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Building an ION powered Home Theatre PC with XBMC 10.0
By Mini-ITX.com - version 1.1
Posted on January 25, 2011
Jump to:

This project has been updated!
Please visit our newer XBMC 12 Guide

Introduction

One of the most common uses of Mini-ITX systems is in Home Theatre. There are a great many different solutions to the problem of playing all your films, music and photos from the comfort of your sofa. The so-called 10-foot interface is a difficult gap to fill: users require a simplified, robust interface that is simple enough for children to use yet has the capabilities to provide a rich array of content.

XBMC easily fulfils the basic requirements:

  • All aspects should be controllable from a convenient tv-style remote.
  • All common currently-used media codecs should be playable up to 1080p resolution.
  • Both analog and digital audio should be handled.

In addition to this, XBMC also:

  • Has a robust plug-in framework for creating software to access sites like YouTube, iPlayer (UK), last.fm.
  • Has an active and driven community of users and developers.
  • A versatile skinning system, which has enabled a wide variety of professional-looking skins to be created.
  • Looks great!
  • Is totally free - you don't even need an operating system

For this project you will need:

  • Access to a computer running Windows
  • A motherboard with an ION chipset
  • At least 1GB of Memory
  • A USB stick of at least 2GB capacity to test/install your system
  • A Hard Disk to install onto
  • Optionally - a compatible remote control

This guide was built and tested with our very own Zotac ION bundle which comes with an illustrated assembly e-guide:

Instructions

Module 1 : Create XBMC installer on USB stick
Module 2 : Set your BIOS to boot from USB
Module 3 : Test XBMC without installing to HDD (optional)
Module 4 : Installing XBMC to HDD
Module 5 : Configure your audio output

Optional Modules

Module 6 : Using a Wii remote control
Module 7 : Turn your XBMC system into a NAS/Fileserver
Module 8 : Configure your system to use Wi-Fi

Utility Modules

Module A : How to open a command-prompt on your XBMC system.
Module B : Discovering your TCP/IP address
Module C : Mounting a shared drive
Module D : Enabling 24fps playback NEW!

We have created this guide in a hope that anyone with an hour or two to spare can learn how to install XBMC. We have hand-picked hardware that we know works well with XBMC. A lot of research has gone into making the process as simple as possible for you. The modular format will allow you to find your way easily through the process of installing XBMC and associated hardware. However this project would not have been possible without the hard work of the good people at the XBMC project.

Please consider donating to the XBMC project!

Start here -->


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