Computers & Electronics

htpc users - how awesome is XBMC

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  • Jul 21st, 2011 10:28 pm
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[OP]
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Jun 8, 2008
230 posts
5 upvotes

htpc users - how awesome is XBMC

i recently bought my first property and dont want to clutter up living room with my existing computer tower so i started researching HTPC and saw a video with XBMC running the aeon skin and fell in love

but then i learned about something like a PBO which can play anything and is like $40 after MIR but pales in comparison in terms of wow factor when showing off your home theatres menus etc.

i have no computer skills at all, so building my own HTPC from scratch is out of the question, i know places like ME carry prebuilt ones where you just need to add ram and hdd and am wondering what the cheapest build i could get away with was and how much you XBMC users love your set up?

dont need to stream anything will likely be hard wired connection only requirement is that it plays everything and can handle the most intensive XBMC skin (aeon i think?)

wont be gaming on it at all.

thanks
29 replies
Deal Fanatic
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May 12, 2004
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Ottawa
Why not just save the headache (AND $$$$) and go with a j/b ATV2? Aeon might be a little too slow to respond...but there's some amazing less memery hogging skins out there.
Deal Addict
Sep 15, 2004
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With out computer skills and no personal assistant, I don't see a remote streaming NAS type XBMC system being that good an option. Some choices include a small PC that mounts right on the back of your TV, hidden somewhat. Another possibility is long cables from a hidden PC source. Small boxes like Apple TV's or Boxee can run some limited XBMC set-ups but media storage would most likely put the cost factor higher than a small multi-media PC. There's plenty more advice in the XBMC forums and I'm sure once you've adopted a tailored solution, streaming media will look more attractive too.
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Apr 15, 2006
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kha_ wrote:
Jul 8th, 2011 11:41 am
i recently bought my first property and dont want to clutter up living room with my existing computer tower so i started researching HTPC and saw a video with XBMC running the aeon skin and fell in love

but then i learned about something like a PBO which can play anything and is like $40 after MIR but pales in comparison in terms of wow factor when showing off your home theatres menus etc.

i have no computer skills at all, so building my own HTPC from scratch is out of the question, i know places like ME carry prebuilt ones where you just need to add ram and hdd and am wondering what the cheapest build i could get away with was and how much you XBMC users love your set up?

dont need to stream anything will likely be hard wired connection only requirement is that it plays everything and can handle the most intensive XBMC skin (aeon i think?)

wont be gaming on it at all.

thanks

If you like XBMC but dont have skills to custom build one, you should get a Boxee box (Boxee is built on XBMC with Netflix and Hulu built in).

You can also get an ION bookshelf barebone (check Newegg.ca) and start from there. More work for sure.

Btw, PBO doesnt play everything. The ION based XBMC can play everything
Deal Addict
Mar 16, 2007
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jetway1212 wrote:
Jul 8th, 2011 12:10 pm
If you like XBMC but dont have skills to custom build one, you should get a Boxee box (Boxee is built on XBMC with Netflix and Hulu built in).

You can also get an ION bookshelf barebone (check Newegg.ca) and start from there. More work for sure.

Btw, PBO doesnt play everything. The ION based XBMC can play everything

If you don't want to install any hardware, get an ION Atom bookshelf PC, throw XBMC on there and enjoy. I have that in my basement with a projector and surround sound. Apple TV doesn't have local storage and it's a bit buggy.
Sr. Member
Mar 13, 2008
578 posts
27 upvotes
Still running XBMC on my original xbox... my tv is alright 36" Sony Trinitron its weighing a good 250 pounds and still working great so no need to upgrade. :razz:

Anyhow XBMC is flippin awesome, whenever that xbox dies, I will only get another XBMC media centre, I was looking at the Acer Revo in the past as a good possibility. Need something with a good remote.
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Jun 8, 2003
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+1 XBMC is awesome. Unfortunately my old XBox died a year ago :(
mulambo187 wrote:
Jul 8th, 2011 1:23 pm
Still running XBMC on my original xbox... my tv is alright 36" Sony Trinitron its weighing a good 250 pounds and still working great so no need to upgrade. :razz:
Deal Addict
Feb 9, 2008
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ashgotti wrote:
Jul 8th, 2011 1:16 pm
If you don't want to install any hardware, get an ION Atom bookshelf PC, throw XBMC on there and enjoy.
Yeah, we have XBMC on an Ion system as a frontend to my MythTV PVR and it happily plays anything that the GPU can decode.
[OP]
Member
Jun 8, 2008
230 posts
5 upvotes
thanks for the replies guys

just got back from ME and i think ive ruled out building anything custom as it gets expensive really fast especially when i know nothing about it and the sales guy knows it

he showed me the boxee box for $199 and wasnt sure if it could run XBMC but i guess i just read here that it can

so some questions about it:

can boxee box run XBMC and can it run it well, more importantly, will it be able to run the Aeon skin or just the less nice ones?
will i be able to control it with my logitech harmony?
does it boot up directly into XBMC or is it windows based or whatever?
is there firmware i need to put on to support XBMC?

and last but not least...is it mountable behind the tv?
Deal Addict
Mar 16, 2007
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kha_ wrote:
Jul 8th, 2011 3:09 pm
thanks for the replies guys

just got back from ME and i think ive ruled out building anything custom as it gets expensive really fast especially when i know nothing about it and the sales guy knows it

he showed me the boxee box for $199 and wasnt sure if it could run XBMC but i guess i just read here that it can

so some questions about it:

can boxee box run XBMC and can it run it well, more importantly, will it be able to run the Aeon skin or just the less nice ones?
will i be able to control it with my logitech harmony?
does it boot up directly into XBMC or is it windows based or whatever?
is there firmware i need to put on to support XBMC?

and last but not least...is it mountable behind the tv?

I don't think it can run XBMC. Boxee is built on XBMC source code but it is more social and web focused. Only the Apple TV/iOS and PC's(Windows or Linux, Plex on the Mac) can run XBMC.

Spend the $200 on a full ion atom box.
[OP]
Member
Jun 8, 2008
230 posts
5 upvotes
ashgotti wrote:
Jul 8th, 2011 4:27 pm
I don't think it can run XBMC. Boxee is built on XBMC source code but it is more social and web focused. Only the Apple TV/iOS and PC's(Windows or Linux, Plex on the Mac) can run XBMC.

Spend the $200 on a full ion atom box.

ok thanks that eliminates that choice

on to barebones then

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductLis ... ne&x=0&y=0

which one will be able to run most intensive XBMC skin/be controlled by logitech harmony?
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 7, 2006
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Toronto
Who are you trying to wow ?? PBO with medoBO FTW for everyday use.

HTPCs become a passion for me without much real world usage...I just build one for each TV but they are collecting dust. The only HTPC still getting action is the kitchen PC because the LCD is old and it doesn't have any ATSC tuner. HTPC+ATSC tuner it is so I can watch TV and it does everything else also.
Deal Addict
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Aug 17, 2008
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kha_ wrote:
Jul 8th, 2011 4:32 pm
ok thanks that eliminates that choice

on to barebones then

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductLis ... ne&x=0&y=0

which one will be able to run most intensive XBMC skin/be controlled by logitech harmony?

Don't think any of those has a IR port, therefore none can be controlled by the harmony.


And btw, anything cheaper than $250, and it's not a complete working system. You will need to install a hard drive and RAM.
Deal Fanatic
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Jun 8, 2003
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Media player like PBO is the way to go. I can see the usefulness of pre-media players era.
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Feb 28, 2003
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Does XBMC only support nvidia graphics chips found in the ION? What if I have an AMD graphics card? Is XBMC out of the question?
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