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agentsmith
2006-01-15, 20:48
Hope I am not causing a stir here.

Just wondering how the new XBox 360 compares with the Slim offering. I have an Sb2 and am wondering if I should get an XBOX too.

Apparently the XBOX has media extender software that would allow access to pictures and audio on a remote PC, with or without Windows Media Center OS installed.

Has anyone looked into feature comparison between the two products, purely from a media client perspective?

kdf
2006-01-15, 20:51
agentsmith wrote:
> Hope I am not causing a stir here.
>
> Just wondering how the new XBox 360 compares with the Slim offering. I
> have an Sb2 and am wondering if I should get an XBOX too.
>
>

xbox360: game machine
squezebox3: hifi audio playback machine

sorta banana vs '76 mustang fastback comparison

they have totally different purposes, totally different motives.

-k

Skunk
2006-01-15, 21:42
I too would be interested in getting other media off my server, though I agree investing in a video game seems like poor rationalization :)

Can I just use a cheap card with Svid out to stream some kind of 'real' visualization?

Thanks

notanatheist
2006-01-15, 22:01
SB is about convienance. They're small, low powered, and have multiple outputs. Xbox is power hungy, potentially loud, and has to have a display. I've thought of getting an older Xbox to mod and use as a media player with my TV but I would still use the SB for 97.5% of my music.

kolepard
2006-01-15, 22:39
>Xbox...potentially loud

Not potentially. Is. I've used one. It's loud. Not really
acceptable for an audio device, and I'm not even a hardcore
audiophile. I don't even think it's quiet enough for a movie.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

agentsmith
2006-01-16, 03:54
Are you referring to the old xBox. The old xBox is a dinosaur so it may be unfair to judge the xBox360 with the new one.

Just wondering how the xBox score as a media box, as it has tight integration with Windows Media OS it may be work as a video version of the SB. Also, since it has more processing power it should be able to do what the SB does


>Xbox...potentially loud

Not potentially. Is. I've used one. It's loud. Not really
acceptable for an audio device, and I'm not even a hardcore
audiophile. I don't even think it's quiet enough for a movie.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

kolepard
2006-01-16, 10:09
>Are you referring to the old xBox.

No. I'm referring to the 360. My modded Xbox is _much_ quieter.

>Just wondering how the xBox score as a media box

Well, Xbox media center is pretty slick, but I don't know how long
it'll be "supported" now that the Xbox 360 is out. And you have to
hack your Xbox to run it. You really need a mod chip and you may
well need a new, larger hard drive, depending on what you want to do.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

superbad
2006-01-16, 10:37
I don't have either one, but I am pretty sure you need Windows Media Center installed on your PC to stream content to the 360. http://www.videora.com/en-us/Converter/Xbox360/video.html

The 360 has two real disadvantages for me: sound quality (not going to be as good as the Squeezebox), and the need for a TV (I don't have one where my stereo is). It's also a lot more expensive (you'll need to buy the wireless bridge as well), but of course you are getting a game console and DVD player for that money as well.

radish
2006-01-16, 16:08
I have a 360. Excellent games machine, lousy media player. Basically, with an XP machine on your network you can:
Look at JPGs
Listen to WMA/MP3

To play video (WMV/MPEG only) you need a machine running Media Center (which I don't have or want).

If you already have a Media Center PC which you use for DVR etc then the 360 would probably be a nice way to watch videos in other rooms. Without that, it's pretty useless, and certainly no comparison with SB3 for audio.

I'm still looking for a (simple) way to watch DivX on my TV without burning DVDs.

Dan Sully
2006-01-16, 16:11
* radish shaped the electrons to say...

