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marc
2009.02.10, 08:28 PM
Hello. I've been thinking about getting an Xbox 360 for a while. I've been searching ebay this evening and see several that have 120GB hard drive. What exactly can I do with this system?
I would like to be able to load all my movies, music, photos, et'c on the system and keep it there and keep the Xbox in the living room plugged into my tv.
Can it do basically the same thing as my computer/Ipod can do? How do I load movies onto it and all that jazz? Just thinking out loud here and would like some advice.
How much does a brand new 120GB 360 cost? Is it even worth trying to find one on ebay?

The other question is, are there allot of really good racing games out there for this system? Particularly WRC, drifting type games, and is there a really good Transformers game for it? Lastley, are there alot of good mind-games, puzzle-games for it such as Bejewled and Tetris? Any good pool games?

EMU
2009.02.10, 09:15 PM
These are all answered easily with searching (www.google.com).

You can watch DVD movies, but you need to buy the remote and sensor for it. You can also watch movies from the HDD, they have to be in WMV format I believe, it is a Microsoft product... You can network it to a Windows based PC and stream movies from the PC to the TV as well.

I really cant believe that you are asking if there are any good games for it. It is a GAME system. That is the primary role of it. If there were no good games, then it wouldnt be around anymore. Check out Forza Motorsports, its a little more realistic than others... but its fun to setup the cars and race them. If you want a more arcade like game, then check out PGR 3 (Progect Gotham Racing). There is drifting in it...

You will get better answers looking at an Xbox forum than a Mini-Z forum.

Try to get the latest revision, since the older ones tend to fail after a while of use. My brother has been through 3 systems and is on his 4th now...

marc
2009.02.10, 09:27 PM
Thank you, I probably wont' get an Xbox at all, I was just wondering about it. What I was asking was specifically car-racing games. As we're all into cars here I thought people would know of some of the best car-games for the Xbox.
I was also wondering if it can store and play the same MP4 movie formats as the Ipod plays. Sounds like I'm best sticking with the Ipod for my media.
What I'm really after in the long run is something that can store large amounts of media, be stored in the living room plugged into the tv, and can playback all my media. My current Ipod is a 60GB and it's already stuffed to the rim.
We do have a Tivo with Direct TV, but it can't store movies that wasn't recorded from Direct TV itselfe.
Like I said, I'm just looking for a massive storage/playback unit for all types of file formats.

EMU
2009.02.10, 11:16 PM
HTPC. Home Theater PC... you can get some small form factor PC's for pretty cheap that would work well for that type of setup. Just make sure that the TV has HDMI input, and the PC has HDMI output. There are other ways to do it, but DO NOT use s-video output from the computer, it doesnt look good.

The best part about an HTPC, is that you can use it as a regular computer if you need to as well... surf the web, etc... I think it would be a better option than an Xbox for your wants. You can also get some pretty big HDDs as well.

For more info, check out www.eocf.com I used to be big on building computers and modifying them for more performance before I got into RC. That site has a lot of good info, which would definitely be better than looking here for it.

marc
2009.02.10, 11:35 PM
Thank's buddy. We have a pretty big HDTV in the living room although it kind of sucks because it's plasma and the plasma doesn't work that well at our altitude. We've got ugly spots on the screen that show up on bright images. Trying to get my Dad to replace the tv with an LCD version.
Anyway, it would be cool to surf the web on it as well, but that isn't my main objective. What is an HDD?

Dudemeister
2009.02.10, 11:40 PM
What I'm really after in the long run is something that can store large amounts of media, be stored in the living room plugged into the tv, and can playback all my media. My current Ipod is a 60GB and it's already stuffed to the rim.
We do have a Tivo with Direct TV, but it can't store movies that wasn't recorded from Direct TV itselfe.
Like I said, I'm just looking for a massive storage/playback unit for all types of file formats.

What you really want is a small media player that is compatible with most available video formats and can store large amounts of data. Well...you're looking for a computer.

Having said that, what I would recommend is either a MacMini or one of the small Aopen MiniPCs. Once you get one, you need to install XBMC on it as your media player. XBMC is cross platform, meaning it there's a version for Apple Mac, Windows and Linux. There's also a version for the original Xbox as it originally got started on the Xbox (XBMC stands for Xbox Media Center).

