DVD Server using XBOX Media Center (XBMC), DVD Profiler, and IMDB (Pictures galore) - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 4887 Old 02-26-2006, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ok2fly View Post

Another vote for Xbox XBMC. Once you get it set up it's well worth the effort. You can't beat it for the price, performance and features. I might add it's worth it to DIY since you'll also learn the skills to update it and add features later on... A big thanks to Ja Phule, Jliles, Qooop and others in this thread for their input and direction. This is exactly what I was looking for!
Dave

Can the XBMC be used with a remote NAS? Wirelessly?
Also, if I want to just play music, do I still need to turn on TV to select songs?
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post #272 of 4887 Old 02-26-2006, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by anandrag View Post

Can the XBMC be used with a remote NAS?

Yes

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Originally Posted by anandrag View Post

Wirelessly?

Yes

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Originally Posted by anandrag View Post

Also, if I want to just play music, do I still need to turn on TV to select songs?

1) Web front end allows selecting songs without a TV.
2) external LCD displays may also allow such behavior.
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post #273 of 4887 Old 02-26-2006, 06:13 PM
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Does XBMC have built in wireless card? Are speeds enough to stream video from NAS to device or will picture be jittery?
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post #274 of 4887 Old 02-26-2006, 06:20 PM
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XBMC is just a piece of software that runs on a modified Xbox. The Xbox has an ethernet port on it and you can use a game adapter or wireless bridge if you want to run wirelessly. For music and picture showing, wireless is fine. I wouldn't try it for for DVD quality video though.
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post #275 of 4887 Old 02-26-2006, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rjgarcia View Post

XBMC is just a piece of software that runs on a modified Xbox. The Xbox has an ethernet port on it and you can use a game adapter or wireless bridge if you want to run wirelessly. For music and picture showing, wireless is fine. I wouldn't try it for for DVD quality video though.

Thanks

What type of wireless bridge? Can I just use my home wireless network and plug in a wirless card?
Are there any devices that do DVD quality video wirelessly?
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post #276 of 4887 Old 02-26-2006, 06:26 PM
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I've no expereince with video distribution via wireless LAN. But from everything I've read, if it works well, you are a very lucky man. For video I stick with copper.
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post #277 of 4887 Old 02-26-2006, 06:29 PM
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I've no expereince with video distribution via wireless LAN. But from everything I've read, if it works well, you are a very lucky man. For video I stick with copper.

Thanks. So what are the options for expanding the XBMC HD to make it larger? Can I get a regular internal HD from the likes of Seagate or Maxtor and just replace existing HD?
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post #278 of 4887 Old 02-26-2006, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Ja Phule View Post

I also replaced the 10gb hard drive in the xbox with a 160gb seagate, $60

Was that just a standard internal HD or a special model?
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post #279 of 4887 Old 02-26-2006, 06:38 PM
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Not such an easy answer.

Just cracking the case and throwing in a big honking drive is gonna net you a door stop.

The drive must be prepared, & locked (google should provide a web page with charts detailing which drive can succesfully 'locked' to work with the xbox). Furthermore, LBA support (>137gig) is dependant upon what hacked bios you are running.
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post #280 of 4887 Old 02-26-2006, 06:42 PM
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Not such an easy answer.

Just cracking the case and throwing in a big honking drive is gonna net you a door stop.

The drive must be prepared, & locked (google should provide a web page with charts detailing which drive can succesfully 'locked' to work with the xbox). Furthermore, LBA support (>137gig) is dependant upon what hacked bios you are running.

Complications, compliactions... Crap. Why does it all have to be so complicated...
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post #281 of 4887 Old 02-26-2006, 07:13 PM
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anandrag,

I happen to both stream video wirelessly (from my PC and NAS) and I also put in a honkin' (ok, not THAT honkin') 120 GB drive in my XBOX.

Wireless video can be tricky and performance can depend on a lot of factors, like the distance between your router and access point and even the configuration of your apartment/house. I use a D-Link DI-634 router (the MIMO one) for excellent range and good performance. I couple that with the D-Link G820 game adapter attached to the XBOX. Both ends support a 108 Mbs connection (about double the standard wireless G speed), and though I don't know if I get that kind of performance in real life I can tell you that I have had little to no trouble playing video wirelessly between my PC/router downstairs and XBox in my bedroom upstairs. 98% of the time files play smoothly with no issues. The NAS itself is not wireless - it is connected directly to my router.

