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Is XBOX360 a decent replacement for HTPC?

3026 Views 57 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  bjmarchini
could anyone comment on subject?
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as for the subject, the Xbox is annoyingly noisy... doesn't play ripped DVD's, doesn't play any bluray...

but I do prefer it for games...

does make a nice add on for a HT.... just doesn't really replace a HTPC as such...
It all depends on how much freedom you want with the device.

With the 360 your stuck with a very limited amount of choices in terms of ripping music/viewing movies, etc. You just can't do as many things with a 360 as you can an HTPC.

Are you going to be using this for HD-DVD's? Because if you don't have any interest in HD-DVD's/Blu-Ray, honestly the original Xbox is a better HTPC substitute than the 360. The only reason you'd say the 360 is because the machine can handle HD, where as obviously the original Xbox can't do much of anything with it.

But you're asking a question that has a bit more of a complex answer than you're looking for. I mean yes, it's "decent." But an Xbox 360 is obviously nowhere close to a PC in terms of flexibility and the amount of things you can do with it, so you just have to ask yourself how much you plan on using this device and all the things you want to use it for?

Me personally (and I'm sure many people on this board) couldn't imagine using an Xbox 360 as the sole device. It's fine for an extender, but for the main device, it's just nowhere close.
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Personally, to me HTPC means AT LEAST a DVR and a movie library function. Xbox 360 can do neither. OTOH, I'm using it as an extender and it performs magnificently as such.
for basic stuff yes. but recording and ripping.. no. if you have a regular pc that can do that.. then maybe
You could maybe go for a PS3. It´s getting a TV receiver quickly, I reckon recording is no problem then, also it is not that noisy.

yea, the Xbox could do all sorts of great things, but I fear that our Benevolent Microsoft Overlords have somehow fallen under the control of our Benevolent Media Overlords who are terribly afraid that if we could actually use their Media in the manor of our choosing that the world will somehow come to an end...

of course there is the sageTV HD extender , it can pretty much do everything right now...

Originally Posted by ZenerDiode /forum/post/12910466

Personally, to me HTPC means AT LEAST a DVR and a movie library function. Xbox 360 can do neither. OTOH, I'm using it as an extender and it performs magnificently as such.

I second that. I made it so my 360 HDDVD addon is all internal in my HTPC case.

but I can still use it on my 360 via USB when I want.

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only thign i use mien for is games and playing all networked media like divx/avi/xvid/etc. but it does not play .mkv files which are my 720p HD movies.
We use our xbox 360 for almost everything nowadays, but we don't have cable or anything, so we have no need for DVR-type service, and I just play all of my ripped movies over the network from my computer.

I really wish media center over the extender worked well, because its pretty sexy, but it just isn't usable, plus it doesn't play avi or divx, while the xbox video player does(as of December update)

To get your files on your computer through the xbox, you have to link up all your files up in the windows media player library, then go to settings and find the sharing dialog and pick the xbox360 to share to, then if the stars are aligned you should be able to see all of your files through the xbox.

I use the xbox for:



Movies(plays all my ripped DVD's perfect)

and thats really all we need.

I guess if you need a ripper or a DVR in your living room, but for everything else, i don't really see a need for a dedicated HTPC.

I figure if I want to rip a DVD I can walk 10 feet to my room and rip it onto my computer then the xbox will see it right away and i can play the file in the living room.

Note: i really wish they made the media features on the xbox better and more useable, it sucks that you have to do all this dancing around to get things to work. It took me about two weeks of trying, getting frustrated, giving up and trying again before i got it to do what i wanted it to do. but it does now

Note2: The xbox is noisy... but my projector is also about as noisy, so the added xbox noise doesnt really push me over the edge, although i do wish they were both quieter.
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...mabye i should put together a guide post for getting the 360 to do stuff...
brandontw - how are you getting the Xbox to play your ripped DVD's?

Originally Posted by yamahaSHO /forum/post/12915111

brandontw - how are you getting the Xbox to play your ripped DVD's?

Probably with a modified "modded" Xbox.
My never been moded 360 plays all dvd's ripped or not but it wont play MKV 720 files so on that note not a good media player for all around use but its great for most things and sits right beside my HTPC. I have a 400 dvd collection from America but when I buy a local Japanese dvd it wont play because of the region thing so I have to rip it regionfree to play it on the Xbox for the family. I could buy a Japanese dvd player for the tv but then we are getting into way too many duplicate pieces of equipment. I really hate the region codes. But just another way to take advantage of your consumers by charging dramatically different prices for the same media. But that was way off the topic. The 360 is a great addition to your setup but will not replace a good HTPC.
thanks for all replies

I considered XBox360 + HDDVD as an extender to existing PC which has shared music and some AVIs. I probably do not care about MKV as I will use Netfilx HDDVDs. As I see it now there are 2 major problems for me:

1. Netflix Instant Watch - hopefully, it will work someday on XBOX

2. TV recoding. Althought, I do not watch TV because it sucks with all the junk and low content, occasinally I do want to see some sport and news. Also, weather. Is it possible on XBox360? maybe Microsoft has something to offer? Or some workaround?

I would really hate to spend 1000 bucks on HTPC and hours of installing and tweaking. Also, off the shelf HTPCs are bulky.
There is no TV recording option for the 360. Things have been tossed around as POSSIBLY happening eventually, but nothing concrete. And even if it did happen, the largest HD you can use on the 360 right now is 120gb, correct? That's absolutely nothing for a media PC. It would fill up in no time.

If you're someone who REALLY wants an HTPC, you just need to get past the initial 1000-ish investment for the PC and the up front time it takes to get everything installed/setup. That's a day or two of your time for a machine that will ALWAYS be able to do whatever you want it to do, and not be stuck to the limitations of the 360.

And I'll say this, if you're really looking for a console, the PS3 is a much better solution than the 360. You can put (pretty much) any size HD you want into it, and it has a ton of great features.

But it's up to you. You're just going to have a hard time finding many people at all on here to tell you that getting a 360 is an acceptable replacement for a true HTPC. As an extender? Sure, fine. But as the main box, no way.
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No tv recoding option? their is when you use it a a media center extender to me nothing tops this function although sage now comes in ahead with dvd function but not as slick as interface as vista media center on the xbox. I converted all my movies to mpeg and they play fine with my movies I love the xbox 360 as an extender and a dvr,movie player, picture viewer.
Yes but that's the issue, he is talking about using the 360 as the main "HTPC," and not as an extender.

Gotcha I misunderstood in that case no unless you want to purchase all your shows from xbox live.
I bought an Elite to use as an extender, but promptly returned it. It generally sounds either like a jet about to take off, or like a dentist drill. Either way, it's unfit for a bedroom, or any other relatively quiet space.

If you want something small and quiet, look into an Intel Mac Mini, which can run natively all popular operating systems, including Vista. It's great advantage is that it is smaller than the XBOX, well-built and cheap (can be had for less than $500 for a 1.8 Core 2 Dual in the factory recon section on the Apple site.) The disadvantage is that it uses the Intel 950 chipset, which is not supported by PowerDVD 7.x for HD-DVD or BR playback.

The other small alternative, but with a chipset with full support for HD formats, is the AOPEN MP965, but it's a little pricier.

Neither of them would be great for games.

Again, personally, I'd stay away from the XBOX 360.
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