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Stream media from your pc to your TV in style for under 10$

likeitaloud

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This is not something new, so I am sure a lot of people have heard about it. For those who didn't here is an easy (and very cheap) way to watch your downloaded torrents, (legally!) ripped DVDs, music, weather, podcasts, magazines, pictures (of nature) and just about anything on your shiny 50 inch plasma.

Although this method is a couple years old it does support up to 1080p output (not blu-ray as it hasn't even been decoded yet) so it is still up to date.

Yes you can spend your money on Microsoft commercial alternative (that requires you to own Vista Ultimate or Media) but here is how to do it the cool way.

1. The first thing you need is the original Xbox:



This is where your 10$ are going towards. You will probably pay 10x that if you but it new but thrift stores and flea markets will have a lot of these because the 360s are under 200$ now.

Don't worry you don't have to be a gamer for this, the Xbox is just your medium to connect your PC to your TV.

2. Now you need a completely free software called XBMC:



This is the basic interface look, there are loads of plugins and scripts to change how you want it to look and perform.

Now you install it on your Xbox. It is a tad tricky but there are lots and lots of guides on how to do it and should not take more than an hour one you figure it out.

3. After you install it, XBMC automatically connects to the internet and you pc (wirelessly if you have a wireless router) and allows you to freely stream all your media. Besides Blu-ray disks you can stream virtually anything. Youtube, live TV, Stage6, watch-movies.net are also freely available. There are phenomenal options to categorize movies like automatic connection to imdb.com and downloading dvd covers, plot, rating, anything else.

Now to keep it stylish you can also configure your universal remote to handle everything from turning on the Xbox to changing the pixel ration while playing a movie, again lots of guides on the subject.



4. Finally if you are like me and don't enjoy having an old game council having in your living room you can always get a different case for it. If you are crazy enough and can get your hands on something slick for free, you can use it to accommodate your Xbox.

This guide is just an introduction to XBMC to give you an idea how easy and cheap it is to setup a gorgeous and very productive system on your TV. Many plugins allow you to get weather feeds, watch/listen/read anything without paying a cent because you already have it on your computer.

There are plenty of resources on the web, youtube, XBMC forums to help you set this up so if you don't want to shell 400$ for a Widows Media Extender, here is a cheap, and much more popular alternative. I hope you all find this useful and thanks for reading!
 

otc

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This has been written about by myself and others in some other threads on this forum.

I've had this setup going for years and I love it. In the dorms we actually had it set up with a little 5inch LCD and some speakers in our bathroom to play music in the shower (or occasionally we would find some people in our bathroom trying to play one of the 2-3 games I owned on a tiny little screen.

Now it's all in our living room and is the source of most of our TV watching (miss the airing, torrent it a few hours later and watch on the xbox)
 

MetroStyles

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Wait, how is this better than hooking up your computer to your TV with an S-Video cord or what not?
 

likeitaloud

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Originally Posted by MetroStyles
Wait, how is this better than hooking up your computer to your TV with an S-Video cord or what not?

-S-Video quality SUCKS
-Sound will still come from your PC speakers not the TV
-To do anything you will have to go up to your PC (which has to be next to your TV)
-You can't use your PC while watching TV
-The whole thing is going to look welfare
 

GQgeek

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Originally Posted by likeitaloud
-S-Video quality SUCKS
-Sound will still come from your PC speakers not the TV
-To do anything you will have to go up to your PC (which has to be next to your TV)
-You can't use your PC while watching TV
-The whole thing is going to look welfare


There are plenty of home theater cases that will make your PC look like an audio component. They vary in quality/looks, and you certainly aren't limited to s-video.
 

likeitaloud

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I'd like to see you put together anything thats even CLOSE to the cost of the setup I described. A decent video cable will run you 30$ in future shop.
 

bkk

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You won't be able to get 1080p out of the xbox. Its hardware only supports 720p/1080i, along with most TVs only allowing 1080p over HDMI. Not a big deal since there is a lack of 1080p media, but didn't want people to get the wrong idea.
 

Zandros

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Originally Posted by bkk
You won't be able to get 1080p out of the xbox. Its hardware only supports 720p/1080i, along with most TVs only allowing 1080p over HDMI. Not a big deal since there is a lack of 1080p media, but didn't want people to get the wrong idea.

It's not like the Xbox hardware is capable of decoding anything HD anyway.
 

GQgeek

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Originally Posted by likeitaloud
I'd like to see you put together anything thats even CLOSE to the cost of the setup I described. A decent video cable will run you 30$ in future shop.
Seriously? Ya, a converted xbox is the bestest possible htpc. I love people that get competitive about this sort of shit.
 

likeitaloud

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Not the best, the cheapest. When you are getting into the 1080p and HD category you will need a very pricey pc to handle that stuff.
 

chobochobo

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I've been looking at Squeezeboxes for streaming audio from my computer to my hifi. This looks interesting but I wouldn't want another 'brick' of a console.
 

montyharding

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Originally Posted by likeitaloud
Not the best, the cheapest. When you are getting into the 1080p and HD category you will need a very pricey pc to handle that stuff.
Not really. XBMC is a good way of doing it though on a shoestring. The problem is that XBoxen have never been living-room-friendly in my opinion. There are any number of ways to retrofit stuff - but if you aren't on studentonomics (your time is cheaper than anything else in the equation, one reason why inherently unreliable Apple computers are so popular among them) then the effort to actually get it living-room-worthy can be too costly in terms of time. On the other hand, a PS3 or a silenced purpose built HTPC is living-room-friendly.
 

eg1

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Originally Posted by chobochobo
I've been looking at Squeezeboxes for streaming audio from my computer to my hifi. This looks interesting but I wouldn't want another 'brick' of a console.

I have been doing this for several years now, and I am very happy with the results.
 

chobochobo

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^sorry to hijack thread, but are the standard squeezeboxes okay? I was looking at a Duet but saw these 'modded' models eg Bolder, RWAs...
 

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