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XBMC questions

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Am new to this site and amazed with the knowledge that people have. So I apologize ahead of time for asking questions that have probably been asked and answered before.

After reading through the Ja Phule's thread regarding the XMBC, it seems that may be the best choice at the moment for streaming audio and video, certainly the best regarding value, and from the outside appears to be extremely well supported, versus some of the other out of the box solutions which seem to have more people complaining. Since I have been reading through that thread over a period of a few weeks and there is just so much material for a newbie to absorb, I want to make sure I understand what it can and can't do and everything that is needed to run it. I saw a very well done walkthru on softmodding on another site, but still had a few questions:

1- Is XBMC really the best choice if I don't want to spend a lot of money but want as many features as I can get? Or is TVIX a better option?

2-what are the drawbacks for softmodding it? Does it reduce the ouput quality or just limit possible features?

3-What are the limitations for streaming video? Does having a component(or dvi if there is such a thing for Xbox) make a difference in the quality? There seemed to be some discussiont that only certain brands of XBOX adapters worked well.. is this true?

4-Can it do HD content?

5-In order to turn the box on via remote, you need the DVD adapter as well as an additional mod chip that goes into the case on the motherboard? Does this need to be soldered?

6-I have seen a lot of people discussing using Harmony remotes, can XBMC work on other learning Universal remote controls? Like Sony Remote Commander(RM-AV3000) or any of the One for All brand URC's?

7-How difficult is it to patch/upgrade the box once XBMC has been installed?


Thanks
jc
post #2 of 26
Quote:


2-what are the drawbacks for softmodding it? Does it reduce the ouput quality or just limit possible features?

with a chip, you get instant access to the harddrive, with soft mod, you have to hack your way in with exploits.

you are limited to what the software can do, with mod chips you can get additional features(like ftp access if you mess something up*depending on which chip*)
also upgrading to a larger harddrive is also easier.

Quote:


5-In order to turn the box on via remote, you need the DVD adapter as well as an additional mod chip that goes into the case on the motherboard? Does this need to be soldered?

http://cheaplpc.com/xir/default.asp

Quote:


6-I have seen a lot of people discussing using Harmony remotes, can XBMC work on other learning Universal remote controls? Like Sony Remote Commander(RM-AV3000) or any of the One for All brand URC's?

yes a universal remote will work(RCA DVD player codes) but you will still need the
IR dongle(IR receiver) attached to one of the controller ports.

Quote:


7-How difficult is it to patch/upgrade the box once XBMC has been installed?

easy, all you need is a network connection, and an FTP program on a PC.
as long as you don't mess something up too bad

you should be able to find answers to any other questions here
http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showtopic=290958
http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showforum=112
http://www.productwiki.com/microsoft...0_minutes.html
http://www.i-hacked.com/content/view/114/65/


I'll let the guru's answer the other questions, good luck
post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by laststarfighter View Post

with a chip, you get instant access to the harddrive, with soft mod, you have to hack your way in with exploits.

you are limited to what the software can do, with mod chips you can get additional features(like ftp access if you mess something up*depending on which chip*)
also upgrading to a larger harddrive is also easier.


http://cheaplpc.com/xir/default.asp


yes a universal remote will work(RCA DVD player codes) but you will still need the
IR dongle(IR receiver) attached to one of the controller ports.


easy, all you need is a network connection, and an FTP program on a PC.
as long as you don't mess something up too bad

you should be able to find answers to any other questions here
http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showtopic=290958
http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showforum=112
http://www.productwiki.com/microsoft...0_minutes.html
http://www.i-hacked.com/content/view/114/65/


I'll let the guru's answer the other questions, good luck

That said I have 6 xboxes now and 4 are soft mods... Defintely more trouble if the HD dies but once you have the setup and have done it once its really easy. I bought two more xboxes for under $100 in the last week for my vacation house and softmodded and had them fully setup in less than 30 minutes each.

Sean
post #4 of 26
Am new to this site and amazed with the knowledge that people have. So I apologize ahead of time for asking questions that have probably been asked and answered before.

