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modified xbox instead of a PC?

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  • modified xbox instead of a PC?


    Im brand new here, and I would just like to say hello and wow, what a kick *** forum. So many cool users in here. Im a long time reader but just signed up today.

    I would like to throw out a topic for an idea Ive had for my truck for the past couple of weeks.

    Has anyone ever considered using a modded xbox with a lilliput touchscreen inplace of a PC? The reason I ask is because there are a lot of pro's to using a modded xbox over a PC. Im pretty heavy into the xbox modding scene and thought it would be a superb media device as apposed to a full blown PC. Its an idea ive been messing with for a couple of weeks now in my head.

    For those of you unfamiliar with xbox modding Ill give you a quick intro. As most of you already know the xbox is nothing more than a x86 machine. It contains a P3 733Mhz CPU, 64MB of SDRAM, a 64MB GeForce3 Ti500 graphics chip and a 8GB-10GB Harddrive. After installing a modchip, you can do a lot more than just play backups from DVDR. You can replace the internal harddrive with any size standard PC IDE drive all the way up to 320GB (biggest we have right now) and it will also allow you to run any unsigned code, meaning homebrew apps and gamebackups from the hard drive. But thats just the beginning.

    Xbox Media Center which is a homebrew app for xbox is very similar to the function of windows media center, except it has a plethera of features and functions that windows media center doesnt and will never have. This application allows you to store/catalog/play nearly any type of media out there from mp3 to ogg, to dvd's, divx, games directly from the harddrive, internet radio, etc. and thats just the tip of the iceberg.

    Recently the xbmc guys have added usb mouse support. Which leads me to believe I can hook it up to a usb touchscreen monitor. Below are some pro's and con's to running this project that I can see right away.

    - extremely low power consumption
    - instant boot (from power off to fully functional os in 5-7 seconds)
    - instant off (no more fooling with backup batteries, figgity power supplies, accidental PC reboots, and sleep and hibernation modes. just turn the car off.)
    - inexpensive (xbox - $120 // chip - $30 // 250GB drive - $150)
    - one touch store/catagorize/play any type of media mp3/dvd/divx/etc on the harddrive
    - cover art and information for mp3 albums and dvd/divx movies downloaded via the internet
    - wireless controllers for games ($30)
    - wireless internet/network adapter available
    - play games directly from the harddrive (no more reaching back to pop in a disc, just select the game and play)
    - picture viewing/storage and slideshows
    - completely skinnable/customizable interface
    - less wiring to run (just power and av)
    - self contained and quiet
    - runs very cool in hot environments

    - no GPS software (yet)
    - no car diagnostics software (yet)
    - xbox is larger than some miniITX setups
    - modding can be difficult

    Id love to get some feedback from you guys about this idea. I will be attempting this project over the next couple of weeks, but im just 1 touchscreen short of completing the parts list. If anyone out there has a spare usb touchscreen and would be willing to give it up for a fully modded xbox ready to go let me know. I would love to work out a trade of some sort.

    If anyone is interested in attempting this but is unfamiliar with xbox modding please dont hesitate to ask me anything, I will gladly donate whatever knowledge I can to the forum and the people.

    Below are some screens from xbox media center in action.

    Main Screen




    Xbox Games

    Old School Gaming



    I apologize for such the long post on my first, but its an idea thats been sitting in my head for a while and the guys in the modding scene dont take me seriously for whatever reason(s). I figured I would speak directly to the people that would be interested in this sort of thing.

    hydraulix (aka Rob)

  • #2
    There have been many threads in here on this subject. If you have your heart set on using the xbox instead of a PC the only obsticles I see are no GPS software yet and no driver for the Lilliput touchscreen. Even though the Lilliput might just seem like a USB mouse it is slightly more complicated.
    1.6GHz HP e-PC, 768MB RAM, 120GB WD HDD, Slim DVD-ROM, Onboard sound & video, 7" Lilliput, USB GPS Mouse, Audiovox FM Modulator, Vector 400 Watt Power Inverter, Windows XP Pro SP2, iGuidance 2, 15" Samsung LCD for the rear *Carputer not installed*


    • #3
      Looks like it would be a great way to go. Especially since you already know the ropes. The only concern I have it that a lilliput or similar monitor has a usb touchscreen and 3 or so inputs. You wont be able to use the VGA ( I think anyway? maybe there is one? never had a Xbox ) so you will have to use an aux input.....but will the touchscreen still work in the aux input position? May have to bypass some circuitry at worst. I like the interface, looks very nice. It would be perfect for me for HTPC use, with a remote of course
      2005 Ford Focus ST


      • #4
        If I had it to do over again, I'd put my modified Crystal Xbox in my car. The only downfall is no VGA output (to my knowledge).


