What is the best ~$100 XBMC box?
#1
There's a lot of cheap devices out now, but what is the best device for XBMC? Costing less than $125?

I currently have ATV2, and think it's too slow. Raspberry Pi is very cheap, but I read that it isn't necessarily the best device for XBMC?

I will only use it for XBMC. It must have RJ-45 (wireless not necessary).
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#2
Perhaps if you can find a Used HTPC for sale? But I guess I'm being facetious.

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#3
(2012-09-20, 17:00)GeeZuZz Wrote: There's a lot of cheap devices out now, but what is the best device for XBMC? Costing less than $125?

I currently have ATV2, and think it's too slow. Raspberry Pi is very cheap, but I read that it isn't necessarily the best device for XBMC?

I will only use it for XBMC. It must have RJ-45 (wireless not necessary).

The ATV2 is as good if not better than any other cheap device.

David
HTPC1: Intel Pentium G620, 4GB RAM, AMD HD6570, Samsung 830 SSD, Silverstone GD05 case.
HTPC2: AMD Athlon II X2 255, 4GB RAM, AMD HD5450, Western Digital HDD, Silverstone ML03 case.
HTPC3: AMD E350, 4GB RAM, AMD HD6310, OCZ Agility 3 SSD, Akasa Crypto case.
Media Server: i3-3220, 8gb RAM, WHS 2011, 8tb capacity, Fractal Design ARC Midi R2 case.
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#4
I've been following this one for ~$90. Once a couple more reviews come in I'll pull the trigger.
http://androidtvbox.us/products/g-box-midnight/
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#5
The G-Box looked interesting to me but a lack of support forums etc made me nervous. The XBMC Android team developed based on the Pivos Xios DS unit. It is $114 from either Newegg or Amazon (Newegg has a free remote bundle going on at the moment). Supports ICS and probably more usefully a Linux build of XBMC that it can boot straight into.

Not as powerful as the G-Box but very active forums, close links to the XBMC team (Davilla pops up on their forums) made the $25 extra worth it for me. The fact that I believe Pivos also did some sponsorship of the XBMC development was also something I thought should be rewarded.

Caveat - Only had the box a couple of days. For me it seems to do a better job than my ATV2 XBMC unit even though it is still a beta build (Linux). My situation is LAN connections, 1080P out and all media served from a local UNRAID. I'm using the stock skin. YMMV Smile

I suspect though if you are looking for much better 'performance' than the ATV2 (I assume you are talking about skins/navigation etc rather than playback issues) you are going to need to up your budget. The Acer Revo RL7 would be a good machine at around $250-$300. Run openelc or the XBMCbuntu and the thing will fly - hi-def audio as well.

Like most things in life - you pays your money and you makes your choices....... Smile

Tolax

BTW - An ATV2 is typically around $250. Of course the day the ATV3 gets jailbroken that will change
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#6
(2012-09-20, 19:14)tolax Wrote: ................................................................BTW - An ATV2 is typically around $250. Of course the day the ATV3 gets jailbroken that will change

Crikey! I didn't think they were so expensive. Confused
HTPC1: Intel Pentium G620, 4GB RAM, AMD HD6570, Samsung 830 SSD, Silverstone GD05 case.
HTPC2: AMD Athlon II X2 255, 4GB RAM, AMD HD5450, Western Digital HDD, Silverstone ML03 case.
HTPC3: AMD E350, 4GB RAM, AMD HD6310, OCZ Agility 3 SSD, Akasa Crypto case.
Media Server: i3-3220, 8gb RAM, WHS 2011, 8tb capacity, Fractal Design ARC Midi R2 case.
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#7
$250 can get you a G540/H61/4GB/64GB SSD mini-itx build
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#8
Pivos XIOS DS is likely the best at $115, but I haven't personally used it yet.

From my own personal experience, the best box for under $100 would be a used ATV1 (wiki) + BCHD (wiki) + Crystalbuntu (wiki). Easily had for less than $100, plays everything I throw at it, is fast and snappy, and can even handle a USB TV tuner, torrents, browser, etc. Mine is my most used HTPC and I use it daily.

ATV2 isn't bad at all (I have one of those too), but won't play as many formats or be as snappy as an ATV1 + BCHD.
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#9
I think right now the best option is the Pivos. I have mine booting right into XBMC through the Linux version if their firmware. I would say today it is on par with Apple TV 2 as I own one of those as well. Keep in mind though they are still in beta in the Linux version of XBMC for the Pivos. It's likely to get better. As of today though, it has played everything I have thrown at it and it handles most plugins just fine.
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#10
With Newegg deals, a Foxconn 3500 + RAM + SD card + OpenELEC can be had for around 175...
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#11
Thanks for all replies!

I actually already own a ATV1 that has been dusting for years... I had no idea I could "upgrade" it. Apart from playback, how does it perform when navigating menus etc, compared to ATV2? I just assumed it was slower. Also, can I just search for BCM970015 on ebay, and I'll get the right one, or are there different versions?
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#12
(2012-09-21, 01:27)GeeZuZz Wrote: Thanks for all replies!

I actually already own a ATV1 that has been dusting for years... I had no idea I could "upgrade" it. Apart from playback, how does it perform when navigating menus etc, compared to ATV2? I just assumed it was slower. Also, can I just search for BCM970015 on ebay, and I'll get the right one, or are there different versions?

There was just a thread talking about this and it sounds like the ATV1 is still quite usable:

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=140739
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#13
(2012-09-21, 01:46)gabbott Wrote:
(2012-09-21, 01:27)GeeZuZz Wrote: Thanks for all replies!

I actually already own a ATV1 that has been dusting for years... I had no idea I could "upgrade" it. Apart from playback, how does it perform when navigating menus etc, compared to ATV2? I just assumed it was slower. Also, can I just search for BCM970015 on ebay, and I'll get the right one, or are there different versions?

There was just a thread talking about this and it sounds like the ATV1 is still quite usable:

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=140739


+1

I use this in my bedroom, and it is just fine. I regularly see used ATV1s on Craigslist in my area for $50 - $75.

Good luck!!
My Living Room Theater XBMC Mini-ITX Build
CASE: MI-100 - MOBO: ASRock A75M-ITX - APU: A6-3500
Kingston 4GB 1600MHz - SanDisk 128GB SSD -- DVDRW
W7 HP - Kodi 15 - Confluence

ATV1 w/BCM970015 & Crystalbuntu in the BR

My 12 drive capable 8TB Unraid server - SAB, SB, & CP
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#14
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=140450

$25 will give you your XBMC box :D

I recommend loading it up with Crystalbuntu (wiki) as well. It beats the ATV2 in performance in both video playback and in general operation (menus, etc).
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#15
(2012-09-21, 03:24)Ned Scott Wrote: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=140450

$25 will give you your XBMC box Big Grin

I recommend loading it up with Crystalbuntu (wiki) as well. It beats the ATV2 in performance in both video playback and in general operation (menus, etc).

Hey, you're in AZ, too. Cool

ATV1s are easy to come by here. Crystalbuntu is awesome. I know I'll get slammed by some on here for saying this, but my ATV1 is not a whole lot different than my A6-3500, when it comes to XBMC. Huh
My Living Room Theater XBMC Mini-ITX Build
CASE: MI-100 - MOBO: ASRock A75M-ITX - APU: A6-3500
Kingston 4GB 1600MHz - SanDisk 128GB SSD -- DVDRW
W7 HP - Kodi 15 - Confluence

ATV1 w/BCM970015 & Crystalbuntu in the BR

My 12 drive capable 8TB Unraid server - SAB, SB, & CP
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