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XBMC Discontinues Xbox Support

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the technical-difficulties-stand-by-forever dept.

Media 213

Xistic writes with news that the XB in XBMC won't mean Xbox any more. Quoting the project's own website: "The last official release for the XBOX by the XBMC team was Atlantis, over 18 months ago. Since then, one brave soul (Arnova) has been merging code from the main codebase into the XBOX branch in our repository. Because there were many users out there that took advantage of these updates, we had no problem with this. But times have changed. The XBOX has hard limits for what it can handle. Some users are satisfied with these limits, and we encourage them to use XBMC there if they are happy. But it is a popular misconception that official XBOX development is still taking place by the team, so we have decided to set it free. We have enough on our plates already, and worrying about a deprecated platform just increases our workload. A few days ago the XBOX branch was finally removed from our subversion repository."

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who cares (-1, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374334)

nobody knows them and gaming is the stupidest thing a self-proclaimed itnellegient fellow should do.
What about having your fucking gov understanding how pissed off you are? ...wait, maybe you're not, blinded by such worthless materialistic shit.
stick your droid/iphone up your arses, connardos!

XBMC4XBOX Lives (5, Informative)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374340)

We have been working on taking over the xbox branch for the last couple of months. http://www.xbmc4xbox.org/ [xbmc4xbox.org] so if you feel you can help head on over. We still have tons of work to do but it's getting really close to being back on track with continued development.

A pity; but not a huge shock... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374362)

In its day, and for a fair while after, the XBOX was an excellent deal for video applications. ~PIII-733 level performance and(rather more importantly) a decent set of video outs, something that was sort of dodgy with the PC graphics cards of the day. They got quite cheap, especially used, as well.

However, at this point, a PIII-733 with, IIRC, 64MB of RAM, just isn't that exciting. Nor, with the proliferation of nettops, is the price delta between a real computer and a used xbox nearly what it used to be. Then there is the fact that, while XMBC as a project has always been legit, actually building it for the xbox has been legally kind of dodgy.

Can a nettop that can run media centre software? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374514)

I thought that the XBOX graphics chipset was the reason that it could run. CAn any nettops run media PC stuff reasonably well?

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32374548)

Buy something with hdmi and nvidia ion and I'm sure you can run xbmc with hd content.

I'm less sure about how good chipset acceleration is in standard intel atom netbooks etc.

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32374782)

Buy something with hdmi and nvidia ion and I'm sure you can run xbmc with hd content.

I'm less sure about how good chipset acceleration is in standard intel atom netbooks etc.

I have both, as well as a couple of small VIA boxen.

Basically, for 1080p IMAX content, get an ION based atom. I have a Zotac N330 running the latest XBMC. It can do the aforementioned quality at 60fps, has an onboard HDMI out (including audio!) and was extremely simple to set up.
Zotac ION UK price: £130 plus a stick of ram and a case. It's great value! Just remember to offload the graphics using VDPAU (it's a setting inside XBMC).

The Atom DG (Intel reference) doesn't do anything like it. The VIA equivalents don't have graphic support for linux VDPAU either. Net result - they struggle with anything over SDTV. forget 720p or above with those.

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375160)

Can you post your Zotac setup?

Where you got it for that price would be nice to know, cheapest I can see is £160 for just the MB.

Did you need to buy a PSU for that board/case or did the case/board come with it?

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32375340)

Zotac offers a Z-Box mini PC where you have everything except RAM and harddrive for 200 - 250€. They don't offer space for a disc drive and I'm kind of suspicious about the cooling, but it's worth a look.

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (3, Informative)

PouletFou (1221320) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375822)

ASRock ION 330 works like a charm for £260.

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (2, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375862)

Just get something that supports VDPAU. Contrary to what most new system builders think, you do not need a quad core 2.5gHz CPU to play back video when you have hardware acceleration.

I bought the cheapest CPU/Mobo bundle with gigabit ethernet at Newegg. It was a 1.8gHz Celeron with 1GB of RAM. Everything accelerated with a GT220.

I've played a blueray rip with 0 studdering. The only time I get studdering is when SABnzbd is finishing unrarring a file. As long as you are using it for JUST an HTPC you should be fine. It's not completely fanless, but I can't hear it behind from 12' away.

Asus Revo 1600s are on sale for $140-160 refurbed and should work great.

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32376042)

Here you go, from mini-box.com:

2x2GB DDR2 Memory: $100.00
160GB 2.5" SATA HDD: $62.00
Intel ZOTAC MB Atom N330 ION ITX-A-U with 90W adapter: $189.00
M350 Universal Mini-ITX enclosure: $39.95
Total: $390.95

The whole package is smaller than Stephen King's latest book and sits behind a closed door in the unit that supports by television.

For video storage I use a 2TB USB drive.

