Xbox360 vs connecting pc to TV - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 2007-01-15, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Xbox360 vs connecting pc to TV

Hi,
I'm planning my HTPC and I can't decide whether to build an ultra quiet expensive PC and connect it directly to the TV or whether to build a noisy cheaper PC and use an xbox360 as an extender.
I mainly want to be able to stream music, dvds, divx etc to my TV. I'll probably get PVR for my broadcast TV watching.
Any advice?
David Hayes
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 2007-01-15, 07:40 AM
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The 360 in extender mode doesn't do Divx or remote DVDs, although you can work around that somewhat with Transcode360 the quality won't be as good as native divx. The upcoming Linksys extender should do divx natively, but you probably won't see that on sale until late summer.
For music, pictures, recorded TV, MPEG2 and WMV video the 360 extender is great. For Divx and remote DVD however, not so much. If that's your primary use for it, I would probably not recommend the 360.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 2007-01-15, 10:09 AM
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Another alternative is to pick up a used Xbox (original, not the 360) and hack it to use Xbox Media Center (XBMC). XBMC is an open source app that will do all of the things you want, including Divx and remote DVDs.

You should be able to find a used Xbox for about a hundred bucks, and then another hundred or so for the modchip, component cables, and remote kit.

Note though that this is no plug-and-play solution. There's a fair bit of work involved setting everything up in the first place. However, there's tons of info out there in various forums (xbox-scene is a good place to start) so if you're a do-it-yourselfer then you shouldn't have too much trouble. Then once it is set up it works really well. I have one in our family room and my wife uses it all the time to play music, watch videos, etc.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 2007-01-15, 10:13 AM
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I wouldn't worrry about the Extra expense of making an absolutly Silent PC.
With carefull selection of case, Power supply, fan selection, you can assemble
a PC that while not silent will be Very Quiet.

Iam running a 450watt antec truepower PS with a 120mm Fan in a sonata 2 case
with 2 Antec 120MM quite fans set to medium speed ~1150 RPM with a
normally cooled ATI X850XT and a TT quiet CPU Cooler ~19db. And you can
barely hear it running even without the TV on, With the TV going or when listening to music you would be hard pressed to know its running at all and temps have never been a issue with a AMD X2 4200+ the highest Ive ever seen
is 45 C.

While passive cooling is the ideal solution for a HTPC, It is certainly not an absolute Necessity, just pay attention to What you are putting together,

P.S. Fan controllers are Cheap and wonderful little items that give you the power to cut back the noise and if you want to do some heavy duty gaming to crank it up and let her rip
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 2007-01-15, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice, no divx is a bit of a blow, looks like a quiet pc is the way forward. I have an Athlon 64 3200+, a reasonable AGP graphics card (I can't recall the model but I can play DOOM3 at quite high detail)and 1GB of RAM, I think Vista should be ok with that? Does that sound enough for my needs? Would then just need a new case/quiet PSU etc.
Thanks
Dave
PS Can you play DIVX back through
Media Center?

Last edited by davidhayes; 2007-01-15 at 06:15 PM. Reason: Edit
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 2007-01-15, 07:22 PM
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You should be fine with Vista and that setup, although I'd want to check that specific video card against the manufacturer to make sure it's vista premium ready (and has 64-bit drivers). Your specs are quite similar to mine, with an nforce4 motherboard the onboard audio and network are quite decent.
Yes, you can play back Divx through media center. And MyMovies is a great plugin for divx movies!
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