xbox 360 vs Mac Mini w/xbmc

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by hoverX, May 9, 2009.

  1. hoverX macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    #1
    so i've been trying to use my 360 as a htpc to view media from around my network. I've run into some problems with it playing certain media formats as well as it not being able to see certain machines (those not running media centre). Does a macmini running xbmc (or some other software) fare better in this regard than the 360? is the mac remote compatible with xbmc?
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #2
    plex. although for your needs, the 360 may work better. depends on the sources.
     
  3. hoverX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    #3
    is it able to see linux and windows file shares? (i did a quick search on their site and forums but didn't find any info)
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    Sep 7, 2006
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    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
  5. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #5
    Any good piece of software uses the OS's file/networking system and doesn't try to implement such protocols itself, so as flopticalcube mentioned since OS X can, Plex can. I use Plex on a Mini as the front end for a 2TB video library which lives on a NAS in another room, mounted to the Mini via SMB. Although you can initiate network mounts directly from within Plex, I do it in OS X, so as far as Plex is concerned they're local.

    EDIT: Oh, and to your original points, Plex/XBMC on the Mini is leaps and bounds better than using a 360 for this sort of thing. I have an Xbox as well but I couldn't stand to use it for media playing, mostly because the organization and format support is so much better. Remote support in Plex is great (much better than it used to be), and they even include presets for Logitech Harmony universal remotes and worked with Logitech to get Plex added as a "device" to the master Harmony database. All in all it's an impressive piece of software. I've written a few blog posts about my experiences with it.
     
  6. hoverX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    #6
    do i need a harmony remote or can i use the apple remote?
     
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #8
    As far as referencing the pro side of Plex - your statements are dead on. It is far better than Xbox and plays more file types than the PS3. However, the one problem (not Plex fault) is that Plex cannot take advantage of the GPU. So the Mac Mini's CPU has to do all the real work. This is fine for nearly all media file types but at times, very high bitrate movies (usually just some scenes) can suffer in playback. This is associated with MKV and M2TS files as example which are engaging "blu ray" level hi def.

    One interesting prospect for the Mac Mini is with XMBC running on Linux. XMBC has one version within the Linux group that can exploit the GPU (video) and render better results. Its young in development but very promising. Hopefully, when Snow Leopard is out, CL will be employable for GPU and Plex can exploit it so that video chips processes the files along with the CPU.

    - Phrehdd
     
  8. Beanlok macrumors regular

    Beanlok

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    #9
    use avi.s and stick with the box... Nullriver? I think makes connect360 for mac which works really well but its 20 bucks. If you have/are interested in a PS3 this works even better than the 360 thanks to its codec support and it has an 1 hour auto off where the min on 360 is 6 hours (thats always made me mad) The best benefit of the mini solution is the fact that 802.11n is an option which makes for streaming media MUCH nicer.
     
  9. JustGretchen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #10
    I use Rivet (like connect360) to stream media from my mini upstairs in my home to my xbox360 connected to my 42" HDTV downstairs via wireless.

    Most things work great. If a vid won't play, I throw it through the Divx Pro converter and then it plays w/o any issues.
     
  10. DELTAsnake macrumors 6502

    DELTAsnake

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    If you download the NXE and the Optional Media Update you should be able to play almost any media file on a 360.
     

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