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The XBox as the Home Entertainment Media Hub

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the stuff-to-think-about dept.

Hardware 217

bigcitymike writes "Well it might be vaporware, but it appears Dreamix is trying to turn the Xbox into a PVR with a TV guide like scheduler. They also state PC as well as Mac/Linux support down the road. " Project Dreamix will turn the Microsoft Xbox into the ultimate home entertainment center." I presume it requires a mod-chip installed." The xbox media player really goes a long way towards this goal already. MSFT may not be the friendliest of companies, but for $200, the x-box makes a helluva stereo component.

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217 comments

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How do you know it's Sunday on /.? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113033)

There's an xbox article on the front page! LOL! FP!

Not Likely (5, Insightful)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113037)

You can bet that if Dreamix can introduce Mac/Linux support for the XBox that microsoft will find a way to break that support--either through software or lawyers

.

Re:Not Likely (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113112)

?????????
what?

as i understand they plan to port THEIR software to mac/linux.

NOT making xbox capable of running Mac stuff, linux you can already run on it if you've modchipped yours..

as beyond the corner linux support for xbox.. the first multiplayerwrapper(through internet) softwares for xbox were for linux..

Re:Not Likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113260)

Oops... wrong issue there.

It's *their* software to support XBox, Linux and Mac. Not to get Linux/Mac support for the XBox.

Yeah, but let's not forget (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113038)

The people that tried to turn the Gameboy into a PDA.

Body of the article (4, Informative)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113042)

For when it gets slashdotted...

Overview

Project Dreamix will turn the Microsoft Xbox into the ultimate home entertainment center. Right now we are in the alpha phase of course, but below is what we plan to complete before Beta release: -

* PVR Features (Scheduled recording, fast forward, rewind, pause Live TV)
* Video Playback (Based on Linux MPlayer - all popular file formats)
* Audio/Music Playback (Based on Linux MPlayer - all popular file formats)
* Image Viewer (Slideshow + Photo album)
* Setup Menu (All configuration will be done with the Xbox controller and/or DVD Remote with the use of a graphical keypad)

Although Dreamix will be based on Debian Xbox-Linux, all necessary libraries will be included in the distribution of the CD image and will auto-excecute upon being inserted into the Xbox DVD drive. This will allow for a friendly install by the average user.

Note: There will be a need to purchase a hardware add-on for video input since the Xbox gaming console does not currently have video inputs etc.

Why Dreamix?

"For a very long time, I had been developing software called VWare, 2 years ago the project was going well but found myself losing interest, and not having enough time. Now with the Xbox supplying the hardware power needed to take my old VWare project into a new realm, the Dreamix team had the idea, why not Personal Video Recording on Xbox? Ill be honest, I can not stand Tivos, ReplayTVs,Dish Network, DirecTV TV guide systems, menus and what not. I am a very picky person who wants my entertainment and system to give me a feel of power, worth my money. I have spent too many years watching the industry do things wrong and only 'hoping' more would be added. They are slowly getting there but I am personally tired of waiting and the impatient person I am, I am going to do it myself." - Lenn0x

Re:Body of the article (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113061)

Warning!!! Karmawhore!

Its bloody on Sourceforge.

And the probability of it gettins Slashdotted is so damn freakin' remote.

Karmawhore... TROLL

~r13_zrgyva

Re:Body of the article (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113091)

I'm not too terribly worried about my Karma right now. I've got extra to burn. You want to mod me down, that's fine. I'll even post at +1 so I can take a massive Karma hit.

There's more to life and /. than Karma.

Re:Body of the article (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113143)

That does not change the fact that you whored.

Re:Body of the article (0, Flamebait)

cioxx (456323) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113185)

Who cares.

Get a life.

Re:Body of the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113216)

I just can't believe you are stupid enough to think that sourceforge might get slashdotted. You must be from under some kind of rock.

xbox (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113045)

now, we all know ps2 is better.

This is good work (2, Troll)

I Am The Owl (531076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113047)

I'm glad to see those in the Open Source community finally accepting the superiority of not reinventing the wheel and have decided to build their creation on top of existing hardware. Finally, instead of fighting them, we can help out our brothers at Microsoft by boosting Xbox sales and adding value to them.

We are all geeks. It's about time we started sticking together.

Re:This is good work (1)

jcoy42 (412359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113106)

I'm glad to see those in the Open Source community finally accepting the superiority of not reinventing the wheel ...
That's the whole idea behind open software- not having to re-invent the wheel.