This is widely recognized as the best multimedia player/interface available on any platform. It's simply stunning to look at, and extremely functional and versatile.

I've been using this in my entertainment system now since it's inception on the Xbox about 6 years ago, and on a MacMini at present. The current incarnation puts any other media center to shame.

My entertainment center is currently built around a Samsung HL-T6187 LED DLP projector (1080p), Pioneer THX receiver, a Pioneer DVD Recorder, Pioneer LaserDisc player, Samsung Blue-Ray/HD DVD Hybrid player, DirectTV HD-DVR, A Mac Mini and a couple of game consoles (Xbox 360 and Wii).

The Mac Mini provides playback of all the media that is not already on a DVD, BD, HD DVD disc or recorded from TV. In the current setup, all my media is on a 4TB NAS and is streamed via 802.11G to the Mac Mini. Alternately, you could have a 500GB drive installed as a local drive if you don't want to bother with networked storage. Both the Mac Mini and the Aopen Mini use notebook drives and 500GB is currently the largest available size

My Mac Mini is an older one with only a Core Duo 1.67Ghz, but it's still capable of playing back 720p content without any glitches. 1080p content is a bit problematic for the aging little box, and for the 802.11G network. If I copy the media to the Mac's local HD, then it can play it, but the CPU does have problems keeping up with high datarate spikes and drops a few frames.

The newer MacMini with the Core 2 Duo running at 2GHz should be more than adequate to handle most media you are likely to download.

Here are a few links for you to check out:
http://www.apple.com/macmini/
http://global.aopen.com/products_detail.aspx?ctgr=74&Auno=2662&mdstl=309
http://xbmc.org/

I suggest that you download XBMC first to see how it works (make sure you get the right version; Mac PC, etc), and if you like it, then look at these little PC wonders that will look great in the living room.

marc
2009.02.10, 11:54 PM
Thank you Dude. Right now I have about 40 movies that I've ripped from DVD's and into Ipod formats and including a few movies purchased from Itunes. I have a couple more DVD's including two tv series that I want to rip as well. My computer is only 160GB's at the moment and thus my interest in the 160GB Ipod.
When your limited to 60GB's, you have to be selective in what you fill it up with.
My computer still has about 50GB's of space left and I plan to stuff it with movies. I've got the older IDE type hard drives in it and I'd like to increase it's volume. I think I've seen 500GB hard drives available for it and was wondering if I can connect two hard drives together, or will it only see it as two seperate hard drives? My computer has that ribbon-cable that has an extra one sticking out of it. In other words, two hard-drives can be plugged in, but will it read it as one large one? I'd like to have a 1TB internal if possible. I mentioned this in another thread as well.

About car-racing and mind-games. What IS the best video gaming system out there? Graphics, playback, storage capacity, games available, et'c. I've some what been interested in the WII for it being physically more interactive than just moving your thumbs around.

EMU
2009.02.10, 11:54 PM
HDD = Hard Disk Drive.

I allways prefer to build my own PC's than to buy one pre-built. Im a little bit of a hardware nut, and like to get the parts that have the best performance for a good value, especially after overclocking/tweaking...

What you are talking about is RAID. Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks/drives. With a RAID controller, you can connect two similar drives, and have them operate as one large drive. RAID 0. This increases volume and speed. You can also use the drives as mirrors of eachother, RAID 1, which if you lose one, you still have all of your data and can just replace the lost one without losing the data. With 4 drives, you can run Raid 0+1, which combines both types of RAID. There are more versions, but those are the most common. A lot of high and mid range motherboards have built in RAID controllers, most are SATA, but you may be able to find the IDE controller if you look hard enough.

marc
2009.02.10, 11:57 PM
Thank's EMU! I'm not into building my own computer as it's a little too technical for me.

EMU
2009.02.11, 12:12 AM
If you can build a Mini-Z, you can build a computer. You just need to do a little research, to find out what you need.

Follow Dude's links if you are going to go with the prebuilt route.

Slipstream
2009.02.11, 12:17 AM
If you're getting an XBox look for the "Jasper" version = newest. Uses less power and less chance of RROD failure.

Skv012a
2009.02.11, 12:19 AM
Ait, I'll really make this quick and painless for ya marc:

-PS2 is currently the best racing game system due to easy, soft modding capability and a huge selection of racing titles.

