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Media XBox (Games) Television Entertainment Hardware Games

XBMC Discontinues Xbox Support 213

Posted by timothy
from the technical-difficulties-stand-by-forever dept.
Xistic writes with news that the XB in XBMC won't mean Xbox any more. Quoting the project's own website: "The last official release for the XBOX by the XBMC team was Atlantis, over 18 months ago. Since then, one brave soul (Arnova) has been merging code from the main codebase into the XBOX branch in our repository. Because there were many users out there that took advantage of these updates, we had no problem with this. But times have changed. The XBOX has hard limits for what it can handle. Some users are satisfied with these limits, and we encourage them to use XBMC there if they are happy. But it is a popular misconception that official XBOX development is still taking place by the team, so we have decided to set it free. We have enough on our plates already, and worrying about a deprecated platform just increases our workload. A few days ago the XBOX branch was finally removed from our subversion repository."
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XBMC Discontinues Xbox Support

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  • XBMC4XBOX Lives (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRealQuestor (1750940) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:06AM (#32374340)
    We have been working on taking over the xbox branch for the last couple of months. http://www.xbmc4xbox.org/ [xbmc4xbox.org] so if you feel you can help head on over. We still have tons of work to do but it's getting really close to being back on track with continued development.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Will builds still end up coming from T3CH or...?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Eventually he and I will merge our builds but for now My builds now are totally vanilla. no changes from svn at all. t3ch updater should be able to pull my builds as well now so its all good there. Most updater scripts now have options to pull from my builds. After r28000 everything went to hell though and as of r30621 scrapers are still an issue. Actually all addons are an issue. No scripts/addons/skins writen for post 28000 will work on these new builds. I'm doing my best to fix/mod most of the skins I ha
    • Re:XBMC4XBOX Lives (Score:5, Insightful)

      by malakai (136531) on Friday May 28, 2010 @10:51AM (#32377034) Journal

      I feel a bit back stabbed by the XBMC core developers for cutting lose the whole reason for the project in the first place. Granted, it has many limitations, but limitations like these help make software more robust. When you have to worry about something like the FATX file system and it's limitations on characters and character length, the solutions you come up with help you solve other problems later on. Yes it takes more work, but it generally forces you to abstract out another level and really think about what you are building and the flow through the different modules.

      I've seen game engines keep around TTY plugins just for this reason.

      The XBOX port should be kept around as the bare minimum scalability test for all code. If your particular plugin is too CPU intensive to run even in a redacted state, then meta data should flag that with some sort of required minumum clacs/second threshold. Some people have moded their xbox with faster CPUs, more memory, etc...

      I appreciate the work the xbmc4xbox guy is putting into it. I run TECH builds non stop on my xbox's and have them setup to auto update from the tech installer. I really like the tech builds because they seemed to simply 'just work'. If you two can collaborate and make us build toned down for XBOX that'd be great.

      To the XBMC developers, I'd say look at ROCKBOX and CrystalSpace and other projects that have had to deal with limited hardware while trying to keep pace with new features and better hardware.

      • Oh bullshit.... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BLKMGK (34057)

        Fork over a couple hundred bucks and move up from a single core P3 for kripes sake! Why in this world would you want to hold back development of a damned good HTPC software in order to satisfy an ever smaller number of slow proprietary machines? Would you be happier if they just dropped XBOX out of the name entirely and called it something else? These guys don't want to have to sweat the low end hardware anymore and are trying to move forward - as someone who has the newer hardware I commend them! These guy

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:08AM (#32374362) Journal
    In its day, and for a fair while after, the XBOX was an excellent deal for video applications. ~PIII-733 level performance and(rather more importantly) a decent set of video outs, something that was sort of dodgy with the PC graphics cards of the day. They got quite cheap, especially used, as well.

