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Do you think that Team-XBMC should keep developing XBMC for the Xbox? - Printable Version

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- xeonicxpression - 2008-10-07 18:55

I'll toss my 2 cents in. The xbox has run its course. If xbmc is really to go mainstream, can anyone actually expect people to go out and buy an old xbox. Sure they are cheap, but you can't go to a best buy, circuit city, frys, etc and get one. I have a feeling most people will be running it on windows, initally, since that is what the majority of people are comfortable with and have one at home already. They can use that to try it out and then move to other versions if they like it.

I think the apple tv is really the future of xbmc though. Sure it's only slightly more powerful than the xbox, but it took me only a few minutes to install the patchstick and have xbmc running on the apple tv. I don't think that can be said for the xbox. For one, mod chip production for the xbox is drying up, last time I looked, and is not even close to consumer friendly. Soft modding isn't that straight forward either since you need to hook up a memory card to the computer, which the xbox doens't come with. You also need a certain game for it to work. It just isn't as easy as the apple tv. All I had to do was pop in the memory stick and let the program do all the work. Ontop of that, will the mainstream consumer want to come here and find out they can't download the xbox version from this site because of legal reasons? It makes it sound much less credible.

The xbox has also reached it's limit power wise. As new features are added to the xbmc skinning engine, the xbox will end up getting left behind anyway. Is it fair to hold back XBMC because some people running 7 year old hardware still want support?

Well, I have to go now, but as you can see, I think it is time to let the xbox go. It is what started this great software, but xbmc will continue to evolve and shouldn't be held back by wasting resources on support an old and dieing platform.


- The-Boxhead - 2008-10-07 23:02

sooner or later xbox has to die. it's a question of time only.

Large support for xbox in these forums is expected since from the old days this forum has been xbox land only.

However the team will eventually decide where they want to go. The xbox route is dead if we think about mainstream target.

htpc is in the winds these days and i personally bellive linuxbased live distros is the way to go. The average xbmc user want have to think about that it's linux in the bottom. They just put a usb stick into the pc or a cd. however live version has some way to go b4 it can be called stable and userfriendly.

90% of the casual computer user doesent tweak stuff or care about forums like this. they just want to get a mediacenter, and if they have to actually do some extra work to get it working they just move on to the next alternativ. Yes this is the way todays consumers think and act.

So if xbmc truly is going mainstream we first need an exelent live distro that just works. then it's easy to get people testing the software.
The great thing about the live distro is that i think it's easier and less x factors to make it work across different hardware.


- stuaxo - 2008-10-08 01:21

Ideally I'm hoping that opengl support comes to xbox 360 linux, then i can get a really cheap xbox360 to run it on. I really like the fact that you can use dirt cheap hardware ti run xbmc on (the xbox I use was free off a friend - I only paid for the chip: 99% of it's time is spent running xbmc).


- nubz69 - 2008-10-08 02:35

There are a lot of opinions here and rather then try to respond to points people have made I think it might be easier to just give my viewpoint.

Xbmc on it's current path will eventually outgrow the xbox. It is not at this point yet and there is still a whole lot that can be done. In fact i think that XBMC has kept it self from bloating by having to be developed on a fixed system which it turn has kept it from bloating in it's ports.

At the point that Xbmc does outgrow the xbox there will most likely be a split in development. Instead of development being based on the xbox hardware and then ported to other OS's it will be developed in two ways. One side will continue to develop for the Xbox version of xbmc, frankly because xboxs are so cheap and abundant. They will not be physically obsolete until 1080I/P is the lowest level of resolution consumers readily use. The other side of the development group will more then likely focus on the multi-platform version of XBMC for the people who want to build HTPC's or would like a media center on their home PCs. This group will most likely focus on adding features to XBMC that just aren't possible to implement on the xbox xbmc. Currently the only large thing that I can think of, that this would be applied to, is displaying 1080I/P movies and that is still a very small segment of xbmc users considering that the xbox can still output 720P when the media is in the correct format. As technology grows though there may be more features users want that require more processing, such as scaling to UHD/super hi-vision if it becomes the international broadcasting standard in 2015. I also think that XBMC may not be the best name for this branch of development as well. I think UMC for universal or ultimate media center would be more appropriate.

There is one other issue I would like to address. One thing that will be limiting the xbox in the near future is that it will not be able to play BluRay disks, which like it or not are in the process of replacing DVD's. This means that at some point there will need to be developed a version of XBMC (ported or rebuilt from ground up) that works on PS3. Currently it isn't possibly due to a lack of openGL and a few other issues but those will be delt with in the near future I am sure. A move the the Xbox 360, if/when it happens, sounds at first like a good idea but what do you really gain? You end up with roughly the same thing you have in the xbox but with a slight improvement in CPU and memory. You don't gain a BluRay drive and unless you already own one it is around $300 for one with a HD. That also means that anyone with an xbox 360 that doesn't have a HD would be out of luck. The Wii would be an awesome platform for a media center because of it's controls but unless someone were to build drivers to work with some sort of USB audio card/digital out, or find a way to hack it for SPDIF, it would be limited to dolby pro logic and stereo output which I am sure everyone can agree is a step back. So that leaves us with the PS3, which with 14.4M units sold as of June'08 has a owner base that is WAY larger then families with a second computer which could be used for media server duties. The PS3 and the xbox 360 are very similar when you compare cpu, memory size and GPU but the fact that all PS3's have a HD, BluRay drive, SACD playback, and most have built in wifi make it the most suitable as the next console based platform.