As for the honkin' hard drive, look earlier in this thread - I posted a link that shows you how to do it. The hard drives you can use are not really special - they are regular, off the shelf hard drives. The catch is they have to be "lockable", meaning they can be prepped in such a way that the XBOX will recognize it. Here's a link that will allow you to search for lockable drives - you can look in your Sunday circular and see if any of the drives on sale can be locked:

http://xboxdrives.x-pec.com/?p=list

Also, as mentioned, if you want to put in a drive greater than 137 GB extra prep work is required. However, the links I posted earlier will show you how to do that too. If you don't want to bother, just get a 120GB hard drive.

If I, probably the most tool-impaired person on the planet (Home Depot might as well be Abu Dhabi to me) can swap an XBOX hard drive, I assure you that you can too. Just take the time to read and learn.

Julie
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post #282 of 4887 Old 02-28-2006, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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New XBMC build out. T3CH 2-26.

But in my own way, I am King. Hail to the King, baby.


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post #283 of 4887 Old 02-28-2006, 08:08 AM
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Is the RPM of the drive important? I had a friend lose multiple drives in his TiVo. He replaced the stock 5400 with a 7200. I think it was heat that did them in as 7200s generate a lot more heat and if the case isn't designed for it, it could kill the drive. Unless the stock drive is 7200, I would recommend a 5400 unless you just want the biggest honking drive around.
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post #284 of 4887 Old 02-28-2006, 10:03 AM
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The Xbox internal temp had a 9 degree rise in temp for both the MCPX and the CPU after a 7200 rpm drive was installed. This was with no activity.

However, with a constant use utilization on the system the internal temp climbed to 18 degrees above average. Not acceptable for me. YMMV.

After the fan speed was set to 30% (Xecuter 3 chip) the internal temp was only 5 degrees above average with no activity. This is the solution most in my group prefer (some run at 40%).

Unfortunately the software can alter the fan speed depending on what you're running on the 'box. Therefore I rewire the fan input voltage to apply either 7vdc (via grounding the fan neg lead) or upgrade to a 80mm quiet fan.

You can always wire the fan directly to the 12vdc source. It's louder, but yields an impressive 15 degrees cooler than stock.
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post #285 of 4887 Old 02-28-2006, 04:35 PM
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pretty sure ALL of my xboxen & ReplayTV big honkin' drives are all WD 7200 RPMs Special Editions (bigger cache, 8 megs)

Never noticed a heat issue in any of the 4 boxes. Then again I never slowed down a fan, or cared to measure a temp.
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post #286 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 08:58 AM
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I'm interested in taking a look at ripping and encoding my DVDs in h.264 and seeing how the quality is w/ XBMC. Does anyone have any good starting points in terms of their impressions as well as good encoding software?
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post #287 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 09:44 AM
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Thanks for the thread. It inspired me to get a used xbox to put XBMC. Everything is great. I did a softmod using xboxhdm hotswap method. I started streaming videos using a spare router acting as wireless bridge. I am impressed with XBMC so far in handling all the formats and stuff (much better than my aging HTPC.)

I just have an issue, last night I got a HD pack and tried to set XBMC at 720p....I can set the settings on original ms dash by lauching it from XBMC but xbox doesn't remember the settings after the reboot. I tried coping eeprom.bin to shadowc folder but it is still a no go. I know this is not a right forum for xbox mod releated questions but I thought I'd ask here first.
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post #288 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bravo890 View Post

I'm interested in taking a look at ripping and encoding my DVDs in h.264 and seeing how the quality is w/ XBMC. Does anyone have any good starting points in terms of their impressions as well as good encoding software?

I've been considering this also. I haven't re-encoded any of my dvds yet but I've tried re-encoding some video clips and trailers by using Nero Recode2. I haven't done any direct A/B comparisons yet but it seems fine so far depending on your quality settings. Check videohelp.com and the guides at doom9.org for other options.

But in my own way, I am King. Hail to the King, baby.


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post #289 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pvenkat View Post

Thanks for the thread. It inspired me to get a used xbox to put XBMC. Everything is great. I did a softmod using xboxhdm hotswap method. I started streaming videos using a spare router acting as wireless bridge. I am impressed with XBMC so far in handling all the formats and stuff (much better than my aging HTPC.)