With open source, you can just grab code from something else to add your functionality.

As far as this helping Microsoft, the Xbox itself is a lost-leader for their games. They lose money on every sale but hope to make it back via game purchases.

Re:This is good work (1)

SamBeckett (96685) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113120)

Uh... right. Pass the bong man, it's 4:20

Re:This is good work (2, Insightful)

rasteri (634956) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113204)

Finally, instead of fighting them, we can help out our brothers at Microsoft by boosting Xbox sales and adding value to them.


Actually, buy purchasing an Xbox and using 3rd-party software on it, you're helping Microsoft lose money. They actually make a loss on every Xbox sale.

Personally, I'm all for the idea. As I see it, the more money Microsoft loses due to the Xbox, the less money they have to pay their lawyers with. It's been said that Microsoft could just walk through the GPL if it were ever to become a serious threat to them.

Are you that *stupid*? (1, Insightful)

I Am The Owl (531076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113346)

Every XBox you buy is helping Microsoft partially recover their losses incurred by manufacturing and development. Did it not occur to you that you are paying Microsoft money for the privilege of using an XBox? Or do you just shoplift them from Best Buy?

Re:This is good work (2, Insightful)

Lours (624561) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113405)

Actually, by purchasing an Xbox and using 3rd-party software on it, you're helping Microsoft lose money. They actually make a loss on every Xbox sale.




I'll second that and i'll add that all Linux open sourced initiatives to become available on the XBox are a real chance for every open-source-geek here to have Microsoft actually shoot itself in the foot.


Every single Xbox sold costs money to MS since they are hoping to gain money thanks to the license fee publishers have to pay for each copy of a game they build (not even sell !).


With Linux on the XBox and all open sourced alternatives to products that MS actually intends to bring to the machine we get a real chance to make the masses aware of Linux as a home-and-family-friendly tool with the added benefit of using money brought by Microsoft itself.


We have this unique chance that Microsoft by losing money on each XBox sale is actually sponsoring heavily the open source movement. We shall not let this chance pass !


Just imagine how many uses there could be for this very low cost machine : from educational ones, to fun ones (such as the PVR, mp3 player), to humanitarian ones (bring cheap computing internet able platforms to developing countries).


All this sponsored by Microsoft itself !

We won't have another chance so if you can code and know linux, do not hesitate and buy an XBox. This might be THE occasion to give MS a serious lesson.

Lours

Re:This is good work (1)

17028 (122384) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113428)

Every Xbox sold, whether it is used for gaming or not, increases Microsofts perceived market share in the console market. They're using those numbers to convince developers to make games for their console. I think that they'd love for you to buy their units and make them into toasters, or whatever.

My God! (2, Informative)

Omkar (618823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113049)

That hideous thing barely fits in my living room! Not that it lives there, of course - my trusty GC sits next to the TV.

XBox as a media hub? That's MS's stated goal. And they're being thwomped by everyone worldwide (although they compete with Nintendo in the US and Europe, they're outsold by PS1 in Japan).

Re:My God! (1)

pummer (637413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113065)

i'd bet money that original playstation outsold XBox in terms of total sales in the US, too. Not in the last year, mind you, but overall.

Re:My God! (1)

devleopard (317515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113078)

And there's a good chance that overall the NES or the SNES outsold the PS 1.

Well, obviously.. (1)

fadeaway (531137) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113487)

The Xbox has been out for what, 2 or 3 years? The PSX (most sucessful console EVER) has been out for almost 10 years.

If I recall, the PSX has sold around 80 million units worldwide. That's more than the Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube combined.

Re:My God! (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113080)

Yes, that is MS's goal (to have the Xbox as a media hub), but it's also their goal to control it entirely. 3rd party development is exactly what is needed to keep information free.
If you want a product that doesn't judge you ala TiVo, lets you skip commercials, lets you record what you want when you want, for as long as you want, then don't trust the corporations.
You could always recase an Xbox if you don't like the look of it, want to add more storage, etc.

The fact is, the damned thing is cheap, it's easy to work with, and you don't have to learn an entirely different architecture.

Re:My God! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113515)

"That hideous thing barely fits in my living room! Not that it lives there, of course - my trusty GC sits next to the TV."

Talk about exaggeration... What the fuck is with you "style-over-functionality" people? It's always the same group too. They own Gamecubes, Apple computers, Volkswagons, Schwinn bicycles, tight black turtleneck sweaters, and ponytails.

