This is by far one of the coolest mods that I’ve seen in a while. So, to give you some background, I was looking for a way to get an HTPC – Home Theater PC. I wanted something I could play music, movies, shows, etc. from a network file server. It should also have the ability to do NES/SNES/Sega game emulation. On top of all that, due to restrictions place upon myself by outside forces, this unit MUST look like it belongs as part of the Multimedia set up in my family room (in other words it couldn’t be a Desktop PC that was sitting on the floor beside the TV stand). I researched some existing solutions out there and determined that they were WAY more than I wanted to spend. I saw Windows Media Center and SageTV and I heard some good things about both. Then I stumbled upon MythTV, which I have to say is absolutely incredible. MythTV is a great project that definitely hit all of the needs and more. The problem was my “aesthetics” requirement. I would need to purchase an appropriate case for this new machine, which at the time could run between $150-$300 on top of the hardware costs to get this up and running. That’s more than I wanted to spend.
Then I found XBMC. Xbox Media Center is an awesome open-sourced project that you can download from Sourceforge. The beauty part about this whole thing is that I could buy an Xbox for super cheap now because it’s a 2nd generation system now since the Xbox 360 and PS3 are out. Here’s a great little how to install xbmc on your xbox.