After reading through the Ja Phule's thread regarding the XMBC, it seems that may be the best choice at the moment for streaming audio and video, certainly the best regarding value, and from the outside appears to be extremely well supported, versus some of the other out of the box solutions which seem to have more people complaining. Since I have been reading through that thread over a period of a few weeks and there is just so much material for a newbie to absorb, I want to make sure I understand what it can and can't do and everything that is needed to run it. I saw a very well done walkthru on softmodding on another site, but still had a few questions:

1- Is XBMC really the best choice if I don't want to spend a lot of money but want as many features as I can get? Or is TVIX a better option?

I think XBMC is an awesome option for what I use it for. I have a HD Tivo with 4 tuners so that handles all my HD video needs. Pics look awesome, milkdrop is awesome, it plays any audio, video or graphical file/codec you throw at it and I get good quality results on DVD using 480i output and letting my TV upscale and de-interlace.

2-what are the drawbacks for softmodding it? Does it reduce the ouput quality or just limit possible features?

basic limitations are fancy features like FTP server and easier recovery if the HD in the xbox dies. otherwise Softmod will run anything you can with a hard mod....

3-What are the limitations for streaming video? Does having a component(or dvi if there is such a thing for Xbox) make a difference in the quality? There seemed to be some discussiont that only certain brands of XBOX adapters worked well.. is this true?

The component output looks very good. is it as good as DVI. no. but I can tell you this xbox via component looks so much better on my DLP than any of my buddies 2-3 year HD CRT's its not funny. If you want every once of picture quality get a box with DVI or HDMI but your giving up the coolest MC application out there.. I have also tested my HD Tivo via DVI and component and there is a small difference but the difference is small.

just don't try to make it steam 720P or higher video and it will play ANYTHING! way more than any other device in the market.


4-Can it do HD content?

it drives the monitor at HD for graphics, pictures, music etc but trying to play back any source 720p will not work.

5-In order to turn the box on via remote, you need the DVD adapter as well as an additional mod chip that goes into the case on the motherboard? Does this need to be soldered?

already answered.

6-I have seen a lot of people discussing using Harmony remotes, can XBMC work on other learning Universal remote controls? Like Sony Remote Commander(RM-AV3000) or any of the One for All brand URC's?

Yes

7-How difficult is it to patch/upgrade the box once XBMC has been installed?


trivial if your a slightly skilled pc user and know how to unzip, ftp and occasionally hack on a XML file...
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses...
I have read that there are issues w/ playing dvd's from the player... is this true?

Are there problems playing dvd's streamed over the network as well?

Does the manufacturer of the player make a difference?


Thanks again for your help.
post #6 of 26
There are 3 different DVD drives used in the xbox and some are more fickle about reading burned media than others. I personally have all 3 types of drives and all will read DVD+R's that my NEC 3540 and NEC 3550 DVD writers will write. Your mileage may vary. This does not effect playing over the network as it is an issue with the DVD reader provided not the software player.

NOTE: All xboxs will only play DVD's with booktype set to DVD-ROM. you need to make sure you can burn a disc with booktype of DVD-ROM and not DVD+R or DVD-R

Sean
post #7 of 26
Quote:


5-In order to turn the box on via remote, you need the DVD adapter as well as an additional mod chip that goes into the case on the motherboard? Does this need to be soldered?

If you are solder-illiterate like me, another option to consider would be plugging the xbox into a swtiched outlet that is operated by a remote control. For instance, my receiver has a switched outlet, so I have the xbox plugged into that. There is a power "soft-mod" described here: http://www.xbox-scene.com/articles/easy-xbox-onoff.php. I use a toothpick (which isn't pretty), but the box is stored underneath a chair next to the TV and I never have reason to get at it (this also covers up the noise). Additionally, you can program your remote (through the xml) to shutdown the xbox. If you need to turn it back again, just turn the receiver off and then back on again and the xbox fires up.
post #8 of 26
I believe he was asking about DVD playback of ripped disks, not burnt disks.

from the online manual
http://www.xboxmediacenter.com/wiki/...itle=DVDPlayer
Quote:


Known Issues

For every month that goes by, the native DVD-Player in XBMC is becoming more and more usable/stable for the average end-user. However, there is still a lot of work that can be done on it: For one thing there are still quite a few bugs left in it that should be found and fixed, something we really need your help with (see the "Bug Reporting" section below). Another thing is that not all features that you might expect from a normal DVD-player are implemented yet. Some of these features are listed below under ""Unimplemented Features" and are not considered to be bugs, that does not mean that features not listed below under can be reported as bugs (something that happens too many times)!