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (2, Informative)

GraemeDonaldson (826049) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374596)

Yes, Zotac ION [silentpcreview.com] boards do it exceptionally well according to pretty much every review I've read. I'm going to build a HTPC based on one of these.

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32375916)

I can confirm this. My HTPC is built around a Zotac ION board in a Mini-Box M350 enclosure. XBMC on Linux does a great job of playing back anything up to 1080p.

As a bonus, the system draws 18-28W depending on load, so I don't mind leaving it running continuously while it downloads content.

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (1)

greed (112493) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375958)

They're great. I've got one running XBMC Live.

One of the few problems I have is, suspend/hibernate don't work right. The usual finger-pointing is to the binary nVidia drivers.

But with the binary drivers, CPU load for playing back Blu-Ray ".m4ts" stream files is less than 10%--the GPU is doing all the heavy lifting. Anything DVD resolution is background noise. (I got the dual-core ION; that's probably overkill.)

If you're really into Linux and PXE boot servers, you can run them without any disk drives at all. Just the Zotac ION board, some RAM, power supply, and Ethernet. Plug in HDMI and digital audio and off you go.

(I don't have audio over HDMI working, but I don't really care, because my receiver can't handle 1080p so the HDMI has to go right to the TV and the audio to the receiver anyway....)

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374628)

Get a Nettop with the Nvidia ION chipset, put Linux and XBMC on it and you have a cheap, tiny, silent HTPC with HDMI and hardware accelerated video playback playing those 1080p MKV's without problem. Some of them (Asus Eee Box, ASRock Nettop and Acer Aspire Revo for example) also come with a remote control.

The Xbox graphics chipset (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375134)

The Xbox graphics chipset had only two advantages over PC chipsets of the time: 3D graphics, and SDTV output as a standard feature. The SDTV feature is less important now that virtually all TVs made in the past three years have VGA and HDMI inputs. And unless one writes half the video decoder in a shader (as in some modern H.264 decoders), 3D graphics won't take much load off the CPU for video decoding; perhaps the biggest thing a GeForce 3-class pixel shader can do is help convert YUV to RGB. Remember that the video codec that was popular among pirates and spaceshifters at the time was MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile (DivX and Xvid), which is roughly on par with Theora [s2000.ws] and less computationally complex than H.264.

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (2, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375358)

Nearly all nettops are NVidia ION based.

The CPU in any nettop (at the worst a single core Intel Atom) is somewhat better than the 733 MHz PIII in the Xbox (Maybe significantly? I'm assuming the PIII has significantly better performance per clock cycle than the Atom, but I'm not sure if it's enough of a delta to make up for less than half the clock speed), and the Ion is a significantly better NVidia chipset than the one in the Xbox.

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32375740)

WTF is a nettop?

Re:Can a nettop that can run media centre software (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376078)

Take the internals of a Netbook, throw away the battery and the screen. Add a HMDI port.

Cheap computer to throw under the tell and stream content.

Re:A pity; but not a huge shock... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375112)

You can find a cheaper media center than a used XBox? How do you beat "free" when it comes to price?

Seriously, we're at the point where you could even make a few bucks buying a used XBox with all the gadgets the former owner collected and then resell the addons while you keep the box.

Re:A pity; but not a huge shock... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376214)

Oh, there's no way in hell that anything contemporary is going to beat a used Xbox on price. Those things are at a practically perfect historical moment in terms of cheapness. Mass market item, so there are millions of them floating around. Generally considered obsolete(particularly now that MS scotched their multiplayer). Durable enough that many of those millions are still alive.

And, given that today's move doesn't retroactively break XBMC builds for XBox, all those used Xboxes should be fine until they die or become victims of disinterest.

However, it isn't a huge shock that the project would abandon further development on a decade-old hardware platform which imposes nontrivial constraints, particularly now that much more modern hardware is available at prices approaching what an Xbox went for in its heyday, but with a faster CPU, GPU, and mass storage, no dodgy legal build issues, and a supply that isn't gradually dwindling.

Re:A pity; but not a huge shock... (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375342)

One of the big limitations is the fact that most content now is high definition (720p, 1080i, 1080p) - The xbox simply can't display HD video to appropriate display devices.

Which is why my xbox has been on a shelf for 3-4 years without ever getting turned on at this point. I bought it as a MythTV frontend, and it worked for that purpose for a while, but then I bought a Silicon Dust HDHomeRun digital tuner in early 2006 and that rendered the xbox a paperweight as far as MythTV usage was concerned.

Re:A pity; but not a huge shock... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375850)

I have had no trouble finding SD content for my Xbox. For those of us who don't care about HD video (I'm not wearing my glasses to watch TV), the Xbox is a fine option.

XBMC was the best thing for the Xbox (3, Insightful)

Parlett316 (112473) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374400)

That huge black box was the best media center I have had, the WD TV Live only comes close since it can play H.264.

