Need a replacement for XBMC


PS3’s native media playing has a similar set of problems as the 360 wrt lack of wide codec support. It is also not a good candidate for XBMC on Linux because there is no HW accelerated 3d under PS3/Linux and XBMC’s GUI on Linux is all OpenGL based.

I tried out vista MCE too. It fucking sucks.

Not in my opinion. I think you fucking suck, for making meaningless, unsupported statements.

It plays everything, and the MCE remote works without any configuration at all. To install, follow these instructions except for the apt-get line, use the line from the README.linux instead. Make sure you’re using ubuntu gusty 7.10 32-bit and have an opengl 2.0 capable videocard. Any recent card will work from a 6150 on up, but be sure to go nvidia because ATI’s linux support sucks. The integrated video on my HTPC’s motherboard works fine.

Or, you could just install Vista MCE (Home Premium OEM) and have a kick ass HTPC solution up and running inside 30 minutes. Plus, it’s Windows, so you can run anything and everything else, too.

Again, linux has no GPU offloading

But Windoze does, doesn’t it?

Once they get blu-ray support working in linux

I seem to recall Blu-ray working in Micro$haft Windoze.

Vista MCE is fantastic, with one caveat-- digital cable / cablecard is pretty much a non-starter due to DRM dickage.

i encode h264 720p/1080p mkvs to mp4 which then play through the network on the xbox 360 fine. i share by installing the zune software even though i don’t have a zune.

Yea, I can get a 500GB WD for one of the Asian PC shops near me for $87 with a cash discount. NICX is pretty decent, though. Thanks.

I assume the Zune software is the same as WMP11? Pretty nice, instead of sharing the folders with your videos in it through the OS, you share them with WMP11, which autodetects other machines on the network trying to grab them?

I’d rather not buy another 360 - if I’m going to grab something in that $350 price range I might as make a HTPC and have it play whatever I want.

I’m in the process of setting up an XBMC Linux box right now and while the integrated 6150 would run XBMC it wasn’t usable by any stretch. It simply didn’t have the fill-rate to power the GUI at full screen. I replaced it with an nVidia 8500 GT from MSI. It’s a passively cooled half-height card with DVI and HDMI video out. Great video card for an HTPC.

While we’re on the subject, stusser do you have your Ubuntu box auto-login and run XBMC on boot? I haven’t looked into doing that yet, but I would assume it’s possible.

My 7150 isn’t much faster and it works fine. The GPU isn’t used for much beyond colorspace conversions, it just draws a big polygon to the screen.

I have it autologin to gnome but not automatically run XBMC. I use my remote control to start/kill the executable using the FAQ on the forums.

Vista MCE truly does suck in comparison to XBMC. The interface is horrendous, although it’s much better than the excrable linuxMCE. And yes obviously that is my opinion, jerkoff.

I don’t think Vista MCE sucks, but the UI isn’t as nice as XBMC’s and while it supports any codec that you can get a Windows filter for (which is just about every codec), it doesn’t easily do things that XBMC for Xbox did like parse DVD ISO files off network shares or the local filesystem and play their content in real time. Basically every DVD I own a physical copy of was ripped to ISO to make a big DVD jukebox, which is a big part of the reason I loved XBMC to begin with. When I switched to MCE I had to convert them all to basic mpgs by extracting the vobs from the isos and then VOB2MPG them all (to get one nicely formatted mpg out of the multiple vobs on the DVD). While this works fine for the main movies, I lost all the DVD features in the process.

There is a certain truth to the fact that Windows is just easier to set up and maintain though. I’m not a Linux-noob at all, I’ve done a lot of professional Unix programming and have run Linux off and on for over a decade, but I’ve had very few experiences setting up and maintain a Linux box for a task that weren’t maddeningly complex compared to how the same thing would go in Windows.

Windows does do hardware acceleration of mpeg2 and h.264 among other codecs, in theory. But MPEG2 hw acceleration isn’t really needed unless your cpu is totally weaksauce and there are so many problems with h.264 hw acceleration that it really isn’t worth the effort to try to use it, IMO. My HTPC has an 8600 in it, supposedly to take advantage of the nice hw h.264 decoding, but in the real world I had so many problems with the decoder that comes with PowerDVD (supposedly the best one available for h.264) that I ended up switching to CoreAVC, which is all software anyway.

At any rate, I’m going to install XBMC Linux on a secondary machine and give it a whirl. If it goes relatively smoothly and everything I need works without serious issue, I’ll considering switching my main HTPC over to it, otherwise I’ll give it some more time to cook.

I use coreAVC on windows too. It’s an amazing decoder. H.264 aside the vast majority of my video decoding on windows uses ffmpeg just like linux anyway.

The lack of GPU offloading isn’t linux’s fault, the driver manufacturers just don’t support it yet.

the reason i went with the zune software is that wmp11 does not support mp4, while the zune sharing does.

The ffmpeg devs introduced multithreaded h.264 CABAC encoding which was just patched into XBMC/linux today. Assuming no major issues come up, CPU requirements to play HD will likely be cut by 25% assuming you have a dualcore. In my own tests it’s a major improvement.

What I’d love to see is an XBMC linux install for a dedicated box.

In my dream world I set up a mini-atx box that boots up directly to XBMC and has dedicated flash ram instead of an HD.

That’s the plan, a cut-down linux install that boots directly to XBMC from a flash stick or CD. They’re just not ready yet; the initial porting isn’t 100% completed.

Converted my bedroom htpc to Linux/XBMC and it looks pretty sweet so far. My MCE remote didn’t work out of the box, so I have to figure out why that is (I didn’t do anything at all to configure it on the OS level) and my videos that aren’t Dolby or DTS sound aren’t being converted and put out over the digital optical line, but the ones with Dolby/DTS work fine. I’m sure both of these issues will be easy enough to fix when I dive back in. The only gotchas were:

After installing Ubuntu I went to Nvidia’s site and downloaded their newest Linux driver, kind of a force-of-habit thing from Windows. Big mistake. Nvidia’s driver install and the drivers that ship with Ubuntu get all confused if you manually install Nvidia’s driver, better to just stick with the one that comes with Ubuntu and only upgrade through the default package manager.

Also I had to upgrade to ALSA 1.0.16 because 1.0.14 that comes with Ubuntu 7.10 didn’t support the Sondigo Inferno soundcard I have in this box.

One huge improvement off the bat is that XBMC does a much better job of playing big movies off of network shares. Vista MCE never seems to buffer enough and I’d get occassional hitches, XBMC plays the same files silky smooth.

What’s your gut on the time frame?

I’d guess that the initial port, as an application running on top of X-windows. will be release-quality by this summer. Maybe sooner that that, since the OSX developers are kicking ass. That’s milestone 1.

Milestone2 is to support a bunch of linux-specific features so it can independently configure everything like networking, screen resolution, remote control, audio, etc, without going into the commandline or X-windows to set it up. It will also embed its own cut-down X-windows manager. That’ll probably take a couple of months as it’s actually new development rather than porting.

Then milestone3 is a livecd (or flash key). But once you’ve got milestone2 done, that’s no big deal, should go very quickly.

CCZ, my MCE remote worked perfectly right out of the box. Try running irw and make sure that the buttons are registering properly.

I don’t suppose there’s anything as delightfully simple as XBMC that also supports recording off TV Tuner cards?

Nope, you’ll probably want to use vista MCE for that. Although as of 2 weeks ago XBMC now support playing mythtv recorded videos and even live streams.

I’ll have to try out my Mac Mini with my TV, as soon as i’ve settled in my house, as per this thread.

Is there some way to get HD videos legit, other than iTunes?