Eric M Boyd's Art, Portfolio, Projects, and Ramblings.

XBOX v.1 Mod – XBMC (Part 3)

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 (thumbnails, cover art, and fanart), cast, directors and much more. The ability to have this information at your fingertips is quite nice and the way it is displayed by your skin adds a little depth and elegance to your over all browsing pleasure.

One last thing to consider that I ran into when choosing my skin is your TV. In my bedroom is a new 32” LCD HDTV and in the living room is a really old 32” CRT TV. When you choose your skin you will find a huge difference in the viewing between the two. The old living room TV is blurry and harder to read fine text, while my 1080i HDTV with HDXBOX connector looks smooth and crisp. This is a problem for my favorite skin. So you will have to play around with the settings and may even compromise on what you are looking for from your Media Center.

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