        • #5
          yes there is a VGA pack adapter available for the xbox to output 15pin VGA signal to anything that will accept it. This would also in turn enable progressive scan and HD resolutions up to 1080i.

          So no need for composite or s-video connections.

          check it out at they make the best one.


          • #6
            hydraulix, is there a way to have the xbox boot directly to XMC? Mine currently boots to EvoX and I have to launch XMC from there.


            • #7
              Originally posted by hydraulix
              yes there is a VGA pack adapter available for the xbox to output 15pin VGA signal to anything that will accept it.......
              SAWEEEEEEEEEETTTTTT!!!!! Gotta check into it!
              2005 Ford Focus ST


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rireal
                hydraulix, is there a way to have the xbox boot directly to XMC? Mine currently boots to EvoX and I have to launch XMC from there.
                yes of course you can. heres how it works.

                the xbox bios looks for boot files on the C: drive in this order by default....


                right now, since Evo-X is on your C:, it gets booted first. Simply FTP into your xbox and upload XBMC to your C: (yes Evo-X and XBMC can co-mingle)

                rename the Evo-X xbe (evoxdash.xbe) to something like evoxold.xbe
                this will stop evox from booting,....

                then rename XBMC's default.xbe to evoxdash.xbe

                that will make XBMC boot when you turn your xbox on instead of Evo-X. just make sure you edit the IP in your xboxmediacenter.xml before you reboot. that way you can FTP back in later.

                I've got a couple of beers in me so if im not clear or a little confusing let me know.


                • #9
                  Da*n your XBMC is pimp'd. I haven't played with mine in a good long while. I guess I'm going to have to set that up as my HTPC.

                  BTW, when I first mod'd my XBOX my original plan was to use it as a CarPC. After a year of working on it, I'm glad I didn't go that route. It's been challenging enough without dealing with unique problems associated with the XBOX. As far as cost, there isn't much difference. The expensive parts of a carPC are there no matter if you run an XBOX or a mini-ITX. You'll still need power, sequencing, Video, touch screen, GPS, amplifier, etc. The mini-ITX boards can be had for around $150. Throw in a stick of RAM that you already have lying around and make your own case and the cost is about the same as the XBOX.
                  2004 4runner


                  • #10
                    hydraulix thats look sweet. got a question tho. i got all the music and etc but how do you get the cover pics to come up? like matrix reload.avi how did you get the cover pic to come up?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kickercivic1
                      hydraulix thats look sweet. got a question tho. i got all the music and etc but how do you get the cover pics to come up? like matrix reload.avi how did you get the cover pic to come up?
                      make sure your xbox is connected to the net, then simply highlight the file you want coverart for, and press the white button. XBMC will go out to the net and find it automatically and download it to your xbox.

                      that only works for albums and movies though, the xbox games cover art was manually download and inserted.


                      • #12
                        that looks realy nice where to get the mod chip? im thinking of using the xbox as htpc @ home.
                        Golf 3 CarPc Status
                        GPS:BT GPS

                        PC: Slim notebook with 10.4"touch, external DVD.
                        Dock for car is in production.
                        Audio: Stock speakers but looking for new ones. CD-HU with FM modulator (ordered)


                        • #13
                          i recommend getting an xecuter2 lite. they are the simplest chips to install and work with. Save yourself the trouble and do NOT get a solderless chip. The pogo pin adapters are garbage and will mis-align if you breath on them wrong.

                          $30 but slower shipping

                          $49 but mega fast shipping, this is who I use

                          I don't mind paying the extra $20 for the peace of mind. Ive heard of people having problems with Ive never had a single issue with and with thier fast shipping you will get your chip in a matter of a day or 2.


                          • #14
                            i have done both the solderless and sodered. the solderless is a pain in the *** to get the pogo pins right. on some xbox motherboards its fine, on others there is no way its going to sit correctly on there.

                            i was thinking of doing the xbox in the car, but i was stopped since i love to wardrive so much. :-) I will be selling one of my xboxs soon with the solderless chip to make some money back for this hobby :-)

                            did you do any fan mods to your car xbox? I would think heat would be an issue cause it has a puny 6V case fan and heat sink ONLY on the CPU
                            "If it works this good why F with it?" -KMFDM "Intro"

                            Strive for ethical wardriving:

                            My CarCPUs: v1 - 2000 | v2 - 2004
                            Mp3Car Meets:


                            • #15
                              I had xbox in my car with the solderless chip it was pain in the *** for real. Everytime i system hit the chip moved. i had to play with that little green light to come on eveytime. i got tired of it thats why i am putting pc now.