XBMC etc Questions

just slackin'

Active Member
sorry, i am really new to this and have searched for answers but every time i answer one question it seems to throw up at least 5 others.

i have an xbox which i bought on the day they were released years ago. it is chipped with an xecuter chip (one of the really early ones i think). i would like to enable hi def on the xbox and use xbmc. at the moment the xbox only has the original dash on it.

the questions i have:

1. if i put a new hdd in the xbox then could i just swap them over and install whatever i need to onto the new drive? not really bothered about copying over my save games at this stage - if ever - but if i had any hassle then presumably i could just put the old drive back in?

2. does xbmc allow you to run hi def from the hdd in the xbox? if so then i'd definitely like to put in a new hdd because it won't be permanently connected to my pc.

3. i have heard that i'll need to switch the box over to ntsc to use the hi def cable - not a problem 'cos i have used the enigmah thing before. what is the difference between a hi def cable with a box and one without - i've seen both for sale?

4. what do i actually need to install to get the 720i and 1080i options - is it just the evox dash? i thought i'd use the slayer disk (which i have somewehere).

5. likewise for xbmc - do i just download the latest version or will i need to find codecs etc?

i think there are other questions but i can't think of them now!!

thanks to anybody who has time to help - or even point me to good online guides which would cover the questions above.
 

shemau

Standard Member
just slackin' said:
sorry, i am really new to this and have searched for answers but every time i answer one question it seems to throw up at least 5 others.

i have an xbox which i bought on the day they were released years ago. it is chipped with an xecuter chip (one of the really early ones i think). i would like to enable hi def on the xbox and use xbmc. at the moment the xbox only has the original dash on it.

the questions i have:

1. if i put a new hdd in the xbox then could i just swap them over and install whatever i need to onto the new drive? not really bothered about copying over my save games at this stage - if ever - but if i had any hassle then presumably i could just put the old drive back in?

2. does xbmc allow you to run hi def from the hdd in the xbox? if so then i'd definitely like to put in a new hdd because it won't be permanently connected to my pc.

3. i have heard that i'll need to switch the box over to ntsc to use the hi def cable - not a problem 'cos i have used the enigmah thing before. what is the difference between a hi def cable with a box and one without - i've seen both for sale?

4. what do i actually need to install to get the 720i and 1080i options - is it just the evox dash? i thought i'd use the slayer disk (which i have somewehere).

5. likewise for xbmc - do i just download the latest version or will i need to find codecs etc?

i think there are other questions but i can't think of them now!!

thanks to anybody who has time to help - or even point me to good online guides which would cover the questions above.


I will take a shot at some of the questions. I have a Crystal XBOX 1.6 with Excutor 2.6 or 3 I think.
1. Never done this. Sorry.
2. Maybe. NTCS XBOXs can decode upto 576p and output 720p or 1080i upscaled. The processor is not fast enough to decode 720p, although it may be possible IF the file is encoded with the right options.
PAL XBOXs have 720p/1080i disabled. But... your Executor might enable you to change the BIOS to NTSCU (US NTSC) and if your TV recognises NTSC you are okay. If it does not... you get no picture and can not see anything to reset it to PAL... so attempt at your own risk...
3. Not sure... Game do an XBOX to component cable (five RCA jacks, three for video and two for sound). There are no boxes inline in the cable.
4. In the XMBC settings panel, for NTCS XBOXs, instead of PAL 4:3/PAL 16:9, there are other options including 720p and 1080i. You can just run XBMC as your dash. It has built in FTP for when the XBOX is connected to a network.
5. If you are using a downloaded pre-built image... they come with all the codecs.

xbox-scene.com and xboxmediacenter.com should have all the general information that you need.
 

just slackin'

