OK, I'm just going to get this out there. I've been bending over backwards trying to find the right file types that will play on both my Xbox 360 and XviD certified DVD player. I've been watching media on my console and DVD player for several years now and have never had an issue. What I usually do is donwload the standard sized DVD rip from torrent websites (approximately 700MB films) and burn them onto DVD+/-R discs as data discs, not DVD-Roms, since there's no sense in wasting an entire disc for one movie when I can fit several on one.

Since the DVD player is not Bluray and my Xbox does not have a wide-array of supported codecs, I would always try to get my films and TV series in AVI file format because that file type works on both my DVD player and Xbox 360.

Recently, I found a great video converter. Afterwards, I decided to download a 1080p version of a film (MP4 file) and converted it to an AVI so that I can play it on my Xbox 360 but it didn't work. Nor did it work on my DVD player. This led me to believe that the container is not what decides whether media can be played but rather, its the audio and video codecs that the film uses (codecs are streams inside the container). Having that said that, the usual 700MB films that I used to download must use different audio and/or video codecs that what the MP4 file uses, which is why when I converted it to an AVI, it still didn't work. At least that's how I understand it.

Here are my questions;
  • Can anyone confirm that its the audio and video stream (codecs) that determine whether a DVD player or Xbox 360 can play the file and not the container (matroska, avi, etc.)?
  • If I wanted to start watching full HD (1080p) films on both my Xbox 360 and non-Bluray DVD player (but still XviD certified), what file types would I need to be going for and what type of video and audio streams would this container need to have?

I'm looking for someone that really know their stuff to help me out with this, quite possibly backing up their information with sources and links to articles. Why? I'm tired of burning through discs to find out the file is not supported.