Re:XBMC was the best thing for the Xbox (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374718)

XBMC was the best thing for the Xbox

And now, it's the best thing for everything else. If you're happy with your WDTV, then there isn't any sense in "fixing it". However, the day it dies or fails to do something that you'd like it to do, install XBMC on a spare PC to which you have access. It is absolutely the best media center software I have ever used.

Re:XBMC was the best thing for the Xbox (1)

Parlett316 (112473) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375056)

Boxee has recently captured my attention and I've been playing with it on a VM. When I finally get around to building a HTPC I'm going to try both.

Re:XBMC was the best thing for the Xbox (0, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375144)

It's a shame you had to physically mod the Xbox to get it. If MS had allowed for easy and legal installation of something like this, the Xbox would have taken off like a rocket (and the 360 too for that matter).

Re:XBMC was the best thing for the Xbox (1)

EllF (205050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375240)

You actually didn't need to physically mod the XBox -- a copy of Splinter cell, a third-party memory card, and some software from the net were all you needed to "soft-mod" it. Same effect as a hardware mod, no need to open the case.

Re:XBMC was the best thing for the Xbox (1)

JDAustin (468180) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376138)

I modded my old xbox which was closeted for 4 years recently. Splinter Cell cost me about $2 used. The bigger issue was finding a compatable USB stick.

the irony of this (3, Insightful)

batistuta (1794636) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374478)

It is kind of funny how history made this package evolve. The XBMC, which abreviates "XBOX Media Center", was originally developed for the XBOX. And now, it supports different platforms and operating systems but not the XBOX any longer. If you don't know its history, you'd find it a joke what XBMC stands for.

Re:the irony of this (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32374538)

Wow. I wouldn't have figured that out myself.

Re:the irony of this (3, Informative)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374576)

The XBMC, which abreviates "XBOX Media Center"

If you don't know its history, you'd find it a joke what XBMC stands for.

You might as well just say it. It now stands for "XBMC Media Center". Perhaps it's somewhat funny, but recursive acronyms [wikipedia.org] are hardly new, and they have a long and proud tradition in Free Software. GNU [wikipedia.org] , the name for the userspace tools in most Linux-based operating systems, is among the oldest of currently used recursive acronyms in free software.

Re:the irony of this (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32374672)

I prefer eX xBox Media Centre...

Re:the irony of this (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374876)

No it doesn't. It stands for nothing else than "XBMC".

In the same manner "Tactical Studies Rules" became "TSR" meaning nothing else than "TSR".

Re:the irony of this (2)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374928)

I thought TSR was Terminate and Stay Resident. Yah I'm that old :(

apparently you're not nearly old enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32375088)

or maybe just not geeky enough.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TSR,_Inc.#Tactical_Studies_Rules [wikipedia.org] "TSR" meant "Tactical Studies Rules" to geeks nearly a decade before "Terminate and Stay Resident".

I actually played a dungeon with Jim Ward back in the mid-80's, dunno why he's not even mentioned in the history of TSR...

Re:the irony of this (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375176)

No it doesn't. It stands for nothing else than "XBMC".

Can you provide evidence for this? It is entirely possible that they changed it again, but at one time it was a recursive acronym. My evidence is as follows:

It means XBMC Media Center. It is officially a recursive acronym and has been for a few years. source - natethomas [xbmc.org]

The "about" page of THIS SITE says 'XBMC, recursive acronym for "XBMC Media Center"' source - XFaktor [xbmc.org]

XBMC is now only a semi-recursive acronym for XBMC Media Center. source - Gamester17 [xbmc.org]

Re:the irony of this (1)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376010)

Still drives me crazy. XBMC means XBox Media Center. XBMC Media Center is like Windows NT Built on New Technology just way too much redundancy. They had to pretty much change the name to start distancing themselves [the devs] from the grey area that is XDK. I have personally built almost 800 builds now over the last 2 years on my binaries site [google XBMC nightly SVN. And whilst not a 10 ten site by any means I am freaked out every day on just how many people download XBMC 4 Xbox. In the last 14 months almost 950,000 downloads [all branches] of that XBMC 4 Xbox has been downloaded almost 90,000 times since 11/7/09[US] which is amazing considering this poor little old box has been around now for about 9 years now. It refuses to die :)

Re:the irony of this (1)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376058)

grrr. i should not type after being up for 37 hours. The total download count is also from Nov.7.2009 so that is nearly a million downloads in 6 months. No wonder my host had a cow.

Re:the irony of this (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376178)

Yep, just because they're ending support doesn't mean that the XBox branch isn't still wildly popular. I for one still have a deployment at my folks' place.

Out of curiosity, are the nightly SVNs usually stable enough for production? Does that site archive known-stable revision of the repository and/or document which revisions tend to be relatively trouble-free?

