Updated: XBMC has changed its name to Kodi.**
In a previous post, I talked about getting rid of cable using over the air TV and XBMC. Here is the second part of my setup. What is XBMC?. It is basically an online media center that allows you to play videos, music and online TV. You will need an internet connection to play online content. I know you have to pay for internet, but it is a lot cheaper than cable. I use 2 Apple Mac Minis, one for the bedroom and one for the living room. So let’s talk about XBMC. This program has been around for quite some time. It has evolved into a powerful media center. XBMC lets you stream online video and radio content, check the weather and look at your pictures all from your TV.
Free internet TV with XBMC
There are a many cheap compact systems that XBMC will run on. Check out my recommendations list below. You can also find systems that are already configured with XBMC loaded. It will also work on just about any operating system, like Mac OS, Windows and Linux. I have XBMC running on a Mac Mini connected with an HDMI cable to my television. The HDMI cable allows high definition TV and audio to be passed from the computer to the LCD TV. Most new TVs and computers should have that option. You can download XBMC here and choose your operating system. Click on the install file and let the program install.
Plugins, add-ons and forums
Once it is installed, double click on the logo and off you go. It might help to read a little about how to tweak your settings at the XBMC wiki page or their forums page. If you are somewhat technical, it should not be that hard to figure out. The best part of my setup are what they call the plug ins or add-ons. These are programs that people have developed to take advantage of online content. Check out these sites on how to install and configure some of these plugins at XBMC Hub and SuperRepo. It’s a great way to save money, rather than spending it on a cable bill each month. Let’s say the average cable bill is $100 a month. That’s $1,200 a year, and over the course of 6 years that’s $7,200. Well that’s more money I can put into my investments.
Here are some pictures of my setup.
Living room setup is running a newer Mac Mini with a Samsung 37″ LCD TV.
Bedroom has a older Mac Mini(free – someone gave it to me) with a RCA 27″ TV.
Both setups also have over the air antenna, which allows me to watch most of the major networks and local news in high definition. They both have wireless mice hooked up to the Macs which allows me to click through the menu options. I do not have a keyboard. XBMC has an on screen keyboard for searching content and installing plug ins. Enjoy the new way to watch free internet TV with XBMC.
**Side note: As of this post, XBMC is changing its name to Kodi.**
Here is what I recommend for your setup:
My personal custom setup:
- 2.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
- 1TB Fusion Drive
- 8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 memory
- Intel Iris Graphics
- Mac OS X Yosemite
Or the all in one preloaded setup:
The G-Box Midnight by Matricom brings high performance HD streaming from the internet and local media to your TV. The powerful dual core MX processor with the Mali-400 3D graphics engine provides stellar performance for high definition video playback. XBMC runs smoothly with 1080p hardware decoding from local media and your favorite XBMC streaming add-ons.
Have you tried free internet TV with XBMC?
If you have any questions about my setup, please feel free to comment.