08 Sep

Smart Home Media Project: Adding a Shortcut to XBMC

Well, it has been a while, so I thought I better at least complete this thought regarding XBMC.  Overall, it is one of the slickest open source projects I’ve encountered.  Well run, well designed, and very active.  However, there are some downsides.  Let me break this down as well as I can from my perspective.

XBMC – The Good:

  • Super fast and responsive
  • Easy (ish) to setup
  • Cheap hardware
  • Active community
  • Fantastic codec compatibility
  • It just works

XBMC – The Bad:

  • Myth LiveTV Frontend ineffective
  • Myth Schedules hard to read
  • Adding shortcuts

Remember, this is from my perspective.  XBMC is completely secondary to my MythTV needs–I am just not using it as a standalone.

Right now there is no way to make the Xbox my only settop box.  LiveTV doesn’t work, and the schedules are almost unusable.  However, it DOES work well as a player for recorded TV.  However, the whole thing leaves me a little stuck.  Xebian is simply too slow to use–compaired to XBMC it is much like using a 286.

Frustrating.  So, my strategy is to sit back and see what the next few releases do…  Therefore, the last thing we need to discuss with the Xbox is adding a shortcut to the main menu for the XBMCMythTV python script so I no longer have to browse through the file directories to run it.  I’ve switched back to the Mayhem III skin and used the following walkthru (stole his picture, too).

http://tinynation.com/wp/2005/08/09/xbmc-and-mythtv/

Now my children can find their recordings to watch after their schoolwork is done.  Ideally, the next step would be a Harmony remote to get the volume control (and everything else) in one place.

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So concludes my work with the Xbox.  I think that the NAS Storage server is probably next.  You’ll be the first to know!