Which XBox 360 to get? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 02-09-2014, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd like to get a less expensive XBox 360 to use almost exclusively as a media center extender. To save money I'm willing to buy a used one, but I want to make sure that I end up getting one that I will be happy with. I was hoping that the price of the 360 would drop more once the XBox One came out, but it didn't plummet the way I was hoping it would. I know that there are different versions of the XBox 360, what I don't know is if any of the differences matter to me and how to tell the difference between the different versions.

Any advice on where or how to buy a used XBox 360? About how much it should cost, etc?

Are certain XBox 360s better as media center extenders than others and if so which ones?

Are certain versions of the XBox 360 not vulnerable or at least less vulnerable to the "red ring of death"?

I think I red that some of the later or maybe just the latest version of the XBox 360 is more energy efficient. Is that true? If so, what the difference in energy consumption?

Anyone want to try and talk me out of getting an XBox 360 as a media center extender and get something else instead?
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post #2 of 50 Old 02-09-2014, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rakosnik View Post

I'd like to get a less expensive XBox 360 to use almost exclusively as a media center extender. To save money I'm willing to buy a used one, but I want to make sure that I end up getting one that I will be happy with. I was hoping that the price of the 360 would drop more once the XBox One came out, but it didn't plummet the way I was hoping it would. I know that there are different versions of the XBox 360, what I don't know is if any of the differences matter to me and how to tell the difference between the different versions.

Any advice on where or how to buy a used XBox 360? About how much it should cost, etc?

Are certain XBox 360s better as media center extenders than others and if so which ones?

Are certain versions of the XBox 360 not vulnerable or at least less vulnerable to the "red ring of death"?

I think I red that some of the later or maybe just the latest version of the XBox 360 is more energy efficient. Is that true? If so, what the difference in energy consumption?

Anyone want to try and talk me out of getting an XBox 360 as a media center extender and get something else instead?

I hope you jump back on tonight to check this...WOOT has a refurb 250 gig for 179...which is a good price.

Carries a 90 day warranty, with optional SquareTrade (more than you'd get from a used one.)
Slim (this unit) is more energy conscious...
Less prone to RROD, (but can still happen)
Quieter
Still the best bet for an MCE

"Once you learn good English...Can't nobody take it away!"

Xbox LIVE Gamertag: KEVIN G 40

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post #3 of 50 Old 02-09-2014, 06:40 PM
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We have 4 slim 4gbs around the house. They work well for live tv
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post #4 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 07:15 AM
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I will try to talk you out of Xboxes. Ceton Echo can be just as cheap if you buy used or on sale. They use a fraction of the energy (5W I think), have a tiny footprint, run fairly cool and are completely silent. While they can't play everything Xbox can, they handle live and recorded TV just fine as well as MTS files. True, they have a few minor bugs, but for the most part are solid. My 4 Echoes have been working fine for quite a while now. Most of the complaints about Echo are based on what it should have been, not what it actually is (i.e., it should have been an all-in-one file streaming player with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, MKV playback, etc., but it didn't work out that way). The next Echo model will most likely do all of those things.

FWIW, I ran several Xboxes as extenders before I replaced them with Echoes. They were great players, but some of them got very loud as the got older, and all of them took up a lot of space and used a lot of energy. I'm glad to be rid of them (I only have one left that my kids use just for gaming).


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post #5 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 09:27 AM
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I second the Echo choice, as extender. But, if you can get XBOX for $20 on Craigslist, then it is worth it.

I bought several of them with RROD on craigslist for $20. It's a 10 minute ($2 in parts) job to fix RROD, and if you screw up, you are out $20, not $100.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #6 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 09:52 AM
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The ceton echo has a bug where it freezes and then causes the host htpc to reboot (even in the middle of a recording). It also can not zoom properly like wmc/any other extender. There are plenty of other little quirks it has with its current official firmware. Ceton also seems to have abandoned it. They are aware of all the bugs and have not issued a firmware update in about a year.

I'm glad the ceton echo works 'just enough' for some, but you guys really gotta stop recommending it. The Xbox uses more power, but is rock solid/stable as an extender can be. You also can not hear it unless you are standing directly in front of it. The more power it uses and larger size are really the only draw backs. Both are very, very, welcome alternatives compared to having to put up with the echo and all its issues.

Get an Xbox slim or e model.

And again, please stop recommending the echo to people guys, they have no idea what they're in for and it is not worth it. And this is coming from a guy who got labeled a 'ceton fanboy' constantly here and over on tgb for how much I used to defend them.....
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post #7 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 09:56 AM
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Not sure if it would apply to you, but the Ceton Echo does not support Windows 8 WMC. You are stuck at Win7, which isn't really a bad thing for many reasons.

I just recommended my co-worker get an Echo when they were on sale for $99 a week or so ago to extend the HTPC I built for his theater. The Echo was bricked out of the box with "Waiting for Network" and listed no MAC address. From the research I did on Google it looks like there isn't much hope fixing it for him so it is getting returned.

