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176 posts

Master Geek

Topic # 26888 6-Oct-2008 19:10
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Hey guys im just after a bit of help,

I am wanting to put a device in my home thaetre that i can hook into my home network then hook into my amp. i dont have the money to build a htpc atm, i am wanting to do this cheap. Does anyone have any good ideas?


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79 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 169394 6-Oct-2008 19:59
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If you want real cheap then you could get a modded xbox and use xbmc as your dash. I to dont have the dosh to build my own htpc yet. I bought a already modded xbox of trademe for $150 with the stock standard hdd and hooked it into my network and use xbmc to access my NAS drive and it's great. I actually have two xbox unit's working like this.

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Master Geek

  Reply # 169397 6-Oct-2008 20:04
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What do you mean by modded xbox? this would allow me to access my media content hosted in my desktop pc but available throught he home net work?


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 169400 6-Oct-2008 20:25
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A modded Xbox is a Xbox running custom software through a software exploit on the dashboard. It allows you to setup XBMC on your xbox. It's quite good for streaming media over the network. XBMC is a open source software project with regular updates. However it can't really stream HD content since Xbox is about 9 years old. But for SD content and amount you pay for the Xbox it's worthwhile. Make sure you buy a unmodded Xbox as half of the fun is setting it up. Plus you need some binary files in case you need to upgrade the hard drive. Have a look around, there are couple of good guides on setting XBMC on your xbox from scratch.

lotech posted about his setup here.

If you setup XBMC have a look at mediastream skin.

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Master Geek

  Reply # 169417 6-Oct-2008 21:09
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STI certainly know's his stuff about xbox modding I quite like the xtv skin, I have my xbox hooked up to my 32inch bravia with a component lead and the pq is great and I have no problems.


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 169435 6-Oct-2008 22:17
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I have my Xbox connected to a 29inch CRT TV via component, so picture quality isn't great. It's much better than running through composite thought, but really need a high definition TV to get advantage of new skins and amount of information on the screen. Final addition to completing your home theater experience on Xbox is to get a optical audio output cable. It's officially called High Definition AV Pack. I found it hard to find one locally on Trademe so got one from ebay. My speaker system is a Logitech 680z THX which can do Dolby decoding.

p.s. Kevthesparky have you tried mediastream skin? I haven't tried xTV skin. I really like how mediastream let you display fan art on the background while browsing through movies/tv series.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 170073 9-Oct-2008 09:42
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I like the Popcorn Hour (see other forum here). It plays just about everything apart from our FreeviewHD broadcasts (can't handle the audio that all channel use apart from TV3). It was good value at US$180 plus about $30 shipping - perhaps slightly less so now with the dollar having dropped.

It's more expensive than a modded XBOX but it does HD fine, is small, has HDMI out, SPDIF out, USB connectors, can take an internal IDE drive and is network ready. And if you're prepared to do a little work, the FreeviewHD broadcasts can be transcoded (audio only) to AC-3 which the Popcorn can play.

System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast


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