Known Bugs

The official list/tracker of known bugs can be found at sourceforge.net

Note! A bug is only ever a bug if the DVDplayer was designed to do something and that thing does not work, for example; a DVD-movie crashes in the middle, produces garbled output, or you see different navigation-menu behaviour compared to a normal standalone DVD-player, or WinDVD/PowerDVD on a PC, or the original DVD-Player of the Xbox.

Unimplemented Features

This is a list of some unsupported features which are not yet planned. If you can program in C/C++ then please feel free to developer a new feature/function or improve/enhance the existing code and submit a patch). Developers are always welcomed to ask question or request help/assistance in our forums (and on IRC) when programming for XBMC:

* External subtitle support when playing DVD's (.SRT/.SUB text-based and. IDX/.SUB bitmap-based subtitles support for DVD-video)
o including a option to manually browse for external subtitle (to select subtitle with different name and from any HDD/share location)
* Cache/Buffer for unnoticeable layer skip (for dual-layer DVD's, a.k.a. DVD9 for originals, and DVD+R Dual-Layer 8.5GB for backups)
* Automatic (weave/bob) deinterlace for interlaced DVDs on progressive TVs, (possible port deinterlacer from DScaler or y4mscaler?)
* Post-Processing filters to enhance visual quality and remove artifacts, etc. (port mainly from MPlayer and FFdshow?)
o SSP (Statistical-Post-Proc.), DeBlocking, DeRinging, Sharpen, Soften, ReQuantization, Auto-Luminance, Blurring/DeNoising
* 2:3 pull-down / ivtc (inverse telecine) for 24 progressive-frames on 30 FPS TV's (use DScaler or y4mscaler, or GPU pixel shader?)
* NTSC => PAL, and PAL => NTSC frame-rate (FPS) adjust and reclock filter for NTSC <=> PAL conversion
o NTSC <=> PAL frame-rate adjust FPS ratios?: 23.97 <=> 25, 24 <=> 25, 30 <=> 25, 25 <=> 30
* Option to manually set a specific DVD region (so you can always in the future play those disc that can't be fooled by 'region masking')
* Dual-subtitle-display (display two subtitles/languages at the same time, one at the bottom as normal plus one at the top of the screen)
* Audio 44.1kHz/88.2kHz/96kHz/192kHz to 48kHz re-sampler (sample rate converter) (like SRC which already been ported to XBMC?)
* DVD-Video tags/meta reading (collect and display IFO/MPEG/AC3/DTS tags)
* DVD-Video codec-info reading (collect and display encoding-info like codecs, resolution, aspect, FPS, bitrate, sample-rate, channels)
* Display current playback-time + total duration, title, chapter, subtitle, angle, aspect-ratio, audio-source, and DVD volume info
o Plus under "advanced" also display: disc-region, resolution, frames-per-second, bitrate, sample-rate, and codecs/filters in use)
* Timestamp-based seeking (jump to a given time)
* Slow-motion, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 speed (usually linked to the pause button)
* Frame-by-frame skip (a.k.a. 'frame stepping'), usually a part of the 'slow-motion' function
* Auto-resume support, if pressing 'pause' before 'stop' then the position is saved, like a hidden bookmark
o When insert play the same DVD again check DISCID and give option to resume, (like PowerDVD)
* Closed Captions pass-through (like DVDx2/xboxdash), and software-decoding (from 32 streams) for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
o FYI, xine has support for SPU decoder for subpictures and Closed Captions software decoding, so does Ogle but not as good)
* DVDDiscID, DVDUDFVolumeInfo and DVDISOVolumeInfo reading (and displaying) support
* Use the DVDDiscID/DISCID to cache CSS-keys in libdvdcss (as supported by libdvdcss version 1.2.9 and later)
* Option to 'bypass' PUO (Prohibited User Operations), (should be disabled by default as on a normal standalone DVD-player)
* An option to skip FBI/copyright-warnings, ads and 'pre-menu' trailers and jump directly to the main title-menu
o Plus an additional alternatively option to jump directly to main movie would be very nice as well
* Parental control, set parental-level: G, Level-2, PG, PG-13, Level-5, R, NC-17, Level-8, Unlimited (default)
post #9 of 26
I plan on using the XBMC strictly for playing movies and music, no games or Live connectivity. Is it better to get a soft modded system or hardware modded, or does it matter? I see the issue about soft modding if "something goes wrong", but does it matter for this type of function? Perhaps if "something goes wrong" and I can't access any of my customization, but I plan on storing content on other system servers, not the XBMC.