"Fuck what it can do! It LOOKS good, doesn't it!"

Private Beta release link.. (2, Informative)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113054)

A little more Karma Whoring [sourceforge.net]
Their beta signup form.

Re:Private Beta release link.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113123)

Sheesh!!!! People can read the darn thing and click on the link if they want to.

Slashdot is teeming with morons of the likes of you lately...

If you can say something nice and useful, or insightful, say. Else shut up.

If and when the site is Slashdotted, people will post the mirrors.

Duh!

Sad state of Slashdot I should say. Still worse is that fact that some moderator on crack will mod this shit up.

~r13_zrgyva

Re:Private Beta release link.. (1)

pummer (637413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113138)

From the beta page:Will you donate money to be beta tester?

In a word? No. Good idea by the developers to make some side change though.

I smell a cease and desist order coming... (1, Flamebait)

devleopard (317515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113058)

MSFT wants to make the XBox the home hub, but this company is trying to beat them to it, via a hack. I can't see that lasting very long. And I won't begrudge Microsoft either - hobbyist, free projects are one thing, but when you try to profit off of it, that's completely different.

Re:I smell a cease and desist order coming... (1)

devleopard (317515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113068)

Ok, I'm a dumbass - it is open source, wasn't paying attention.

Re:I smell a cease and desist order coming... (1)

Alex_Ionescu (199153) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113198)

Not 100% dumbass. They plan to sell a hardware video-in adapter for under 100$. Therefore, to get the Media Hub working, you'd need to buy that, and the company will profit. Besides, open-source doesn't mean free. They could decide to charge for the software, and make more profit.

Can You Hear That? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113063)

Off in the distance, steadily growing stronger...
It's the drums of war bitches. The U.S. is about to open up a HUGE can of whup-ass on Iraq, hippy human shields be damned. That much everyone can see. Next comes North Korea, then Iran, then??? Get on the bus or be under it. Euro-trash, I leave the choice with you.

WHAT MAKES THE GRASS GROW GREENER?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113116)

BLOOD!

I enjoyed the peace protests yesterday (0, Funny)

PedoPeteTownshend (641098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113172)

All the bleeding heart idiots with nothing better to do than complain about something left their 24-hour witch-hunt vigil outside my mansion in order to attend.

I celebrated the peace and quiet by downloading another batch of lolita cumshots, to which I wanked myself silly.

It's great being a rockstar. Not only does CmdrTaco think I'm a god, but I can get away with abusing children and everything.

Unfortunately (4, Informative)

glrotate (300695) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113064)

Easybuy2000 [easybuy2000.com] , the exclusive distributor of the MAtrix no-solder modchip got busted a few days ago. That will be a major stumbling block for people trying to mod their Xboxen.

Re:Unfortunately (3, Insightful)

pummer (637413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113101)

then why is their site still up and running? in fact, here [easybuy2000.com] is the link for the modchip.

Why they're up. (1)

glrotate (300695) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113124)

Probably to take the money from dupes. Take a look here [help-forums.com] . It's their customer support forum. They disappeared off the face of the earth on the 15th. They stopped answering phones and email even to major wholesalers.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113104)

It's by far the crappiest modchip - everyone's better off asking someone who can solder to install one of the others instead.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

anonymous loser (58627) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113303)

Uh, what's wrong with it? I had no trouble installing one. The only problems I had modding my xbox involved the DVD-ROM being picky as to which discs it would take.

Re:Unfortunately (2, Informative)

Troed (102527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113378)

pogo-pins aren't meant for long-term use. Solder "crawls" over time, and you _will_ get the red/green-flashing problem and then you'll have to re-align your Matrix. Again, and again, and again.


All that, while the chip is really a $4 cheapmod. You'd been a lot better of buying one of those and solder it in.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

pummer (637413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113177)

you can get the Matrix modchip here [the-console-corner.com]

No you can't. (2, Informative)

glrotate (300695) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113180)

Their site says their backordered. Easybuy was the EXCLUSIVE distributor. Everyone else bought from them.

Re:No you can't. (1)

pummer (637413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113215)

they're shipping in 2 days. that's not much of a backorder

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Alex_Ionescu (199153) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113188)

Who buys Matrix anyways? It's such a piece of ****. Get an Xecutor2 Pro, or Lite, with the pogopin adapter, if you don't wanna solder.

