Sunday, November 27, 2005

XBox 360 & Media Center: Success at Last!

Well, after a few hours of struggle I got my 360 working well with my Media Center laptop! Steps taken:

1. Upgrade video driver to v77.79. This was much harder than I anticipated because nVidia refuses to support laptop cards such as the Go5700 (which I have) and said that it is up to the manufacturers. Toshiba, of course, dropped the ball on this one and hasn't supplied any update past June 2004. So, I found this great site Laptopvideo2go which provides modified .inf files so we laptop users can use the latest nVidia drivers. Shame to both NVidia and Toshiba (moreso to Toshiba) for leaving their users in the lurch, and kudos to the people at laptopvideo2go!

2. I finally found a useful article on Microsoft's site describing how to fix the issue I had (corrupt or missing component in my media center installation) at this link.

3. Per that article, I re-installed the .net framework 1.1 sp1 update.

4. Then I re-installed Media Center 2005 Rollup 2

5. Then I re-installed the XBox media center extender and re-setup the connection between the 360 and my laptop. all works! So now I just have to hook my laptop up to my cable box and I'm good to go on using my XBox and it's connections to the TV and stereo to watch TV, record programs, listen to all the MP3s on my laptop, etc etc..

First impressions are that it is all working quite well, although the timelag between remote control commands and actually performing them is noticeable. (That makes sense though, since it has to go from the xbox over the network to the PC then via the IR controller to the cable box.)

So, everything's configured and running smoothly. See you around on XBox Live! Feel free to send a 'hello' message to Twilight Sky if you get a chance.

XBox 360: No luck with Media Center

I tried getting my XBox 360 to work with my Media Center PC yesterday afternoon, but I've given up for the moment. I have a Toshiba Qosmio laptop (an F15-AV201 to be exact) running Media Center 2005. I did the necessary download and installation on the PC, and was able to get the 360 and PC to 'see' each other over our wireless network after taking the 8-digit code the 360 gave me and entering it at the appropriate time during the installation on the PC.

The 360 was able to display the familiar media center menu, but gave a frustratingly generic 'Video Error' when trying to view live TV. I also discovered that the problem extended further than just with the 360 laptop itself now cannot show video! Media Center gives an error message and then crashes. It then tries to create and send an error report, but the processes never successfully finished sending the error report. So, not only do I have no integration, but my laptop's TV playing capabilities are broken.

I had created a system restore point before beginning the whole process, so I can easily rollback if I want to, but since I almost never use the Media Center capabilities as it is, I won't bother for now.

I didn't have much luck researching the issues yet, but will keep trying.

Overall, I'm still having a great time playing Kameo, Bejewelled, and Hexic. Once I'm done with Kameo I'll be concentrating on Condemned and finish that off, and then probably will end up getting Perfect Dark Zero to run through the single-player campaign, and then play co-op with my friend Scott over XBox Live. He'll be trying out Kameo too when I'm done with it, and if he likes it and gets a copy we'll be playing that co-op too. (I have a feeling once he sees the graphics and gameplay of it, he'll be getting a copy, even though this particular genre isn't his first choice....)