[mythtv-users] Xbox Versions

Mark Knecht markknecht at gmail.com
Wed May 4 16:34:13 UTC 2005

   I'm am currently going through XBox mod hell. I wouldn't recommend
this to anyone feint of heart.

   There are at least 7 versions of the XBox, starting with 1.0, 1.1,
1.2, ..., 1.6. There is also (apparently) a 'sub-version' of 1.6
called 1.6b. There are also a truly scary number of possibly mod
chips. Choose one carefully. I'm using the cheapest. It would likely
had been OK if it came preinstalled with the Cromwell BIOS. Some of
them do. I suggest looking for that.

   I purchased a new XBox last Friday for a Myth frontend machine. I
knew it would be difficult. I won't be heartbroken if it doesn't work.
Here's the status so far.

   I got the XBox modified by a nice guy here in San Jose. He
installed a DuoX2 chip and put some sort of bootable BIOS on it. I had
been able to boot GentooX and Gentoo-XBox after that work was done.
After looking at Xebian, GentooX, Gentoo-xbox I finally decided that
since I use Gentoo elsewhere I'd go with Gentoo-Xbox. All the
instructions said I needed the Cromwell BIOS so I tried doing that
with raincoat. Raincoat loaded the Cromwell BIOS, but then the machine
wouldn't boot from the DuoX2 anymore. It will still boot with the M$

   So far I'm out $150 for the machine, $25 for the IR/remote, $50 for
the mod chip + install and it doesn't work. That's $250. Probably I'll
get it fixed and running sometime this week but it's certainly not
painless so far. ;-) (Mostly my own making I'm sure.)

   My one comment about the XBox is that it's not silent. The fan in
them makes about as much noise as an older VCR when recording. This
makes me wonder if I'll leave it turned on and ready for use or
whether I'll end up turning i toff and seldom using it.

   Based on a fairly gloomy Monday morning my thought today, knowing
what little I know right now, is that I'd double the cost to $500 and
build something that's both based on a standard PC architecture and
BIOS as well as fanless and completely silent.

   So far it's an interesting (if depressing) use of time and I'm not
sure I'm going to enjoy the box when I get it done. Not a great
report. Go here only if you like this sort of thing.

   We'll see.

- Mark

On 5/4/05, Calvin Harrigan <charriglists at bellsouth.net> wrote:
>     I've been looking for an economical way of setting up a couple
> frontends.  I currently run a combo be/fe which has served me well for
> over a year.  I though perhaps getting a couple used XBoxes would be a
> decent route.  I've been skimming the archives and one thing that keeps
> popping up is a discussion/mention of versioning on the XBox.  What is
> the easiest version of the XBox to mod to allow it to run mythtv?  Does
> it require a hardware modification?  How do the xboxes perform
> displaying SD TV encoded at 480x480?  Any comments?  Thanks for the feed
> back.
> Calvin
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