    However, at this point, a PIII-733 with, IIRC, 64MB of RAM, just isn't that exciting. Nor, with the proliferation of nettops, is the price delta between a real computer and a used xbox nearly what it used to be. Then there is the fact that, while XMBC as a project has always been legit, actually building it for the xbox has been legally kind of dodgy.
    • I thought that the XBOX graphics chipset was the reason that it could run. CAn any nettops run media PC stuff reasonably well?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Yes, Zotac ION [silentpcreview.com] boards do it exceptionally well according to pretty much every review I've read. I'm going to build a HTPC based on one of these.
      • by Per Wigren (5315)
        Get a Nettop with the Nvidia ION chipset, put Linux and XBMC on it and you have a cheap, tiny, silent HTPC with HDMI and hardware accelerated video playback playing those 1080p MKV's without problem. Some of them (Asus Eee Box, ASRock Nettop and Acer Aspire Revo for example) also come with a remote control.
      • by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:25AM (#32375134) Homepage Journal
        The Xbox graphics chipset had only two advantages over PC chipsets of the time: 3D graphics, and SDTV output as a standard feature. The SDTV feature is less important now that virtually all TVs made in the past three years have VGA and HDMI inputs. And unless one writes half the video decoder in a shader (as in some modern H.264 decoders), 3D graphics won't take much load off the CPU for video decoding; perhaps the biggest thing a GeForce 3-class pixel shader can do is help convert YUV to RGB. Remember that the video codec that was popular among pirates and spaceshifters at the time was MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile (DivX and Xvid), which is roughly on par with Theora [s2000.ws] and less computationally complex than H.264.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Andy Dodd (701)

        Nearly all nettops are NVidia ION based.

        The CPU in any nettop (at the worst a single core Intel Atom) is somewhat better than the 733 MHz PIII in the Xbox (Maybe significantly? I'm assuming the PIII has significantly better performance per clock cycle than the Atom, but I'm not sure if it's enough of a delta to make up for less than half the clock speed), and the Ion is a significantly better NVidia chipset than the one in the Xbox.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by b0bby (201198)

        CAn any nettops run media PC stuff reasonably well?

        Look for the Acer Revo - $200 for the single core Atom version, ION chipset, does full HD easily, small, quiet, HDMI out... I have the dual core version which was $330, but that also comes with twice the RAM, a wireless keyboard & mouse, & Windows 7. There are a lot of places with information on XBMC & Windows MC setups, search for Revo HTPC. I really like mine, it's recording OTA HD & works great.

        • by Vancorps (746090)
          Careful, the Atom N230 with Ion can play 1080p video but it chokes on most of the HD audio stuff. For that you need to go with the N330 dual core Atom. I play bluray movies with that and it works wonderfully. Course I only have one disc because it was on sale so for the most part its just for watching movies I've already ripped.
      • by wagnerrp (1305589)
        Modern nVidia and ATI integrated graphics found in nettops are more powerful than the high end chip that powers the XBOX. They also offer hardware accelerated decoding to make up for the deficient CPUs they use (which are also more powerful than the stripped P3 in the XBOX).
      • I shopped this recently, and the answer I came up with was... almost. The form factor, outputs and prices are good, the hardware was a little underpowered to stream HD. I decided to wait 6 months or so till there was a rock solid option in the $300 range.

    • You can find a cheaper media center than a used XBox? How do you beat "free" when it comes to price?

      Seriously, we're at the point where you could even make a few bucks buying a used XBox with all the gadgets the former owner collected and then resell the addons while you keep the box.

      • Oh, there's no way in hell that anything contemporary is going to beat a used Xbox on price. Those things are at a practically perfect historical moment in terms of cheapness. Mass market item, so there are millions of them floating around. Generally considered obsolete(particularly now that MS scotched their multiplayer). Durable enough that many of those millions are still alive.

        And, given that today's move doesn't retroactively break XBMC builds for XBox, all those used Xboxes should be fine until the
    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      One of the big limitations is the fact that most content now is high definition (720p, 1080i, 1080p) - The xbox simply can't display HD video to appropriate display devices.

      Which is why my xbox has been on a shelf for 3-4 years without ever getting turned on at this point. I bought it as a MythTV frontend, and it worked for that purpose for a while, but then I bought a Silicon Dust HDHomeRun digital tuner in early 2006 and that rendered the xbox a paperweight as far as MythTV usage was concerned.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        I have had no trouble finding SD content for my Xbox. For those of us who don't care about HD video (I'm not wearing my glasses to watch TV), the Xbox is a fine option.

        • Yeah HD is fine for games and the odd OTA sports broadcast but there are really no other situations where I've even noticed HD resolution, let alone cared or sought it out.
  • by Parlett316 (112473) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:13AM (#32374400)

    That huge black box was the best media center I have had, the WD TV Live only comes close since it can play H.264.