I just have an issue, last night I got a HD pack and tried to set XBMC at 720p....I can set the settings on original ms dash by lauching it from XBMC but xbox doesn't remember the settings after the reboot. I tried coping eeprom.bin to shadowc folder but it is still a no go. I know this is not a right forum for xbox mod releated questions but I thought I'd ask here first.

When you make the change to enable 720p in the MS Dash, go back to the main MS Dash home screen. I believe it asks you to save before you get to the home screen. and go back into the video options to see if 720p is still enabled.

I'm not 100% sure how a softmod works, but can't you easily load up your xbox without the mod (as if you never did anything to mod it)? Maybe load the xbox up regularly and enable 720p and then reboot with the softmod. That is, if it is possible with the softmod.

But in my own way, I am King. Hail to the King, baby.


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post #290 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 10:07 AM
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Ok, so I'm at Best Buy today minding my own business when I see they have some 360's in stock so I buy one. I've been trying out the D-Link 520 but I'm not happy with the user interface. I play mp3's, jpegs and home movies on my hard drive (MPEG2 files).

I want to search by Artist and then by Album within the artist. I want album cover art. I want this accomplished on the supplied server, not through a third party server (unless its Microsoft's). Before I set this thing up and give it a try, will this work for me? My video has streamed well on the DLink (Belin G router) so far.

Input please.
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post #291 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ja Phule View Post

I've been considering this also. I haven't re-encoded any of my dvds yet but I've tried re-encoding some video clips and trailers by using Nero Recode2. I haven't done any direct A/B comparisons yet but it seems fine so far depending on your quality settings. Check videohelp.com and the guides at doom9.org for other options.

did you get smooth playback on the xbox? i think h.264 is rather processor intensive to decode, so i was wondering if the xbox could handle it.
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post #292 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by pvenkat View Post

I just have an issue, last night I got a HD pack and tried to set XBMC at 720p....I can set the settings on original ms dash by lauching it from XBMC but xbox doesn't remember the settings after the reboot. I tried coping eeprom.bin to shadowc folder but it is still a no go. I know this is not a right forum for xbox mod releated questions but I thought I'd ask here first.

IN your softmod dash (say evox), launch the M$ Dashboard. In there change your settings to allow 720p. Power off, power on, launch xbmc, go into settings and 720p should be available.

I've got a multiboot with a safe dash, and only if I launch an unsafe dash does the resolution setting stick.
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post #293 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by goofygrin View Post

IN your softmod dash (say evox), launch the M$ Dashboard. In there change your settings to allow 720p. Power off, power on, launch xbmc, go into settings and 720p should be available.

I've got a multiboot with a safe dash, and only if I launch an unsafe dash does the resolution setting stick.


Thanks, Goofygrin & Ja Phule. I was launching the M$ dashboard from within XBMC. May be that's why the settings didn't stick. I just need to edit the evox.ini to add M$ dashboard link, right? I'll check it out tonight.
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post #294 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bravo890 View Post

did you get smooth playback on the xbox? i think h.264 is rather processor intensive to decode, so i was wondering if the xbox could handle it.

The clips I've encoded playback smooth. It's also dependent on the bitrate that you encode the video with. The ones I've encoded have been lower bitrates. There's a test CD available from videohelp.com that has a variety of video clips in many formats (and many bitrates). I remember testing some h264 clips that also played fine, but I'd have to recheck some of those again.

But in my own way, I am King. Hail to the King, baby.


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post #295 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by uva25 View Post

Ok, so I'm at Best Buy today minding my own business when I see they have some 360's in stock so I buy one. I've been trying out the D-Link 520 but I'm not happy with the user interface. I play mp3's, jpegs and home movies on my hard drive (MPEG2 files).

I want to search by Artist and then by Album within the artist. I want album cover art. I want this accomplished on the supplied server, not through a third party server (unless its Microsoft's). Before I set this thing up and give it a try, will this work for me? My video has streamed well on the DLink (Belin G router) so far.

Input please.

Are you saying that you don't like the xbox360 and want to get the original xbox (if you don't already have one) and have it modified to run XBMC? If not, then you're in the wrong thread.

If you are asking about Xbox with XBMC...

