In case anyone's interested in my saga, here's an update...
So I reran the Ubuntu Desktop setup and configured the partition sizes as noted in my last post. That seemed to go fine. I then decided to follow this thread for installing XBMC from the desktop:http://www.xbmc.org/wiki/?title=HOW-...n_step-by-step
That seemed to go fine as well, but when I went to run XBMC I saw that it was running in a window, and the UI was horribly slow. Rather than research how I might go about automatically starting up this XBMC install during Ubuntu startup (prior to starting up the Ubuntu/Gnome GUI), I decided to follow this thread for installing XBMC via the terminal window:http://xbmc.org/forum/showthread.php...815#post374815
Well, that seemed to result in some errors, though I don't remember which ones. I believe that I ran into some NVIDIA driver issues, which I still never resolved. Other things were missing as well (IR support, etc.) which I was able to fix, and I needed to also redo all of the Revo/ION-specific changes. This script also results in making XBMC start up automatically, which is what I wanted (eventually), though I'm not sure how to stop it from doing that, other than choosing to boot in a safe mode. Oh, and I also made the tweak to install the latest svn of XBMC. I'm not sure if that, the potential NVIDIA driver issue, or something else is to blame, but when I try to play a movie, the display would shrink to about 1/4th of the screen size (top left corner) and the video would stutter, freeze, green-screen, etc.
OK, so then I decided to give up on that for a while and see what the Windows version of XBMC had to offer. I booted up into XP and installed from there. That went smoothly. One problem I can't seem to fix is that it won't recognize my MCE remote control, so that sucks. But I figured before wasting time trying to fix that, let's see if it can even play my high-def content, because I was under the impression that it couldn't. Well, it can't. Lack of NVIDIA/VDPAU support in XBMC is apparently to blame. But I thought I had read somewhere that you could possibly have XBMC launch an outside player (e.g., MPC HC?). Does anyone know if you can do that, if it should work, and if so, how to do it? Without it, XBMC plays the videos with lots of stuttering, so it's unwatchable.
Meanwhile, I hadn't returned my WDTV Live, so I decided I should also try getting up to speed on Clown_BD, tsMuxeR, etc. I eventually seemed to figure out how to use tsMuxeR. Usability-wise, it's no DVDFab. But it seemed to allow me to take the main movie from one of my Blu-rays, convert the Dolby TrueHD to regular AC3 (which I did partially because I don't have a Dolby TrueHD-capable receiver yet, so I figure why waste time (yet) trying playback/decode-on-the-fly Dolby TrueHD via WDTV Live or XBMC - let's make it easy for those devices). OK, so that worked fine. My 46GB Blu-ray .iso image (which played back via WDTV Live when connected locally, but stutters across my network) was now a 17GB .ts file.
So now that I had a file that was compatible with both the WDTV Live and XBMC, I figured let's compare:
- With XBMC for Windows, it was unwatchable (stuttering), but as I said above, perhaps there's a way to get that to work via an outside video player? One thing I think I can say in XBMC for Windows' favor: I *think* that navigating around the GUI is faster than it is with XBMC Live (still slower than XBMC on my classic XBox, though).
- With WDTV Live, the .ts file plays back fine across my wired network. The chapter skip (actually, WDTV Live just does a 10 minute skip) works fine, and fast forwarding is actually watchable. It would also play the huge .iso file (no menu support), but was choppy across the network and the Dolby TrueHD track only bitstreams; no on-the-fly conversion.
- With XBMC Live (my USB stick still gets corrupted, but running a chkdsk on it from Windows seems to get it working again), it seemed to play back the .ts file just fine across my wired 100Mbps network. Woohoo. But wait...Fast forwarding sort of works, but the video looks garbled and blocky while you're doing it. Worse: using the chapter skip buttons on MCE remote seemed to stop the video (returning me to the XBMC UI).
At this point, I figured, well maybe the WDTV Live has it beat. I mean, XBMC has a much better UI, but if it can't play the high-def video/audio formats or handle chapter skipping as well as the WDTV Live, what good is a great UI? Or, maybe I should just stick with XBMC on my classic XBox and forego high-def content.
But, no, there's good news to be had...Perhaps the chapter skip button is not really mapped for use as chapter skip in MCE? If I instead press the D-Pad's right button, I get a 30 second skip. Pressing the D-Pad's up button skips 10 minutes.
The news gets better...In addition to keeping the Blu-ray .iso file around (which I already discovered wouldn't play in XBMC), I also had the directory/multi-.m2ts file folder structure of the disc. So I went in there and played the largest .m2ts file (24GB). To my amazement, the Dolby TrueHD was playing downmixed on-the-fly to stereo (or maybe regular 5.1?) thru HDMI to my LCD TV. Oh, and the subtitles were a much nicer, smoother font than what the WDTV Live had to offer. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out what button on the MCE remote would allow me to change soundtracks or turn off subtitles. Anyone?
So now there's renewed optimism about XBMC (or, at least, XBMC Live). I think my next step might be to take a risk and install XBMC Live to the hard drive. I realize that this will completely wipe out my XP partition, but it seems to me that XBMC Live (with a few tweaks as mentioned earlier in this thread) may be the best/easiest way to get XBMC working well on the Revo.