What formats can my Xbox 360 play? When I try to play a movie off my USB on the xbox, often it works and sometimes it just comes up with a error saying that Xbox can't read this format.
According to Microsoft's support page, you can use the following codecs when streaming from USB: WMV(Unprotected), Mpeg4, H.264, AVI.
Further investigation of that same page reveals that that means you can use the following file formats: avi, .divx, .mp4, .m4v, mp4v, .mov, .wmv
Also, when playing something from USB, the file can be no larger than 4 GB. It also cannot play DivX files older than DivX 5.0.
A general rule of thumb is that it will almost ALWAYS play a wmv file, but I've had some luck with avi files that have MP3 audio, some mp4 files and even more files listed after the jump to Support
From a guide on how to play MKV on Xbox, i know:
Xbox 360 has strict requirement for the input formats and only WMV, AVI, H.264 and MPEG-4 are compatible with Xbox 360.
This guide also introduces more tips about Xbox 360.