    • by qortra (591818)

      XBMC was the best thing for the Xbox

      And now, it's the best thing for everything else. If you're happy with your WDTV, then there isn't any sense in "fixing it". However, the day it dies or fails to do something that you'd like it to do, install XBMC on a spare PC to which you have access. It is absolutely the best media center software I have ever used.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by negRo_slim (636783)

        It is absolutely the best media center software I have ever used.

        Nothing beats the simple listing of directory content shared on a Windows PC by the 360, sure it would be nice to play all or create a play list. But I'll take that lack of functionality any day over some gaudy interface that does absolutely nothing other than create another obstacle between me and the content I want displayed on the screen. And if I ever feel the need for a pretty GUI to get to my videos, well then hey look at that Windows Media Center is already built right in!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by qortra (591818)
          Wow, I don't even know where to start.

          Nothing beats the simple listing of directory content shared on a Windows PC by the 360

          XBMC is an absolute joy to use with a decent media library. I have around 225 movies, 6500 songs, and 4000 television episodes. XBMC cheerfully and quickly scrapes all the media information and indexes all video content by actor, year, genre, TV series, season number, and episode number. These indexes are really quite helpful, and if you don't like the added flexibility, the default functionality is to browse by directory anyway (what is more simple than that?). Not hav

          • It displays a list of all my media from inside NXE. Because you see, I'm there to consume my media. Not gawk at a UI.
    • by tcdk (173945)
      You can play H.264 with newer XBMCs on the original xbox. It's still our main media center. You only need to make sure the data rate doesn't saturate the CPU, by adding something like ":vbv-maxrate=2000:vbv-bufsize=750" to the advanced encoding settings in Handbrake. I also lower the resolution a bit in my default preset, but I'm not sure that's really needed..
  • the irony of this (Score:3, Insightful)

    by batistuta (1794636) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:21AM (#32374478)

    It is kind of funny how history made this package evolve. The XBMC, which abreviates "XBOX Media Center", was originally developed for the XBOX. And now, it supports different platforms and operating systems but not the XBOX any longer. If you don't know its history, you'd find it a joke what XBMC stands for.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:28AM (#32374538)

      Wow. I wouldn't have figured that out myself.

    • Re:the irony of this (Score:4, Informative)

      by qortra (591818) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:32AM (#32374576)

      The XBMC, which abreviates "XBOX Media Center"

      If you don't know its history, you'd find it a joke what XBMC stands for.

      You might as well just say it. It now stands for "XBMC Media Center". Perhaps it's somewhat funny, but recursive acronyms [wikipedia.org] are hardly new, and they have a long and proud tradition in Free Software. GNU [wikipedia.org], the name for the userspace tools in most Linux-based operating systems, is among the oldest of currently used recursive acronyms in free software.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:43AM (#32374672)
        I prefer eX xBox Media Centre...
    • Oh God, Apple should fracking buy it and call it Halo.

  • I'm amazed this thing could ever run on an XBOX. I installed it once on a dual-core 2.2GHz something-or-other with a few gigs of ram and it was just... awful. Huge delay between pressing a button and anything happening. Slow menu changes. Etc.
    • by qortra (591818)

      Huge delay between pressing a button and anything happening. Slow menu changes.

      Sounds like you didn't have decent hardware video acceleration. The XBMC processor and memory requirements are quite modest, and you are well over them. Heck, XBMC runs like a dream on the Ion platform which uses atom processors (the most meek processor you will ever meet). It's all about video acceleration, something that the XBox was quite good at for its time.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by DirePickle (796986)
        GeForce 8800 GT not enough? Maybe somewhere in the chugging menus there was a setting to enable video acceleration that defaulted to 'off', but woo. I'd honestly never seen a program run that poorly on that computer.
        • Did you even enable VDPAU?

        • Re:Dull surprise (Score:4, Informative)

          by qortra (591818) on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:41AM (#32375330)
          Configuration failure. I've seen XBMC running flawlessly on various chipsets from vintage 2007 integrated ATI chipsets and old 5xxx series Nvidia cards to 4xxx series ATI cards and newer AMD/ATI integrated chipsets. In fact, I doubt that it is even an XBMC configuration problem - sounds like DirectX or your NVIDIA drivers are out of date. Either way, head over to the XBMC Forums" [xbmc.org] for support. It's a fantastic community that will almost certainly help you out with your problem. Only, try not to slander XBMC until you figure out how you mis-configured your system.
          • 1) Drivers and DirectX were current. Are always current, unless I know they break something. nvidia's drivers frequently break things, though, so perhaps they were not good with XBMC at the time.

