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XBMC - anyone using it? why should I use it?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
I use Meedios as a front end. I only use my system to play movies. Meedios is pretty good, but it has a few minor glitches. I would say it is now 99.5% stable.

Stability is a major issue for me because some many different family members use the HTPC system (server plus 3 HTPC's), and i need it to be bullet proof so i'm not spending all day fixing.

i'm a tinkerer, and while i suspect changing to anything new will just result in headaches, however, i find the concept of a "perfect" front end irresistable.

who is using XBMC. How stable is it. Should I switch to it?
post #2 of 38
I think any program you try is going to have some issues. I tried XBMC but found it to be a PITA to setup and usability was no better than I get with Mediabrowser. I have tried out most of the programs, and I keep going back to mediabrowser.
post #3 of 38
NO DVR is a deal killer for me.
post #4 of 38
XBMC and its Confluence skin is a great front-end for watching movies....that said, I would probably hold off until they have hardware acceleration (currently in development) all figured out.
post #5 of 38
I was using it and switched to using Windows Media Center.

XBMC uses ffmpeg for video decoding, which was a bit problematic. It was a huge hassle to get hardware acceleration working with my ION HTPC, but the big killer for me was the image quality. Compared to DirectShow (e.g. what Windows Media Center and Player use) the image quality was flat out awful. Night and day difference.

Of course, Windows Media Center is a pain in other ways. I haven't found a good solution for media management.. I would be happy with MediaBrowser if it didn't crash constantly and navigate ridiculously slowly. I'm literally using a keyboard and mouse to manually play files right now.
post #6 of 38
You should download the latest 2.2.1 Mediabrowser. It just released today and they supposedly fixed a lot of stability issues and improved navigation performance.
post #7 of 38
I use XBMC and Mediaportal primarily. Ive found both pretty reliable, but the sort of reliability you're talking about is probably on a per-machine basis.

Both are good front ends. Both have great skin support. MediaPortal has better metadata handling for movies and tv shows.

XBMC is easier to set up, and comes with its own codecs, which is a BIG plus in my book.

My suggestion would be to try it. If it gets to the stage where it needs to be put in the 'too-hard' basket, you always have medios as a fallback.
post #8 of 38
I like to have as stable as possible but thats not really 100% possible as pointed out but you can get close, I use Mediaportal and after setup its great but it does take awhile to get it completely setup depending on how many plugins and addons you choose to install also. It does still have some problems like freezing/locking up but I have it setup on the remote with 2 buttons 1 to kill mediaportal and 1 to open it, so really even if it does lockup or start acting funny you can easily restart it. My wife, 7yr old and 12yr old use it no problem.
post #9 of 38
xbmc (and mediaportal) has automatic screen refresh change base on movie framerate.
that's kills reclock and judder

complete decoders support out of the box, vdpau under linux and in a not so distant future (with dsplayer) dvxa support and wasapi

BHH
post #10 of 38
The latest builds are AWESOME!
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kremlin View Post

I was using it and switched to using Windows Media Center.
...
Of course, Windows Media Center is a pain in other ways. I haven't found a good solution for media management..


Have you tried using MyMovies 3.11 with MC? This is how I manage my movies.
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by aharris View Post

The latest builds are AWESOME!

Yes, the Tiben XBMC builds w/ DSPlayer are pretty solid at this point, and the Confluence skins is tight & snappy.
Runs well on my ASRock 330 w/ XP Pro 32bit.
post #13 of 38
I'm another XBMC user and I love it. Switched from MCE (2005) to XBMC and couldn't be happier. The only stability issues I've seen are when the kids get a hold of the remote and fat finger the buttons over and over. Other than that, no problems to report on my end.
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyZ View Post

I'm another XBMC user and I love it. Switched from MCE (2005) to XBMC and couldn't be happier. The only stability issues I've seen are when the kids get a hold of the remote and fat finger the buttons over and over. Other than that, no problems to report on my end.


