[mythtv-users] MythTV client node: xbox or mac mini?

Kichigai Mentat kichigai at comcast.net
Fri Dec 9 23:58:12 EST 2005

Hash: SHA1

On Dec 9, 2005, at 14.13, Owen Mehegan wrote:

> I used MythTV with great success a couple of years ago, using one  
> system for the frontend and backend. I planned for this to just be  
> a proof of concept for me, but it worked out well enough that I  
> never bothered to upgrade it or anything. I then moved to an  
> apartment where my roommate had, and was annoyingly devoted to, a  
> TiVo, so I repurposed my MythTV box for other things.
> I've moved again, and I'm looking forward to rebuilding my Myth  
> system with much newer code, hoping for some nice improvements. In  
> addition, I'm considering making a separate backend and client  
> system. There's a closet right next to where my TV is going to go,  
> and I have an idea that I will run my cable in there, put the cable  
> box, myth server, and network stuff all in there, and then just  
> have my TV and a myth client node in the living room. Quieter, no  
> big ugly PC case, etc.
> I was originally planning to buy a Mac Mini for this purpose, but I  
> have since become the owner of an original Xbox. I know there are  
> people using their Xboxes as Myth systems also, and I'm wondering  
> how practical this really is. My box is modded, so I presume that I  
> just need to install Linux and Myth, get it on the network, and I  
> should be good to go.
I have a soft-modded XBox. Assuming you have a replacement dashboard  
in place, it's not even that complex. Just search your favorite  
Torrent Tracker for XBox MythTV, and you'll have everything you need:  
A default.xbe, a hard disk image, and a swap partition image. Throw  
those wherever, and execute. I plan to use this for my set-up.
> But how do I manage playing games also?
Well, it depends. If you are using the Xbox Linux xCromwell chip, and  
you *replace* all XBox software with Linux, then no. If you just use  
a replacement dashboard, then yes, but not with XBox Live. However,  
if you feel a great need to play games online, you can always try out  
XLink Kai (Takes System Link data, routes it over the internet. It's  
really quite nice... and free... free is nice). Oh, just a quick  
note, the XBox MythTV client can use a program called "blink" to  
change the LED color depending on whether the server is recording or  
not, etc. Certainly not a reason to choose XBox over Mini, but I  
thought it might be a nifty piece of trivia.
> Is it a simple process to just reboot into game-playing mode? Do I  
> need to have two different BIOSes on my mod chip, one for Linux and  
> one for loading games? Or can I use one of the hacked bootloaders  
> to choose between booting Linux or playing games? Is partitioning  
> my hard drive for the Linux setup as well as game availability  
> going to be a giant hassle? What does one use as a remote control?
To use games, reboot. If you use a replacement dashboard (which is  
what I recommend) then it really *is* as simple as rebooting. Using  
the F: Drive (all disk space above 8 GB) is no hassle at all. It's  
really very easy. To use a remote, just buy an XBox Remote control.  
It doesn't have a lot of buttons, but it is kinda nice.
> On a related note, if I decide to go with the Mac, is there enough  
> bandwidth over 802.11G wireless to run video to the client node, or  
> am I totally better off just running ethernet for it?
I've heard 802.11g *can* pull enough throughput, but network  
reliability is important too.

Just a quick note, though, I've heard that the OS X front-end is  
nice, but does anyone know about compatibility with the plug-ins?
> Thanks in advance for any suggestions :-)
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