Re:the irony of this (1)

Gyske (687847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375196)

"TSR" means nothing else than "Terminate and Stay Resident" [wikipedia.org] ;)

The end of an era...but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32374508)

...XBMC showed what a dedicated hacker community could accomplish with tight code and open source to draw upon.

For years to come, the XBMC community will be a shining example of what a hacker group can accomplish.

XBMC was the first truly great hack project.

Re:The end of an era...but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32374948)

What about the Linux kernel?

Maybe now they've freed up all that resource... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32374556)

...they can implement horizontal scrolling in audio on the non-XBOX platforms.

At the moment XBMC is unusable for audiobooks with mouse/keyboard control.

Alternatives? (1)

Tigris666 (197729) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374578)

Out of curiosity, what are people using instead? I was looking to upgrade from the old noise xbox about 2 years ago because it couldn't play 720p, so I went with the ps3. It suffers because it can't play mkv but has some conversion tools, but still I find many avi files it can't play. Would definitely be interested in alternative hardware to install XBMC onto other than my xbox, so long as it doesn't require me assembling it myself or any crazy linux installs trying to get hdmi and 3d cards to play nicely.

Re:Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32374636)

WD Tv Live is a good alternative. It will play 1080p content mkv's included. The one thing I like about XBMC is that it will play iso's that I have of ripped dvds and also plays files within rar's.

Re:Alternatives? (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374680)

Just about any decent hardware will work fine with XBMC. Zotac Ion [anandtech.com] seems to be a popular choice at the moment. If you want to seriously research out what to buy, visit the XBMC Hardware Discussion [xbmc.org] forum

Re:Alternatives? (3, Insightful)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374694)

I think best option is probably an Ion chipset small box, and run XBMC natively booting off USB/SD card. One of the nice things about my Xbox XBMC is that it works like an appliance - it does't need to be booted/shutdown like a conventional OS - you just turn it on and off. Yes, I know it boots, but you know what I mean - my kids can use it, turn it on/off with impunity etc.
It's the little things that count - the Xbox had IR control, a DVD drive, and didn't ever need a keyboard or mouse connected to work. It's going to be difficult to replace with something half as functional and easy to use...

Re:Alternatives? (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374922)

booting off USB/SD card

As an ardent quiet-computing aficionado, this was one of the first components that I purchased when I started building my XBMC rigs. My word of caution is that you really want something with very decent write performance, since the average XBMC system will have to do a lot of writing in its lifetime. The most common kind of writing that an XBMC system has to do is caching the results from scrapings. This includes not only movie/tv actor, genre, description, year, and other text vitals, but also fanart, some of which can be very large. The other major writing that you'll do is when you "apt-get dist-upgrade" your system (something that you'll inevitably want to do). If you don't have decent write performance, a USB drive (or SD card) will make your life miserable.

In fact, if you have the money, I highly recommended getting a decent SATA SSD drive. Unfortunately, this is a serious expenditure and will nearly double the cost of an XBMC rig on its own.

Re:Alternatives? (1)

drb_chimaera (879110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374754)

Personally I've gone with Ion-based nettops running Ubuntu linux and XBMC with vdpau enabled. VDPAU offloads the video processing onto the onboard graphics and means that the machine can handle playing HD streams quite happily. It was pretty much off the shelf and required next to no special skills to get it working. The machines are cheap (£150 and up) and almost silent.

Re:Alternatives? (2, Insightful)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374940)

For $100 you can get an Asus O!Play that will play all your files (at 1080p, including MKVs), has HDMI output, and comes with a remote, and requires no additional software.

Aspire Revo (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375304)

But does an Asus O!Play also play games? Those who use XBMC on an Xbox can reboot to the Windows XB dashboard to run single-player or local-multiplayer Xbox games. Likewise, those who use XBMC on an Acer Aspire Revo (a $200 ION nettop) can reboot to Windows to run single-player or local-multiplayer PC games, although the local-multiplayer selection for PC is a bit limited due to the historical lack of TV-sized PC monitors.

Re:Aspire Revo (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376190)

But does an Asus O!Play also play games? Those who use XBMC on an Xbox can reboot to the Windows XB dashboard to run single-player or local-multiplayer Xbox games. Likewise, those who use XBMC on an Acer Aspire Revo (a $200 ION nettop) can reboot to Windows to run single-player or local-multiplayer PC games, although the local-multiplayer selection for PC is a bit limited due to the historical lack of TV-sized PC monitors.

No, it can't play games. I use the PS3 or my desktop for that. He asked what people are using instead of XBMC for videos (MKVs and AVIs that the PS3 doesn't like in particular, and made no mention of games), and that's what I'm using instead and it plays those MKVs and AVIs fine.