PVR ability? (5, Insightful)

fuchikoma (144790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113071)

I assume that also besides a modchip, you'll also need some sort of nonexistant video capture hardware. Last I checked, the xbox didn't come with S-VIDEO inputs...

Re:PVR ability? (-1, Troll)

PedoPeteTownshend (641098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113184)

I recommend the LMLM4 video capture board from Linux Media Labs [linuxmedialabs.com] . With this board, I was able to archive my extensive collection of hardcore pre-teen arse raping video tapes onto the computer, so I could share them with my good friends Matthew Kelly, Ken Russell and Roger. We all enjoyed them immensely.

Re:PVR ability? (3, Informative)

neonstz (79215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113411)

Someone is (or was) working on PVR support for XBox Mediaplayer [xboxmediaplayer.de] using the WinTV PVR USB [hauppauge.com] . The X-Box got 4 USB inputs (controller ports), so using one of them for this device shouldn't be a problem.

hmmmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113074)

not to bring down this project, as I think the PVR is an excellent idea with the XBox's capabilities, Sony already has linux [playstation.com] for the PS2.

Re:hmmmm (0)

computechnica (171054) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113288)

There is already a cool media player for the PS2 called the Qcast tuner [broadq.com] . I beta tested this program and could do everthing but record TV. I have a all-in-wonder in my linux media server that takes care of that. The server software they wrote works on Linux/Mac/Win. It can play MPEG-1,2,4 and DivX 3.11-5 video. Also plays MP-3 and Ogg audio (no WMA, what a pity). Works with Cat 5 and 802.11 a,b,g. It also plays audio through the S/PDIF port on the PS2. It rocks

How could this work? (4, Informative)

I Am The Owl (531076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113076)

Doesn't the XBox only come with something like a 10GB hard drive? How in the world would that work out for PVRs? Last I checked, you needed a serious amount of storage space in order to make a decent PVR (along the lines of 60 to 80GB). Also, apparently, you are required to purchase seperate hardware and add it in somehow in order to get video input.

Wouldn't a TiVO or Replay TV be much cheaper than this? Not just adding in hardware costs, but all the time required to get all this working. It seems to me that the XBox just wasn't designed for this kind of usage.

Re:How could this work? (2, Informative)

Troed (102527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113119)

The Xbox takes standard 3.5" IDE drives, and replacing the built in drive takes about a minute or so, and can be done by anyone with a Torx 20 + 15 + 10 screwdriver.


120Gb works just nicely.

Re:How could this work? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113156)

So if I buy a mod chip and a new drive, then void my warranty I can have a TIVO. Would it not just be cheaper to buy the tivo?

Re:How could this work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113221)

Yes of course. This is just another example of people getting dumber.

Re:How could this work? (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113278)

Here's a clue - there are other countries in the world besides USA, Iraq and BinLaden-Land.


Last time I checked, there were loads of countries with no TIVOs available.

That's not the point (2, Insightful)

lpret (570480) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113284)

The point is that you can do so many other things as well. You can not only do Tivo-esque functions, you can:
  • Play mp3s/ogg (perfect for a party -- no need to have a computer hooked up or burn a CD)
  • Play Divx (again, parties)
  • Streaming audio (setup a playlist from another box, or stream internet radio)
  • DVD playback
  • And the ability to rip all of these.

For all of these features, the xBox is a pretty small and handy way to do all this. Just try and build a PC about the same size for 400 dollars w/ a remote, etc. that's why this is pretty cool

Re:How could this work? (1)

martyn s (444964) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113164)

That's not true, it's bullshit. The hard drives in the xbox have a special chip that identifies itself as an xbox drive. Maybe you can hack a regular hard drive to make it seem like an xbox drive, but it's not as simple as just installing a new drive.

Re:How could this work? (2, Interesting)

Alex_Ionescu (199153) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113183)

Yes it's true, it's not bullshit.
The XBOX Hard drives don't have any "special chip". They just have different partitioning and use an HDD Key. As long as you have a modchip (which you probably do, if you want to run Dreamix, you can easily install your 120GB drive, format it to FATX, write the key to it, and reboot the XBOX. All new modchips support this.

Re:How could this work? (1)

martyn s (444964) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113205)

Very cool, I didn't know that. Thanks.

Re:How could this work? (1)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113452)

You don't even have to write the key to it, asssuming you never plan to boot the original MS BIOS. I never re-locked the 120GB in my hacked XBox.

where? (3, Interesting)

pummer (637413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113082)

Note: There will be a need to purchase a hardware add-on for video input since the Xbox gaming console does not currently have video inputs etc.

