Lame site and Xbox to boot

I was starting to think that my site was getting little to no attention.  I hoped that if I were to update it to the new version of WordPress it would spur my interest again … but yet all it has done is create 3-4 new posts all talking about an upgrade.  Not exactly what I call good times in the world of blogging.

After hearing Chase talk about his new fairly new Xbox setup with XBoxMediaCenter installed I was wanting to get an Xbox and do the same.  And I think the stars might be aligned just right or something as Brian and I were talking the other day and he actually just picked up an Xbox and is looking to sell it, even has the DVD remote which is a plus.  So after talking with him, I was going to go to Vegas and get it this weekend, but I had forgotten this was the same weekend Alexis was coming to visit me for her spring break.  I have made other plans on getting the Xbox though so I should have it Monday afternoon if all goes as planned. 

From there I am planning on installing a new hard drive in it (120 gigs) and installing XBoxMediaCenter, this will replace the MythTV Box that I recently created.  I have no plans on getting rid of the MythTV box but instead, I am going to turn that into a Fileserver/Backend/Desktop and just stream all recordings to the Xbox.  I am creating a new category on the site here for the Xbox and will be posting updates to how the install goes and everything that I do to it.

Media Center Finished…

Well its all up and running, still a few bugs to iron out, but so far its golden. Here are the specs.

AMD XP 2000+
512 PC 2700
80gig WD @ 7200 RPM = /
80gig Seagate @ 7200 RPM = /share
ATI Radeon 9000 Pro AGP
ATI TV Wonder Pro
ATI Remote Wonder
VIA OnBoard Sound.

The computer also has USB and Ethernet. I have it running apache, php, mysql, mythtv, mrtg, and samba. With all of that I can monitor the cpu/eth/ram etc, and also run mythweb to set recordings from a browser. Everything seems to be working fine… except that every so often after watching a recorded show the frontend will crash out and needs to be restarted. Also the remote is not 100% functional yet… I jsut haven’t had the time to play with it all that much, but either way I have a wireless mouse and keyboard for it. Last but not least some encoded movies will not allow me to pause/fast forward/etc with in the video player, I dont think there is much that can be done about that. Now that I know it can be done I want to look into making a dedicated Media server that is powerful and also has a small form factor. Here is a compiled list of parts that will make it possible for as cheap as possible. I will be updating this as time goes on with the latest and greatest deals that I can find.

Media Center Project

The goal of this is as follows.
1. Create a Small form factor machine
2. As quiet as possible(silent fans, silent psu, active cooling)
3. Cheap!, dont want to spend $500 on something when it can be done for $200
4. Powerful, I want it to encode, capture, share and do other tasks when idle so it needs some power behind it.
5. Lots of storage. Along with being small I want it to have as much storage as possible. I will be using this as a file server for all my music and video so I dont want to run out of space.

Hardware and Prices:
PC CHIPS M925G V9.1B Micro ATX Intel Motherboard – $36.00
MSI Geforce MX4000 MX4000-T64 Video Card – $26.00
Hauppauge WINTV-PVR-150 WinTV-PVR-150 – $91.99
512 PC 2100 Ram – $39.91
LITE-ON Black 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model SOHD-16P9SBLK – $21.99
Intel Celeron D 325 Prescott 533MHz FSB Socket 478 Processor Model BX80546RE2533C – $70.99
ASYS 001MJA Black Computer Case – $29.99

Grand Total: $316.87

Still looking ways to cut cost and keep the quality. All these prices are from newegg.com so it might be cheaper from other places.