Like every other website on the planet, SmallNetBuilder uses cookies. Our cookies track login status, but we only allow admins to log in anyway, so those don't apply to you. Any other cookies you pick up during your visit come from advertisers, which we don't control.
If you continue to use the site, you agree to tolerate our use of cookies. Thank you!

Router Charts

Click for Router Charts

Router Ranker

Click for Router Ranker

NAS Charts

Click for NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

Click for NAS Ranker

More Tools

Click for More Tools

XBMC Features

XBMC Home

Figure 13: XBMC Home

The first thing that struck me about XBMC was the beautiful Project Mayhem III skin. The menus and animations are really well done. Most of the menus and features are very intuitive and "just work" right out of the box, definitely a credit to the XBMC team. A quick glance at XBMC's features shows support for virtually every video format, audio type, and streaming protocol in use today.

Looks great, right? But what about HD support? The good news is, there is support... sort of. With the Xbox High Definition AV Pack, the Xbox is capable of displaying up to 1080i. According to the FAQ, XBMC is capable of upconverting 480i to 720p or 1080i, but it just doesn't have the computational horsepower to decode native 720p and 1080i (like HD-DVDs) on the fly.

I didn't have a component video cable handy to test this claim, but I can't say that I'm surprised. Video playback does look fantastic however, thanks to MPlayer, even without HD resolutions. I tested it out on a 36" TV and a DLP projector, neither of which left me wanting more. The convenience of having all your media at your fingertips and so easily accessible outweighs any lack of cutting-edge video quality.

The control system for videos was very smooth as well. You can control almost every aspect of playback with the Xbox controller alone. I was very excited to see that XBMC is really centered on playable media, things like Divx movies, MPEG Top Gear episodes, etc. The majority of the other media center applications I've used seem to be, in my opinion, overly focused on TV.

One feature that I particularly like, and one of the project's great strengths, is a robust architecture for 3rd party add-ons and scripts. Bundled with the XBMC package was a number of great scripts and as a movie junkie, one of my favorites is the Apple Movie Trailer viewer.

XBMC Apple Movie Trailers

Figure 14: XBMC Apple Movie Trailers

In the viewer, you can stream movie trailers from Apple's site, watch exclusive behind-the-scenes trailers and special featurettes—all from the comfort of your couch, not hunched over in front of a computer.

XBMC also came bundled with a YouTube movie viewer. But I had trouble getting this script working. It seemed to be able to connect to YouTube and download lists of movies. But it had a hard time playing them, even crashing XBMC occasionally.

XBMC YouTube Script

Figure 15: XBMC YouTube Script

Another great feature that I found particularly inventive was the web-based control panel which allows for full control of XBMC via the web. You can work on the computer in the other room and change the music from the comfort of your desk, without having to step into the next room and find the remote.

XBMC Website

Figure 16: XBMC Website
Wi-Fi System Tools
Check out our Wi-Fi System Charts, Ranker and Finder!

Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Over In The Forums

Hi all,I have an ASUS RT-AC68P. Today I went to set an inbound firewall rule which would enable port 3389 access from my office IP to my internal home...
I have had a Cable internet connection for years. The AC66U did just fine. Fiber optic internet became available and I just switched over. That meant ...
Hi,I have a RT-AC57U v2 for which i need to set a specific string for DHCP client option 60 (vendor id) because my ISP authentifies router based on th...
Hi,I have the R7800 and ive installed dd wrt, I would like to know if I need to clear the nvram sometimes and if I do that, Will i lose my configurati...
Hi there,I have an issue with my Asus DSL-AC68U.I built and flashed a bad image on my router and it's bricked now.I have access to serial port and wha...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3