This Guide is mostly for me, as I just setup my first HTPC. I just wanted to have a place to remember what was involved in getting this setup up and running. Feel free to buy the Hardware I did and use this guide to setup your own stand alone XBMC HTPC. Obviously this will not be ideal for everyone, but this works excellent for me.
Zotac ID41 (Barebone Mini PC)
Kingston SSDNow V100 64Gb Drive
Kingston 2GB 800MHZ DDR3 Single Rank NON-ECC CL6 SODIMM (I bought 2 of these)
Flirc.tv Remote USB IR Receiver
Any Logitech Harmony Remote
Also a good idea to have a 1GB+ USB Flash Drive, any one should do
Not all of this Software is needed, but you might find it helpful.
OpenElec (Really the only thing needed + USB Flash Drive)
Flirc.tv (Needed for Remote Mapping)
My Config Files
Universal USB Installer
I will do my best to go over all the problems I have encountered. I have included a ZIP file with my Config Files needed for most of the below guide.
– Remote Setup
Harmony Remotes and Flirc.tv have some issues, this is what works best. Make sure your Remote Device added for the XBMC HTPC is either Panasonic TC-P65VT30 or SAMSUNG LN46C650L1F. I used the Panasonic as it won’t interfere with anything in my setup. Once this is done you can add your Activity and update your Remote.
Once this is completed you can open the Flirc App and start your Keymap. I looked to the default Keymaps for XBMC and within Flirc App use the full Keyboard mode and assign the appropriate key to which button suites your need best.
Example: Assign “T” to the button on your remote titled “Subtitles” to Toggle Subtitles within XBMC
I have included my Keymap from Flirc if you choose to use it. This seems to work excellent with Openelec, no issues.
Guide from Flirc.tv
Here is where things can either be super easy and just work, or be a pain in the @$$. First of all, only have a USB Keyboard plugged into the Zotac device. NO OTHER USB device and make sure you are using one of the USB 2.0 ports.
Enter the BIOS with DELETE and get boot menu with F11 (I had issues entering the bios with a bluetooth keyboard or with anything else plugged into the USB Ports). Update the BIOS if you need to and then load optimal default settings and save/reboot. If you have the need to use AHCI, switch from IDE to AHCI after install. This shouldn’t be a problem in Linux.
*Another option that might help is “General ACPI Configuration -> Repost Video on S3 Resume -> Yes” as it seems to help with resuming from a suspend. WOL Should be working on this device if you loaded the Optimal Defaults*
Prep your USB Flash Device with Openelec (Make sure you pick the ION 64 Build), I use the nightly builds of Eden. Also make sure your SSD has a Partition on it, FAT32 if possible. With only your USB Flash Drive and USB Keyboard plugged into the USB 2.0 Ports on the Computer, start it up. If your Computer freezes after “Quick Install” try and prep another USB Flash Drive or preform a “Low Level Format” on the USB Flash Drive. Trust me, this can be a pain as I went through 4 USB Devices until one worked. Once this step completes you can remove the USB Flash Drive, reboot back into the BIOS and enable AHCI. Now when your Computer boots you should be in XBMC (OpenElec).
You should be able to plug in your other USB devices now (Flirc.tv IR USB receiver)
SMB (Samba) should be enabled, go to your PC and connect via IP Address as I noticed that the Device Name of “OPENELEC” doesn’t always broadcast. You can find the fixes for SSH, Sound, and Video in my Config ZIP File. You will also find instructions on how to get the Splash Screen working. All these are tested and working for me with the above Hardware.
Any other issues can be sorted at the OpenElec Forums
The rest of the Config is within XBMC (Themes and Plugins). There is no need for me to cover this as everyone’s setup will be different, and there is plenty of support out there for XBMC and OpenElec.
*Side note, Updating OpenElec should not affect settings*
This is an extra step that is not needed, but after hours of setup and indexing I wanted to backup my XBMC Setup. Create a Live USB Flash Drive with Clonezilla and back that sucker up.
Hopefully this guide will help someone other than just myself.
– Skin of Choice is “Aeon Nox”
– I have been having freezing after resume issues, make sure your samba.conf is configured properly and try adding your SMB shares properly to your hosts.conf file. This could be USB 3.0 related as well.
– How to install Icefilms.info and use Navi-X to access Icefilms as well (Can be installed on many devices)
Centralize your XBMC Database (Great if you have Multiple XBMC Setups):
Here are a couple guides for you, these are geared towards Synology NAS users
Openelec Guide and QuixVenture Guide
If you plan on updating to XBMC 12 (FRODO)
3.1 If you used Path Substitution
As noted at the top of this page, XBMC v12 no longer uses path substitution for syncing thumbnails.
- If you used path subs for the entire Thumbnails folder – Extra safe method
- Quit all XBMC devices.
- Update all instances to XBMC v12 “Frodo”, but don’t open/launch XBMC yet.
- Choose one XBMC device and open XBMC
- Say yes when it asks to update art.
- Copy your path-substituted thumbnails folder onto all XBMC devices, replacing the local thumbnails folder in the userdata folder.
- On the first XBMC device go into userdata/database/ and copy the “Textures13.db” file to all the other XBMC devices in their userdata/database/ folders.
- Remove path substitution for thumbnails from the advancedsettings.xml file of each XBMC device.
- You can now open/launch XBMC on your other devices.
- From that point on, XBMC will sync art/thumbs directly to each XBMC box, but will keep them in sync (whereas before XBMC would only add art on one box, and boxes could have different artwork if set manually). Having the thumbnails folder locally on each box will also speed up loading the library, and what art to use is stored in the videos DB that MySQL is already sharing.
Also, the above steps I find a bit off, I would not recommend copying the Textures13.db file over to the other computers. Just simply update one XBMC location and the rest will grab the information, no need to copy over thumbnails to all of them either.
My audio config is no longer needed with the HD audio system, but if you are still getting a dimming screen like I was…use the xorg.conf file I provided.
Another thing I noticed is that some Keymapping has changed, make sure you fix that using the Keyboard.xml file.