            2) This was quite a while ago--don't even have most of the same components anymore (well, the 8800 GT is still around).

            3) PS3MS worked much better for my purposes anyway.

            4) If you'll look a couple levels up, I replied to my first comment saying that the problems did not appear when I just installed it in linux (a

            • by qortra (591818)
              2,4) Acknowledged. Trying to figure out why software wasn't working with a no-longer-in-service system configuration is fruitless. Suffice it to say, modern XBMC works flawlessly with even the most meek system configurations (as long as they have decent video acceleration). 5) This is, of course, a subjective measurement. That being said, it is certainly an atypical opinion of the XBMC UI. I personally have found it to be both beautiful and functional. My non-techie roommates and parents have been able to n
    • So I actually just gave it a try on my laptop running linux (a slower, but still reasonably fast system), just to see, and it actually ran much better. I still think the UI is ass, but it definitely wasn't the torpid thing I saw on Windows a couple of years ago. Bad build, crappy nvidia drivers, vagaries of Windows XP, combination of the above?
      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        Might have simply been "too early in the porting process".

        At that point the codebase would still have been heavily Xbox-focused (and optimized towards that platform).

        Over the years as the Xbox has become a less optimal platform for media (can't really do HD, and the whole world has basically gone to high def), so the devs have moved focus towards platforms other than xbox.

    • by Mr. DOS (1276020)

      I experienced the same thing. A friend of mine has his Xbox modded to run XBMC, and he encouraged me to try it on my computer. I just couldn't do it. On (I think it was) a 3.2GHz P4 with a gig of RAM, it was practically unusable. I don't know what the difference is, but on an Xbox, even at 720p, it's relatively smooth.

  • I don't get why it even supports other platforms in the first place.

    it is a amazing xbox media center(on an amazing console), but the whole design in my opinion does not work well at all for high res mouse environments.

    It would be interesting to see the ratio of xbox users to other users of the xbmc.

    Does anyone hear use it on their computer, I sincerely do not get why anyone would (unless they changes it radically since the last time I used it).

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by pumkinut (462268)

      I've been using XBMC for over 5 years now. Up until last year it was completely on two XBoxen. It was fine for it's time, but as more and more HD content became available, the XBox started revealing its limitations in a big way.

      I started using XBMC on a computer with the Live version on a USB thumbdrive. I would boot the thumbdrive on my work laptop and plug into my HDTV via a VGA connection. Last summer I built a full fledged mini-ITX HTPC with a Zotac Intel motherboard and integrated nVidia graphics.

    • by Compholio (770966)

      Does anyone hear [sic] use it on their computer, I sincerely do not get why anyone would (unless they changes [sic] it radically since the last time I used it).

      Yes, I use it on my computer that I have plugged into my TV.

    • You know why I used an XBox as a media center in the first place? It had a SCART adapter and I had an old CRT that just so happened to "already" have a SCART plug. It was simply and plainly cheaper than any solution I could have designed to connect any of my PCs to that TV. And even today, it would possibly be the cheapest way to get a media box going for your TV. Did you check lately what those DVI to HDMI cables cost? A used XBox beats that any time. Plus you don't use up one of the screens of your PC and

    • by RonnyJ (651856)

      It might not work especially well with a mouse - but it works very well with a remote control.

      Connect a remote control, and a large monitor/HDTV, and it's one of the best media centre interfaces out there.

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      "but the whole design in my opinion does not work well at all for high res mouse environments."
      Um that's the exact point.

      It's designed for people who are building HTPCs, connecting them to a TV, and controlling them with a remote control.

      The idea is that if you have to touch a mouse or keyboard (assumption: properly configured remote control is attached to the system), the XBMC developers have failed in their UI design.

    • Does anyone hear use it on their computer, I sincerely do not get why anyone would (unless they changes it radically since the last time I used it).

      I do, but the computer I am using it on (Mac mini) is designated as an HTPC, and home file server. The computer is plugged into my TV and I use a Logitech Harmony remote for controlling it. I did recently get a wireless keyboard for dealing with the things the remote couldn't handle.

