Windows 8 has a feature called as Play To which allows to play Digital Media to any Windows Certified DLNA device like XBOX 360 or a SMART TV which supports this feature.
While we have tried connecting to a Windows 7 PC using Media Centre but it was really a painful and longer process because of issues like Firewall and security restrictions, Windows 8 Play To has changed it drastically where connecting to a Xbox takes no time.
Windows 8 :
- Go to PC Settings > HomeGroup > Media Devices
- Turn this on by selecting the toggle button. This will make sure that Windows 8 is visible to any DLNA compatible device on the same network.
- This also makes sure that any shared content is accessible to that device.
- Turn ON, Sign in to your profile.
- Go to MY Apps and make sure you have the Music and Video Apps installed.
- Select any of them and you should be able to see your Windows 8 machine listed as Machine-Name@yourliveid@microsoftaccount
If you can see that, you are all set but if you try to access, you might see nothing in the playlist or album section. So lets share it.
Sharing Music and Video :
By default, Windows 8 shares Library Content. In case you do not have anything there, right-click on your video or music folder and select Include in Library > Music or Video. This will make sure the folder is listed there.
Streaming Video and Music to Xbox :
Next repeat the steps using the My Apps > Music or Video App on your Xbox 360 and it should be listing all your folders, video and music files. You will be able to create the music playlist etc and keep using it.
Video Demo :
Things to Notice :
- One thing you will notice is even after you shutdown your Windows 8 PC, the computer will remain listed but will give connection error when you try to connect.
- There is no way to remove it from the listing.
- I haven tested it with a different profile. It should not be the case but it is possible that you can connect to your PC only using your profile. I will update this when I test it around.