-360 has a few decent ones shared with a PS3 (Forza being only exclusive), but will suck up $ for Xbox Live AND games. If you don't care for live, then you can mod it for about $10 and just build dirt-cheap game library and use free Live-like services like Xlink Kai or XBConnect at the cost of having a steady # of players at all times.

-PS3 has free online, but 4$$-expensive game prices. You get the benefit of easy importing (Initial D, Wangan Midnight), but most other games are same as 360. I would NOT get a ps3 to play ps2 games since you'll face paying retail. As a media center, its great since it allows linux and with that possibilities are same as a PC save the internal storage and CPU power.

Lastly, PSP is a great investment since having free portable games and 16-32GB flash memory to house everything is very nice. PSP Slim + Extended battery yields 6 hrs of gaming, 6-8 video, 15+ music.

SINCE you're ona budget, I'll assume you'll heed my advise about modding; otherwise let your morals eat your monay :D

Skv012a
2009.02.11, 12:22 AM
If you're getting an XBox look for the "Jasper" version = newest. Uses less power and less chance of RROD failure.

Most likely can't be modded, in which case you're better off getting a PS3 altogether. Otherwise, a moddable used/older stock should be preferable. RROD is a $5 fix if you know that the system was not damaged otherwise. If its a used RROD it'll all depend on luck because dumb people do scary things to try and fix their stuff.

Dudemeister
2009.02.11, 12:26 AM
Technically, you don't need to use RAID controller and a RAID 0 setup in order to aggregate the storage of 2 or more drives into one.

The concept you're describing is called disk spanning and has been around for sometime. In fact Windows XP (and Vista) allow you to do just that. By default XP creates "Basic" disks out of each drive you attach to it. You can however convert those disks to "Dynamic" disks. Dynamic disks offer many more configuration options, including the ability to span more multiple disks into a single large logical volume, mirror them, stripe them, etc.

While this is not very complicated to set up, I would recommend you get someone that knows a bit more about disk management to help you set it up. Or you can read up on it at Microsoft support.

BTW, the disk spanning is usually referred to as JBOD on RAID controller.

Slipstream
2009.02.11, 12:36 AM
JBOD = Just a Bunch Of Disks. You were going to ask weren't Marc? :)

EMU
2009.02.11, 12:39 AM
Lol. I havent built a computer since I built my first Mini-Z :p So its been a few years. Thanks for the update.

Dudemeister
2009.02.11, 01:06 AM
JBOD = Just a Bunch Of Disks. You were going to ask weren't Marc? :)

Thanks, Slip. I should have elaborated. :):)

FYI, one of the advantages of JBOD or disk spanning over RAID 0 is that it does not require disks of the same size. You can span disks of completely different size (80GB+500GB+160GB, etc) and technology (SATA & PATA).

marc
2009.02.11, 01:22 AM
Thank's guy's. What we've done to my computer so far, and I mentioned this in my other thread relating to Itunes is this. After realizing that upgrading to Vista was a mistake on my computer, we converted it back to XP, and it's ton's better now. The computer has always had ONE single hard drive that was 160GB's total. HOWEVER, the issue before was that it was partitioned, or divided into two seperate drives, Drive C and I think Drive D. After going back to XP, we merged the two partitians into one larger 160GB volume.
Now the only issue with my computer is the internal audio card isn't working. It's one of those that has a tv-tuner built into it and a GigaPocket thingy, similar to having a Tivo. So for now, I have an external audio device which works pretty well. I just have no useage of my computer's tv tuner.

Slipstream
2009.02.11, 01:36 AM
Thank's guy's. What we've done to my computer so far, and I mentioned this in my other thread relating to Itunes is this. After realizing that upgrading to Vista was a mistake on my computer, we converted it back to XP, and it's ton's better now. The computer has always had ONE single hard drive that was 160GB's total. HOWEVER, the issue before was that it was partitioned, or divided into two seperate drives, Drive C and I think Drive D. After going back to XP, we merged the two partitians into one larger 160GB volume.
Now the only issue with my computer is the internal audio card isn't working. It's one of those that has a tv-tuner built into it and a GigaPocket thingy, similar to having a Tivo. So for now, I have an external audio device which works pretty well. I just have no useage of my computer's tv tuner.

