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XBMC an outstanding Linux home media centre

  • Subject: XBMC an outstanding Linux home media centre
  • From: Terry Porter <linux-2@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2008 06:42:17 -0600
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: Pan/0.132 (Waxed in Black)
  • Xref: ellandroad.demon.co.uk comp.os.linux.advocacy:717557
My Xmas present came early this year in the shape of a XBMC media player.


I had purchased two (Linux powered) Chinese embedded media players, but 
both have died over the course of a year or so. The voltage reg on one 
failed with a pop, the other developed IR controller problems. The 
quality of these units is not the best, and the average price is around 
$130 AUD.

With no way to play my video collection thru my Linux powered Hdef TV, I 
looked around and found XBMC.

Initially made to turn the unfortunate Microsoft XBOX into a decent media 
player, it is now available as a live Linux CD for X86 machines. The live 
CD is based on Ubuntu :-
# uname -a :-
Linux XBMCLive 2.6.24-19-generic #1 SMP Wed Jun 18 14:43:41 UTC 2008 i686

I installed XBMC onto a older HP530 desktop machine, they are a quality, 
compact, small footprint, box with a 2.5Ghz Celeron, Intel graphics, 4 
DDR1 slots,CD player etc. I paid $100 each for 4 HP530 units from Ebay 
about a year ago.

XBMC installed without a hitch, producing a beautiful, totally  
professional menu with many features, including video, music, pictures, 
streaming RSS feeds, weather, and Apple Quicktime movie previews fetched 
from the Internet, (all perfectly legal), just to name a few.

It has a 'Library" feature which downloads film info and artwork for 
fimms etc, which is very neat.

It plays films from my Samba server flawlessly, and is very simple and 
easy to use.

I did have to log in via SSH (Flatfish will be disappointed to learn it 
doesn't have a Telnet server as standard, tho he could install one if he 
really wanted it) and adjust Alsamixer to turn off the HP530 internal 
speaker and turn the sound output up, but other than that, everything 
just worked.

I'm using a Logitech 'Dinovo Mini" bluetooth keyboard, which also just 
worked, tho the mouse scroll function in the touchpad does not. This is 
not a biggie as the XBMC menu is designed to use from a up/down, right/
left selector, which the Dinovo touch pad also has, which works fine.

I don't really recommend the Dinovo Mini, it has a cheap, loose fitting 
feel, and no standalone ESC button, which is a pain. Overall I'm not 
impressed with the quality of the plastic work on Logitech products.

XBMC is another matter entirely, it's an outstanding LINUX product, 
available for Free, at the cost of the download.

XBMC has a no brainer installer, which can be booted from a hard drive or 
USB key for permanent install, all easily selectable from the install 

Well DONE XBMC team, another advantage for *LINUX* users :)

If we wish to reduce our ignorance, there are people we will
indeed listen to.  Trolls are not among those people, as trolls, more or
less by definition, *promote* ignorance.
          Kelsey Bjarnason, C.O.L.A. 2008

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