Some here feel that the mac mini or appleTV is the next best place to work on develop and it is a nice, small alternative. How many people though do you know want to buy an appleTV or mac mini and then buy a BluRay drive and still not be able to play games? Especially when you consider how much more that costs then buying a PS3 and/or a Xbox.

I am sure that all of these points have been made in part or in full somewhere on this site but I felt like putting them all together here in my own post. I wrote this, not to cause arguments, but to stimulate intelligent discussion on this subject. Please feel free to rebut if you feel there is some aspects of this discussion that I may have not considered or have left out.


- Slownis - 2008-10-08 04:24

As a software engineer, I see this happen all the time, even in the software my company sells. Some clients are chained to antiquated hardware, yet want updates. Most of the time what happens is the software company does one of two things. a) You tell all of the old clients running on antiquated hardware that they will no longer get updates or support, or 2) You have two platforms, with their own codebase, maintained concurrently. Choice one is easier to maintain by far, but choice two keeps your older clients (usually the more valuable and loyal ones) happy. It eventually comes down to how much work the software provider can handle.

That being said, I'm an XBOX user who has been using XBMC for a long time, and I have already started to notice small things that don't work like they should. What I would like to see happen is that the people developing for the XBOX platform should work towards a more stable build (which is currently happening, I'm happy to say).

Once ultimate stability is achieved, I think the platforms should split. Go crazy adding nifty functionality to the platforms that can handle it, but only update the XBOX platform if it is certain the XBOX can handle it. In other words, don't add functionality to the XBOX version at the cost of software stability, or viability. That causes all sorts of complicated issues when making the coding changes, you kind of have to have the multi-platform mindset before you set out to do those changes.

To echo what others have said, I think once you see a significant drop in hardware price for easily achieved high-res capability, you'll see more and more XBOX users drop off. Personally, I'm not happy with the idea stepping up to only 720p, because my TV handle 1080p, so I'm going to wait until I can afford to buy a decent looking setup that can handle the higher resolutions. If I could get something right now in the Apple TV price range that could handle 1080p, I'd be all over it. Till then, I'm happily going to watch all my shows and movies on my XBOX.


- jarod71 - 2008-10-08 06:21

my 2 cents...
feature freeze xbmc for xbox, only fix bugs as they are reported. if scripts break and the script writer cannot be bothered to fix it, that script will be unusable. I love apple trailers but it breaks all the time, so this will most likely go by the wayside. but as is, with no new features, xbmc for xbox will always do all the things you love about it tomorrow as it does today. maybe a maintenance release every 6 months or so. Perfect xbmc as it is with no new features and call it the final complete version.

if scrapers break, you can use .nfo's. hopefully the xbmc media companion will continue to be developed and we can use that for .nfo's. I will use xbmc for a long time to come on a xbox, i just replaced my first one (used) after 2 years. I plan on getting a few more for safe keeping.

I am excited about apple tv as a platform in the future. I really do not need a dvd drive in the apple tv. I hardly use dvd's on my xbox. bluray players will eventually be cheap. apple tv is at a good price point and once I can boot straight to xbmc on appletv (may already be possible), I will plan to move to that platform.

I love all that xbmc has given me over the years, and my kid's are so use to it, my son grew up on it. he has no idea what commercials are (3 yrs old).

I will always use a xbox in some capacity as long as I can. I have been thinking about xbox becoming obsolete for a while now. I am planing my new used xbox around the idea of a final build with no new features. also around a final skin.

long live the xbox, long live xbmc wherever it goes, I will follow!


- Geeba - 2008-10-08 13:17

"long live the xbox, long live xbmc wherever it goes, I will follow! "

Yup well said Jarod! I will too as I'm sure 99% of Xbox users will too.

But I think the feeling of most Xbox users revolves around the word DROPPED .... as was previously said by slownis if features that could
run on the Xbox were ported across the blow to the xbox clan would be lightened, and if a bribe of a few quid to keep Jonathon in pizza and beers for a while to do the odd merge is needed then I'm in!

Apple TV's are nice... its Pentium M cpu (based around PIII) is flat out at 720p so other than HDMI I dont really see what it can offer other than looks over my Xbox and if you did a side by side I doubt there would be much in it.. they're still expensive here and definatly not £200 better than the Xbox.. could be a sideways move rather than a big step up. would be nice to have the real estate under the TV back thou! Laugh


- jarod71 - 2008-10-08 19:24

Geeba Wrote:"long live the xbox, long live xbmc wherever it goes, I will follow! "

Yup well said Jarod! I will too as I'm sure 99% of Xbox users will too.

