The Future Media Center:
What does the future hold? Now that my XBOX v.1 and XBMC project is complete and working, I have to wonder what the future holds. Ultimately I know my XBOX v.1 are going to last a few years and although they do work great it is still virtually obsolete hardware. With all the new HD Video out and HDTV being the norm for most households, what will be the alternative to using the XBOX for a media center? Looking to the future, you will find that the next logical jump would be to a future of HD HTPC’s. There are many small HTPC type machines currently on the market, and although most can be used as a media center. These machines do not all offer what the XBOX v.1 offers with the MS DVD Kit. On the horizon there are manufactures that are focusing their efforts to bring Continue reading →
PlayOn Media Stream – XBMC Media Center:
Well after a few weeks of having my new XBOX XBMC setups running in both rooms, I decided to check into some scripts and plugins that are available for the Media Center. What I found were some streaming scripts for different web sites and services like Apple Trailers and Music Stations. Although some of these scripts work some of the time and offer more features to what is already an amazing media center, I felt they fell short of what I would want out of them.
So on the verge of settling with what I was sure will be a waist of my time and efforts, I found a website that claimed it could stream services such as Netflix Instant Que, Hulu and Youtube video to some modern game systems like XBOX360 and the Wii. At first I thought I was going to get discouraged when I realized they are using UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) protocol to stream these services to those modern systems. Well wouldn’t you know, XBMC has Continue reading →
The problem with the XBOX V.1 hardware is, unlike the newer game systems of today, ie. Nintendo Wii and PS3 the original XBOX has one major setback; it did not come with WiFi (wireless Connection). What does this mean? Well for me it meant my idea of having an XBOX in my bedroom and the living room would work, but I prefer them to be on my home network. Makes for easier access and for streaming is a necessity. Also this allows the XBOX Internet access, which can be beneficial. Well, so how to resolve this? Wiring the house for network is out, the attic is way to small. In the living room this is not a problem as the entertainment center is where the wireless router is located. My bedroom however is an issue; well after the purchase of my wireless N router I had an extra WiFi router lying around. After much research I cam across this amazing tech from an open source community who specialize in updating cheap routers to do what more expensive router can do. DD-WRT as it is, is a Continue reading →
XBMC Skins and Display:
Once my XBOX was Modded, XBMC was installed and running quite nicely it was time to spruce it up with all that is has to offer. One of the greatest things about XBMC is its ability to be skinned (To change its appearance and functionality). This is such a nice over the top ability that you will want to try. Don’t get me wrong the base Skin is completely great and functional, but its nice to choose the skin that suites your needs or preferences.
To fully utilize the skins though you need to take an additional step and setup your library. The library allows you to set content for your sources i.e. TV Shows, Movies, and Music. When you set the content for these sources you have a list of Scrapers (Online Database Lookups) to choose from. What do these scrapers do? They allow XBMC to import information about your content from the Internet; such information consists of descriptions of a movie or TV show, images Continue reading →
What to do with a newly modded XBOX? Enjoy endless entertainment! Really lets remember first and for most what an XBOX is, it’s a gaming system, that in it self brings entertainment to kids and adults of all ages. Now that your system is modded you can play XBOX backups either from a game disc or from the hard drive (faster load times). It doesn’t stop there; you can also install multiple gaming platform emulators like Atari, NES, SNES, NEO GEO, Capcom Arcade CS1 and CS2, and many more. These emulators allow you to play ROM’s (Read Only Memory). These ROM’s are game dumps from the original cartridge or arcade machines; basically this gives you retro game play goodness all in one system. Before I stated I was not a huge gamer and this is true, however I do love the nostalgia of being able to revisit my youth with these retro games (SNES Super PunchOut, Streetfighter 2, and 2d fighting games are among my favorites).
Now that we got the gaming aspect out of the way lets move on to where the modded XBOX really shines! With XBMC installed Continue reading →
In 2003 I finally broke down and purchased an XBOX v.1, but it was not because I was a huge gamer in anyway. It was because I wanted to Hard Mod my XBOX to use it as the best available media player at the time. While my soldering skills were still in their infancy I was surprised when I pressed the power button to see that beautiful smartxx boot screen, it worked! Jump ahead to 2010, it has now been 7 years and my XBOX has served me well for seven years. After countless hours of media playback and replacing the power supply once, my XBOX finally called it quits. So what to do? Continue reading →