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post #1 of 21 Old 01-13-2010, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm thinking of getting a Xbox 360 arcade for my parents house.
The main use will be playing divx/avi's they get from British family members (think BBC TV shows).

They have an old composite TV. They also don't have highspeed.

Before you ask, I had them using my Sony PVR with DVD burner for watching DVD's and AVI's. But British avi's are 50hz and the TV plays them in black and white. My ps3 (which is out there right now) I assume outputs them at 60hz as the picture is in colour.

If someone knows of a better device play chime in. But its need 3 things, composite, to able to play DVD's, and be easy to use for non-tecnology parents.


My question is will the 360 work well for that under those conditions (no internet). I had a 360 out there before and everytime I tried to play south park it wanted to connect to the internet and redownload a codec. I'm wondering if this has changed?

I remeber hearing rumours of an xbox ORGINAL mod that made for an awesome media player. Can someone shed some light on this?


Thanks,
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-13-2010, 10:03 AM
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Have you considered a stand-alone media player, rather than an Xbox 360? It might be easier to use and would probably support more codecs/parameter variations than the Xbox 360. A number of different companies make such boxes now.
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-13-2010, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I've considered the idea but I don't know any that aren't either exlusively discless (IE the Western Digital ones) or support old tvs that are composite. That and needing one that I know will play 50hz material at 60hz.....
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-13-2010, 10:39 AM
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You'd be much better off with a media player like the WD TV or the new ASUS equivalent. I have the WD TV and it's easy to use, supports composite TVs, and supports a ton of video formats.

A 360 will need to have access to Xbox live for codec updates to play some formats.

50Hz source material won't be an issue.
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post #5 of 21 Old 01-13-2010, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion Samstag, good to know about the 360, still needing to have highsped for codecs. The WD live and the Asus (I love Asus) O!PLAYHDP-R1 both look great except for the lack of a disc drive. This is essiantal. Can USB external drive be used? Will it play retail dvd's as well?
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-13-2010, 02:28 PM
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Original Xbox and XBMC is what you are looking for, BBC, Youtube, Navi-x, movies TV shows...Games...but it does take some work, AND it will play a ton of material over a network, (off NAS, or a PC) if they have available...However, there is a lot of source material over the internet, as well as updates...I feel like I have to stay on top of it most of the time...

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post #7 of 21 Old 01-13-2010, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks that sounds good, any idea where to start on my hunt to do that?
nevermind I found a very good guide about hot swapping it, just got to find a computer a that pata/ide and I can risk
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-14-2010, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripeer View Post

Thanks for the suggestion Samstag, good to know about the 360, still needing to have highsped for codecs. The WD live and the Asus (I love Asus) O!PLAYHDP-R1 both look great except for the lack of a disc drive. This is essiantal. Can USB external drive be used? Will it play retail dvd's as well?

Yeah neither of those have built-in storage so you'll have to either stream from a PC or use a USB drive. I figured a USB drive would be the easiest solution for your parents as all they need to do is copy the videos to a thumb drive from the computer and plug it into the media player.

An old Xbox with XBMC is another good solution if you set it up to stream from the PC for them.
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post #9 of 21 Old 01-14-2010, 02:23 PM
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i'd look into the new media streamer from patriot
http://www.amazon.com/Patriot-Office.../dp/B002Q4U9PY

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post #10 of 21 Old 01-15-2010, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone......
I think the best solution in the end might to put windows 7 on my laptop that is out there, and show them how to plug it into the TV/surround and then set it so when they boot to win7 it auto goes in to media center 7, if they want to use the laptop for anything else they can use the current xp install.
That or let them keep using the ps3..... It seems to do the trick.
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post #11 of 21 Old 01-18-2010, 12:03 PM
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If you're doing it for old material that could either be on a hard drive or a CD or DVD, then an old Xbox1 would be the best. it's super easy to mod. Dirt cheap. You can probably get a system for $20-50. And XBMC is a fabulous program. has every codec in the book. Plus it's nice in an entertainment center once setup done. no setup thereafter. just plug and go. you can even use the xbox remote control for wireless control of XBMC.

I'd still be using the old box if I didn't start getting HD stuff exclusively which is too much for the PIII-733MHz to handle.

right now, I use the WD TV for all HD stuff. 360 for gaming. PS3 for gaming and BluRay (even though I'm too cheap to buy many BR stuff). I don't think either of the consoles are as good for HD stuff as a standalone player like the WD TV or Patriot or Popcorn Hour. Too finicky.

hooking a laptop is very hokey and the output is very poor compared to what the xbox1 does.
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post #12 of 21 Old 01-18-2010, 12:20 PM
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you had me until you said hooking up a laptop is hokey and poor output in comparison.


i run my laptop via hdmi for 1080p video to my lcd and it's a million times better (as far as performance/output) than my xbmc og xbox (which i still have, use, and love.)