Where is one supposed to get this add-on?

Re:where? (1)

Asriel86 (547129) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113105)

They sell it

Re:where? (1)

SpectreGadget (465507) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113335)

Note: There will be a need to purchase a hardware add-on for video input since the Xbox gaming console does not currently have video inputs etc.

Where is one supposed to get this add-on?


And where is it going to go inside?

I'm waiting for... (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113084)

XBox the Office Edition

Just think, all that untapped market of people playing games at their desks...

Might work (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113088)

I know some of the people who are working on the Dreamix, one person is doing the graphics (they look awesome) and another is doing some of the coding (he's a little prodigy). You dont need a mod chip, they're going to be selling a piece of hardware (less than $100) that connects to the box via ethernet. Cable plugs into the small box, is encoded into mpeg2 in real time, and send to the xbox. The software will be free to download and burn. Because the hardware is ethernet-based, it could be used for a PC.. but there just isnt software. Also, they're using linux and under the GPL microsoft can't toucht them, especialy since the software is free.

Re:Might work (2, Informative)

Troed (102527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113132)

Complete rubbish - you need software running on the Xbox and for that software to run you need a modchip.

Re:Might work (1)

pummer (637413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113133)

so it's not really free, you're gonna have to pay for the hardware. I think this is a great idea, so let's just say the hardware's gonna be $79. Combined with the price of the XBox, that's $279. Still cheaper than most PVRs, but the drawbacks are that you're gonna have to fiddle, and the space is limited, and how is it going to get the TV guides without paying?

I dunno... (5, Interesting)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113092)

I don't know about this... One of the reasons for buying a PVR is the simplicity; tell it to record your shows, then pay it no attention 'til you want to watch.

What happens when I come back one night, sit down and get ready to watch the episode of Enterprise I missed... When I discover I forgot to put the Dreamix boot CD back in, and instead turned it off after playing MLB Slugfest last night?

I suppose it might be a good way to recycle the Xbox after one's moved on to newer and better consoles, but I think I'd prefer a dedicated PVR box.

Re:I dunno... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113099)

the software installs onto the hardware and auto-runs on startup. You dont need to re-use the cd.

Re:I dunno... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113244)

You don't get it. This isn't something that's meant to be useful to a lot of people. It's just to boost a couple of dude's status in the "scene". Then after they get this project somewhere halfway workable they'll abandon it and get a job or something. Of course this won't be something you and I will ever use.

uh.. why? (5, Insightful)

NinjaPaul (224411) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113110)

Let's see.. Xbox has an 8 gig HD and no mpeg encoder or video inputs.. You won't be able to use Xbox Live on a modded machine, and for the cost of doing all the modifications you can probably get a Tivo for less money.


This is just another stupid idea, next please.

Re:uh.. why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113157)

word

Re:uh.. why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113162)

Spoken like a tivo bigot.

Hey, if you prefer to pay $15 a month in fees just for the guide, and can live with tivo's offensive advertising, go for it.

But for the rest of us, we want something that does what we want, rather than something that does what tivo corporation wants.

Re:uh.. why? (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113243)

Except for people outside the US who cannot use the TiVo service (or actually buy a TiVo).

-- iCEBaLM

Re:uh.. why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113420)

actually, the xbox has a 10 GB HD... however, most people will install a larger one after they've installed a modchip

oh.. did i mention it was one of the 3 gen modcips which allows you to turn the chip "on" or "off"... thus allowing you to use xbox live

wheeeee!

Re:uh.. why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113577)

Who gives a shit about XBox Live.. I played online games for about 6 months and came to the conclusion that they all suck. The people out there are complete assholes because they realise that they can do things to others with no reprocussions.

If you're new at the game, people swear at you because "you suck" and you're hurting their elite stats they've racked up if you're on their team.

If you're really good at the game, people swear at you and call you a cheater.

It's an exercise in frustration. The only good multiplayer games are the ones where someone sits down beside you and picks up a second controller. That way if they're being an ass, you can reach over and punch them in the head.

For me, video games will always be a single player experience over anything.

The legally good thing (4, Interesting)

The Creator (4611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113125)

Now there is a legitimate use for mod-chips, it should in theory be impossible to shut down mod-chip vendors. But that is theoty...

