Tag Archives: xboxmediacentre

XBMC used for in hotel system

XBMC?

I was in Amsterdam for the Quantified Self conference (blog post coming soon) and the whole conference was in a hotel called Casa 400. It was a good conference but what was strange was the TV in my hotel room which look familiar to me.

XBMC?

I swear it was XBMC underneath but unfortunately the functionality they could have enabled like Samba/NFS shares, DLNA, UPnP and heck Airplay were not available. If they were it would make for an amazing in room system on top of a already technically great hotel. Couldn’t knock there wifi deployment one bit, even with 4 devices using it all day…

XBMC?

Xbox media centre on a linux PC

Xbox media centre on linux

I've made up my mind. Forget the XboX 360 and PS3, they suck for a home entertainment centre. MythTV and Windows Media Centre are too heavy and too focused on replacing the DVR/PVR era of devices. To hell with the seriously underpowered AppleTV and Wii, I might as well stick to the Xbox if I was consider one of those. Nope its all about Xbox media centre on Linux, Mac and even Windows. Jon's experience of the next XBMC is certainly of interest to myself, however Jon doesn't go into details about how to install it.

It's been a long time. I haven't even been an XBMC user since May. In May I got a new HDTV so I needed to move to something that could render my HD content. That path brought me to MediaPortal. The old xbmp fork. And well… its garbage.

I don't mean to sound like an ass, but compared to the codebase of XBMC, MediaPortal is junk. Its full of bugs and just feels terrible. The devs at least know this, and are working on MediaPortal 2. So that should be interesting to watch. But all in all, running my mediacenter on Windows just blew.

So last Saturday I decided to check on XBMC for Linux's progress. And to my surprise it is practically feature complete! It all works! Now, for how long is another question. Lets just say that I wrote a trusty Ruby script to watch for XboxMediaCenter, and if it crashes, it gets relaunched. So yeah, its not really primetime, but it works great and is fast.

So I decided to go check it out myself. First port of call was the xbox media centre linux wiki. For Windows users the easist way to get XBMC is to run VMware's Player and grab the virtual environment images. Theres a few staticly hosted files or a torrent file. There's a whole thread here on setting it all up in VMware. I opted for the compile your own which is detailed in a readme file in the VM image.

The steps are pretty simple for Ubuntu 7.x

  1. # sudo apt-get install subversion
  2. # cd $HOME
  3. # svn checkout https://xbmc.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/xbmc/branches/linuxport/XBMC
    1. For Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn):

      # sudo apt-get install make g++-4.1 gcc-4.1 libsdl1.2-dev libsdl-image1.2-dev libsdl-gfx1.2-dev libsdl-mixer1.2-dev libsdl-sound1.2-dev libsdl-stretch-dev libcdio6 libcdio-dev libfribidi0 libfribidi-dev liblzo1 liblzo-dev libfreetype6 libfreetype6-dev libsqlite3-0 libsqlite3-dev libogg-dev libsmbclient-dev libsmbclient libasound2-dev python2.4-dev python2.4 python-sqlite libglew1 libglew-dev libcurl3-dev g++ gawk x11proto-xinerama-dev libxinerama-dev libxrandr-dev libxrender-dev libmms-dev pmount
    2. For Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon):

      # sudo apt-get install make g++-4.1 gcc-4.1 libsdl1.2-dev libsdl-image1.2-dev libsdl-gfx1.2-dev libsdl-mixer1.2-dev libsdl-sound1.2-dev libsdl-stretch-dev libcdio6 libcdio-dev libfribidi0 libfribidi-dev liblzo1 liblzo-dev libfreetype6 libfreetype6-dev libsqlite3-0 libsqlite3-dev libogg-dev libsmbclient-dev libsmbclient libasound2-dev python2.4-dev python2.4 python-sqlite libglew1.4 libglew1.4-dev libcurl3-dev g++ gawk x11proto-xinerama-dev libxinerama-dev libxrandr-dev libxrender-dev libmms-dev pmount
  4. # ./build.sh
  5. # ../BUILD/Xboxmediacenter

Its not working for me right now, because (I think) Compizfusion is screwing up the display. But I'll know for sure once I try it on another machine. Stay tuned…

IT WORKS! Ok its 4am and I've just got Xbox media centre working on my workstation which doesn't have compizfusion enabled or installed. Like Jon said its all there except 3d and special effects. I found it very slow at larger resolutions and unstable at anything over 800×600 but it could be my cheap onboard graphics or slow single 2.8ghz AMD processor. I've uploaded a load of screenshots on to Flickr before going to bed. More about this when I get home tomorrow.

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Whats up with the Xbox Mediacentre 2.1?

Robert Heron and Roger Chan are back with Team Blackbolt's 360 Blad Skin on top of XBMC on a modded Xbox.

They show off some of the new python scripts including the youtube one and revision3 one.

Since What's Up With Xbox Media Center has not had an update for quite some time, I thought it would be a good time to talk about some of the new developments. Some of Xbmc has been ported to the PC to make it easier to build skins and python scripts. People have been asking if a full port will be next but the creators have denied this for now.

  1. It's not a full port, nor is it planned to be a full port. We are not planning on abandoning the xbox anytime soon.
  2. With that said, most stuff works – at least stuff useful for the target audience.
  3. It's designed primarily for skinners and python developers who can test out their skins and scripts without having to transfer everything to the xbox.

Basically, it's a simple port of the majority of XBMC. This includes the entire gui system, file listing, some of the filesystem code (eg local, database files, zip + rar etc.), very simple audio playback, slideshows, python scripts and so on. Video playback is not supported, nor are screensavers or visualisations (basically anything that was relying on the xbox version of directx).

And last up there was a interesting interview with a series of xbox mediacentre coders.

I'm still of the mind that Xbmc should be ported to the PC and Apple operating systems. I'm hoping with the new XNA game studio express kit it might be possible to build XBMC for the Xbox 360. But actually with the PS3's somewhat openness for Linux it looks much more likely that Xbmc 3.0 will make a home there. Microsoft are not keen on Sony's new move.

When asked about Sony's efforts to create a homebrew culture by allowing Linux to be installed freely on the PlayStation 3 (albeit without access to the RSX graphics chipset, among other restrictions), Mitchell commented: “On the one hand I've got to commend them for moving up their platform there, but we really don't view what Sony and PlayStation 3 and particularly the Linux solution that they are making available – we don't really view that as a competitive offering or trying to do something in the same vein.”

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