Same here. To me the Camelot builds that were recently released are rock solid on my Revo PC.
Video quality is great, it handles my music collection very well, and is easy enough that anyone can pick up my Harmony remote and use it.
Cant beat it........
post #15 of 38
And check out the new Transparency II skin...wowie!
post #16 of 38
I hate XBMC. It was a pain to setup and you get no HA in windows.

So I use media Center with mediabrowser and everything works great.
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

I hate XBMC. It was a pain to setup and you get no HA in windows.

So I use media Center with mediabrowser and everything works great.

"hate"? really? ok, then....

I struggled with trying to set up Mediabrowser under Win7 Pro 64bit. Finally gave up, reinstalled XP Pro 32 bit, installed XBMC & found it way easier to install & configure. In fact , part of the beauty of XBMC is 95% of what you need is already THERE.
Of course as with everything, YMMV.
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

I hate XBMC. It was a pain to setup and you get no HA in windows.

So I use media Center with mediabrowser and everything works great.

Doesn't the 9.11 XBMC release (that came out recently) now have HA in Windows as well as Linux?

(I use 7MC any MyMovies for my main set-up, but XBMC on other machines. I couldn't get used to the lack of a flat library view filterable by genre etc. in Mediabrowser. I like the unified view that MyMovies and XBMC both deliver, as my collection of media spans multiple hard drives and the drill-down navigation on Mediabrowser didn't work for me)
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Doesn't the 9.11 XBMC release (that came out recently) now have HA in Windows as well as Linux?

No, not for windows. They say it's coming soon.
post #20 of 38
I use WMC + MediaBrowser as my main front end, but do mess around with XBMC on my desktop pc. The latest version I feel is the best one yet, the new Confluence default skin I feel flows much better then the original skin. My MCE remote finally seems to be working too which is nice that they finally added. The SVN repo is a big plus, makes it very easy to get skins, apps, etc... Funny enough Apple Trailers work fine on my desktop pc with XBMC but not on my HTPCs with XBMC (all running W7 x32).

So why is XBMC not my main front end:

1 - no PVR functionality
2 - no DXVA in Windows (coming soon)
3 - I find WMC + Media Browser is easier for my wife to navigate/understand (obviously WAF is important)
4 - Ability to set up Virtual Folders with Media Browser

I have been testing out XBMC for a while now though and must say it really has come a long way. If you have Windows O/S already it is worth testing out both XBMC and WMC + MediaBrowser (or MM3) to figure out which works best.
post #21 of 38
I just completed the hardware part of my build and installed Windows 7 (64 bit) and was all set to use Media Portal but now with the new release I find myself leaning more toward giving XBMC a shot first.

Now I just need to figure out why I even need Windows at all...
post #22 of 38
For those who are using Win7....This build has DXVA working pretty well:
http://www.multiupload.com/NWJ9EHSVO3

No subs yet though
post #23 of 38
So I know I've seen references to it before...but why again do I want the DirectX stuff?
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoHo View Post

So I know I've seen references to it before...but why again do I want the DirectX stuff?

You mean DXVA? Instead of your CPU being utilized for video playback with DXVA much of the workload will be offloaded to your GPU. A perfect example are the new Ion systems. The Atom CPU in itself is not strong enough to handle playback of HD content, but by offloading to the Ion GPU playback is generally silky smooth and CPU utilization stays very low (as opposed to 100%)

You can read more here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirectX_Video_Acceleration
post #25 of 38
Thanks dbone, yeah that's what I meant. So if I have a 2.8 GHz AMD Quad Core would that be an issue for me?
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoHo View Post

Thanks dbone, yeah that's what I meant. So if I have a 2.8 GHz AMD Quad Core would that be an issue for me?

No, I have no problems with my Quad Core without DXVA
post #27 of 38
I think DXVA is supported in linux right now....
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by akwizeguy View Post

I think DXVA is supported in linux right now....

yes, just not windows officially
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

yes, just not windows officially

But, "unofficially", it's working pretty darn sweet. (Tiben20's builds)
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by christoofar View Post

But, "unofficially", it's working pretty darn sweet. (Tiben20's builds)

Yeah, been meaning to spend more time testing. Are you using the DSPlayer GPU builds (http://xbmc.org/forum/showthread.php?t=61355)?
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