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Multi-talented Multi-Media For The Living Room

Last response: in Home Theatre
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March 11, 2004 11:25:49 AM

Correction for article: Multi-talented Multi-Media For The Living Room
<A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com/consumer/20040312/index.htm..." target="_new">http://www.tomshardware.com/consumer/20040312/index.htm...;/A>

No pun intended (really, it's a great article) but the piece has some wrong information about the Xbox that I would like to correct. To me it reads like whoever wrote it was a beginner to Xbox modding and these things are easy to get wrong then so it's understandable.

Firstly, EvolutionX (a.k.a. EvoX) is not a must, it's only recommended if you primary use the Xbox for gaming, if you however use the Xbox mostly for multimedia then you want XboxMediaPlayer or XboxMediaCenter installed as your dashboard (that means that the Xbox boots directly into XboxMediaPlayer/XboxMediaCenter, which takes around 10 seconds).

The comment "Playback of SVCDs with their own menus is not yet possible" is misleading as playback of SVCD/VCD are supported, it's just not the menus that are supported.

The comment "Sadly, switching to another soundtrack does not work directly but is only possible via a menu item" is not true, switching to another audio stream in a video can in XBMP/XBMC also be done from the OSD (On Screen Display) during video playback. Microsoft also has a OSD with the same function during playback of DVD-video, (which btw can also be done from XBMP only it does not yet fully support menus on DVD movies, it's has only been partially implemented yet).

Also note that the built-in 8GB harddrive provided by default with the Xbox can easily be replaced (if you want) with a new harddrive (ATA IDE) in any size, (limited to max 2TB which your unlike to reach as so big HDD's are not yet available). Of course most people are satisfied by playing media files from the network instead but the option it there.

The terms "Xbox Media Player" and "Xbox Media Center" are also mixed around in the article as it's important not to confuse the three (yes three) with each other, the writer of the article uses "Xbox Media Player" in reference to both 'XBMP www.xboxmediaplayer.com' and Microsoft default Xbox dashboard with DVD and CDDA playback capabilities, the article also references "Xbox Media Center" when it should ready say "Microsoft Xbox Media Center Extender Kit", so not confused with 'XBMC / XboxMediaCenter www.xboxmediacenter.com', the successor of 'XBMP / Xbox Media Player'.

Another (BIG!) note is that "Xbox Media Player" will very soon be replaced by 'XBMC / XboxMediaCenter www.xboxmediacenter.com' (from same developers) and it's really too bad that it was not tested instead of XBMP as XBMC is so much more impressive even though it's still under heavy development to get it ready for a v1.0 release. XBMC is aiming to be much more flexible and also much more user-friendly than XBMP ever was/is.

Finally, the writer of the article quote $289 (€300) as the price of an Xbox including modifications, that is way of, a brand new Xbox can be bought from amazon.com for $179.99 (+ a DVD-Remote for $23.99 which isn't needed but recommended, non-Microsoft DVD-Remote are also available for less than half that prize), and the modification can come to anything in a range from free (for a software hack mod) to $50 (for a top-of-the-line modchip), but the average mods cost around $20 for a solder-on mod and around $30 for a non-solder mod which anyone could install in less than 30 minutes. I say that brings the maximum total to $250 but know that Microsoft is expected to drop the price of the actual Xbox console from $179.99 to $129.99 (£99.99 in the UK) in the near future.

Again, I really hope no one takes offence, I only wanted to help and do not mean above in a bad way at all. I'm I great fan and everyday visitor of tomshardware.com.

PS! Personally I would really like to see a full review of XBMC on tomshardware.com someday ;-)
Some food for thought here: <A HREF="http://www.xboxmediacenter.com/info_project.htm" target="_new">http://www.xboxmediacenter.com/info_project.htm&lt;/A>

<A HREF="http://www.xboxmediacenter.com" target="_new">www.xboxmediacenter.com (XBMC/XboxMediaCenter website</A>
<A HREF="http://www.xboxmediaplayer.com" target="_new">www.xboxmediaplayer.com (XBMP/XboxMediaPlayer website)</A>
March 11, 2004 2:56:30 PM

In the UK you can pick up a xbox for £120 at the moment and £100 with out games at all.

Useing a second hand game such as Mech warrior or a 007 game you can then softmod the xbox and if you would like a more permenant mod you can solder it inside and change the bios for a better one. Make the total cost of the xbox approx £120 to £135.

Not only can you play emulators on the xbox its is allso very good for running Linux wich is totaly free.

New versions of XBMP and XBMC can allso down load info from web sites about films and allso tell you the weather in your region.

Not only do u not just have to use Evo X as you setup dash there are many other alternatives.

If you are doing a review on the xbox i sugest that you go deeper into it and find out what you are talking about before makeing comparsions on it.

Nothing on the present market can touch what the xbox can do at the price you can get the xbox for.
Allso new programs and new teqneques are being produced Daily for the xbox.

Would love to see a full review on what capanbiltys the xbox has at present and allso what you can expect in the future - cos i bet you in the distnt future you will be able to stick in a DVDrw and turn it into a dvd wrighter as well.

(excuse my bad spelling)
March 12, 2004 3:45:45 PM

I am left with some questions after reading that article. I originally wanted to get a Kiss DVD player, but if the XBox can support DIVX, XVID, Ogg, M3U's and MP3 than I would do anything for that setup. Can they do this? Can they do these things while also offering playback of my NTFS stored files on the pc's over the network? Not to mention playing XBox games, and ISO's saved on a big harddrive instead of the original disk would be even sweeter. If anyone could answer these questions that would be great. Thanks, a guy who wants it all
!