      People tend to start off with basic expectations of their HTPC, and then end up

    • I have XBMC running on an Acer Aspire Revo nettop as well as on an original Xbox with a Windows MCE remote. The interface looks pretty and the hardware has HDMI output. I've got the HD cables for my Xbox though and we use the Xbox more often because it does everything I need it to without extra complications. Sure, I could use a different remote and change somethings to simplify it. The Xbox though appears to load XBMC more quickly although I've never actually timed it. It is also really nice to be able to
  • by AZURERAZOR (472031) on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:11AM (#32374984)

    As a XBMC user on the old Xbox platform, I would like to say thank you to all the code monkeys out there who made that old junky hardware viable for nearly ten years even though it was not the purpose design for the hardware.

    I see this as a great move for the project to disregard the limitations of the original hardware as they revitalize the project to better compete with some of the other Media Center software that has started looking more attractive in the last 2 years.

    Good by Xbox, you had a good run!

  • My XBMC original Xbox setup happily powers my 32" LCD just fine and wirelessly streams media (bridged wireless router) through my house from my server. Serves up all the old game systems and games, and even some cool streaming from the Internet via a few apps. I wish it had Netflix or Hulu, but oh well, once something comes out that rivals it full and for a low enough price I'll switch, but for now it just keeps chugging along fine.

    Hoping new ventures pick it up and run with it.

  • Congratulations and a big THANK YOU to everyone who has ever had a part in making XBMC possible.

    I have had hours of fun building, breaking and rebuilding my xbox. In fact I don't think I've spent even 1% of the time playing games on it than I have using XBMC in various capacities. Whether trying out new scripts and plugins or just generally screwing around and customizing things, it has provided me with an awful lot of enjoyment.

    It also makes a great present for a friend since used Xboxes are only about $

  • It's gotten to the point where it's hard to play video streams, because the Xbox just can't handle the bitrate. If they had CUDA they could do video decoding partially on the GPU, but since they don't they can only use the GPU for pretty visual effects (and they do.) Consequently the Xbox is on its way out as a platform for playing media. I'm going to replace mine with a Phenom II X3 720 because that's what's in my desktop system and AMD was good enough to stick with one socket for a while, meaning that I c

  • Apple-TV (Score:5, Informative)

    by anethema (99553) on Friday May 28, 2010 @10:15AM (#32376494) Homepage
    I find Apple-TV to be a wicked XBMC platform.

    By itself the Apple-TV is pretty junky. You can buy stuff from iTunes store or rent etc, and stream your iTunes stuff over to it for easy playing, but overall not worth the money.

    BUT, i threw a Broadcom Crystal HD (http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Broadcom_Crystal_HD for some info) in it (replacing the wifi card which I did not need) and put XBMC on there and it is fantastic. Will play 1080p HD no problem, and damn near any format used in online downloading without a hitch.

    This way, the features that weren't so compelling on an Apple-TV before are now great perks to my XBMC install. I can instantly rent a movie in HD if my download doesn't complete or the file ends up corrupt. If I can't find a move online, I usually can on iTunes. They are fairly complementary.

    All in a tiny little box 7x7x1.

    Only real disadvantage I've run into is the limited remote.
    • by Strider- (39683)

      Another vote for this solution.

      Another benefit is that the aTV is an incredibly quiet package. While it does contain a fan, I have never actually heard it run.

  • Wow. Just hurt us people who rely on CHaOS (Cheap Array of Obsolete Systems). The Xbox was a 39.99 dollar media center which played all DVD's and some good games on the TV and it was networked into the File servers. It is GREAT and XBMC is great too... and now.... wow.

    Come on, Whats the point of XBMC if you dont have it on an Xbox. Btw, just crack the darn 360 and put it there too... or the ps3 or.. Wii... for gosh sakes!

  • I'll be ready to retire my xbox as soon as I find a suitable, affordable replacement. I'm hoping for a diskless nettop with nVidia VDPAU Feature Set C to arrive some time this year. I imagine that ought to run the latest greatest XBMC nicely. Until then, I think I'll continue hobbling along with this poor old nearly-abandoned xbox.

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:10PM (#32384488) Journal

    Many of us commenting here love(d) our Xbox's - it was a true monster at playing video, it played _everything_
    Why oh why did Sony block access to the accelerated video features on the PS3 under linux? XBMC would've been PERFECT on the PS3.
    Wifi, gigabit, 1080p output, USB ports, internal HDD :/ such a huge shame.

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