It will play mp3s, jpegs, and mpeg2. All you need to do on your pc have the folders containing those files shared over your network. XBMC will scan your mp3 collection and read the id3 tags (along with the album art stored in id3), it will let you browse by genre, artist, album, and title. I haven't played too much with mp3s but I'll check if it will do artist and then show albums, but I believe it does. It will show album art, either with a separate jpg/tbn file or stored from id3, and also has a great visualizer that you can show while music is playing (there are pics in the first page).

But in my own way, I am King. Hail to the King, baby.


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post #296 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Speaking of mp3 and music organization, anyone have good recommendations on mp3/id3 tag organizers? I've been using MediaMonkey which seems pretty good. I wonder if there's anything similar or better....though Media Monkey is pretty good, but I still need to mess with it. I need something that will narrow down the id3 music genre to a select few genres instead of having 50 similar genres.

But in my own way, I am King. Hail to the King, baby.


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post #297 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Ja Phule View Post

Are you saying that you don't like the xbox360 and want to get the original xbox (if you don't already have one) and have it modified to run XBMC? If not, then you're in the wrong thread.

If you are asking about Xbox with XBMC...

It will play mp3s, jpegs, and mpeg2. All you need to do on your pc have the folders containing those files shared over your network. XBMC will scan your mp3 collection and read the id3 tags (along with the album art stored in id3), it will let you browse by genre, artist, album, and title. I haven't played too much with mp3s but I'll check if it will do artist and then show albums, but I believe it does. It will show album art, either with a separate jpg/tbn file or stored from id3, and also has a great visualizer that you can show while music is playing (there are pics in the first page).

Sorry for the confusion. I just got the xbox 360 (I never had xbox) and I haven't tried yet. My other option is strictly a media server (DLink 520). I am just curious if the xbox 360 will do what I want it to do. The games will just be a bonus, albeit a huge one from what I'm reading. I have Windows Media Center running on my PC and my hope is that the exact funtionality is transferred to the xbox 360. Thanks.
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post #298 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by uva25 View Post

Sorry for the confusion. I just got the xbox 360 (I never had xbox) and I haven't tried yet. My other option is strictly a media server (DLink 520). I am just curious if the xbox 360 will do what I want it to do. The games will just be a bonus, albeit a huge one from what I'm reading. I have Windows Media Center running on my PC and my hope is that the exact funtionality is transferred to the xbox 360. Thanks.

Oh ok. You are in the wrong thread.... But from what I understand about the xbox360, it's functionality as a media center extender should be able to do almost everything your Media Center PC can do when it comes to audio. But don't quote me on that.

But in my own way, I am King. Hail to the King, baby.


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post #299 of 4887 Old 03-01-2006, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ja Phule View Post

The clips I've encoded playback smooth. It's also dependent on the bitrate that you encode the video with. The ones I've encoded have been lower bitrates. There's a test CD available from videohelp.com that has a variety of video clips in many formats (and many bitrates). I remember testing some h264 clips that also played fine, but I'd have to recheck some of those again.

i'll do some testing and let you know how it goes. my hope is to acheive similar video quality to xvid or divx with greater compression. we'll see. there are a few threads on the xbmc forums about various parameters to set/clear when encoding to ensure smooth playback. please let me know if you uncover anything worth mentioning.
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post #300 of 4887 Old 03-02-2006, 07:33 AM
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Well, as a baseline, I encoded a 45 minute episode of a TV show w/ h.264 from a DVD last night and while the results playing on my PC were excellent, the xbox couldn't handle it. I was using nero digital/avc and encoded at about 1.6 mbps with all of the encoding options selected, like bidrectional prediction, marcoblock partitions, weighted prediction, CABAC and deblocking. Right away frames were getting dropped on the xbox. Two pass encoding took about 4.5 hours with an athlon xp 2800. I'll try another encode and tweak the encoding options this evening per the xbmc forums. I'll also try an encode w/ gordian knot + x264 so I can tweak other things that nero doesn't allow. It's a shame because the quality of the encode with all of the encoding options at 1.6 mbps playing on my PC was very, very good. It almost makes want to think about a real HTPC with more horsepower just to get smooth h.264 playback with all encoding options.

If anyone is actually interested in further hearing the best way that I can find to encode in h.264 for xbmc playback considering quality/performance tradeoffs, let me know. Otherwise, I'll stop posting about this because it's a little off-topic for this particular thread.
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