Sounds like you need drivers for the tv-tuner. Search the manufacturer and see if they have a site with downloadable drivers.

Sometimes performing a Windows update will get you generic (released from manufacturer to microsoft) drivers that will get the device running.

Who is the manufacturer of your audio card/tv tuner?

marc
2009.02.11, 01:47 AM
It sais Yamaha. But I've been going to the support center specifically for my computer model and it lists all the drivers needed for it to work. I've tried several times to download and install the audio drivers and I get nothing. When I first turn on my computer, it sais something about Gigapocket being broken or not working properly something like that. Have no idea what to do with it. We've had this same problem since long ago, even before we went from XP to Vista, same issue's. We thought it was a Vista problem, but now it seems to be hardware issue. It's really the only thing "WRONG" with my computer at the moment. Everything else is great.

Dudemeister
2009.02.11, 02:08 AM
I don't think you have to worry about the TV tuner for much longer. We (the US of A) were originally poised to switch over from NTSC (Analog) to ATSC (Digital) broadcasting on the 17th of this month, but the deadline was extended to June 12.

After that date, the analog TV tuner in your Yamaha card will be useless anyway. If your mobo has built in audio, I suggest using it and removing the Yamaha card out of your system altogether.

If you still want a TV tuner, then you should get a USB or PCI ATSC TV tuner. Unfortunately those will only be useful if the over the air (OTA) broadcast reception is good. While most ATSC tuners are compatible with clear QAM (unencrypted cable), you'll find that most cable operators do not broadcast digital HD signals in the clear.

So in the long run, a TV tuner may not be useable in your system

Slipstream
2009.02.11, 02:15 AM
Is this your issue? (http://kbalertz.com/328435/Multimedia-Programs-After-Install-Windows.aspx) If you can't get it running with up to date drivers and it seems to have happened before then you can always get an aftermarket sound card but the Gigapocket mostly likely won't work with the new card.

BTW if the yamaha is built into the motherboard is it turned on in the BIOS?

marc
2009.02.11, 11:03 AM
Hi there. Dude, we have Direct TV satelite plugged into all of our tv's. We even have a cable running down into the basement where my computer is plugged into. The monitor I'm useing is a Samsung HDTV and it works great as a tv alone. It has a picture in picture feature which allows me to brouse the internet and watch tv on a small little picture. However, I can't "Tivo" with that set up. I can only "Tivo" if I'm plugged into the computer itselfe and if the Gigapocket thing was working.
Slip, I've tried every updated driver I could find and none of it works. What's weired is that in your hardware manager system, it recognizes it, but it doesn't see it. It knows it's there, but it doesn't work. It maybe physically damaged in a way that we can't see, I dont' know. We've had it out, we've looked at it carefully, and we dont' see anything physically wrong with it. It just simply does not work.
Now when we first picked up my computer, oh probably three-four years ago, the Gigapocket worked great! I was able to record tv shows on my computer and replay theme whenever I wanted.

Dudemeister
2009.02.11, 11:43 AM
Hi there. Dude, we have Direct TV satelite plugged into all of our tv's. We even have a cable running down into the basement where my computer is plugged into. The monitor I'm useing is a Samsung HDTV and it works great as a tv alone. It has a picture in picture feature which allows me to brouse the internet and watch tv on a small little picture. However, I can't "Tivo" with that set up. I can only "Tivo" if I'm plugged into the computer itselfe and if the Gigapocket thing was working.
Slip, I've tried every updated driver I could find and none of it works. What's weired is that in your hardware manager system, it recognizes it, but it doesn't see it. It knows it's there, but it doesn't work. It maybe physically damaged in a way that we can't see, I dont' know. We've had it out, we've looked at it carefully, and we dont' see anything physically wrong with it. It just simply does not work.
Now when we first picked up my computer, oh probably three-four years ago, the Gigapocket worked great! I was able to record tv shows on my computer and replay theme whenever I wanted.
Marc,

I looked up this Giga Pocket product to better understand what it was, and even if you make it work again, you'll probably be SOL. According to Zap2it, listing support for the Giga Pocket has been terminated as of this year. Here is a statement I found on their site:


Unfortunately, Sony chose not to renew their affiliate site with Zap2it in 2009. We recently retired our legacy listings product and we deeply regret this inconvenience to Giga Pocket users. You can contact Sony customer support at 1-888-476-6972 Monday - Saturday 11:00AM-8:00PM EST.