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post #13 of 21 Old 01-18-2010, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input guys. I'd thought about doing modded xbox one, if I could find an ide computer.

I was out there on the weekend, with windows 7 on my old acer Ferrari 4005wlmi laptop. I went to hook it up via s-video and go through the motions so I could show them what to do everytime...

But my ps3 was sitting in the tv cabinet paired with a blue tooth remote and dead simple for them to use.....
They understood the GUI and it was dead simple putting the disc in and going to music or video column on (I think its called) XMB.

I ended up giving them my PS3 indefinatly...

I'm an xbox fan, but the ps3 has taken everydisc they have and played the videos like a champ.
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post #14 of 21 Old 01-18-2010, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formulanerd View Post

you had me until you said hooking up a laptop is hokey and poor output in comparison.

i run my laptop via hdmi for 1080p video to my lcd and it's a million times better (as far as performance/output) than my xbmc og xbox (which i still have, use, and love.)

he was talking about composite output. composite output on a laptop is horrible. s-video output is okay. and of course, if we're talking about hdmi, hdmi looks fabulous.

composite output (or S-video) on xbox1 is far better than any composite output (or S-video) on a laptop.
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post #15 of 21 Old 01-18-2010, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripeer View Post

Thanks for all the input guys. I'd thought about doing modded xbox one, if I could find an ide computer.

I ended up giving them my PS3 indefinatly...

I'm an xbox fan, but the ps3 has taken everydisc they have and played the videos like a champ.

you gave up your PS3??? I wouldn't give my PS3 to my first born (when I have kids eventually)!

as for finding an IDE computer, I don't see why you would need one. for my modded Xbox1 systems, I use SATA drives in all of them because the IDE drives are expensive and smaller. but I can get a SATA drive for dirt cheap. and then I went on eBay and got those $3 SATA to IDE converters. and you don't even need a PC to mod the Xbox.
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post #16 of 21 Old 01-19-2010, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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How do you use SATA in a PATA system?
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post #17 of 21 Old 01-19-2010, 04:54 PM
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there are self-contained bridge chip modules, usually with Marvell chips.

PATA from PC > converter > SATA to drive.

They go the other way, too (but a different converter). They also function without drivers.
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post #18 of 21 Old 01-20-2010, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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so if I understand this right its now possible to buy xbox, buy conveter, buy new sata drive, format sata drive in pc somehow, install in xbox?

Then rock out?!
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post #19 of 21 Old 01-20-2010, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripeer View Post

so if I understand this right its now possible to buy xbox, buy conveter, buy new sata drive, format sata drive in pc somehow, install in xbox?

Then rock out?!

Yes, but not with your **** out please.
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post #20 of 21 Old 01-20-2010, 11:45 PM
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it's not a hard process.

1) first you mod the xbox. what you basically need is a USB flash drive, one of 3 games, and a USB to Xbox adapter. the flash drive is almost any drive you have lying around so that should be free. the games are like $2 at Gamestop. The USB to Xbox adapter is like $3 on eBay. there are a number of different ways to mod the xbox so the choice is yours.
2) once the xbox is modded, then you need a $3 SATA to IDE converter and a SATA hard drive. and the software i like to use because it doesn't involve a PC is chimp v2.6. what you're going to do is make a copy of the original xbox hard drive to the new hard drive. chimp will do that. chimp is a program that runs on the xbox. the remaining size of the hard drive will be newly formatted blank space that you can dump movies, games, etc. on.

now, you're going to need to power both the original IDE, DVD-ROM, and the new SATA drives simultaneously. but there are only 2 power plugs (for the original IDE and the DVD-ROM drive). so you can either buy a power splitter so that one of those power plugs is split to 2. or you can use a PC to power it. I went cheap and didn't want to spend the buck or two and used a PC. So even though you're not really using the PC, you are using its power to power the SATA drive.

3) once the old drive is copied to the new drive. you turn everything off. replace the old drive with the new drive. close up the box and voila, you have a modded xbox with over 30X the storage capacity. you can use xbmc as a media center. you can use xbmc for karaoke cd+g stuff. you can rip all xbox1 games to the hard drive very easily.

the problem with the internet is that nothing gets filtered. so i had to dig through old guides that people later told me were outdated and the method was replaced by a newer method. i jumped into xbox1 modding very late. when the 360 was about to be released. but the newer methods are far easier than the older ones. the trick is to dig through all the history to find the latest guides.

but in the end, the most expensive part of the project is the sata hard drive itself.
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post #21 of 21 Old 01-21-2010, 05:57 AM
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Agreed...I jumped in even later...last year, I did my first mod....I had some GREAT help over at Xbox Scene...same problem, everything I had found was all outdated stuff. Once I understood what needed to be done it wasn't bad. There are some things I would do differently, and I haven't had the guts to swap drives yet, (that's next)...but I have been very happy streaming, TV, Movies, Music, Photos....
It DOES have it's limitations. It is a 733 Pentium, after all....

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