Considering you can get a Tivo 60hr for $150 now (1)

Fubar411 (562908) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113151)

Even after the $250 lifetime you're still price competative. Looks like we're getting into the free razor, sell the blades business model.

No you can't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113160)

What planet are you living on? 60 hour Tivos are still $350 - $50 rebate everywhere short of the uber-rare sales where you can find them for $300.

That's unpossible! (1)

rtphokie (518490) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113169)

It's not Linux based.

Re:That's unpossible! (1)

outofpaper (189404) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113389)

Are you a moron it's based on Debian.

Progressive Output? (1)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113174)

Right now the Xbox can do 480p for games, but not for DVD output. Are these modifications capable of changing this?

I'd imagine anyone into this enough to want one of these takes their electronics rather seriously and wouldn't actually use it. I know I wouldn't use it as quality wise it isn't on par with what I'd have (nor what I'd want if I didn't already have it).

Though there's certainly a coolness factor on par with see-through Case windows that have never been seen by anyone but the case owner.

My complaint about MSFT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113201)

Rather than engage in a point-by-point response to the textual interpretation of MSFT's arguments, I want to respond to the more general issue at hand. You see, I surely believe that evidence exists to suggest that MSFT is not just ignorant, but proud of it. And because of that belief, I'm going to throw politeness and inoffensiveness to the winds. In this letter, I'm going to be as rude and crude as I know how, to reinforce the point that every time MSFT gets caught trying to add insult to injury, it promises it'll never do so again. Subsequently, its foot soldiers always jump in and explain that it really shouldn't be blamed even if it does, because, as they claim, the Queen of England heads up the international drug cartel. I myself must point out that if I want to fall into the trap of thinking that all major world powers are controlled by a covert group of "insiders", that should be my prerogative. I don't need MSFT forcing me to. Before long, MSFT's poison will infect us, sicken us, and destroy us for a variety of reasons. For instance, only through education can individuals gain the independent tools they need to create greater public understanding of the damage caused by MSFT's whinges. But the first step is to acknowledge that I want to thank it for its communications. They give me an excellent opportunity to illustrate just how raucous MSFT can be.

I have a problem with MSFT's use of the phrase, "We all know that...". With this phrase, it doesn't need to prove its claim that trees cause more pollution than automobiles do; it merely accepts it as fact. To put it another way, its ballyhoos are not pedantic treatises expressing theories or extravaganzas dealing in fables or fancies. They are substantial, sober outpourings from the very soul of irrationalism. However much MSFT may deny it, if it would abandon its name-calling and false dichotomies, it would be much easier for me to embrace the cause of self-determination and recognize the leading role and clearer understanding of those people for whom the quintessential struggle is an encompassing liberation movement against the totality of larrikinism.

When one examines the ramifications of letting MSFT foment crazy forms of political tyranny, one finds a preponderance of evidence leading to the conclusion that it is addicted to the feeling of power, to the idea of controlling people. Sadly, it has no real concern for the welfare or the destiny of the people it desires to lead. Some gruesome Neanderthals actually suspect that the ideas of "freedom" and "separatism" are Siamese twins. This is the kind of muddled thinking that MSFT is encouraging with its credos. Even worse, all those who raise their voice against this brainwashing campaign are denounced as predaceous, dishonest punks. You might not care that I find MSFT's failed attempts to exploit other cultures for self-entertainment mildly amusing, but you'd better start caring if you don't want MSFT to squeeze every last drop of blood from our overworked, overtaxed bodies. I'm sticking out my neck a bit in talking about MSFT's sound bites. It's quite likely it will try to retaliate against me for my telling you that you, of course, now need some hard evidence that words fail me in describing my pure distaste for its principles and stingy, illiterate deeds. Well, how about this for evidence: I want to speak in the strongest possible terms against MSFT's expositions. But the problems with MSFT's rantings don't end there. A careful appraisal of MSFT's histrionics raises some thought-provoking issues. Which brings me to my next criticism of MSFT. To summarize my views: Much of our nation's history stands as shameful testament to the danger inherent in allowing MSFT to sully a profession that's already held in low esteem.

Re:My complaint about MSFT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113403)

You don't get out much do you?

Why Xbox? (1)

dusanv (256645) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113226)

What is the obsession with the Xbox? Yes, it's cheap but:

1.) DRM enabled, requieres a mod chip. MS can change it at their whim. They'll be trying to hit a moving target technologically (& legally maybe - DMCA???).
2.) Small disk.
3.) Ugly as hell. I don't want that brick in my living room.
4.) I don't feel like supporting MS until they change their anti-consumer ways.