As for Sony, they provide very little support for it as they consider it a legacy product.

So according to this, even if you can get the Giga Pocket TV tuner to work again, if will be useless as a PVR, as the listings will no longer be available. You might still be able to record manually, but that's it.

NOw, based on the information you provided, I'm still trying to understand is how you were using it with your DirectTV. If you were feeding it an analog signal out of your DirectTV receiver, then you weren't really using it as a TV tuner, rather you were using it as an analog video capture board, so the ability to time shift, change channels and so forth were not available.

If on the other hand you were picking up OTA (Over-The-Air) signals, then that ability will disappear after June 12 when the digital switchover happens.

SO what I'm trying to say, is that I would stop wasting time trying to make this work, and get a new TV tuner capable of supporting ATSC. I don't know of any TV tuners that can work with a DirectTV sattelite feed.

There are sattelite tuner cards usually referred to as DVB or FTA cards, but none of them work with the current sattelite providers (Dish, DirectTV, etc). If you want to learn about FTA (Free-To-air) sattelite programming you can go here:

http://www.sadoun.com/Sat/Channels/Channels-FTA-free-to-air-Satellite-TV.htm

But you need to learn more about how this stuff works. There is plenty of information available out there which should help you make the transition from your analog tuner to the new digital ones.

marc
2009.02.11, 12:19 PM
Thank you Dude, I had the feeling something like that was happening as none of the downloaded drivers worked.
I guess my computer downstairs will be strictly for computing and not for tv watching.
I'd still like to find a massive media storage/playback device that I can plug into the living room. So, since I'd like to give my brother my 60GB Ipod, I decided to get the 160GB version for my selfe.
My brother has the small Nano Ipod which only holds so few songs. This past Christmas when I was visiting him, I gave him an Itunes gift card which he appreciated, but at the same time complained that his Ipod was full. So, I'll now be giving him my old one so he'll have a larger one for more music.
So for now, the method I'm currently useing will work just fine. I'll be very happy with 160GB's worth of media in my hand. After all, my computer is only 160GB so whatever IT can hold, the Ipod can hold!
Eventually when I have my own house, my ultimate goal is to have a MASSIVE 2-4TB hard drive multi-media playback system plugged into the tv and it'll just live there. It would be nice not to have to deal with swapping DVD's anymore. Be able to create playlists with trilogies and what not.
Like I said before, I like setting up my Ipod with the slide-show on the big screen while listening to my music.
I thank you all for your inputs, you guy's are such wonderful help! :)

duminyricky
2009.06.30, 07:38 AM
Taking into consideration all these ideas may help you decide what gadget or console would really be appropriate for you.

marc
2009.06.30, 10:52 AM
Thank's, I almost forgot about this topic. Anyway big update here. For my 35th b-day present, I got a brand new Imac computer and I'm loving it! It's got a 1TB hard drive, very fast processor, silky smooth video, gorgeous big wide screen format monitor. The Imac is Apple's all in one unit, very, very nice computer. It was a piece of cake transferring all of my music and movies from my old PC to my Imac computer with a portable 60GB hard drive device. Biggest pain was to rebuild my playlists in the new computers Itunes so that when I updated my Ipod, I wouldn't lose anything. I also found a great DVD to Ipod ripper designed specifically for Mac's, so I was able to rip all of my tv show DVD's that being all three seasons of Knight Rider, Airwolf, and the entire Red Dwarf series. With over 60 some movies, three tv show's, and around 1500 songs on my Ipod, I still have 650 GB's left on computer, and 13 GB's left on 160GB Ipod.
My new computer is very quiet, keyboard has nice soft touch key's, so even typing is nice and quiet.
Now the next thing to get is the AppleTV device which will allow me to streem wirelessly my Itunes stuff to my television set. I'm still after a 1TB external hard drive for backup.
Also, I picked up the Collin Mcray Rally game for Mac and it's great, but it sucks driving it with the keyboard, so I'm looking into a steering wheel that is Mac compatible.