Thanks
post #10 of 26
Its better to get a softmod if all you want to do is burn backups of games. I recommend getting a Duox2($10) modchip installed if you are going to be upgrading the hard drive. It's as simple as that.

If you want your xbox to match your entertainment system or stop being so loud a local modder with refs from Xbox-scene forums regional install thread can help you out.

Thanks,
Jason @ Teamxbox
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

There are 3 different DVD drives used in the xbox and some are more fickle about reading burned media than others. I personally have all 3 types of drives and all will read DVD+R's that my NEC 3540 and NEC 3550 DVD writers will write. Your mileage may vary. This does not effect playing over the network as it is an issue with the DVD reader provided not the software player.

NOTE: All xboxs will only play DVD's with booktype set to DVD-ROM. you need to make sure you can burn a disc with booktype of DVD-ROM and not DVD+R or DVD-R

Sean

I bought a used Xbox that appears to have a Thomson dvd player... it appears to play DVD-R, but it did not play a CR-R (music cd)that I had burned.
Do you know if this is a known problem w/ this model or is this a limitation with all the dvd players?
post #12 of 26
There are a lot of different mod chips out there, does it make any difference which one I use? I've seen feature comparison charts, but I have no idea what those feature are or how they affect using an Xbox for XBMC.

Can XBMC play back Divx 960x528 smoothly?

How well does XBMC handle FF (scan) and RW (review)? Does it have an instant 30 second jump to skip commercials?

I would rather spend an extra $100 to get a pre-modded Xbox instead of spending hours of my time trying to figure it out. Can anybody here recommend a reliable source? Thanks!
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil 420 View Post

There are a lot of different mod chips out there, does it make any difference which one I use? I've seen feature comparison charts, but I have no idea what those feature are or how they affect using an Xbox for XBMC.

Can XBMC play back Divx 960x528 smoothly?

How well does XBMC handle FF (scan) and RW (review)? Does it have an instant 30 second jump to skip commercials?

I would rather spend an extra $100 to get a pre-modded Xbox instead of spending hours of my time trying to figure it out. Can anybody here recommend a reliable source? Thanks!

For XBMC I think any chip will work fine. XBMC is pretty simple to get up and running.

Not sure on 960x528 but I could check. If you could send me a sample I could try it for you. The XBOX chokes on any real HD content (TS/wmvhd 1080p)

FF works reasonably well but RW isn't very good... but there is a jump (that is configurable) that defaults I believe to 30secs. This works quite well.

Good luck.. I really like my XBMC boxes..
post #14 of 26
hi,
anyone knows how to get DD5.1 and DTS to work in XBMC/XBOX ?
Yes, I am using MS HD Cable pack. 720p/1080i works perfectly.

Pro Logic II works...but not DTS and DD5.1 .. I just get 2 channels sound.

5.1/DTS has been enabled in MS Dash Board.

My Receiver sees, it gets a Digital Signal (both for DD, and DTS), but, just 2 channels stereo sound.

