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It appears that the Xbox One has no out-of-the-box support to play one's own video files, for example by sticking them on a USB. This is in stark contrast the Xbox 360, which has an inbuilt media player app that plays a limited range of video formats.

What is the most convenient way to play video files on the Xbox one?

For example,

  • Obtaining a PC or tablet running Windows 8 and use the "Stream to Xbox" function touted in reviews?
  • Would you upload your files to a SkyDrive account and use the SkyDrive app on your Xbox?
  • Would you use some other app?

Or is there some other clever backdoor method?

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Can you just host them over your local network using something like Windows 7 Media Center, and have the Xbox stream them from the media server? –  Robotnik Nov 25 '13 at 3:22
@Robotnik Apparently not. There's no app (either inbuilt or downloadable) to browse and play media as there is for Xbox360. –  Lisa Nov 25 '13 at 3:24
Discussion about the on-topic-ness of this question was moved to meta. –  agent86 Nov 25 '13 at 17:50

7 Answers 7

up vote 0 down vote accepted

From what I've gathered after doing a bit of research, the Xbox One supports DLNA but only as a receiver. It won't actively search and find source files, but will happily play anything that is pushed to it via the DLNA protocol.

However, as I don't have an Xbox One I can't physically verify this but a quick Google search for Xbox One DLNA should net you a few solutions that night work for you.

Update to describe example test usage:

  1. Placed own media files on a device capable of decoding and rendering them into video (or still image or audio only). In DLNA speak this was the server. For testing I used an MP4 file on an Android tablet.
  2. Used a product supporting DLNA (for example a DLNA-certified controller device, a mobile device with DLNA software installed or even your PC) as the DLNA controller. This might be the same device as the server. In my test case it was. I used the same Android tablet to both serve and control the media content (mainly to ameliorate local network performance issues). I had to install a free app called Skifta to do the DLNA controlling magic.
  3. In DLNA speak, the Xbox One was the renderer. The controller device's DLNA software identified the Xbox OS as a potential renderer in a list of output devices. My Android tablet was also listed as a possible output device.
  4. Using the DLNA software on the controller device, selected the server as the media source and a list or tree of possible media files appeared. In testing I was able to select and play an MP4 video, scroll through a folder of JPEG images like a manual slide show and also able to play an MP3 audio file.
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I tested this with great success. It's not perfect but the Xbox One's support for playing DLNA input appears to be excellent. This is, I think, definitely the best answer as it's likely to be the most convenient way for someone without extra specialised hardware to play their own media files. –  Lisa Dec 9 '13 at 23:54
I would like to add that, since I posted the question, an article has appeared describing how to use Xbox One's DLNA capability to stream straight from your Windows 7/8 PC any Windows-supported formats straight to the Xbox One. gottabemobile.com/2013/12/07/play-content-xbox-one From the DLNA view of the world this is basically using your PC as server+controller and Xbox as renderer. –  Lisa Dec 10 '13 at 0:46

Microsoft released a new "Media Player Preview" app along with the August 2014 console update.

This recognizes media on USB drives plugged into the console and will play movies, music or pictures in a variety of formats, the interface is fairly bare-bones at the moment, but is in still in beta and they do seem to be actively updating (as a Preview Program member I've already had a couple of updates to this app). The app will also apparently be updated to support browsing and playing from DLNA media shares on your network later in the year.

The current list of compatible formats is:

3gp audio
3gp video
animated gif
avi divx
avi dv
avi uncompressed
avi xvid
h264 avchd
mpeg 1 ps
mpeg 2
mpeg 2 hd
mpeg 2 ts
mpeg 4 h264 aac
mpeg 4 sp
wma lossless
wma pro
wma voice
wmv hd 

Apparently more formats (including MKV) will be added by the end of the year.

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I used Skydrive to play movies on my Xbox One. Upload your media to your Skydrive account, and it will be available to play through the Skydrive app on your Xbox One.

Depending on the speed of your internet connection, this may not be the most convenient option, but frankly, there isn't one right now.

Skydrive accounts are free and provide your with 7GB of storage, I believe.

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I have tested this and it does work but the playback is jerky, presumably because buffering is problematic due to our modest Australian internet speeds. Uploading own videos to American servers and then back down to Australia seems like a terrible anti-solution to the problem but I understand this would be valid for other countries/situations. –  Lisa Dec 9 '13 at 11:15

In the movie player on my Windows 8 pc is a "play to" button, I hit it and it started playing on the xbox. Ideally I'd like to browse a shared folder on my pc, but it does work fine. I played a blueray file with no issues so far.

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if you have an Android samsung phone you can turn on your all share cast and then just push the button while watching in a movie It'll be pushed your Xbox1 automatically and start streaming. I did it accidentally while watching a FB video on my phone. Then i tested it with the videos stored in my phone then movies. now you just have to worry about getting the movies on your phone which is just a drag and drop by plugging your phone into your PC

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I don't have an Allshare cast dongle so was unable to test. –  Lisa Dec 8 '13 at 4:03

Microsoft have said that from release the use of the USB 3.0 slots will not be supported for local storage flash drives, external hard drives and such, but they have said that this isn't a permanent thing. They haven't given a date but it will be supported after an update which will allow you to use flash drives and plug external hard drives in to expand the memory of the console as the internal hard drive can't be replaced (well replaced easily).

Here is a link to people complaining that this feature hasn't been enabled.

Here is a link to the XB1 support page for using USBs which indicates they aren't currently supported.

And here's a link about Microsoft removing support but saying it will be available in the near future. May be crap but we just need to wait.

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This is not an answer to my question. I'm not concerned about use of USB. Sure, USB is one of the possible sources for one's own videos but not the only. –  Lisa Dec 3 '13 at 22:30
Well it does, I haven't included DVD/BlueRay because that is obvious and if you look through the links in includes articles on Streaming from PC to XB1 so the only other option is local storage (USB etc) and there is no other option. What else did you want to know? –  Popeye Dec 4 '13 at 19:33
Not how to read from external media... How to play videos. That's the question. –  Lisa Dec 5 '13 at 0:12
What? The only options on XB1 are Disc/BlueRay or Local Storage (Currently not Supported) what else are you expecting to play video off? –  Popeye Dec 5 '13 at 8:17

it seems you have an answer for your problem, I did just want to post a very very helpful link answering the question you had in hopes of making your future streaming experience better!


check that out, it has a guide for windows 7 and 8.

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I already posted that link in a comment on accepted answer but thanks. –  Lisa Dec 14 '13 at 5:22

protected by fredley Feb 9 '14 at 19:34

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