Re:Alternatives? (1)

j-cloth (862412) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375092)

I've been running it on a Mac Mini for a few years. If I did it again, I'd get an Ion machine, but the mini works great in either OSX (with XBMC or the mac fork Plex) or in Linux. Having a real CPU means that I don't have to worry about VDPAU and such to get 1080p working, I just let the thing chug and I've never dropped a frame.

Re:Alternatives? (1)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375104)

Out of curiosity, what are people using instead?

I got given an Apple TV, one of the first ones with a fairly low hard drive capacity. My original plan was to install NetBSD or Linux onto it, but I out of curiosity I first installed XBMC and Boxee as apps for the original Apple TV OS. I've never got around to installing another OS on it now, as use I regularly use it for watching BBC iPlayer stuff and the occasional film rented from iTunes.

Re:Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32375254)

I've got 2 of the original Xboxes. I bricked one of them trying to get XBMC installed. I haven't gotten around to toying with the second one, but interest in it's potential lead me to go the whole nine build a HTPC based on Vista (Win7 wasn't out yet, but that's what it is running now). So, that's what I'm using in my house at the moment. I have 2 Xbox 360s and 2 Linksys extenders distributing it's content around the house over Cat5e. It has two dual-tuner PCIe cards in it to record all the unencrypted TV we watch, and they'll be replaced with CableCard tuners later this year. It has almost 3 TB of starage, so it also holds my entire DVD/Blu ray collection, MP3 library, photo collection and accesses Hulu, Netflix and YouTube.

It has high wife approval factor and my 10-year old navigates it easy enough. It's nice having my Time Bandits disk safe from her destructive hands.

I have coworkers that own PS3s and they do notice the lack of format support. There is an app called PS3 Media Center that will run as a service on one of your networked PCs. I hear it does a decent job of transcoding formats that the PS3 won't natively handle.

Re:Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32375296)

They have their own forum/wiki. You should check it out for answers.

Seagate Freeagent Theater+ HD (1)

mrops (927562) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375434)

Yah, the name is a mouth full, UI has lots of room for improvement on the network side, however it more than serves the purpose, plays everything I have thrown at it. Its backed by my NAS on gigabit network, two of these devices on two TVs and I can stream two HD (720p) movies (of any kind) at the same time.

Disclaimer: Usability and customization is not even close to XBMC, nonetheless functionally it does exactly what I want i.e. play any content shared on my local network.

Re:Alternatives? (1)

Nukenbar (215420) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376040)

While the XBMC still had a better interface, once I started playing more 720 and 1080p videos I bought a Popcorn hour [popcornhour.com] .

There is a pretty active support base and it is pretty easily to customize it, but the options are still limited compared to what you could do with XBMC. But if your main use of XBMC was to play videos and now you want to play HD, a popcorn hour or similar device does it pretty well for $200.

Dull surprise (1)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374692)

I'm amazed this thing could ever run on an XBOX. I installed it once on a dual-core 2.2GHz something-or-other with a few gigs of ram and it was just... awful. Huge delay between pressing a button and anything happening. Slow menu changes. Etc.

Re:Dull surprise (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374772)

Huge delay between pressing a button and anything happening. Slow menu changes.

Sounds like you didn't have decent hardware video acceleration. The XBMC processor and memory requirements are quite modest, and you are well over them. Heck, XBMC runs like a dream on the Ion platform which uses atom processors (the most meek processor you will ever meet). It's all about video acceleration, something that the XBox was quite good at for its time.

Re:Dull surprise (1, Informative)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374866)

GeForce 8800 GT not enough? Maybe somewhere in the chugging menus there was a setting to enable video acceleration that defaulted to 'off', but woo. I'd honestly never seen a program run that poorly on that computer.

Re:Dull surprise (1)

Neil Hodges (960909) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374972)

Did you even enable VDPAU?

Re:Dull surprise (1)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375032)

It was a Windows machine, and I think it was before VDPAU was available, anyway.

Re:Dull surprise (3, Informative)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375330)

Configuration failure. I've seen XBMC running flawlessly on various chipsets from vintage 2007 integrated ATI chipsets and old 5xxx series Nvidia cards to 4xxx series ATI cards and newer AMD/ATI integrated chipsets. In fact, I doubt that it is even an XBMC configuration problem - sounds like DirectX or your NVIDIA drivers are out of date. Either way, head over to the XBMC Forums" [xbmc.org] for support. It's a fantastic community that will almost certainly help you out with your problem. Only, try not to slander XBMC until you figure out how you mis-configured your system.

Re:Dull surprise (1)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375540)

1) Drivers and DirectX were current. Are always current, unless I know they break something. nvidia's drivers frequently break things, though, so perhaps they were not good with XBMC at the time.

2) This was quite a while ago--don't even have most of the same components anymore (well, the 8800 GT is still around).

3) PS3MS worked much better for my purposes anyway.

