XBMC On Xbox Keeps Going And Going

It’s no secret that XBMC just saw a major release with version 9.11 Camelot. What many don’t know is that development for the X in the name (Xbox) stopped two releases ago. That is to say that Team-XBMC no longer officially develops for the platform because of its inability to handle true-HD and many types of compressed content.

But, remember that this is an open source project. Just because the development team has moved on to more powerful hardware doesn’t mean the end of the 733 MHz wonder. There have been one or two folks maintaining the branch and backporting as much as they can.

It seems the that Camelot can now run on the original Xbox hardware. Both the skin and video playback must be set no greater than 720p to ensure smooth playback but that’s not much of a drawback considering that all video being played will still need to be upscaled to get to that resolution. There is also a repository of Xbox friendly skin hacks that allow newer skins to play nicely with the meager 64mb of ram available. So rejoice, you can have Camelot, and it’s crown jewel that is the new Confluence skin.

39 thoughts on “XBMC On Xbox Keeps Going And Going

  1. this is still the 1 system i have NOT tried
    is it worth buying a xbox on ebay at this point to play uh…backups on?
    anything im like SERIOUSLY missing not having 1?

    i recently got a psp….yay for near full speed n64 in your pocket

  2. @Frogz/@McSquid

    You both are missing out on a world of awesomeness. the xbox can play not only “backups” but emulate psx/n63/GBA/GB/SNES/NES/GEN/ect run linux varients such as debian,Ubuntu,gentoo,and DSL. But yes its worth it in everyway. besides how else are you going to play the unofficial halo2 multiplaeyer map pack?
    And let me put it this way, I play my XBMC more then i do my Xbox 360. oh and another goody you can play xbox games online using Xlink Kai for free instead of using live.

  3. I loaded XBMC on my green Halo XBox years ago and have loved it ever since. I store movies in ISO format, pictures, and music in MP3 format on a Thecus 5200 pro NAS on my home network. XBMC handles it all. I use a Harmony 880 remote to control my entire system. I have since purchased two additional XBoxes at garage sales for $10-$15 each and have put them in other rooms of the house. This still rocks on the original XBox. True the XBox does not dislay HD content. I am looking to move to a different platform for my main TV but the Xboxes in the other will be there til they die.

  4. Agreed. I don’t play games much at all, but i have recently purchased 3 xbox1’s. The versatility of an xbox1 with xbmc is amazing and it’s very cheap. Especially if you softmod. I just got my primary xbox running with 5.1 sound by just soldering in an rca plug and shorting another wire. component hi-def and vga video outs are also possible.

  5. @XBMC_fan (or anyone)

    I’ve got a 150,000 song backup music library, spread across a couple of NAS’s. Everything from FLAC to Ogg to v0 mp3. Also a 500+ movie library backup. How does XBMC handle these numbers? I’ve yet to find anything that can get running in under 45 seconds (foobar included).

  6. The XBMC is **the best** app for the original XBOX bar none. The games are great (ooohh, I bought mine to play Outrun 2006 coast to coast) but XBMC is what makes the xbox shine.

    Now the PC port goes beyond the original, it is hard to justify using the xbox as a media center computer. But I still have mine and love it. Hope this month I can import (I live in Brazil) a clear case for it, and maybe a new controller. I love to play outrun :)

  7. For anyone who wants to softmod an Xbox but doesn’t know how, I have a tutorial I did a while back: http://area64.tv/node/5

    I still use my Xbox for parties, and I suggest that anyone pick up a good component video cable for theirs. I didn’t think it would make much of a difference for a standard definition console (I know some games are in HD, but still), but I was blown away by how much better the colors are (especially on my projector)!

  8. Just want to throw in with the others here who are praising the original Xbox with XBMC. It is a rare thing to be able to get so much functionality out of a device that can now be had for almost nothing – I’ve gotten two for free off of my local freecycle.

    My first xbox has been modded since 2003, and I have used XBMC as my main dash since 2005.

    I can’t think of any electronic device I have ever owned that has held up as well as the original xbox in terms of its continued usefulness.

    It started out as a great platform for playing ripped xbox games, then there were the emulators that enabled me to play every console from my childhood on a big screen with a good controller, then there was XBMC which was and is probably the best media platform in existence.

    In the early days, there was nothing that could compare. The xbox was an ideal living room computer. It was relatively compact, could boot up in seconds — even had a remote! It was a far more elegant solution than plugging a laptop into the TV, and did so much more.

    When I started out, I put the biggest IDE hard drive I could afford in the xbox, and filled it to the brim with joy. These days, I don’t even need to do that, as the Xboxes on our TV’s flawlessly stream media from a home server.

    I’m happy to see XBMC thrive on other platforms, and happy to see that there are now devices available commercially that do what I’ve been doing with my xbox for half a decade. But the xbox still does everything that I need it to, and does it impressively well.

    Is it still worth it? Hell yes.

  9. I was recently given an original xbox which I have chosen to be my winter project.
    I’ll be hardmodding it and making it the little multimedia/emulator box for my den.