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post #8 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 10:03 AM
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Yeah, that's another good point. Even if you don't plan on doing so now; if you ever think you might want to/need to upgrade to windows 8.1 - the Xbox is the only extender capable of working with WMC in 8.1
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post #9 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 10:14 AM
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The only thing I've seen on my Echoes is the zoom bug, which I work around. No freezing or reboots. Some of my Xboxes, on the other hand, sounded like 747s. So I'm going to keep recommending Echoes.

Echo does work with 8/8.1 but only with the iPhone app for control.


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post #10 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

The only thing I've seen on my Echoes is the zoom bug, which I work around. No freezing or reboots. Some of my Xboxes, on the other hand, sounded like 747s. So I'm going to keep recommending Echoes.

Echo does work with 8/8.1 but only with the iPhone app for control.

Plenty of other people have experienced the restart bug as well. Just because the problem doesn't exist for you, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Go ask other echo/former echo users. It's more likely you just haven't experienced it yet.

Also your known windows 8 'solution' is very, very hackneyed.

OP echo is not worth it; can lead to nothing but frustration. Go xbox for your own peace of mind.
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post #11 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Some of my Xboxes, on the other hand, sounded like 747s. So I'm going to keep recommending Echoes.

The first gen "phat" Xbox 360 makes the worst extender because they are very loud. However, any of the Slim versions and whatever the latest "E" version is called should be very quiet.

My co-worker is stuck now because the Echo is no longer $99 and they didn't exchange it so he is back to step 1.

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post #12 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

The first gen "phat" Xbox 360 makes the worst extender because they are very loud. However, any of the Slim versions and whatever the latest "E" version is called should be very quiet.

My co-worker is stuck now because the Echo is no longer $99 and they didn't exchange it so he is back to step 1.

Correct. I own 4 of the current 'E' models (which are 99.9999% identical to the former 'Slim' model). You can not hear them unless the TV is off and you are standing right in front of them.
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post #13 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 11:00 AM
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As for the question on energy consumption, the original Xbox 360 had a power brick rated to 203 watts, and it got hot. Nearly two years ago I got two 360 S consoles and their power bricks are rated at 135 watts. The newer E console has a 120 watt PSU.
The 360 S 4GB console is the only thing plugged into the bedroom TV. With the exception of the occasional game, its on about 2 to 3 hours a night as Media Center Extender, or for Netflix, Hulu+, or Amazon. After all that use, it is still extremely quiet, and my wife is still happy with the setup. If you care at all about noise, the S or E console is the way to go.
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post #14 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 11:27 AM
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All you guys with silent "S's" and "E's" just haven't had them long enough. Mine were also dead silent the first few years. But just as you say the Echo is a ticking time bomb, so is that ridiculous power brick on the Xbox. The fan on it will eventually become loud to the point of distraction, especially if you run it 24x7 as many extender users are likely to do. As for the reboot issue, it's probably as likely as the RROD but easier to recover from.

As for the DOA Echo, he could buy a second one and simply return the first in its place. It's a little dishonest, but so is a vendor sticking you with a useless device. The Echo also has a manufacturers warranty. So he could persue a solution with Ceton, who should either unbrick it or exchange it. I've found their support to be excellent.

Bottom line is nothing is perfect. Echo has some advantages/disadvantages, as does Xbox. No reason to discount one entirely because of a few bad experiences by others (my own included). On the whole, I still prefer Echo.


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post #15 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

No reason to discount one entirely because of a few bad experiences by others (my own included).

No, we are discounting it because noise and power (what you claim are the negatives of the xbox) are far lesser evils than stability and functionality (the negatives of the echo). I'm trying to save OP from possible countless hours of frustration with the echo. If he has to turn up the TV volume a little to drown out the noise of the xbox that you claim will be there (after years of it working perfectly silent first as you claim - while the echo has its problems out of the box); that is the far easier solution.
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post #16 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 12:01 PM
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If your Xboxes are getting louder then it is probably just dirty fan blades. Since they are more than likely over a year old when they get loud then you have no warranty to worry about voiding so you can open them up and clean the dust off the blades. My two 360s are two to three years old and sound the same as day one, but I don't use them too often.

Still not sure what my co-worker will do. He doesn't want a game system and has been "extending" WMC by using dual HDMI out from his AVR. That has other issues such as only being able to what one thing at a time between the other TV and the theater, not to mention the HDMI handshaking issues of his older TV and projector.

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post #17 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 12:10 PM
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If your Xboxes are getting louder then it is probably just dirty fan blades. Since they are more than likely over a year old when they get loud then you have no warranty to worry about voiding so you can open them up and clean the dust off the blades. My two 360s are two to three years old and sound the same as day one, but I don't use them too often.
I wish that were the case. I've completely dismantled, cleaned, lubricated, balanced and could not get rid of the noise. If you've ever had any other computer fan go bad, you know they can't be fixed and must be replaced.


