Using the XBox 360 as an HTPC with uShare

Posted on October 16, 2007
Author: Sean Potter
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5
Tags: HTPC, uPnP

Introduction and Features

uShare is an UPnP (TM) A/V & DLNA Media Server. It implements the server component that provides UPnP media devices with information on available multimedia files. uShare uses the built-in http server of libupnp to stream the files to clients.[/i] Originally, uShare was developed for use with GeeXboX, a LiveCD version of Linux aiming at turning PCs into small Home Theatre systems. We'll save our thoughts on GeeXboX for another time, but we do want to look into uShare. We discovered uShare as an way of connecting Microsoft's XBox360 to a Linux PC. uShare is currently at its 1.0 release. With a version number of 1.0, it should say that the program works and is both stable and safe. Let's look at what exactly uShare can do for us: - XBox 360 support - PlayStation 3 support - DLNA Compliant - Provides us access to videos, audio, and images - Written in C, so it's fast! The one thing it can't do that we'd love to see in the future is acting as an UPnP Media Adaptor and thus. This means it can't transcode files into formats acceptable by clients, which is a pain! The XBox 360 will only accept a limited amount of formats, and most of them aren't the best quality or best compression.

Installing uShare

At the time of this writing, uShare is not currently in Gentoo or Ubuntu's package repositiories. I imagine beacuse it's intended for the GeeXboX distribution and most people don't use UPnP devices for multimedia. Who knows, maybe BIOS_LEVEL will start managing packages for it? In the mean time, you can get the source code, rpm, or .deb from the homepage. Since we're using Gentoo in this review, we opted to download the source. The only dependencies of uShare are GCC 2.95 or later, and libupnp 1.4.2 or later. Both of these can found in most repositories and atleast GCC should be installed by default in most installations. After you've got these installed, we can compile the source. They recommend using the -Os CFLAG (which you can edit in /etc/make.conf, or just in front of the configure script. I use -O2 on my system, and uBox works fine with it.
./configure --prefix=/usr
Let's install it in /usr/bin so we can run it from anywhere.
make install-strip
The install process didn't take long at all on our AMD Athlon X2 3500+ system with 2GB of Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2 RAM. I don't imagine it would take long on any processor faster than 1GHz. Now that the installation is complete, let's look at using uShare.

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