I'm thinking of getting a modded Xbox (first gen) with large HDD and XBMC installed to use as my media centre, but thought I'd see what other's experiences with it were (questions at the bottom.)
In early 2006 I bought a new GIgabyte HA91 HTPC running XP MCE but it was always buggy, and after a few months I gave up on it and sold it.
I then bought a 2.5" HDD Enclosure Media Player like this, which is what I've been using for the last 2 years. The Remote and the OSD/menu's were pretty useless, but once it was playing it was fine.
Unfortunately that died last week (the enclosure, not the HDD) so we're now stuck with no way to play any divx files. I'm sick enough of the HDD-player that I don't really want another one, so am now looking at what to do instead.
I don't watch much live tv (my wife & toddler will have it on during the day) so Freeview and recording/pausing live tv aren't high on my priorities (though they'd be a nice to have.)
I know the Xbox can't handle true HD, but I'm not an AV-buff, or an audio-buff, so that type of thing doesn't bother me much.
32" Panasonic LCD TV; Wii (so not that interested in the old xbox for gaming); Old Dvd-recorder that seems like it might be dying too, though we hardly ever use it any more.
Also, I'm a tightwad (aren't we all?), so don't like spending any more than I have to, so I'm reluctant to spend $1000+ for a decent HTPC if an xbox is going to work ok.
I had a look at the Asus eee box which was nice and cheap, but it seemed like it would probably be a bit under-powered.
So I figure my options are:
-- Go back to the HDD-player - $160
-- Try out Xbox+XBMC - $300 (w/ 320gb drive)
-- HTPC - $1000-$2000
(-- DVD-Recorder w/HDD, but then the divx files all get mixed together, and its a hassle uploading from USB)
(-- Theres also a geekzone forum for the Popcorn Hour, but seems like its a similar price to a HTPC, and not a lot more benefits.)
Have any of you upgraded from the xbox+xbmc to an HTPC? Why?
Any of you still using an Xbox and happy with it? Why?
Any other cheap-ish options I should consider?