which is stupid. It can't play MKV, just like Windows Media player.

    • by iampiti (1059688)
      Well in this day and age in which mobile OS's are severely crippled compared to PC ones and that is considered fine by the 99% of population it certainly doesn't surprise me that the new generation consoles are severely limited also.
      On one hand I understand that for many regular folks their smartphone or tablet is now their main computing device, and for millions of people in less developed countries may be their first and only one. It makes sense then to make a OS easy to use and secure, but that doesn't
    • by Xest (935314)

      It's not just MS, both MS and Sony decided to race unfinished products to market opting to finish them post-release. Microsoft currently seems to be ahead as it has DLNA support, 3D Bluray and so forth just about ready to go, whilst the PS4 still doesn't even do the most basic things, like play MP3s or audio CDs.

  • Why DLNA, in this day and age? It's garbage, with a "lowest common denominator" approach to media files, with only 8.3 filenames and very few supported formats. It's like the companies got together to grudgingly agree a simple standard that would mean they didn't have to do any real work with each other, just a bare minimum that would just about allow interoperability and a minimum of effort to implement.
    • I think the problems stem more from everyone involved trying to make sure that their patents would be required in some way.

    • Re:DLNA is crap (Score:4, Informative)

      by GNious (953874) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @03:22AM (#47661181)

      Why DLNA, in this day and age? It's garbage, with a "lowest common denominator" approach to media files, with only 8.3 filenames and very few supported formats. It's like the companies got together to grudgingly agree a simple standard that would mean they didn't have to do any real work with each other, just a bare minimum that would just about allow interoperability and a minimum of effort to implement.

      Gotta ask for a source for "only 8.3 filenames" - nothing in the specs I've read states this, and I've never seen any DLNA software with such a limitation in the last decade.

      And yes, there is a defined lower end for media support, but nothing keeps anyone from supporting additional formats. I've played 1080p h.264 video with surround-sound DTS in an MKV container using DLNA software, just as I've played .ogg files and various others ....

      Anyways, why DLNA? Because it is nice and simple and does what people want? Well, perhaps not what YOU want, but you also seem to think it only supports 8.3 filenames for some quite-strange reason.

    • by Xest (935314)

      "Why DLNA, in this day and age? It's garbage, with a "lowest common denominator" approach to media files, with only 8.3 filenames and very few supported formats."

      What the fuck? have you created a DOS 5.0 DLNA server or something? What you describe isn't the reality of any DLNA server or client I've used including that bundled with Windows and the client bundled with even my cheapest TV.

  • We're going backwards, how is it possible that the 2 biggest living room power houses (xbox and PS4) cant even play media from a USB...

    capitalism, jeeeeej

  • DNLA sucks. I can run a DNLA server (plex or windows media, doesn't matter) on a pretty awesome box and it will still suck. Transcode beforehand to h264 aac MP4 and you can play it on lots more devices, and you don't run into problems on the server side with multiple clients like you do with DNLA... but you do have to set up a webserver of some kind (although NAS often comes with a simple http server nowadays, and my router can do it too)
    As much as we all hate to admit it, home computers are STILL not rea
  • Is innovative !

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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