[mythtv-users] MythTV and Xbox
diypvr at comcast.net
Sat Feb 28 01:01:22 EST 2004
I asked pretty much the same question a couple months ago when I was
designing my myth setup. Here's the thread, where I got some great
I ended up purchasing an xbox mostly for the purpose of running myth.
As an extra bonus, there's a lot of other fun things that you can do
with a modded xbox. (I went the modchip route, though you could go
I've found the xbox frontend works quite well.
I can tell the difference between the direct coax input to my TV and the
recorded stream, but it's very slight. It's so close so far, that I
have confidence that with some further tweaking it will be virtually
indistinguishable from the coax input on my 36" tube TV. There's no
Depending on your tastes, one of the first things you might want to
address is the noise issues of the xbox itself. Mine was too loud for
my tastes, so I did practically every cooling modification described in
the tutorials on xbox-scene.com. It now runs so quietly that you'd only
know it's on if there's absolutely no other sound in the room. I tend
to be a little more, errr particular, about such things than most.
Mine's got a Samsung 5400 rpm drive, 2x80mm fans running on
potentiometers set at low voltages, removed GPU fan (1.0 unit), and
replaced thermal compound. I idle at about 50 degrees celsius.
I use Dennis Cartier's excellent xbox mythtv distro based on debian
(http://bit.blkbk.com/bittorrent/README.txt). It took me hardly any
time to get this installed and working (man.. compared to many days to
get ivtv working on the backend). For lots of info, it's a good idea to
search the forums for all posts by Dennis, pvr at trigger.net.
Should you go with the xbox frontend, one of the first things you may
want to look into is fixing the overscan so the image fills your TV.
Info on this can be found by searching the mailing list.
For what it's worth, I've also added another line to my .xinitrc, which
increases the color level to make the output from the xbox look similar
to the coax input:
xvattr -a XV_SATURATION -v 6600
I only write this because I've seen no other mention of it on this
mailing list. The same thing may be achievable by configuring the
backend channel capture settings.
I run over a 802.11g wireless link between my xbox and my backend. I
encode at 640x480 at 5600kbps plus high bitrate layer 2 audio. This is
about the maximum that my link will sustain without dropped frames.
I'm not claiming this configuration is perfect or even the best you can
do- it's just a decent starting point.
Feel free to send me some email if you have any further questions or if
any current xbox owners have any suggestions about how to improve my setup.
> Hey everyone. Sorry, I know this has to be covered in the archives
> over and over again, but I cannot find exactly what I'm looking for.
> I'm checking to see what the current status of the Xbox as a frontend
> device is. How is playback quality? Is there any stuttering? In
> conjunction with a back-end that has a PVR 350, is it almost
> indistinguishable from standard coaxial cable plugged directly into
> the TV?
> Most importantly, what are the major drawbacks of having an Xbox as a
> frontend? All we want to use it for is playing live TV/prerecorded
> shows with full FF/RW/pause, and maybe DVDs.
> Thanks for any help, or any pointers to threads already discussing all
> this as it is now.
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