>I'm still looking for a (simple) way to watch DivX on my TV without
>burning DVDs.

http://us.gizmodo.com/gadgets/xbox-360/the-360-does-divx-148837.php

-D
--
<nil> It sucks to discover that you are the foremost authority on some set of things when you've got a problem.

agentsmith
2006-01-16, 17:50
Well I did own a Neuston media box that does video quite well and MP3s very poorly. Not a bad box if you use it mostly for video, as a music box it is close to unusable for me in terms of ergonomics and sound quality. Not sure what the status of the company is.

http://www.neuston.com/en/home.php

(Also supports the Buffalo LANStation NAS as a server right out of the box)



I'm still looking for a (simple) way to watch DivX on my TV without burning DVDs.

mkozlows
2006-01-16, 19:56
Hope I am not causing a stir here.

Just wondering how the new XBox 360 compares with the Slim offering. I have an Sb2 and am wondering if I should get an XBOX too.

The 360 has several big advantages over the Squeezebox:

1. It can use WMC (on a regular XP box) or Media Center (on an MCE box) functionality, so doesn't require installation of third-party software like SlimServer. This is nice if you have a Media Center, but not important with XP, since WMC is about as resource-hungry as SlimServer (no surprise; it's doing basically the same task).

2. It's PlaysForSure compliant, so works great with the subscription music services (Yahoo, Rhapsody, Napster) and non-iTunes online music stores. This is a huge, phenomenal benefit if you have a subscription service or lots of purchased DRMed tracks, and a total non-issue otherwise.

3. It can do HD photo slideshows. This is very nice, at least with the Media Center UI (I haven't tried it with the 360 Dashboard UI). If you have an HDTV, lots of digital pictures, and people who want to see them, this is a big deal. Not competitive with the Squeezebox, but it puts the Roku HD-1000 right out of business, as far as I'm concerned.

4. With Media Center, It can stream HD (and non-HD) video. This is wonderful if you get HD over-the-air and have a system that can handle it; or if you get NTSC via any source; or if you really, really love to watch the three minute snippets of Imax movies available from Microsoft's WMV-HD Content Showcase. Otherwise, it's a bit of a novelty until Vista comes out with CableCard support.

5. The available games are much, much better. SlimTris doesn't even begin to compete with Hexic, never mind Kameo.

But the SB has some big advantages of its own:

1. The UI is better, even compared to the Media Center UI on the 360. The 360 limits you -- like a lot of devices -- to a two-tier browse. Genre, then Album; or Artist, then Album; but never Genre, Artist, and then Album. The larger your music collection, the more this matters.

2. It has real audio output hardware. The 360 resamples everything to 48KHz (like the Roku M1001) and in general isn't aiming for hi-fi street cred. Considering it sells for $400 and has the gaming capabilities it has, no surprise.

3. It's quiet. The 360 is loud, about like a standard desktop computer in media mode (and more like a SFF computer at 100% CPU utilization -- which, really, is what it is -- when playing games). If you're using it for party music, or to watch Armageddon, no biggie. But for listening to relatively quiet music? Unacceptable.

4. It doesn't need the TV. I wasn't sure if this would be a big deal, but it is. Having to have the TV on to listen to music bothers me.

My recommendation:

If you don't have a Squeezebox, and play your music on your stereo with those round disc things (CDs, I believe they used to call them), you absolutely need to get SOMETHING that'll get you into the modern era. Both the 360 and the SB are excellent devices, but the SB is a device built for one purpose -- and an excellent single-purpose device will nearly always beat an excellent multi-purpose device when performing its intended function.

If you don't care about gaming, don't use your MCE PC as a DVR, and don't have a lot of PFS DRMed music, skip the 360 and just get a Squeezebox. It's significantly better for pure music.

But if the non-music capabilities of the 360 appeal to you, absolutely buy one. Its music capabilities are better than any non-Squeezebox device (the 360 is much, much better than a Roku SoundBridge, for instance), and given the video, photo, and gaming capabilities, it's a steal for $399.

If you do buy a 360, though, seriously consider getting a Squeezebox, too. If you can afford it, and care about music in a significant way (if you have a receiver that costs over $1000 -- or separates of any kind -- you probably can and do), it's worth it.

agentsmith
2006-01-17, 00:06
Thanks for your objective and educated analysis. I will continue to happily live with by SB2 as a dedicated audio device. Last check I have close to 1,000 CDs and >10,000 songs on the network, 90% FLAC files, and the SB2 is handling this quite gracefully. However, an XBox 360 would also be a nic to have since it will duo quite nicely with my soon to purchase HD TV, looking forward to displaying nice pictures and video.

