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Dusted Off The Ole Xbox!


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#1 mcfearless

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:37 PM

So I found my old XBOX (which was modded with an Xenium Chip - can't remember which one but I know it was soldered on) powered it up and it still works. So I decided I want to use this as a Media Center (play movies, etc). I have updated the OS to 2.3.1. My questions are:
1. What should I use for bios? Right now it is set to X2.4983
2. What about dashboard? Which is the prefered for Media Center use?
3. Will this be able to play x.264 files? or .mkv vide files?

Any help would be much appreciated as I have been out of it for a while and luckily remembered how to upgrade the OS, but not sure how to update the BIOS and Dashboard.

Thanks in advance!!

#2 Redsand189

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 12:31 AM

1) The M8plus bios works good on the Xenium.
2) XBMC is the only dashboard to use. It is still being updated frequently and if you head over to the xbmc forums you will see plenty of skins, wide icons, plugins, to customize it. http://t3ch.yi.se/
3) I believe it plays both formats, but not sure how well. I know the hulu script has an H.264 stream that doesn't play well. HD videos don't play that well just because xbox lacks the sheer horsepower needed. It does upconvert videos to 720p pretty well.

#3 Heimdall

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:50 AM

1. Try X2.5035 as the BIOS. It has the advantage that its behaviour can be configured from a text file on the hard disk, rather than having to be edited and reflashed.

2. I wouldn't use XBMC as a dash - I know I'm in the minority here, but hear me out! XBMC is an excellent application that is actively developed and updated on a regular basis. Trouble is, each subsequent release introduces bugs, some worse than others. This is exacerbated by the fact that it is now multi-platform, and the Xbox doesn't seem to be the primary target any more. If you use it as your dash you introduce these potential bugs into your primary means of launching your Xbox - the dashboard. Now, to get this into perspective none of the updates in the last year has rendered XBMC unusable, it's just hassle if you install it to find that something you use isn't working very well and you have to revert to your original dashboard.

For the avoidance of doubt, I'm not bashing XBMC - it's the primary reason I run Xboxes (95% of the time my Xboxes run XBMC), and it's a superb application, and it works well, and I'm very grateful to the developers for all of their effort.

But, IMHO you're better off running UnleashX as your dash. It is stable, its bugs and workrounds are well known, its menu is easily user configurable, you can password protect parts of the menu to keep people away from bits you'd rather they didn't fiddle with accidentally. You can then run XBMC as an app - I put it first on my menu, and have it mapped to the A key as a shortcut. Importantly, you can install new XBMC releases alongside your existing ones while you try them out, and make the switch once you're happy that the new release does what you want, without having to change your dashboard. You can do that with XBMC as your dash (especially if you use the shortcut to launch it), it's just a bit more hassle.

3. There's a list of XBMC supported formats here, but at the top end (complex codecs or high resolutions) the Xbox lacks the horsepower to do them justice.




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