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post #18 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 12:19 PM
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No, we are discounting it because noise and power (what you claim are the negatives of the xbox) are far lesser evils than stability and functionality (the negatives of the echo). I'm trying to save OP from possible countless hours of frustration with the echo. If he has to turn up the TV volume a little to drown out the noise of the xbox that you claim will be there (after years of it working perfectly silent first as you claim - while the echo has its problems out of the box); that is the far easier solution.
I would be interested in seeing some numbers on this. I contend such problems are fairly rare. But of course I don't have any more data than you do, other than owning 4 for nearly 2 years now and never having even a minute of frustration (except when I first encountered the zoom bug).

The power brick may very well work fine for the life of the Xbox as you say. It's still big and power hungry. My little Echo looks so nice tucked under the bezel of each of my TVs.

And another thing I just remembered is Xbox has the worst IR reception of any device I've ever seen. They put the eye inches behind that tiny eject button, so you have to aim dead on to use the thing. Talk about countless hours of frustration. I'm frustrated every time I turn the thing on.


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post #19 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 12:30 PM
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You could always start a poll here and on TGB if you want numbers from actual users/former users. You know Ceton won't give you any, so polls would be your only option.

My comments/suggestions come from being around the forums (seeing what other echo users/former users said) and also owning 2 echos and putting up with their problems and lack of fixes for not even a full year before replacing them with 4 Xbox 360 E units this past October because I needed a stable/working extender. Not one complaint about the Xboxes since I've set them up.

Sure, I wish the Xbox used as little power as the Echo. But I need a working extender first and foremost. And I was worried about the noise after hearing so many complaints; but as I've stated (and others too - here and on TGB) I was pleasantly surprised to find out that wasn't the case. At least with the more modern versions. The old white ones are the ones that sound like a jet engine, unrefuted.
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post #20 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 06:30 PM
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The fan on it will eventually become loud to the point of distraction, especially if you run it 24x7 as many extender users are likely to do.
Why the **** would an extender be running 24/7 ?
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post #21 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 06:43 PM
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Why the **** would an extender be running 24/7 ?
I never do it myself, but many do so they instantly have live TV.


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post #22 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

The only thing I've seen on my Echoes is the zoom bug, which I work around. No freezing or reboots. Some of my Xboxes, on the other hand, sounded like 747s. So I'm going to keep recommending Echoes.

Echo does work with 8/8.1 but only with the iPhone app for control.

So how much does buying an iPhone increase the price of the $99 Ceton Echo? rolleyes.gif


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(Just as big an idea thief as)

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post #23 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 09:05 PM
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So how much does buying an iPhone increase the price of the $99 Ceton Echo? rolleyes.gif
... or android app.

If you are crazy enough to run WMC on 8/8.1 then you might just be crazy enough to buy an iPhone for your Echo.


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post #24 of 50 Old 02-10-2014, 10:13 PM
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... or android app.

If you are crazy enough to run WMC on 8/8.1 then you might just be crazy enough to buy an iPhone for your Echo.

Lol, says the man trying to still pawn off the echo as a good extender. You wanna talk about crazy...... biggrin.gif
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post #25 of 50 Old 02-11-2014, 05:48 AM
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Technically this thread is asking "which Xbox 360 to get". A Ceton Echo isn't an Xbox 360.

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post #26 of 50 Old 02-11-2014, 05:49 AM
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Stak is right. Echo is worthless. Anybody want to get rid yours, please send them to me and I'll "dispose" of them for you.


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post #27 of 50 Old 02-11-2014, 06:10 AM
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OP also asked to be talked out of Xbox. I tried and failed in spectacular fashion.


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post #28 of 50 Old 02-11-2014, 07:54 AM
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The most important reason not to buy an Echo is to avoid supporting/giving money to the company that abandoned it after less than a year. And it's not like they don't know it has problems they just don't care about their Echo customers anymore (most likely because they picked a bad chipset and there's nothing more they can do, but that doesn't help the buyers).

If that's not a reason not to buy one I don't know what is.
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post #29 of 50 Old 02-11-2014, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

The most important reason not to buy an Echo is to avoid supporting/giving money to the company that abandoned it after less than a year. And it's not like they don't know it has problems they just don't care about their Echo customers anymore (most likely because they picked a bad chipset and there's nothing more they can do, but that doesn't help the buyers).

If that's not a reason not to buy one I don't know what is.

+1

-RobNY
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post #30 of 50 Old 02-11-2014, 10:33 AM
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Do we need a dedicated PC for Homerun prime? I have just started reading about this and am looking to replace my FIOS setup box.
I was planning to get Homerun prime but am not sure if I need dedicated PC that is on all the time. I don't care about dvr/recording functionality. All I need is a replacement for setup box.
So, as I understand I will have to buy Homerun prime along with xbox/ps3 as extender.
Does it make sense to buy used TIVO from ebay with lifetime subscription? Also, do we need subscription if I don't need DVR functionality of TIVO?
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