Just hope the noise issue will not be a showstopper.


The 360 has several big advantages over the Squeezebox:

1. It can use WMC (on a regular XP box) or Media Center (on an MCE box) functionality, so doesn't require installation of third-party software like SlimServer. This is nice if you have a Media Center, but not important with XP, since WMC is about as resource-hungry as SlimServer (no surprise; it's doing basically the same task).

2. It's PlaysForSure compliant, so works great with the subscription music services (Yahoo, Rhapsody, Napster) and non-iTunes online music stores. This is a huge, phenomenal benefit if you have a subscription service or lots of purchased DRMed tracks, and a total non-issue otherwise.

3. It can do HD photo slideshows. This is very nice, at least with the Media Center UI (I haven't tried it with the 360 Dashboard UI). If you have an HDTV, lots of digital pictures, and people who want to see them, this is a big deal. Not competitive with the Squeezebox, but it puts the Roku HD-1000 right out of business, as far as I'm concerned.

4. With Media Center, It can stream HD (and non-HD) video. This is wonderful if you get HD over-the-air and have a system that can handle it; or if you get NTSC via any source; or if you really, really love to watch the three minute snippets of Imax movies available from Microsoft's WMV-HD Content Showcase. Otherwise, it's a bit of a novelty until Vista comes out with CableCard support.

5. The available games are much, much better. SlimTris doesn't even begin to compete with Hexic, never mind Kameo.

But the SB has some big advantages of its own:

1. The UI is better, even compared to the Media Center UI on the 360. The 360 limits you -- like a lot of devices -- to a two-tier browse. Genre, then Album; or Artist, then Album; but never Genre, Artist, and then Album. The larger your music collection, the more this matters.

2. It has real audio output hardware. The 360 resamples everything to 48KHz (like the Roku M1001) and in general isn't aiming for hi-fi street cred. Considering it sells for $400 and has the gaming capabilities it has, no surprise.

3. It's quiet. The 360 is loud, about like a standard desktop computer in media mode (and more like a SFF computer at 100% CPU utilization -- which, really, is what it is -- when playing games). If you're using it for party music, or to watch Armageddon, no biggie. But for listening to relatively quiet music? Unacceptable.

4. It doesn't need the TV. I wasn't sure if this would be a big deal, but it is. Having to have the TV on to listen to music bothers me.

My recommendation:

If you don't have a Squeezebox, and play your music on your stereo with those round disc things (CDs, I believe they used to call them), you absolutely need to get SOMETHING that'll get you into the modern era. Both the 360 and the SB are excellent devices, but the SB is a device built for one purpose -- and an excellent single-purpose device will nearly always beat an excellent multi-purpose device when performing its intended function.

If you don't care about gaming, don't use your MCE PC as a DVR, and don't have a lot of PFS DRMed music, skip the 360 and just get a Squeezebox. It's significantly better for pure music.

But if the non-music capabilities of the 360 appeal to you, absolutely buy one. Its music capabilities are better than any non-Squeezebox device (the 360 is much, much better than a Roku SoundBridge, for instance), and given the video, photo, and gaming capabilities, it's a steal for $399.

If you do buy a 360, though, seriously consider getting a Squeezebox, too. If you can afford it, and care about music in a significant way (if you have a receiver that costs over $1000 -- or separates of any kind -- you probably can and do), it's worth it.

squiffy
2006-01-17, 13:39
Although I am not an owner of the 360, the word on the street is that it WILL support Universal Plug and Pray (UPnP).

That said, SlimServer is not really made for that purpose IMHO, but it likely could be coaxed into that mode with some messing around.

I'd recommend doing some Google time with 'Xbox360 + UPNP' and see where it takes you.

The other page worth watching is:

http://free60.org

-----------------

Squiff

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