Sunday, August 31, 2008

Transform Your Classic Xbox into a Killer Media Center

Don't ditch your classic Xbox just because you can't play Halo 3 on it: nowadays it's easier than ever to transform that old neglected console into a Unix-based media command center. While early Xbox hackers had to pry open the black box to solder on a modchip, today a software exploit lets you replace Microsoft's crippled dashboard and run the incredible, open source Xbox Media Center (XBMC) software. You don't have to be a hardcore gamer or Unix hacker to get your XBMC on. On Tuesday Adam showed you how to reach media nirvana with Windows Media Center and the Xbox 360, but today we're kickin' it old school with a classic Xbox softmod.
Why do you want an Xbox Media Center?
Because underneath your television there's a powerful little black computer gathering dust ever since you finished Halo 2, and it's got a sizable hard drive, fast processor, and most importantly, an ethernet port that can do a hell of a lot more than connect you to Xbox Live. Your modded Xbox running XBMC will be networked with the rest of the computers in your house and let you:

* Play videos, music and photo slideshows located on any shared drive in the house displayed on the television in your living room
* Watch Apple movie trailers, YouTube videos, videos and see RSS newsfeeds dynamically loaded from the internets
* Transfer files to and from your Xbox's hard drive
* Rip DVDs to a shared network drive to play later or backup
* Watch DVDs sans "dongle" (no more DVD Playback Kit required!)

Plus all your games and saved games work as usual (EXCEPT for Xbox Live—see more below.) For more details on file formats and other capabilities, here's exactly what XBMC can do.

Warnings, disclaimers and the main catch: Once you've modded your Xbox you can no longer use Microsoft's Xbox Live online gaming service. Xbox mods are not endorsed or supported by Microsoft—in fact, they void your warranty—so you do risk bricking your box and winding up the creek without a paddle. That said, I've just softmodded my Xbox using these very instructions so I can vouch for 'em. Finally, this looks like a lot of work but in reality, once you've gathered your hardware and software, the actual modding is very quick. Plus it makes you feel like a freakin' ninja. These instructions don't require you be as smart as Cortana, but you should be comfortable with networking concepts like IP address assignments on your home network, FTP and IRC.

Let's get started.

All the info is Here



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