4) If you'll look a couple levels up, I replied to my first comment saying that the problems did not appear when I just installed it in linux (after getting a few other fans protecting their loved one).

5) I'll still slander XBMC, because it ha(s/d) an obnoxious UI. ;)

6) I'll concede that the UI probably wasn't designed with a mouse in mind.

Re:Dull surprise (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375888)

2,4) Acknowledged. Trying to figure out why software wasn't working with a no-longer-in-service system configuration is fruitless. Suffice it to say, modern XBMC works flawlessly with even the most meek system configurations (as long as they have decent video acceleration). 5) This is, of course, a subjective measurement. That being said, it is certainly an atypical opinion of the XBMC UI. I personally have found it to be both beautiful and functional. My non-techie roommates and parents have been able to navigate XBMC with ease, and have noted how much they like it. In fact, I managed to convert a few people who have been at my house and seen my setup. It is worth noting that the XBMC uses a 10 foot interface [wikipedia.org] (just like your PS3). It isn't designed to be used by a nerd huddled up next to a laptop like a white guy driving a Geo. If that's what you're looking for, perhaps you should be using something else anyway. 6) Well conceded - as mentioned before, XBMC is a 10 foot interface. It definitely isn't meant to be used with mice. In fact, many of the skins specifically advise the they are not mouse compatible (though this will probably change in the next version).

Re:Dull surprise (1)

H.G.Blob (1550325) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374906)

Actually it runs on the beagleboard too [youtube.com]

Re:Dull surprise (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374816)

Your system is probably misconfigured. XBMC runs perfectly on an Acer netbook with 1GB RAM, Atom and an Intel 3100 onboard graphics card (with Windows XP).

Re:Dull surprise (1)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374914)

I knew someone would say something like that--but I can guarantee that my system wasn't 'misconfigured'. I'm actually half-convinced that the slow menus were a UI decision sort of like Windows Vista's half-second start-menu-fade-in. Though it may be that it was a bad build of the program, or a conflict between the program and a driver, or some setting in XBMC that needed to be changed.

Re:Dull surprise (1)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375142)

So I actually just gave it a try on my laptop running linux (a slower, but still reasonably fast system), just to see, and it actually ran much better. I still think the UI is ass, but it definitely wasn't the torpid thing I saw on Windows a couple of years ago. Bad build, crappy nvidia drivers, vagaries of Windows XP, combination of the above?

Re:Dull surprise (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375420)

Might have simply been "too early in the porting process".

At that point the codebase would still have been heavily Xbox-focused (and optimized towards that platform).

Over the years as the Xbox has become a less optimal platform for media (can't really do HD, and the whole world has basically gone to high def), so the devs have moved focus towards platforms other than xbox.

Re:Dull surprise (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375446)

I experienced the same thing. A friend of mine has his Xbox modded to run XBMC, and he encouraged me to try it on my computer. I just couldn't do it. On (I think it was) a 3.2GHz P4 with a gig of RAM, it was practically unusable. I don't know what the difference is, but on an Xbox, even at 720p, it's relatively smooth.

Re:Dull surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32375972)

I ran the Live version for a long time on a 1.6 P4 cast-off from work with a 7xxx Nvidia without any of those issues.

Re:Dull surprise (1)

soupd (1099379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376246)

Weird. I run XBMC on a 2Ghz Core2Duo 1Gb RAM Intel GMA950-based MacMini with OSX 10.6 which also runs TED (scheduled torrent downloader) and Transmission (P2P client) and it XBMC outputs 1080p from an external USB drive just fine as well as downloading in the background. iStatPro tells me the CPU-usage never goes over 90% (1080p only). On a modern MacMini with 9400M GPU it'd probably never peak above 40% CPU usage.

Golden Girls! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32374722)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you through a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say thank you for being a friend.

Re:Golden Girls! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32374998)

Confidant. Not cosmonaut. Does cosmonaut make sense there? Idiot.

mod i3own (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32374774)

that comprise SIGNIFICANT_LY The most. Look at and was taken over

Hardware alternative to XBOX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32374780)

I'm down to my last two XBOXen (components just die after 10 years).

Is there currently another device that runs XBMC and is/has:

    o sub $100;
    o instant on;
    o ethernet & video ports;
    o IR controller support;

Something like the WD TV Live [newegg.com] seems to have the right hardware but I suspect the GUI blows and codec support is always a couple of steps behind.
Has anybody tried the b-rad firmware [b-rad.cc] ?

Any suggestions? (I'm quite open to building my own but can't see how to meet all of the above criteria.)

Re:Hardware alternative to XBOX? (1)

Parlett316 (112473) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375086)

The D-Link Boxee device looks interesting if it ever decides to get released. The beauty of the Xbox w/ XBMC was that you didn't have to reconfigure hardware and dick with drivers.