But I think the feeling of most Xbox users revolves around the word DROPPED .... as was previously said by slownis if features that could
run on the Xbox were ported across the blow to the xbox clan would be lightened, and if a bribe of a few quid to keep Jonathon in pizza and beers for a while to do the odd merge is needed then I'm in!

Apple TV's are nice... its Pentium M cpu (based around PIII) is flat out at 720p so other than HDMI I dont really see what it can offer other than looks over my Xbox and if you did a side by side I doubt there would be much in it.. they're still expensive here and definatly not £200 better than the Xbox.. could be a sideways move rather than a big step up. would be nice to have the real estate under the TV back thou! Laugh

agreed, the atv is a sideways move but it is a nice package and will only get cheaper. not sure where apple will take atv. maybe a new version but there are rumors it will be discontinued as well. then I will snag a few on clearance.

i just hate the idea of a full blown pc in my living room. now if xbmc can run on linux on some off the micro atx boards out there for sd and/or 720p, that would be exciting as well. but future wise, I will consider appletv and/or a macmini as possible replacement for my beloved xbox.

I plan On buying a few 1.6 version xbox's for future use. I stay away form 1.0 and 1.1 versions. they have motherboard issues that need a hardware fix. I plan on trying to fix a few this winter just for fun. anyway, hopefully someone will take up the merge work from jmarshell. then we can have the best of both worlds.

I never thought xbmc would come this far but I am glad it has!


- shizzle - 2008-10-08 19:29

XBOX FTW!! xbmc is the only thing that keeps my xbox running


- TeknoJnky - 2008-10-08 20:22

Perhaps, if the developers really want to get a bit more detail on # of xbox users, they should see if t3ch can provide some stats of the (unique) downloads of his builds.

This is assuming they don't do this already. And this of course would not include users that download from other sources or have never updated and are using whatever build was put on their xbox originally.

I would make the WAG that xbmc on xbox is highly more pro-lific than most would care to imagine. But then again, I know nothing.


- althekiller - 2008-10-08 20:50

Hmm, still no devs stepping up to work on Xbox after Atlantis? Jmarshall has made it clear that he's done merging after Atlantis Gold. None of the rest of us have any ambition to put time into Xbox, so new people are going to have to show interest. This is the only thing that has a bearing on XBMC for Xbox's continued development. I only made the poll, on request, because I didn't want two threads with the same complaining in it.


- andyg8180 - 2008-10-08 21:13

you have people using the XBMC guts and creating their own thing... ie boxee... although i am new to the community, i chose XBMC because it looks DAMN sexy on a 50" plasma...

Things are only going to get more impressive with hardware specs, and since you guys are able to push low-end hardware so far, its time to take the next step and push more recent technology to its limits...


- Geeba - 2008-10-08 21:59

Don’t think anyone is disputing that, the xbox hardware is a little on the tired side, but its the fact that XBMC isn’t bloat ware... its extremely optimised and other than native HD which alot of people still are not really that interested in due the huge amounts of space needed to store it, there isnt really much that the xbox cant do... prime example is the ATV, its not hugely more powerful than the xbox, but its ample for what people want to do with it.... having bloaty software and relying on more and more powerfull hardware isn’t a good thing... its a bit big and not blessed in the looks department but its where modding and XBMC /MP started for me many years ago and like other will be just a little bit sad to see development stop...
People still come to my house and are quite literally taken back buy what comes out of a 1st gen Xbox... two of the best looking skins available PMIII-HD and Mediastream run fine on 733mhz and both have 30 odd MB of RAM free....


- AnonyOne - 2008-10-08 22:10

I personally know (and probably am responsible for...) about 50 XBOX-XBMC users just around my hometown of Tel-Aviv.

While I fully understand the logic behind what is stated by the developers, I would be really sad to see the XBOX dropped completely.

May I at least ask/suggest that once the decision is made to drop the XBOX, the scrapers would still be maintained so at least the last build would remain functional?

BTW - while i am on the subject of scrapers, are these portable between platforms? is there a way to make them "generic" such that the XBOX port will be able to use the ones which will be created/maintained for other platforms?

Thanks,
M.


- arnova - 2008-10-08 22:15

AnonyOne Wrote:I personally know (and probably am responsible for...) about 50 XBOX-XBMC users just around my hometown of Tel-Aviv.

While I fully understand the logic behind what is stated by the developers, I would be really sad to see the XBOX dropped completely.

May I at least ask/suggest that once the decision is made to drop the XBOX, the scrapers would still be maintained so at least the last build would remain functional?

BTW - while i am on the subject of scrapers, are these portable between platforms? is there a way to make them "generic" such that the XBOX port will be able to use the ones which will be created/maintained for other platforms?

Thanks,
M.

AFAIK all the scrapers are XML based so they are platform-independent and thus should still be usable even if Xbox development seizes. Unless there are interpreter changes of course.