Anyone has any ideas ? Could it be the cable I am using (got one from GameStop).


thanks.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbkmenon View Post

hi,
anyone knows how to get DD5.1 and DTS to work in XBMC/XBOX ?
Yes, I am using MS HD Cable pack. 720p/1080i works perfectly.

Pro Logic II works...but not DTS and DD5.1 .. I just get 2 channels sound.

5.1/DTS has been enabled in MS Dash Board.

My Receiver sees, it gets a Digital Signal (both for DD, and DTS), but, just 2 channels stereo sound.

Anyone has any ideas ? Could it be the cable I am using (got one from GameStop).


thanks.


Stupid questions...

You have visited XBMC Setting and set audio hardware stuff to digital, and enabled DD5.1 & DTS pasthrough.?

You probably have. But it's worth asking.

Go to MS dashboard and tell it the box is connected via toslink and has all the digital bells & whistles on the other end. ( I think thats an option but can;t check atm)

I use MS HD Pack and always get the DD5.1 & DTS flag set properly when playing back stuff (pioneer reciever/amp). So I'd suspect a setup issue. the MS HS packs are supposed to be very good, whaereas the third party crap doesn't give good redults..

Check your fiber optic. If your amp has rca input for digital try that just for shits & giggles.


'When in doubt, swap it out'
post #16 of 26
Ok so ... I'm going to resurrect my old xbox by installing the Xecutor 3. It is really ashame that my 360 can't handle streaming anything but WMV. The biggest question I have is will XBMC be able to handle the transport streams (.tp) being generated by Beyond TV??
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersonc View Post

Ok so ... I'm going to resurrect my old xbox by installing the Xecutor 3. It is really ashame that my 360 can't handle streaming anything but WMV. The biggest question I have is will XBMC be able to handle the transport streams (.tp) being generated by Beyond TV??


no idea what beyond TV is. if the .tp is a mpeg-2 it will up to a certain resolution. All this is discussed in detail on the official XBMC website and the online wiki....

and in the other XBMC thread here...

http://www.xboxmediacenter.com/wiki/...t_Can_it_Do%3F

Sean
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersonc View Post

Ok so ... I'm going to resurrect my old xbox by installing the Xecutor 3. It is really ashame that my 360 can't handle streaming anything but WMV. The biggest question I have is will XBMC be able to handle the transport streams (.tp) being generated by Beyond TV??

A friend of mine find that this software works well for his 360 -> http://www.orb.com/

I intend to hack my 360 so I've not explored the streaming etc. yet - I've not even played a game with it yet (lol). I dunno' if the XBOX will play a .TP stream but if there's a smaple somewhere we could try we could tell you.
post #19 of 26
i believe a .tp is the same a .ts -- this is the transport stream of the HD signal.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmo34 View Post

I bought a used Xbox that appears to have a Thomson dvd player... it appears to play DVD-R, but it did not play a CR-R (music cd)that I had burned.
Do you know if this is a known problem w/ this model or is this a limitation with all the dvd players?


I have destroyed a lot od DVDs and CDs trying to burn media files for the XBOX. I have the Samsung drive 605F. It seems that the drive is more sensitive to the burning software rather the actual media or recorder. I was always able to read ISO burned DVDs. I was also able to read Joliet DVDs in most cases. When it comes to using UDF XBOX was never to read the contents of the DVD.
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by attractor View Post

I have destroyed a lot od DVDs and CDs trying to burn media files for the XBOX. I have the Samsung drive 605F. It seems that the drive is more sensitive to the burning software rather the actual media or recorder. I was always able to read ISO burned DVDs. I was also able to read Joliet DVDs in most cases. When it comes to using UDF XBOX was never to read the contents of the DVD.


Yep...

A lot of my friends burners have issues with their xboxes...

I use Nero and my NEC 3540 DVD Burner with the Samsung drive and it reads most everything. The samsungs are the least picky of xbox drives...