The idea is great and I can't wait until they release a Linux/Mac version. Will it require a Radeon AIW or something?

Re:Why Xbox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113617)

News for ya pal, ALL of the consoles that use a disc for the media require some sort of mod chip. Yep, even the good old Sega CD had region encoding (you could change this through modifying the ISO image and reburning it, but still it's there).

But the XBox is the best suited out of any system to do something like this:

PS2? No hard drive, very little RAM.
Dreamcast? Same problem.
Gamecube? Ha. Stupid non-standard discs mean you can't even play regular DVD-Video. Plus there's the no-harddrive thing again.

Oh and the "ugly as hell" thing never jived with me as a good argument against buying something like this. I think the Gamecube looks like shit, but it wouldn't stop me from buying it (hating Nintendo would be my reason for not buying it). The XBox is the size of a VCR, should fit perfectly in any home entertainment unit.

None for me, thanks (1)

core plexus (599119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113228)

If you already have one of these Xboxes, then fine, do what you can with it. But I say why support microsoft? It's what you're doing when you buy one, or buy one of their games. When you finally get your xbox modded to your taste, microsoft will shut it down.

70 Billion Mops Needed to Clean Up Company [xnewswire.com]

DVD players (4, Insightful)

Apreche (239272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113248)

I don't know why nobody but me sees it, but DVD players are quickly becoming the key component of a "media hub". I mean we've got a shitty cheap Apex, which we cracked for PAL and region free-ness. It's got logos on it for mp3, jpeg, dts, dolby digital, it plays cds and of course dvds. That's a lot of stuff. If someone made a divx playing pvr dvd player that would be the be all end all to home entertainment. All you would need would be digital cable or sattelite, a television with digital in and out, a reciever, speakers, and one of those. Maybe a VCR or a cassette deck or turntable. That's it! Console gaming is a nice thing too, but hey. If you throw like an xbox/ps2 emulator in the box you are the winner. And as other people have stated the XboX just doesn't have the technical capabilities to be this device without some serious additions. And considering price of xbox and add-ons and the limited hard drive space, I think I'm going to get working on this right away!

Are people getting dumber or what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113254)

This makes sense how? Who would install a mod chip, install a new hard drive, and install video capture hardware, then get some arcane software setup rubbish right, just to boost the ego and, perhaps, bank accounts of a couple of delusional kids?

is XBox the way to go ? (4, Informative)

thomasvs (600635) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113270)

Personally I don't think the XBox is the way to go. Sure, it is readily available. Sure, it is cheap. Sure, Microsoft is selling them at HUGE loss.

But I really don't want to be limited by the limited hardware. In two years' time, how are you going to upgrade the box ?

I'm working on a similar project myself (A href="http://davedina.apestaart.org/">The Dave/Dina Project), which is a distribution (based on Red Hat) to turn a PC into a media hub. It works, it's in our living room, it has 200 GB of storage space (the 550 albums it has encoded to Ogg to date take about 35 GB of those), it records video [apestaart.org] (we record about 15 shows each week, all through a web interface), it plays emulator games and even Doom, it shows photos, and s on.

It isn't the prettiest thing in the world (WE NEED ARTISTS !), but it's open, you can swap out components, tinker with it, and help us improve it.

I don't want to be tied to any hardware at all, especially not Microsoft's. How long before a cease-and-desist order is issued ?

Not such a bad idea... (1)

roberri (532930) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113319)

Ignoring the fact that the XBox was created by our dear friends at MS, let's look at this a little more objectively... AFAIK, to run homebrew code your XBox needs a modchip. Unless the Dreamix guys have shelled out for the Official Xbox Dev Kit and whatever licenses they need, Dreamix will require a modchip to run. End of story. ... Not that this is the end of the world of course. There are loads of vendors of modchips, both online and indie game shops. Getting your Xbox modded is neither expensive or difficult... even if you want to get someone else to do the honors for you. One of the perks of getting your box modded (not forgetting you can play all your *ahem* backups!) is that you can install a bigger hard drive. A modded Xbox can support anything upto 137Gb (after that, extra space is ignored and the device is treated as 137Gb unit). As far as video input goes, the idea of having media piped in through the 10/100 ethernet socket isn't such a bad idea. The QCast tuner for the PS2 uses a similar idea: where media, from your pc, is streamed to the PS2, which then displays it on screen. So with that in mind, I guess it's possible. The other option would be to use a USB based video capture device, and I believe there are some already on the market. The controller ports on the XBox are just USB ports with a proprietry molding. An adapter cable is available for about 10GBP that will do the business for you. As far as cost goes, sure getting a Tivo would probably work out cheaper (and better!) unless you already had a modded Xbox. Being techies, I guess we've all got some old hard drives kicking around and new 80Gb is pretty cheap. So for the price of the video capture unit, whatever guise that comes in, I think it's a pretty good idea IMHO. Count me in! ;-)