Active Member
shemau said:
I will take a shot at some of the questions. I have a Crystal XBOX 1.6 with Excutor 2.6 or 3 I think.
1. Never done this. Sorry.
2. Maybe. NTCS XBOXs can decode upto 576p and output 720p or 1080i upscaled. The processor is not fast enough to decode 720p, although it may be possible IF the file is encoded with the right options.
PAL XBOXs have 720p/1080i disabled. But... your Executor might enable you to change the BIOS to NTSCU (US NTSC) and if your TV recognises NTSC you are okay. If it does not... you get no picture and can not see anything to reset it to PAL... so attempt at your own risk...
3. Not sure... Game do an XBOX to component cable (five RCA jacks, three for video and two for sound). There are no boxes inline in the cable.
4. In the XMBC settings panel, for NTCS XBOXs, instead of PAL 4:3/PAL 16:9, there are other options including 720p and 1080i. You can just run XBMC as your dash. It has built in FTP for when the XBOX is connected to a network.
5. If you are using a downloaded pre-built image... they come with all the codecs.

xbox-scene.com and xboxmediacenter.com should have all the general information that you need.
thanks for the prompt reply shemau.

2. i really wanted to use it to watch hi def content such as .ts, avi files etc. i have a few episodes of different things in hd format but no way to watch them on my hi def tv at present. will that be a problem then - not sure if the xbox will have to decode these files or not. if it can't decode these then it probably isn't worth my while.

think my chip is too old to enable bios switching so does that mean that i won't be able set it to 720 with evox/xbmc or whatever? again, if i can't set it to 720 for the above files then there probably isn't much point.

3. it was the official cable - seemed to be two different versions - one with a box and one without - just wondered what the differences were.

4. so if i run xbmc as my dash then i can set it to 720? is that only if i can switch the bios to us/jap using my chip (item 2 above).

see what i mean about more questions coming out of each answer!!
 

gavan

Well-known Member
just slackin' said:
the questions i have:

1. if i put a new hdd in the xbox then could i just swap them over and install whatever i need to onto the new drive? not really bothered about copying over my save games at this stage - if ever - but if i had any hassle then presumably i could just put the old drive back in?

2. does xbmc allow you to run hi def from the hdd in the xbox? if so then i'd definitely like to put in a new hdd because it won't be permanently connected to my pc.

3. i have heard that i'll need to switch the box over to ntsc to use the hi def cable - not a problem 'cos i have used the enigmah thing before. what is the difference between a hi def cable with a box and one without - i've seen both for sale?

4. what do i actually need to install to get the 720i and 1080i options - is it just the evox dash? i thought i'd use the slayer disk (which i have somewehere).

5. likewise for xbmc - do i just download the latest version or will i need to find codecs etc?

i think there are other questions but i can't think of them now!!

thanks to anybody who has time to help - or even point me to good online guides which would cover the questions above.

Yes - you should be able to install a new HDD and put whatever stuff you need on it (presumably from an install DVD/CD).

The best thing to do would be to install a dash on the old HDD ... then use the FTP utilility to back up the contents across to your PCs HDD if you want to keep the saves and downloaded content. Also 'unlock' the old drive before removing it, just in case you need to access it from another system. eg. to mount it on a PC.

XBMC works fine for some pseudo-HD stuff I've seen encoded in DiVX (960x540 res). Apparently it's not so good on true HD wmv material or .ts streams though ...

You don't need anything special to access HD resoutions. Just go to the video options in the standard MS dash and enable the HD resolutions that your TV can handle and games will automatically use them if they can. XBMC should pick up that you have a component cable installed and allow you to select a HD resolution to run in.


XBMC comes bundled with all the codecs you are likely to need. I've never had to install additional ones.


Gav
 

DarkEntity

Well-known Member
Ive swapped my Xbox to NTSC, it has an Executor chip and XBMC and i still have no option for HD output.

Im assuming there must be a certain version of XBMC that will allow you to choose HD.
 

oddfeld

Active Member
DarkEntity said:
Ive swapped my Xbox to NTSC, it has an Executor chip and XBMC and i still have no option for HD output.

Im assuming there must be a certain version of XBMC that will allow you to choose HD.

I think you have to set it in the MS Dash, not in XBMC. It should show up under the video settings if you have an NTSC box (maybe only when an HD cable is connected). I don't have an HDTV so YMMV.
 

blicky_1

Well-known Member
oddfeld said:
I think you have to set it in the MS Dash, not in XBMC. It should show up under the video settings if you have an NTSC box (maybe only when an HD cable is connected). I don't have an HDTV so YMMV.

You are correct on all of the above!
 

stammie

Active Member
DarkEntity said:
Ive swapped my Xbox to NTSC, it has an Executor chip and XBMC and i still have no option for HD output.