The other two brands of which RCA is one, are far more sensitive to playing burned media... Its been a known issue for years... The samsung is the drive to have and if you have a mod chip you can swap in a PC DVD ROM. Not sure if you can do that with the soft mod....

on UDF... I have nothing but trouble with those things even on my PC. I'm sure they got better but I gave up on using them years ago...

Another thing to beware of is that the DVD Booktype needs to be set to DVD-ROM and not DVD+R for example. Google: DVD booktype or DVD bitsetting if you don't know what I mean. Some drives are easy to tweak (LiteOns)... Some you can put hacked firmware on them like my NEC-3540 and some like my sony laptop cannot burn a DVD that will play in the xbox. (This feature is a copy protection feature MS specificcally enabled in the xbox to prevent the xbox from playing burned movies )

good luck...

Sean
post #22 of 26
could someone help pls?

i bought a pack of verbatim DVD+R DL.
i used Nero Burning Rom and burned video files onto the DVD+R DL
and XBMC can not read it.. it just says the drive is empty.

what is going on?

when it is burning in nero, it says changing booktype to DVD-Rom...

I think i have a thomson drive in my xbox.

and this is the dvd writer i have:
a samsung SH-S182M/BEBE.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt45joe View Post

could someone help pls?

i bought a pack of verbatim DVD+R DL.
i used Nero Burning Rom and burned video files onto the DVD+R DL
and XBMC can not read it.. it just says the drive is empty.

what is going on?

when it is burning in nero, it says changing booktype to DVD-Rom...

I think i have a thomson drive in my xbox.

and this is the dvd writer i have:
a samsung SH-S182M/BEBE.


There is one key problem most people overlook which is the single most important aspect of Xbox and reading burned media. This only effects DVD's. CD's in the non samung models are defintely flakey but with a properly burned DVD with the booktype set properly it seems to always work with DVD+R and DVD+R DL DVD-R.

There is setting called booktype that indentifies the media type: DVD-ROM like you buy in the store and DVD+R, DVD-R, etc...

Xbox Drives are limited to play DVD-ROM booktype discs.

Many DVD drives allow you to set this is NERO. So you configure your burner to ALWAYS SET THE BOOKTYPE to DVD-ROM.

If your burner does not support this out of the box. goto... cdfreaks.com or here and look for patched drive firmware...

I have tested this on a dozen plus xboxes with about 4 different burners. The results are always consistent for DVD's....

Have Fun

Sean

BTW: Sorry missed the part about boopktype. that looks right... My thompson drive reads DL's from my NEC and Plextor...

validate the burned disc does indeed have booktype set to DVD-ROM

Sean
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

There is one key problem most people overlook which is the single most important aspect of Xbox and reading burned media. This only effects DVD's. CD's in the non samung models are defintely flakey but with a properly burned DVD with the booktype set properly it seems to always work with DVD+R and DVD+R DL DVD-R.

There is setting called booktype that indentifies the media type: DVD-ROM like you buy in the store and DVD+R, DVD-R, etc...

Xbox Drives are limited to play DVD-ROM booktype discs.

Many DVD drives allow you to set this is NERO. So you configure your burner to ALWAYS SET THE BOOKTYPE to DVD-ROM.

If your burner does not support this out of the box. goto... cdfreaks.com or here and look for patched drive firmware...

I have tested this on a dozen plus xboxes with about 4 different burners. The results are always consistent for DVD's....

Have Fun

Sean

BTW: Sorry missed the part about boopktype. that looks right... My thompson drive reads DL's from my NEC and Plextor...

validate the burned disc does indeed have booktype set to DVD-ROM

Sean

Have you had any success with Verbatim DVD+R DL? My xbox can't seem to read past the first layer on these discs with the Samsung drive.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ja Phule View Post

Have you had any success with Verbatim DVD+R DL? My xbox can't seem to read past the first layer on these discs with the Samsung drive.


Can't say I have used Verbatim Media. Usually TDK or HP.... I have burned several hundred dual layer discs and 0 problems so far

Sean
post #26 of 26
does anyone know with the hd cable with optical and analog stereo, if theres a way to output both simultaneously?
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