Connecting Your Xbox 360 to Your Home or the World - dummies

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.