Showcentre 1000 vx XBOX Media Centre

sdkmway

Active Member
Hi All

I've noticed PC World are now doing the Showcentre 1000 for £99, which seems to be a good price as I do not need the additional features the 200 model has to offer.

Also reading around these forums some people seem to recommend an XBOX with Media Centre software for linking up to the PC and displaying video/audio/pictures etc.

As I only have around £100 to spend is a 2nd hand xbox + mods a viable alternative or should I stick with the Showcentre. Its difficult to find a real argument for and against.

Any help appreciated.

Cheers
A confused and don't know what to do Kev
 

Monty Burns

Well-known Member
Morning Confused Kev!

You really should be asking the question as:


I want to play x,y,z video formats (streamed/not streamed) and/or (stream/not streamed) music mp3/wma/etc and also I may want to perform s,t,u extra functions over a cabled/wifi lan/local disk etc. This needs to plug into my projector/plasma/lcd/crt and my amp/speakers using optical/phono blah blah ... hehe

Whats the best way of doing this for 100gold ones? :)


Tell us what you want to do and we can help a bit more accuratley :) By limiting the description we may recommend something which might not suit your needs... wasting money is bad :D

Info .... info .... info .... :)
 

sdkmway

Active Member
Good point Monty.

Here goes...

At the moment all my pictures, audio files and some movies/home movies are stored on the PC and the wife complains that she never gets to see/hear them.

So I want to be able to play MP3, movie formats (MPEGs/DIVX/AVI etc) and display photos, all using an easy to use interface. I'm really not that bothered about games as I play most of them on the PC.

High Definition I also don't need at the moment as it will be a while before the TV gets upgraded. At the moment its a pefectly adequate 28" standard widescreen TV which is connected to a Panasonic DVD Recorder and Sky + box

Surround sound is via a Yamaha A3090 (an oldy but still a goody). This has a full set of analogue and digital inputs.

A wireless setup would be nice, but cable based would be OK for the moment. The PC runs an overclocked AMD XP1500mobile chip, memory in the machine is 512mb.

Does this help?
 

Monty Burns

Well-known Member
It sounds, to be honest, that you might suffice with a Showcenter.

Although a hard modded xbox will suit all your needs, finding a hard modded xbox for that money will be a push. Even second hand, these boxes still tend to sell for roughly the same money as a new modded box.

I believe there are softmod systems available - don't ask me about these, never even seen one! I'm also have no idea of how you would use these softmod systems or if its something a non-techie could use. These systems also are able to run XBMC I believe, meaning that they can play all your current formats and also should be upgradeable to play any new ones you find.


If you require any more specific information on currently supported codecs and any new ones for XBMC then see www.xboxmediacenter.com or www.xboxmediaplayer.com.

You may decide that its worth the little extra money but, you will probably have to buy at the very least an advanced scart cable so that you can optical out. I think realistically for a hard modded with bits n gubbins you are looking at 150 and for softmod probably 100 to 110.




Anyone comment on the suitability of Showcase for this gent?

@edit: Bits n gubbins would also include a long ethernet cable. No chance of Wifi with your budget.
 

Cable Monkey

Well-known Member
You can't play DVD's using showcentre, the main reason one I had access to went back...
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Check ebay and these forums classifieds, you may be lucky and pick up a second handed modded xbox for around £100. Also on the xbox forums here ther is a softmod kit which is shared amongst memebers for free - a new xbox is about £100, softmod it for free, and install the software and you will be sorted.

Ok, it's not quite as easy as that, but with help it can definitely be achieved. If you can run to £150 you can do what I did which is buy a pre-modded xbox from www.advancedxbox.com with all the software you need pre installed.
 
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sdkmway

Active Member
Thanks for the info.

I must say i could be leaning to the Xbox soloution for its compatability with a wide range of formats. I'm also assuming I can keep a load of music files on there and use it as a jukebox instead of having the PC on all the time.

Is the interface easy to use. I doubt I'd have a problem but how easy is it for someone to pick up. Thats one of the features that attracted me to the Showcentre so called ease of use for non-techies.

Thanks in advance
Kev
 

Monty Burns

Well-known Member
You can indeed store music on the xbox itself however, it only comes with a mega small hard drive so you will only be storing a few songs ;) You can upgrade the xbox very easily though by simply putting in a new 3.5 IDE disk and re-installing the software.

XBMC is seriously easy to use once its setup. Setup itself though can be a pain, check out the xml files.

Best of luck!
 

sdkmway

Active Member
Thanks... yes luck I will think I will need.

I managed to mod my Sega Megadrive all those years ago!

Will look forward to getting to grips with this.

Thanks Again
Kev
 

drummerjohn

Well-known Member
I have both the Showcentre and 2 soft modded Xboxs.

The showcentre can be a bit slow. It WILL play dvds as VOBS - you have to rip them without the menu. Showcenter doesnt use the .ifo file so no changing chapters.

A softmodded Xbox will cost you more like £150 once you got decent cables and a better harddrive.

The Xbox wins hands down easily but you gotta put the work in.
 

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