Xbox Media Center vs. Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by wrxpert, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2007
    I was just wondering if anyone here runs the xbox media center witch will do just about everything the apple TV will do plus more? Not to mentions this is a much less expencive solution.
  2. macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    Got a question about XBMC?

    ask me, i use it every day, pretty much all day.

    call me a nerd, call me a couch potato, its THE greatest thing, EVER.

    I will never get rid of my XBOX, ever. Its usefulness is unimaginable.

    As for the cost, you need:

    an XBOX - $80-120
    a modchip - $20-60
    an IDE/ATA HDD - $50-350

    so, it may cost less, but its not a "right-out-the-box" useable. plus, XBMC is awesome, but using a modded xbox is not as simple as drag n drop, you need to know how to FTP to the box etc etc, how to upgrade XBMC without killing your machine...and more than likely, how to trouble shoot your xbox and XBMC.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2007
    I would actualy love some tips in optimizing it. I know I havent figured out 1/2 of the advance uses yet.
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2007
    I actualy soft modded mine. So I had no additional cost. I use it to run high def video stored on my pc.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY

    FTP, ugrading XBMC, How to get it to run like :apple: TV...No damn clue. :(
  6. macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2005
    another possibility is the 360 media center + connect 360 + visualhub. takes a few minutes to convert a video to WMV though.

    no hardware mod required
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Cult Follower

    Feb 20, 2007
    North Dakota
  8. macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    its a piece of crap compared to XBMC 2.0

    XBMC can and will play anything mplayer can.

    i forgot about the softmod. thats always a possibility, im just scared it leaves no backup in case of catastrophe...

    trust me, XBMC is the shizzle.

    as for tweaking it, the xml files are really simplified now, just getting all the files in the right places on the right partitions needs some know how, or you are in deep poo.
  9. macrumors newbie


    Mar 13, 2007
    hamburg, germany

    at first i thought that :apple:TV would be awesome but then...

    i`ll not buy it - why should i? downloading movies sucks so much i want a dvd with booklet and special features and everything. same with music. only situation i download music from itunes is when i just want to have one or two songs from an artist. i like the idea of a real cd with a real booklet and stuff.

    so whats the use of :apple:TV? as i know, you can`t even use it as a recorder. i just dont get why just being able to view your iTunes content on your tv is a sellingpoint. the features are just too boring.

    i have to say that i am a real apple enthusiast and i visit the apple homepage at least 4 times a day but this is just stupid in my opinion.

    there should at least be a function where you can rent movies from iTunes like payTV - now that`d be at least something!
  10. macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2006
    So I have a modded xbox with the lcd screen and the 120g hard drive and xbmc2.0 the works and I love it! steams everything but I am starting to think its time for apple tv and this is why.
    1. if I want to watch tv shows I have to find them then download them it doesnt take long but if I forget or people are not seeding well frustrating plus it eats up my bandwidth
    2. I want to drop my cable and just subscribe to the shows I actually want to watch instead of watching garbage when I am board this will save me time to do more important stuff like play video games. it actually ends up being cheaper then my cable bill by a little more then half :eek:
    3. I like the idea of just subscribing to a show and I dont have to think about it, its just there like tivo but not as sweet.
    4. also its apple and the UI is sweet plus I know they are going to add a couple of bonuses (I hope)
    but all in all I still will never get rid of my xbox I love it:D but its just going to have share my time with my apple to thats all
  11. 7on
    macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    I just got my XBMC up and running (traded a DS fat for an Xbox, softmodded using a borrowed game and a borrowed card, and used a spare 40GB hdd - $0) and I am really enjoying it for the 30 minutes I got the hdd installed ;) As for a backup for softmods, check out XBOXHDM. It's a Linux formatting utility that formats and restore files to an xbox. Pretty impressive overall :D I may need to buy the splintercell game since I may want to softmod it (and if I don't remove the files on the hdd then I won't need a memory card ;) )

    The big negative is no H.264/X264 files as they are too CPU intensive for a 733Mhz Celeron :/ (Well I lie, if the h264 files are 320x240 or smaller they will play).

    I also been enjoying the ShoutCAST builtin ;)
  12. macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    I am going to keep staying as far away from all Microsoft products as possible. Nothing good has come of it in the past.

    AppleTV in the living room, and MythTV in the bed room is all I need. (PS3 and Wii in the living room as well)
  13. macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2007
    California soon
  14. macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    My 400GB XBOX says differently.

    M$ screwed up royally with the XBOX, I like taking advantage of that fact. (A Dev. debug port on every mobo LoL!?)