Re:Hardware alternative to XBOX? (1)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375648)

Using a ION nettop is the current best replacement for an Xbox for XBMC. It takes about 10-15 seconds to power on and be at the menu after starting from powered off, but you can sleep it and have it wake instantly. The ION boards have built-in Ethernet, and normally VGA and HDMI. You'll also be able to find boards with a TOS-link audio out, but all of the ones with HDMI also support audio over that connection. IR support is a cheap USB adapter if build your own. Getting the box to power on via IR is tricky, but the Xbox didn't support that either.

The only thing you can't have it sub $100. The only devices you'll be able to get in that range are like the WD TV Live. None of the devices will make you happy when you compare their interfaces to XMBC.

Other Platforms (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374794)

I don't get why it even supports other platforms in the first place.

it is a amazing xbox media center(on an amazing console), but the whole design in my opinion does not work well at all for high res mouse environments.

It would be interesting to see the ratio of xbox users to other users of the xbmc.

Does anyone hear use it on their computer, I sincerely do not get why anyone would (unless they changes it radically since the last time I used it).

Re:Other Platforms (2, Informative)

pumkinut (462268) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374908)

I've been using XBMC for over 5 years now. Up until last year it was completely on two XBoxen. It was fine for it's time, but as more and more HD content became available, the XBox started revealing its limitations in a big way.

I started using XBMC on a computer with the Live version on a USB thumbdrive. I would boot the thumbdrive on my work laptop and plug into my HDTV via a VGA connection. Last summer I built a full fledged mini-ITX HTPC with a Zotac Intel motherboard and integrated nVidia graphics. I don't use a mouse to control it. I use my Wii remote or a PS3 Bluetooth remote. Both work well. The Wiimote works almost completely out of the box, the PS3 remote takes some work.

If you visit the XBMC boards, you see that there are plenty of people using it on computers both hooked up to televisions and those that aren't. It's available for Linux, Windows, and OSX. There's even a GSOC project for porting it to a Beagleboard platform.

If you can't understand why someone would use it on a comp, then you haven't seen it lately.

Re:Other Platforms (1)

Compholio (770966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374912)

Does anyone hear [sic] use it on their computer, I sincerely do not get why anyone would (unless they changes [sic] it radically since the last time I used it).

Yes, I use it on my computer that I have plugged into my TV.

Re:Other Platforms (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375170)

You know why I used an XBox as a media center in the first place? It had a SCART adapter and I had an old CRT that just so happened to "already" have a SCART plug. It was simply and plainly cheaper than any solution I could have designed to connect any of my PCs to that TV. And even today, it would possibly be the cheapest way to get a media box going for your TV. Did you check lately what those DVI to HDMI cables cost? A used XBox beats that any time. Plus you don't use up one of the screens of your PC and you don't use up its audio capability. Sure, you could use another computer, but then we're still at the point where you need some way to connect it to your TV and we're back at the cable price. Yes, yes, you'd also need that cable for the XBox, but buying a box used means that you get that cable thrown in for free, and the price of a used XBox (with a ton on games coming free as an addon) rarely even comes close to the price of even the lowest spec PC you could assemble.

So unless you really, absolutely need HDMI (I'm no movie enthusiast, the only thing I'd want is History Channel HD, and only because it's available, it's not like I need that HD to enjoy HC), what's the reason not to go for an XBox for your TV needs?

Re:Other Platforms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32375562)

Did you check lately what those DVI to HDMI cables cost?

...$3.24 from Monoprice?

Re:Other Platforms (1)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375760)

Did you check lately what those DVI to HDMI cables cost?

What about $4? The Xbox is still a great option for a HTPC; however, if you want HD content you are extremely limited in what it can do. If HD isn't important to you then stick with what you have. But many PCs are now coming with HDMI connectors built-in and it's only a few bucks to but a cable or adapter to go from DVI-HDMI if you needed to.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10231&cs_id=1023104&p_id=2404&seq=1&format=2 [monoprice.com]

Re:Other Platforms (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375314)

It might not work especially well with a mouse - but it works very well with a remote control.

Connect a remote control, and a large monitor/HDTV, and it's one of the best media centre interfaces out there.

Re:Other Platforms (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375450)

"but the whole design in my opinion does not work well at all for high res mouse environments."
Um that's the exact point.

It's designed for people who are building HTPCs, connecting them to a TV, and controlling them with a remote control.

The idea is that if you have to touch a mouse or keyboard (assumption: properly configured remote control is attached to the system), the XBMC developers have failed in their UI design.

TV Support = real media center (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32374830)

Perhaps now XBOXs aren't supported, they could put in support for Live TV? XBMC is awesome, but pretty useless as a 'media center' without live tv support.

Re:TV Support = real media center (1)

pumkinut (462268) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374924)

There are SVN branches that offer front end support to different live TV backends. MythTV is a viable backend with XBMC.

