X-Box Media Centre: Watching stuff from the ‘net on your TV

Seeing as I'm one of the more technically-inclined folk (read: nerdier) folks amongst my circle of friends, I thought I'd share something that I get got a big kick out of when I discovered. I know most of us are fans of Lost, Heroes, Prison Break and so on - so much so that many of us resort to the wonders of BitTorrent to get our fix. However, watching it on the computer can be a pain in the ass - especially if you all have to crowd into someone's room to watch it.

So, what options exist for watching our beloved .avi's on the television in the lounge room?

There are a few, and a lot of them can be expensive, but luckily I'm also a bit tight with my cash as well as nerdy. With that in mind, I'd like to introduce on the most impressive open-source applications I've seen:

X-Box Media Centre

That's X-Box as in the normal, now somewhat old-school, X-Box. Combine one of those, which you can easily pick up (with DVD remote) for under $200, with completely free software and a network cable and you can be watching all the episodes of Lost you want from your couch!

In days of old, to run software like XBMC (that's a nerdy acronym, everything in IT has one) you had to install a modchip. Well, those days are long behind us - you can mod your X-Box without even opening it's case! It's not even hard to do - plug an X-Box controller to USB converter into your PC, copy a hacked save game over to the X-Box, then load that save game. It then gives you a menu where you can install any software you like. Seriously, this is genius.

As a side bonus, you can also install play your (probably not) legally acquired backup X-Box games, emulators (Galaga, bitches!) and listen to music over the network.

In a later post, I'll link to a few tutorials that I found useful when working how to set this all up.

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