    As well as knowing that M$ made $0.00 in profit on every XBOX.
  15. macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    A local HD does nothing for me. All of my media is already stored on my massive storage array on my media server. Any machine on the LAN can reach it.

    Not to mention, there is no way (legally) that you can use content on your xbox that was purchased from the iTunes store. I have spent over $400 at iTunes buying music, videos and many many many TV shows.

    There is also the interesting issue that your xbox won't push 720p. I have a 61" 1080p DLP set, so I try to display HD content when ever possible.

    Not to mention, display pictures is a hell of a lot better on my set then at SD. I take a lot of pictures and I have a huge library of pictures.

    Once I get my HD video camera next year, it will also be nice to display that content on my set :D

    A modded xbox also doesn't make sense for me, since my time is limited. Rather then fooling around modding an xbox. I would rather spend my time playing my PS3, or playing WoW. :D
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    I use the Xbox 360 as an extender. It does everything the Apple TV would do for me. I'm not a fan of iTunes or the store, so I'm not tied down to those features. Opting to go for the 360 was the better option with my huge collection of movies/music/pictures.
  17. macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    to each his own, sounds like you have enough money lying around to not "need" a modded XBOX.
  18. macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you want to play iTunes purchased stuff without a DRM stripper, or really want HD quality content, ATV is the way to go.

    But XBMC is really awesome for just about everything else. If you're ripping DVD's, then it's not HD anyways so they will play just as well with XBMC.

    I bought a Linksys wireless game adapter for $20, and can now stream movies and music from my Mac to XBMC. Pretty amazing for an outmoded console that costs what, under $100 now?

    The one thing about XBMC is that you need more expertise to get things going- softmod, network configuration, etc. But it's not really difficult stuff.
  19. macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2007
    XBMC can display pictures at up to 1080i. The interface is also hidef, some of the skins look amazing on a big screen. It can also upscale standard DVDs to 1080i which look great.

    Cant really handle native HD though, so ill have to upgrade eventually, not for a while though.
  20. macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I brought a modded xbox with XBMC preinstalled about 5 months ago. I've got the basic functions working - it can play dvd files off my main server, and go to some websites, but I really want to know more about it.

    There are many many extra services listed on the menus, and I just can't work them out :( (Link-kai, various emus, changing the websites it goes to, removing confusing extra options to make it more family friendly etc etc)

    I've looked on the internet for basic and newbie guides to the various functions and I cant find any :( (or even how to update XBMC)

    Sdashiki or anyone else can you refer me to any good guides or info?

    One other thing is that after booting, it
    1. forgets the path to my server (powermac g3), and I have to tell it again to go look on my server.
    2. always takes ages to finally display a list of films,
    3. and then when starting a film, it takes another age to actually start showing it.

    How can I speed up these three processes? Or is this normal?

    TBH at the moment it's in storage in my attic - it wasn't worth the hassle and living room space - I'd love to start using it again, but I need to know more about it first.
  21. macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    I know XBox360 has HD movie store, but boy, I don't have that much space and time to download that GB sized movies.
  22. macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Are you talking about a regular XBox?

    I have an XB360, and I tried to set it up with my server with WM 10, but it wouldn't work.

    Now, the MS support site is saying I have to download the Zune software instead for it to work. But, I don't want to even bother... I just hook up my iPod with the dock on S-Video...
  23. macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Yes, regular xbox for me. Try to keep it clear which one you're talking about eh? :)
  24. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2004
    Thats is what i do. It was way easier to setup my ipod to play video on the TV than getting the 360 to work with streaming crap. The strength of the 360 in my opinion is the Live Service. I use my 360 as a DVD player / game console.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Playing devils advocate here. I know there are plenty of things that are cool and slick about the XBMC ( I do have an XBMC ).

    1) XBMC is not "Plug and Play" by any stretch of the imagination.
    2) XBMC is underpowered leading to problems with newer codecs like AVC
    3) XBMC will not play HD content ( can upscale non HD to HD resolutions, but that's different )
    4) XBMC does not come with a 40GB HD ( can be upgraded )
    5) XBMC does not come with WiFi
    6) XBMC does not have a remote
    7) XBMC does not support digital video display ( DVI or HDMI )

    Taking everything into account all said and done a person with nothing will probably spend $150-$200 (X-box, Softmod kit, IR remote, WiFi adapter, upgraded HD, ... ) and few days to get the XBMC up and running and still not have HD playback functionality.

    The 360 with Connect 360 has the drawback of having to transcode all media ( loss of quality ) to a non-mac-freindly format among others.

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