Im assuming there must be a certain version of XBMC that will allow you to choose HD.

you must have the component cables connected,
then you need a fairly recent build of xbmc (one from the last 6 months should be ok but I stand to be corrected on the timescale) older versions wouldn't handle 720p and above.
If you are familiar with irc go to #xbins on effnet, follow the instructions you see there to download to latest builds of xbmc.

Once you've switched to ntsc mode, reboot the xbox to the ms dash, go to settings then video then enable the high definition modes you want out of 480p, 720p and 1080i,
then reboot again and load xbmc, it will automatically boot into the highest mode you have enabled
E.G if you have enabled all 3 modes it will boot into 1080i then upscale all the movies you play to that resolution.
Personally I leave 1080i disabled but enable the other two as I find on my tv 720p gives the best playback.

Games will also automatically load in the enabled high defintion modes that they are compatible with.
Beware some games wont load at all once hd is enabled, if you find previously working games no longer work you'll need to disable any changes you've made to play them.

As already stated the xbox will not play true high definition files but xbmc upscaling avi's, mpg's and dvd's can give stunning results,
once you've made the changes and watched a movie or two you wont want to go back to a standard dvd player.
 

bobinski

Active Member
Stammie
How do you control playback in xbmc?
I am getting fed up with explaining to the wife how to use a wireless controller:D
Have you stet up a remote at all and if so how?
cheers
 

stammie

Active Member
bobinski said:
Stammie
How do you control playback in xbmc?
I am getting fed up with explaining to the wife how to use a wireless controller:D
Have you stet up a remote at all and if so how?
cheers

I just use the standard controller, I don't mind the wire going across the room, although I feel your pain with your wife lol
 

scumball

Distinguished Member
bobinski said:
Stammie
How do you control playback in xbmc?
I am getting fed up with explaining to the wife how to use a wireless controller:D
Have you stet up a remote at all and if so how?
cheers

The Xbox DVD remote works with XBMC a charm...and is easily mapped to a learning remote such as a Harmony or Pronto.
 

gavan

Well-known Member
scumball said:
The Xbox DVD remote works with XBMC a charm...and is easily mapped to a learning remote such as a Harmony or Pronto.

The new new Harmonys should work very well - I have an 885 and the button layout is near ideal for working with XBMC.

One small thing, although the XBox remote codes were in the Harmony database, for some reason the 'back' button wasn't there and I had to learn it from the original controller.

(oh, make sure you have the IR dongle thingy that comes with the official DVD remote kit. There's no built-in IR receiver on the Xbox)

Gav
 

Quinten

Active Member
Although the xbox codes are in the harmony database, I couldnt learn it any of the codes from the original remote. Whenever you press a button to learn, it always comes up with "Bad IR detected". Not very helpful, and am wondering why yours worked, and mine didn't?

Q.
 

scumball

Distinguished Member
Quinten said:
Although the xbox codes are in the harmony database, I couldnt learn it any of the codes from the original remote. Whenever you press a button to learn, it always comes up with "Bad IR detected". Not very helpful, and am wondering why yours worked, and mine didn't?

Q.

Mine works fine too with a Harmony 655...and a 659 before it.
 

gavan

Well-known Member
Quinten said:
Although the xbox codes are in the harmony database, I couldnt learn it any of the codes from the original remote. Whenever you press a button to learn, it always comes up with "Bad IR detected". Not very helpful, and am wondering why yours worked, and mine didn't?

Q.

When I had to learn the 'back' button I just selected the option to learn through their web wizard thingie, then placed the original Xbox remote a few cm behind the 885 and pressed the button. That was all there was to it.

Gav
 

Quinten

Active Member
gavan said:
When I had to learn the 'back' button I just selected the option to learn through their web wizard thingie, then placed the original Xbox remote a few cm behind the 885 and pressed the button. That was all there was to it.

Gav

Same here, but it wouldn't learn it... I Haven't had the change to test the 'database' codes yet, so it may just be that the 'Exit' button will work like the 'Back' button. If not, a call to Harmony CS will be in order...

Oh btw, instead of selecting Game Console, I selected Media Center PC... maybe that confuses the learning wizard.
 

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