When we start building a home network with media server or HTPC, we will have a media center to manage the media files. I prefer XBMC Media Center as it is a free media player and works on different platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux and even Xbox. Actually, XBMC was originally created for Xbox.
XBMC helps playing CD/DVD media, and it supports streaming videos, audios and images via SMB, UPnP, DAAP shares. Let's have a look at the formats supported by XBMC.
AVI, MPEG, WMV, ASF, FLV, Matroska, QuickTime, MP4, M4A, AAC, NUT, Ogg, OGM, RealMedia RAM/RM/RV/RA/RMVB, 3gp, VIVO, PVA, NUV, NSV, NSA, FLI, FLC, and DVR-MS (beta support)
MPEG-1, MPEG-2, H.263, MPEG-4 SP and ASP, MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), HuffYUV, Indeo, MJPEG, RealVideo, RMVB, Sorenson, WMV, Cinepak.
MIDI, AIFF, WAV/WAVE, MP2, MP3, AAC, AACplus, AC3, DTS, ALAC, AMR, FLAC, Monkey's Audio (APE), RealAudio, SHN, WavPack, MPC/Musepack/Mpeg+, Speex, Vorbis and WMA.
Digital picture/image formats:
RAW image formats, BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, MNG, ICO, PCX and Targa/TGA
Well, I did not find MTS, M2TS or AVCHD from the supported list. I add my video folder with .m2ts files to XBMC, and the files are listed, but the video comes out without image. What to do if we want to use XBMC for the videos shot by AVCHD video camcorders like Panasonic HDC-SD100, Panasonic HDC-HS350, Sony HDR-SR5 HD Handycam? One of the solutions is to convert AVCHD video to MPEG-2 for XBMC, as we can see that XBMC supports MPEG with MPEG-2 video codec and MP2 audio codec. Here I use the Mac version of Aunsoft MTS/M2TS Converter as an example. If you want to use XBMC on Mac, you can use the M2TS converter in Windows version.
Step 1. Load MTS/M2TS videos to Aunsoft MTS/M2TS Converter.
After capturing videos from your camcorder/camera to hard drive, just run the M2TS converter and click Add button to load AVCHD videos that you want to share on XBMC.
Step 2. Choose MPEG-2 as output for XBMC.
XBMC actually supports many video and audio formats, and the M2TS converter offers different kinds of output formats like AVI, MP4, FLV, 3GP, WMV. However, I choose MPEG as an example.
Just click the HD Video > MPEG-2 HD Video (*.mpg) for the output.
Step 3. Convert AVCHD MTS/M2TS to MPEG-2 for Xbox.
Click the convert button on the bottom-right of the interface, and the conversion from AVCHD MTS/M2TS to MPEG-2 starts.
Wait for a while and the conversion from M2TS to MPEG-2 will be finished. Run XBMC on Mac and add videos from hard drive to the library. You can also connect the Mac to TV with DVI and VGA adaptor to enjoy videos on big-screen TV and even HD TV.
To install XBMC for Mac, just click here and different versions are available at http://xbmc.org/download/. As a remote control is bundled with Mac, you can also configure apple remote and control XBMC.
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