    Nice to see progress continuing! :D

  10. If you are on this site and asking about if XBox 1 is worth hacking… you’re wasting valuable hacking time! Go get one NOW. Don’t forget that used XBox games are almost being given away at most places, and are really really good. Forget rips, grab some ORIGINALS with manuals and cases for $2-$3!

  11. Heh, the original xbox, 1 word:

    TSOP flash (ok an acronym and a word)

    Yep, I use my two as media extenders, 120gb in one and 80gb in the other.

    Just do a tsop flash of a modded bios and you can load xbmc from boot with any hard drive, don’t even have to lock it. You can also use it without a DVD drive even that way.

  12. I have several XBOX 1’s and I use them everyday.

    Watching The Office S05 on mine right now.

    XBMC networked to your PC with large media repository is amazing!

    Music on surround sound with coverflow, 5.1 support, 720p,1080i upsacling

    I dont use it for games much anymore, but it is still an amazing console emulator; NES,PSX,SNES,Sega,GB,GBA,Scumm VM,N64

    Xlink Kai for free multiplayer on Custom Halo maps

    Not to mention, Youtube, and other video sites that can be watched apple trailers etc

    Also if you throw a large HD in one, you can rip DVD,Games,Music directly to the hard drive.

    I must have one in every room that has a TV, I also give them to friends as house warming gifts.

    Its simply insane that Gamestop sells them for $35 not to mention you can get them for $20 or even free as another poster had said via craigslist,freecycle or yard sales…

    Throw one in a room, and you can instantly access all media on the network.. for $35? With Component and Optical output? HD upscaling? We should be so lucky.

    One thing that needs to be mentioned is that in order to obtain HD output or optical audio output, you will need the XBOX component cable, make sure to grab the one with TOSLINK optical output, some of the chincy ones, just have analog RCA LR out.. Those cables are almost worth more than the xbox itself nowadays….

  13. XBMC rocks. I cat5’ed my entire house simply to allow me to plug on in any room I wanted.

    I can buy these for £25 (usually with a remote) and it takes a few minutes to get up an running.

    If you are yet to move across to Blue Ray, and want something that plays pretty much any format you can list, then pick up an old xbox and stick XBMC on it. The dashboard is AMAZING, better than any commercial dashboard I have seen.

    Its feature rich, supports lots of formats, and my setup consists of a NAS with 2 TB plugged direct into my wired network. It uses SMB, but other options available.

    I’ll soon be buying something like this:
    and sticking the latest release on it to replace the xbox now that I do have an HD TV.

  14. @tehgringe —
    And here I thought I was the only one crazy enough to ethernet my house because of the love of the xbox. I pulled cat6 to every room. Probably will never use 3/4 of it. But if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing, right?

  15. fond memories. i got the first released xbox version, and loved the homebrew scene from the start. i even wrote some widely used, but now long forgotten software for the big black box. sadly, it now sits largely unused, and collecting dust. i really had hoped the great software, and brilliant community would be able to transfer to the new 360 hardware. alas, that was not to be. :( hacking the xbox was really key to inspiring my interests in electronics and low level software. makes me sad to think that the next generation will not have the same opportunities with the new strictly locked down hardware of today.

  16. Am I missing something, here? You guys are playing your entire movie archives on your Xbox? If I understand, the Xbox cannot decode Divx or Xvid, so what format are you guy’s movie libraries stored in? Please don’t say MPEG2…

  17. @Hitek146 – In its stock configuration, the xbox can’t play anything. (well, DVD’s if you got the DVD playback kit) First you have to mod the xbox (variety of methods) to enable installing non-authorized software, then you have to install XBMC. XBMC is very good at playing all kinds of video files. I used to laugh when windows media player on my computer choked on almost every type of video due to missing codecs, but XBMC virtually never did, even if the video were in an ISO, BIN, or RAR.

    XBMC makes the xbox a more versatile media player than the xbox 360. Only weak point is that it doesn’t have the processing power to display native HD video — although with the right cables it will upscale SD content to 720p or 1080i, which works very well. Lack of HD might be a deal-breaker if you’ve got a massive TV, but SD content is perfectly watchable on my 32″ samsung, and the video files are a fraction the size.

  18. Can’t wait until XBMC is ported to the Xbox 360. Like the Xbox 1, the Xbox 360 can be “TSOP flashed” if it has an older dashboard version (hasn’t been on Xbox Live or been updated in 6 months or so). Just look up “JTAG hack” or “XBReboot”. Already some custom dashboards for the 360, emuators running, ability to play installed games off the hard drive without the disc, etc.
    If you have an Xbox 360 with dashboard version 7363 or lower (versions 8xxx and higher don’t work), you can mod your 360 just like the xbox 1 days. It’s still in its early infancy though so the really good apps are still yet to come, but it is an awesome achievement!

