XBox like media center with old hardware

Posted on 2006-03-24
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have a friend with a modded Xbox that he is using for XBMC (Xbox Media Center) to watch his DivX/XviD videos and play games in emulation (NES, SNES, N64, Genesis, etc).

Is there a good linux solution that would provide that type of functionality for me on my TV?

I know about MythTV, but I don't know if it will work without a capture card.  I don't know if I want to drop the cash on a hardware based encoding capture card.

Question by:Jared Luker
    LVL 27

    Expert Comment

    Xbox is a hardware solution and your frient hasn't wasted money.
    If you like to use Linux, it will run on your computer and monitor, not on TV :)
    Total cost of such solution is much higher than just xbox+tv.

    I've looked to MythTV project. It's only a software, not OS. But there is a link to KNoppix Linux distro optimized for MythTV: which you can burn to CD, insert and boot as your mediacenter. After that you probably will have access to DIvX videous and MP3 tracks and firewire capturing capability.

    If want to watch TV channels on such Linux (on any linux), you do need to buy a TV capture card.
    If you like to play games (as on xbox) - by an xbox.

    Anyway you need a computer and it costs higher then xbox.
    LVL 17

    Author Comment

    by:Jared Luker
    I already have a PC with plenty of power to do what I want it to.  I just don't want to buy a capture card.

    An XBox would cost me way more than even buying a decent capture card.

    I'm also well aware of MythTV and KnoppMyth.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Perhaps you might want to try Freevo, if you don't want to use MythTV. And yes, MythTV will work without a TV tuner, just that you lose the TV viewing and recording functionality.

    Here's a tip though, don't use 64-bit processors. I tried it, and the binaries for MythTV and Freevo were screwed on the 64-bit repositories.

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Just get KnoppMyth, it will do almost everything XBMC does.  It's a live cd so the most you've wasted would be the bandwidth and cd you burned it on.
    LVL 17

    Author Comment

    by:Jared Luker
    I have tried knoppmyth and mythdora, and for one reason or another, neither will install on this machine.
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    What does it do?  Does it lock up at a specific point?  Do you get an error?
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    If you just want to be able to play Games and Watch DVD's On your TV you don't need a captutre card. Just buy a decent computer with some power. MythTV is for creating a PVR like system, recording live TV, and so forth. I would just get a decent box 700mhz-1ghz, and install a DVD ROM, Decent Graphics card with tv out, a remote control joystick, and download a bunch of free emulators(Not to metion some other cool games for linuz e.g GLTron, Freedroid). I'm pretty sure you can even use the LIRC project to program the whole thing to your TV remote. Check it out.

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