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Friday, July 15, 2011

extMEDIA: An XBMC disc changer interface - Hack a Day

extMEDIA: An XBMC disc changer interface

posted Jul 15th 2011 9:53am by
filed under: video hacks, xbox hacks

A while back, [Ben Gilstad] built his first HTPC, loading XBMC on it to manage all of his digital media. He loved XBMC’s features and flexibility, but he needed a way to enjoy his DVD and Blu Ray collection on the device without too much hassle. Far before [Ben Heck] considered fitting his Xbox 360 DVD drive into a CD carousel, this [Ben] was busy hacking a Blu Ray player into his.

He bought a broken disc changer at a garage sale, and tore apart a standard SATA Blu Ray player in preparation for the optical drive transplant. An ATMega168 controls the changer’s mechanics, monitoring the carousel’s position and triggering the proper motors when discs need to be swapped out. The AVR currently takes its direction from the HTPC over its serial port via a UDP proxy as XBMC did not support a serial interface at the time he was building the changer.

The second half of [Ben’s] project is an XBMC add-on that he uses to manage his huge collection of optical discs. In order to get XBMC to recognize each disc as a valid ‘file’, he created a clever workaround involving blank WMV clips. This enables him to view his DVDs as if they were digital files on his hard drive, complete with cover art.

It’s a fantastic project, and [Ben] says that his system should be able to support any number of physical disc changers simultaneously, without much issue. Unfortunately the project went on hiatus when he lost his job, so it’s packed away in storage for the time being. Once he gets back on his feet however, he has a whole list of planned changes and improvements to work on – we can’t wait to see it once complete!

Keep reading to check out a video demonstration of his XBMC add-on in action.

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extMEDIA XBMC add-on

Video Link...

Go there...

Xbox 360 DVD changer is the ultimate in gaming laziness

posted Jul 12th 2011 3:01pm by
filed under: xbox hacks


Let’s face it – gamers have a reputation for being pretty lazy. In the most recent episode of his web series, [Ben Heck] takes on the stereotypical gamer role and cranks the laziness factor to 11, lamenting the fact that he needs to get up off the couch to swap discs in his Xbox 360 console. Never allowing laziness get in the way of his hacking, he springs into action, hauling off to his shop in order to construct an Xbox DVD changer system.

He grabbed a pair of CD changers and popped them open to see how they operated. After choosing the best candidate based on its CD loading method, he got to work disassembling the changer. The old CD player and its guts were removed, which he replaced with DVD drive components ripped from his Xbox. Quite a bit of trimming and tweaking was required to swap out the components, but it seems that [Ben] got things working just fine.

With the mechanical portion of the project out of the way, he dug into the electronics. The CD changer had no way of knowing how to interface with the Xbox and vice versa, so [Ben] had to devise a way for the two devices to communicate. He used an Arduino Uno to control the systems, triggering the CD carousel only when the Xbox thought it had its drive slot opened.

While the system looks a bit unpolished, and the controller quite bulky, we love this thing!  No matter if you are lazy or not, jamming these two devices together is exactly what hacking is all about.tagged: , , ,

Go there...

Revision3 » Shows » The Ben Heck Show » A Real Game Changer!

Video Link...

Wow! I wold sure love to be able to build one of those! I do have a 10 Disk CD Changer for an Automobile. It has a bad Display in the Controller. But, all that Code I could only download and run it if it was already written. No Coder here...  And then there's Swapping the CD Device for a DVD or Blue Ray Device. All those tiny little screws!:O I also have a Home DVD Recorder with Bad Capacitors and maybe a bad DVD Drive too. I miss that thing:( I've been wanting to fix it for about a year now. I would like to add a Hard Drive and be Able to Record to it too. I do have an old P4 Computer Running Fusion Linux. Dedicated to Watching Web Videos on my TV though. And it has a good DVD Drive for Moves too. Works great, but is a bit loud and makes too much heat in the Room. Maybe one day;)


extMEDIA: An XBMC disc changer interface
extMEDIA: An XBMC disc changer interface - Hack a Day
‪extMEDIA XBMC add-on‬‏ - YouTube
extMEDIA - The Unemployed Engineer
Xbox 360 DVD changer is the ultimate in gaming laziness - Hack a Day
A Real Game Changer! - The Ben Heck Show

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