Vuze BitTorrent client now streams video to PS3, Xbox 360

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Those of you who stopped using Azureus when it mutated into Vuze may want to reconsider your decision. The BitTorrent client now supports video playback on the PS3 and Xbox 360. That is, once the computer on which Vuze is running and your PS3 or Xbox 360 are on the same network, Vuze will play the video and send it to your TV, no matter what file format the video is in. I just tried it out using my Xbox 360, and here’s what I found.

It stinks. Oh, sure, it was able to play plain ol’ DVD rips—24 Hour Party People, encoded with Xvid—just fine over my vanilla 802.11g wireless network, but that’s only because the Xbox 360 natively supports that video file format. I then tried to play two x264 MKVs—a 1080p Blu-ray rip of I Am Legend (hi-res screenshot) and a 720p TV rip of a recent episode of Lost (hi-res screenshot)—and all Vuze can do is wink coyly at me. A conversion bar sits there, and then Vuze does its best to convert the video into a format palatable to the Xbox 360. Fair enough, but if you think I’m going to wait nearly three hours just to see the stupid time-traveling exploits of Jack and John Locke, you’re sorely mistaken. (To convert I Am Legend, it would have taken 15+ hours.)

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And I use the phrase “it stinks” because you know the average BitTorrent user just wants to drag and drop his illicitly obtained Blu-ray rips and watch them on something other than his MacBook. This Vuze solution just doesn’t work as well as I’d initially hoped.

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So, it’s back to watching videos on my 20-inch iMac. It’s no IMAX, but at least I’m not waiting dozens of hours just to watch some dumb movie.

A neat feature if all you’re watching is Xvid-encoded DVD rips, but anything more than that is pushing it, I think. But, by all means, go ahead and try it yourself; maybe you’ll have a better experience.

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