Connecting Your Xbox 360 to Your Home or the World
Xbox 360 is a platform that can use many of your existing entertainment and communications systems. You can use your Xbox 360 with standard or high-definition TVs, connect and play the digital content from your PC, and join online communities that are dedicated to the Xbox 360.
Tuning into the TV
The Xbox 360 is designed for:
- Maximum performance on modern HDTVs.
Xbox 360 also works with most computer monitors.
- Compatibility with a standard TV set.
High definition describes many technologies, but for the Xbox 360, the most important difference between HDTV and standard TV is the number of lines of resolution on the screen:
- In the United States and Canada, standard National TV Standards Committee (NTSC) broadcast signals have 480 lines of resolution.
- In Phase Alternating Line (PAL) system countries (such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Singapore), standard broadcast signals have 576 lines of resolution.
Xbox 360 games are designed for 720 lines of resolution, and these lines are scanned differently than standard TV, making for a much denser picture. Higher-resolution screens allow better pictures.
You can see the difference between games designed for standard- and high-definition TVs.
Introducing the Xbox 360 to your PC
The Xbox 360 is a great device for connecting and playing the digital content, such as pictures and music, from your Windows PC.
Windows Media Center PC
Many of the latest PCs are Windows Media Center PCs, which are designed for viewing from a TV and for:
- Recording and watching TV
- Viewing home videos
- Listening to music
- Viewing photos
People who purchase Windows Media Center PCs often use them primarily as a desktop computer in an office or bedroom, so they can't take advantage of all the benefits that come with the Windows Media Center side of the PC. That's where the Xbox 360 comes in.
Using your home network, you can connect to a Windows Media Center PC and make the output from that connection your primary TV portal. This lets you pause live TV, record shows, and access all the digital content that you store on the PC. Combining Xbox 360 with your Windows Media Center PC can give you instant access to your vacation videos, your family photos, and your full music collection. Figure 1 shows the movies screen on the Windows Media Center PC.
Other Windows PCs
If your Windows PC isn't a Media Center PC, you can still access your Windows PC digital library through Windows Media Connect.
Windows Media Connect turns your PC into a media server that can host music and photos for your Xbox 360. This capability is available in Xbox 360 through the Media blade shown in Figure 2.
Blades are the pages of the Xbox 360 dashboard.
Congregating with the community
If you have an Xbox 360, you may get . . . attached to it. Don't worry — others have felt this so strongly that they've formed huge communities on the Internet where they can talk about their systems and the games they play on them. Join other attached people at Xbox.com and share your passion.
Through Xbox.com you can:
- Get online support
- Visit the forums for information from other users
- Get the scoop on upcoming games
This community is big, and it's great. When you ask questions on the forums at Xbox.com, community members quickly answer them.
Got a question about how to get through a level in a new game? Need to know how to rise in the rankings? Someone has probably already answered it on Xbox.com. Save yourself some time:
- Look in the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) at the top of some of the forums you visit.
- Search for your question in the forums. You'll find the Search link in the upper-right corner of the Forum page. To perform a search, follow these steps:
• 1. Click the Search link on the page.
• 2. Enter the text you're looking for and press Enter.
• For example, if you're looking for tips for getting through Kameo, try entering phrases like "Stuck Kameo" or "Kameo Level 1".
• Enter only important words to find what you need. For example, "Stuck Kameo" is probably better than "Stuck in Kameo" because "Stuck in Kameo" automatically skips answers that don't have the unimportant word "in."
These searches can lead you straight to the answer you're looking for!