Re:Not such a bad idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113377)

the PS2 has 2 regular USB connectors in the front. The QCast guys should use that to for video input and stream the captured video back to the server in the best conversion possible for its cpu.

Now that would be cool.

Taco you're a cow (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113325)

Taco, you're a big slobbering consumer junkie aren't you? Home Entertainment Media Hub, who makes up these words? Do you talk like that to your wife?

Just don't buy an Xbox to watch DVDs (4, Informative)

haggar (72771) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113354)

Unless you have been sleeping under a rock for the last 12 months, you would certainly know that there are DVD players of comparable quality to the Xbox, at half the price. Also, they don't require a mod-chip to play Divx, MP3, SVCD and VCD in addition to DVD.They also have less moving parts (the Xbox has two fans and a hard disk, in addition to the DVD mechanics) and is therefore more reliable and dissipates less.

Also, the DVD players available today are all multi-region enable-able through the remote. Some will even remove Macrovision with a remote hack. For the Xbox, you will need a modchip to achieve the same.

Oh, and the DVD player comes with a remote, unlike the Xbox.

I'm Brian Fellows!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113356)

I'm Brian Fellows!!
I'm not a computer programer. I only have a sixth grade education, but I like talking about computers.

Microsoft is big and it scares me. I dont like Microsoft.

I'm Brian Fellows!!

Re:I'm Brian Fellows!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113417)

I'm Steve Ballmer!!
I'm not a computer programmer. I don't have a high iq, but I like talking about computers.

Linux is free and it scares me. Linux is a cancer.

I'm Steve Ballmer!!

Re:I'm Brian Fellows!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113440)

Who is Steve Balmer?
I'm Brian Fellows!!

Umm holder right there pardner (1)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113391)

...well it might be vaporware...

Is there a working product out for all of us slashdotters to buy? Aye, no, then it's vapourware.

Now how can you spot that it is vaporware more easily, from the key points in the slashdot headling. ONE they promise mac and linux support, whoa holder right there pardner, no one promises mac and linux support before they got a product, well unless they have a team of 1000 programmers, but since they don't not REAL. TWO they make mention of hyped up buzzwords like PVR, when everyone knows there is no way for that to even be remotely possible on the size of the harrddrive. THREE, no where does it say they have MS's blessing to go further with this, know why? Two reasons, they mention macs and linux, which is like mentioning the lame of the villiage and they already have their own PVR, no not TiVO. Three it's a slashdot article that metions an X-Box, I swear MS gets more free advertising than apple sometimes. For such an Anti-MS site, there sure a whole lot of articles about them ...

I'd think MS will be making it a PVR soon enough. (1)

larryg (74117) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113479)

With the demise of UltimateTV (which I have and use...as it's still "supported" and I do like it better than the Replay/TiVO, et al units that I've seen) I'd bet that MS turns the XBox into a PVR before (and more effectively, if not cheaper) any third party groups do.

Here's to hoping tha Apple has a mo' betta unit that comes to market first. ;-)

I would like to know (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 11 years ago | (#5113522)

I have thought that at some point my xbox hd might become fragmented. Probably not an issue with just my little save game files, but using the XBOX as a TIVO, wouldn't that be a lot of data? And as such wouldn't fragmentation happen?

Xbox gangsters turn robbIE/va lairIE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5113603)

into litigatorIE xbox 'game' characters? ever since va lairIE et al got duped into some kind of stock markup scam, designed to garner billyuns for lairIE&robbIE, & frIEnds..., things have___ have not___ changed.

since the phonIE payper went pottIE, /. looks more LIEk va.msn.?net?, ticker (VAST) [trustworthycomputing.com] , than the ill eagle kingdumb's outwardly owned pourtolls.

xbox? hub? more LIEk they've got robbIE buy the knob? helping to keep our maine kids playing vdo? instead of learning anything? will it work for day-trading?
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