Xbox still great! (1)

orateam (861461) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374918)

We own a highend PC gaming rig, 2 xbox 360's, PS3, 2 Wii's, dreamcast, psp, and of course the XBOX. The XBOX along with it's XBMC is still our most coveted machine. I once rented it out to a nightclub on weekends for a commission that got me $300 a weekend. With its slick OS and ability to store games galore on it, it was meant to be the future and it was. It still is the only gaming rig that allows me to use CDX to emulate any older console (ninento, sega genesis, etc) and Mame for arcade games of yesteryear. No other machine has this ability. I don't see why it's no longer supported. With PS3 removing support for Linux distros, this is it. KEEP XBOX support alive.

Re:Xbox still great! (2, Informative)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375070)

Wii has emulators for every older console available for it, and the classic controller is closer to those older controllers than an xbox-controller.

Or an ION nettop (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375376)

It still is the only gaming rig that allows me to use CDX to emulate any older console (ninento, sega genesis, etc) and Mame for arcade games of yesteryear.

How do you dump your NES, Sega Genesis, and Super NES carts to put them on your emulator rig? I know the Retrode works with Sega Genesis and Super NES carts, but it's fairly new, and it doesn't work with NES games.

No other machine has this ability.

Not even an ION nettop such as Acer Aspire Revo? The HDMI and VGA outputs work with any HDTV, and the VGA out also works with SDTVs through a $30 adapter cable [sewelldirect.com] .

Great move by the XBMC team (Still a little sad) (4, Interesting)

AZURERAZOR (472031) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374984)

As a XBMC user on the old Xbox platform, I would like to say thank you to all the code monkeys out there who made that old junky hardware viable for nearly ten years even though it was not the purpose design for the hardware.

I see this as a great move for the project to disregard the limitations of the original hardware as they revitalize the project to better compete with some of the other Media Center software that has started looking more attractive in the last 2 years.

Good by Xbox, you had a good run!

XBMC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32375106)

Is that some kind of cross between XKCD and SMBC?

Still happily run mine (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375122)

My XBMC original Xbox setup happily powers my 32" LCD just fine and wirelessly streams media (bridged wireless router) through my house from my server. Serves up all the old game systems and games, and even some cool streaming from the Internet via a few apps. I wish it had Netflix or Hulu, but oh well, once something comes out that rivals it full and for a low enough price I'll switch, but for now it just keeps chugging along fine.

Hoping new ventures pick it up and run with it.

What a great run (1)

The Yuckinator (898499) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375268)

Congratulations and a big THANK YOU to everyone who has ever had a part in making XBMC possible.

I have had hours of fun building, breaking and rebuilding my xbox. In fact I don't think I've spent even 1% of the time playing games on it than I have using XBMC in various capacities. Whether trying out new scripts and plugins or just generally screwing around and customizing things, it has provided me with an awful lot of enjoyment.

It also makes a great present for a friend since used Xboxes are only about $25. Come to think of it, I've got one modded and booting to XBMC just sitting in the trunk of my car. I should probably take that out of there.

I'll look to some of the suggestions in this thread for my next-gen XBMC machine. I've tried to use a PS3 as a media centre. I just didn't like it, probably because I'm so used to XBMC.

THANKS XBMC

It's been flagging for a while (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32375506)

It's gotten to the point where it's hard to play video streams, because the Xbox just can't handle the bitrate. If they had CUDA they could do video decoding partially on the GPU, but since they don't they can only use the GPU for pretty visual effects (and they do.) Consequently the Xbox is on its way out as a platform for playing media. I'm going to replace mine with a Phenom II X3 720 because that's what's in my desktop system and AMD was good enough to stick with one socket for a while, meaning that I can actually upgrade my CPU (and double my cores!) So the old one will get kicked down to the task of playing video, probably on a Zotac Mini-ITX board with nVidia 6100 graphics — which is to say, it supports VDPAU and CUDA :)

xbox 4 lyfe, yo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32376050)

Posting as AC, considering...

Got a v1.0 black xbox (c. 2001) and a v1.4 green Halo xbox (c. 2004). Both have 120GB HDDs, Xenium ICE modchips, and are loaded with old games - Atari, NES, SNES, Genesis, N64, Playstation, you name it. I've played through everything from The Legend of Zelda (NES) to Final Fantasy VII (PSX) and many in between! And of course, they still play xbox games too.

Besides the retro gaming potential (yes you can play NBA Jam with four players), they also stream TV shows and movies across the network w/o having to unpack any multi-part compression.

Both xboxii are still running fine after years of abuse, including 6 years getting kicked around in college, and I have absolutely no intention of giving them up!

Not normally such a MSFT fan, but the XBOX was quite possibly the best thing Microsoft has ever done or will ever do.

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