  19. This latest revision sounds pretty pro, but my xbox is hooked up to a 1080i native HDTV CRT. I hope you don’t _have to_ use 720p, because that downscales to 480p on my TV :/

  20. my xbox has been the source of many hours of entertainment, i use it every day. i probably won’t drop it until i get a good tv. even then i’ll probably run xbmc on ubuntu.

    i use T3CH’s xbmc builds, stock harddrive, logitech wireless controllers (get some, throw them as hard as you want to), and a 32″ tube tv.

    my desktop serves all the content via samba.

    i’ve opened and repaired many xbox1’s (including re-wiring a ATX power supply to replace a psu in a pinch), but never my own.

    friends go crazy when they see i have EVERY NES, SNES, Sega, Atari, N64, etc on one system and can easily switch among them. i tried to force myself to use the actual consoles again, but i just can’t give up the convience of the xbox

    all the homebrew stuff the wii can do now is just about to catch up to the xbox.

  21. @Hitek146 – have you been living in a hole for the last 6 years? The original Xbox was playing divx/xvid content long before it was a standard on DVD Players.

    @Evolution X – There were a few custom BIOSes which allowed you play with the splash screen colours. It became easier with Team Xecuter’s X3 which had its own onboard config so you didn’t need to keep reflashing to see the result.

    I upgraded the RAM on mine to 128MB which allowed better buffering as well as better support in MAME.

    All Xbox1’s can be soft modded, so pick one up for about £20 and in 15 mins or so you can have it up and running with XBMC. Stream straight from Windows shares without the need of a media streaming service – sweet!

    The 360 desperately needs an XBMC port – for those of us running XBReboot/FreeBOOT which can run unsigned code, it’s practically begging to be done!

  22. I’ve hot-swapped many original X-Boxes. Just run a ground between your PC and the shielding on the inside of the XBox base. Keeps damage from electrostatic difference down to nil…

    XBMC is the main reason my XBox sees on time. I’m always watching something on it.

    Now to see you can view Matroska container videos… That’s better still for 10 year old hardware!

  23. I also have a XBMC and cancelled my cable because of it, it’s our only source of “tv” in this house. Everything is downloaded to a main computer, and the XBMC connected to the TV can browse all the folders over the network. Very easy to use and setup, even works perfectly with PlayON so Hulu, Amazon, Youtube, and Netflix content is all accessible.

  24. XBMC on XBOX the best ever Mythtv front end. I paid ~£25 for each xbox in the house. Now have mythfrond-ends all over the house.
    Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF) is good.

    Buy ONE!

  25. First of this is the best media player for the money, if you can get a working xbox either modeded or not, you can easily pull the swap the hard drive trick to enable homebrew on it. XBMC is the best way to play stuff for cheap, trust me i know, i’m poor and have been poor for a while, and will likely be so for the foreseeable future.

    XBMC can play all your media (and if you have kareoke mp3+cdg files, you can even have a kareoki nite at your house, you need the headset with the mic though) and it streams youtube videos and so much more, it’s awesome.. i have 2 of them, i will use them both until they have died, and i will look for another one i can use after them, and it wont be until i cannot find them or fix them anymore that i will not use them, unless something comes out even cheaper and can do the same thing!

  26. I love the xbox I use it everyday my main one has a 1tb internal drive and my other has a 500 gb harddrive. hundreds of games and movies full tv shows thousands of songs it’s awsome.you can even send it to china for 150 and have it modded with 128 ram and 1.4ghz chip to handle low end hd stuff

    fyi to run over 500 gb drives you need a sata adapter not the ebay ones they don’t work…

  27. Loving mine for the past 3 + years. Anyone had HDD failure problems with large IDE HDD? Mine crashed, the tech who set mine up said a small percentage he does (500GB) do crash. I yanked it out and through it into my PC and network to that, works great.
    Is Camelot available for xbox original and if so where might the link be?

  28. my hdd crashed on my xbox. got a new one and need another working version of xbmc for the box. I can’t seem to find a copy. Anyone got a good url for me to get it? All the bit torrents have no seeders.

  29. XbOxGuru, or anyone who can can help, ABOUT THE 128MB RAM…

    @Hitek146 – have you been living in a hole for the last 6 years? The original Xbox was playing divx/xvid content long before it was a standard on DVD Players.

    @Evolution X – There were a few custom BIOSes which allowed you play with the splash screen colours. It became easier with Team Xecuter’s X3 which had its own onboard config so you didn’t need to keep reflashing to see the result.

    I upgraded the RAM on mine to 128MB which allowed better buffering as well as better support in MAME.

    All Xbox1′s can be soft modded, so pick one up for about £20 and in 15 mins or so you can have it up and running with XBMC. Stream straight from Windows shares without the need of a media streaming service – sweet!

    The 360 desperately needs an XBMC port – for those of us running XBReboot/FreeBOOT which can run unsigned code, it’s practically begging to be done!

    Posted at 4:03 pm on Jan 20th, 2010 by Xb0xGuru
    Do you have the specs on the chips needed to upgrade to 128MB RAM? I have read of using the RAM from a dead Xbox motherboard, I would like to buy new chips if possible.
    Depending on which forum you are on the details of adding RAM vary greatly.

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