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Hardware to replace Xbox Media Center


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Thanks for the reply cluberti. I find it strange that Microsoft can't use a universal filter to decode their videos. mplayer (the underlying media player in XBMC) is fully capable of playing high-def formats - it's just that the CPU in the old Xbox can't handle it.

You assume it's the same software in both, when in fact it isn't - the 360 isn't even intel-based.

I don't think he was making a direct comparison like that. More of an example of the concept.

X360 would be nice but I don't intend to buy/run an MCE machine to support it. Though I do recall seeing something about people playing content from HDDs through their X360 somehow. Not sure that is a hack of some sort. One great thing about XBMC is that it has very flexible streaming options that don't require an MCE.

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You assume it's the same software in both, when in fact it isn't - the 360 isn't even intel-based.

I know that the X360 isn't Intel based, but mplayer has been compiled for x86 and PPC platforms (much like VLC is available cross-platform). Both of these media players are capable of rendering a much wider variety of media formats than what you listed.

Media playback isn't hardware based after all. ;)

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I was looking at those products, but neither of them would support high-def material (1080p). I doubt that they'd have the hardware capabilities for that, and judging by that as well, your support for HD-DVD/BluRay is out as well.

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HD is important to me, but not necessarily Blu-Ray/HDDVD.

You're right about the Neuros (doh!) but it looks like there are a couple of Mvix devices that do HD. The MX-760HD and MX-780HD. The devices appeal to me but I checked out the community and it seemed like most of them were not happy with the products and the company.

Here are some others that might work and I'd like to hear from anyone that owns one:

D-Link DSM-330 DivX Connected™ HD Media Player

D-Link DSM-510 High-Definition Media Player

D-Link DSM-520 Wireless HD Media Player

Netgear EVA8000

MediaGate MG-350HD

tvixbox has lots of devices.

EZMedia EZfetch

Seems like whenver I read reviews of these devices I keep seeing them compared to Apple TV. Maybe I should check one out? I've never considered it before as I have no Apple experience, but "Take Two" is apparently going to be a free software-only upgrade and removes the requirement to use associated Apple software (ala MCE).

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The only two problems I have with the Apple TV were the two that totally turned me off as both are "showstoppers" to me:

1. It doesn't support playback of anything higher than 720p - no 1080p (or even 1080i).

2. It doesn't support playback of anything other than MP4 or H.264 (no support for anything else, period).

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best i can figure is to buy a mini tower computer (atx or btx :)), install a linux media center (like here, or here, or even here.

I have not yet found a XBMC like software that will integrate into the 360 like the orignail does on a normal XBOX. atthe end of the day all the xbox and xbox 360 are, are glorified PC components in a system that is restrictive of how they are used. By building a linux PC/Server you can have the media center feel without having o format your hd in a specific xFat format, configure he drivers so you can add a DVD+/-RW....need i go on :)

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Thanks for those links. I agree that LinuxMCE is interesting. And the guide you linked mentions using different software frontends.

Found a few other things recently that are worth linking:

MediaMVP, but current version doesn't appear to do HD

LaCie silverscreen, which does appear to do HD

...and the most interesting thing I've found recently... XBMC Finds a Home on Your Mac. If only I had a Mac to try that out :( It appears to be based on the Linux port, so maybe that means there is a usable version of that port after all?

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The only two problems I have with the Apple TV were the two that totally turned me off as both are "showstoppers" to me:

1. It doesn't support playback of anything higher than 720p - no 1080p (or even 1080i).

2. It doesn't support playback of anything other than MP4 or H.264 (no support for anything else, period).

Did someone say 1080p output? Oh yes, it's finally enabled!

http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/12/apple-tv-take-2-take-two/

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I have a spare system to install Ubuntu on for that. It'll also give me a chance to make a testing platform for this discussion. I just need to find a new KVM switch, since I need DVI for my monitor.

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