May 9th, 2012
XBMC: Test Your HTPC with High Bitrate Sample Videos

Now that you have XBMC set up and configured it's probably good to run through a test to see how well your system performs. I've been able to run through a 1080p flawlessly when I followed all of the buffering recommendations we covered yesterday. Not all videos are created equally though, and as a result you may find that some 1080p videos work fine for you while others don't.

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May 8th, 2012
XBMC: Troubleshoot Buffering Issues

Almost all of the videos that I watch on XBMC are streaming over the network from a central computer. While the idea sounds great that means that my home network becomes yet another component that can lead to performance issues in XBMC. I'm going to share my experiences so that you can get your system working smoothly with as little effort as possible.

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May 7th, 2012
WrapUp: Discovery Buys Revision3, Optimize Your SSD, and More

Welcome to the WrapUp by CyberNet. This is a collection of news stories, downloads, and tips that we have collected over the last few days, but never got around to writing about.

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May 4th, 2012
XBMC: Adding Media Sources

In XBMC one of the things that is probably the most important is to get the software hooked up to your personal media. This includes media from all of your various collections like videos, pictures, and music.

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May 3rd, 2012
XBMC: SMB on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion)

When setting up my XBMC instances, I wanted to have a central machine in my house serve up all my media, and for that I chose to use my Mac OS X Lion machine. Since my XBMC machines are being powered by Windows 7 I ran into a bit of a predicament. In Mac OS X Lion, Apple started using the SMB2 protocol that Microsoft introduced in Vista back in 2006.

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May 2nd, 2012
XBMC: Dynamic Weather Backgrounds

We've already shown you how to change the background images used by the various menu entries on the home screen, but the Weather menu can be tweaked even more if you're using the Aeon MQ 3 theme. There is a nifty feature buried in the skin settings that lets you use dynamic weather backgrounds that change based on the current time of day and local weather conditions.

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May 1st, 2012
XBMC: Custom Home Screen Menu Backgrounds

Yesterday we covered how to install new skins in XBMC, and today we are going to show you how you can customize the backgrounds skins use for each of the entries on the main home screen menu. When I hover over the movies menu, for example, mine will rotate through over a dozen photos that I downloaded of my favorite movies.

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April 30th, 2012
WrapUp: Ars Technica’s View on Windows 8, Google Testing Quick Apply Feature in Google Docs, and More

Welcome to the WrapUp by CyberNet. This is a collection of news stories, downloads, and tips that we have collected over the last few days, but never got around to writing about.

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April 27th, 2012
XBMC: Installing Skins

When you first get rolling with XBMC out-of-the-box, you may not be overly enthusiastic about the appearance. By default XBMC 11 ships with the Confluence skin that, while it looks clean, can easily be replaced by one of the other user-made skins. The most impressive one that I found is the Aeon MQ 3 skin which sports a very modern look that is sure to impress anyone that sets eyes on it.

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April 26th, 2012
XBMC: Fit the Picture to Your TV with Overscan

One of the problems you may encounter when setting up your XBMC on your TV is that it doesn't fill the entire screen or portions of the picture are flowing off the screen. If that ends up being the case, there is an easy way to correct the problem either using the software for your video card or settings in XBMC.

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April 25th, 2012
XBMC: Share and Sync Media/Settings Between Multiple XBMC Installs

If you are using multiple instances of XBMC throughout your house one thing you'll definitely want to consider is setting up a shared MySQL database that can be used to retain data about the media you have. A good example of this is saving the status of where you left off in a video.

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April 24th, 2012
XBMC: IR Receiver and Remote (Harmony, Xbox 360, and More)

If you're trying to treat your XBMC install like a settop box there is no doubt that you'll want to get a remote control working with it. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases it's not as simple as just plugging in a USB IR receiver and using a remote that was made for the computer.

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April 23rd, 2012
WrapUp: Valve’s Employee Handbook Leaked, Using VirtualBox to Test New Chrome OS Builds, and More

Welcome to the WrapUp by CyberNet. This is a collection of news stories, downloads, and tips that we have collected over the last few days, but never got around to writing about.

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April 20th, 2012
XBMC: Prepare and Optimize Windows 7

Yesterday we covered the hardware I chose for building my HTPC, which I'm using solely for watching and streaming video content from sources that are online as well as on my local network. After I got the hardware all put together I started to dive into the software, and I made some notes that may help anyone else who is trying to optimize the performance of their XBMC computer.

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April 19th, 2012
XBMC: Build Your Own HTPC

I recently decided to make the jump from using Windows Media Center to XBMC as the primary way we watch media on our TVs. The nice thing with Windows Media Center is that you can use the Xbox 360 as an extender making it a no-brainer to access the content anywhere you have an Xbox in your house, but the lack of customizability was really starting to get to me.

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April 18th, 2012
XBMC: Introduction to Our Upcoming Guides

I have been a long and faithful Windows Media Center user for years. The big reason I always chose to go with Windows Media Center was that it provided a better experience than cable boxes for recording and watching television shows. I've always loved how easy Windows Media Center is to set up on one central PC, and then extend it to any room using an Xbox 360.

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April 17th, 2012
View Video Bitrate in VLC

If you're seeing choppy video playback on your computer it could be because you are watching a video whose quality is too high for the hardware you're using to view it. Because of how videos are normally encoded they use a variable bitrate as opposed to a constant bitrate.

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April 16th, 2012
WrapUp: New Chrome OS UI Coming, Easily Get iOS Screenshots to Your Mac, and More

Welcome to the WrapUp by CyberNet. This is a collection of news stories, downloads, and tips that we have collected over the last few days, but never got around to writing about.

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April 13th, 2012
Synkron: Cross-Platform File and Folder Syncing

We've covered an abundance of file/folder syncing apps over the years, and they all have their own strengths. Synkron is an open source synchronization utility that can really boast the fact that it is cross-platform. The screenshots may lead you to believe it is a basic backup utility, but deep down it is rather full-featured.

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April 12th, 2012
Tweak Hidden OS X Lion Settings

I remember back in the early days of Windows Microsoft had released the Tweak UI app that would let you customize a lot of settings that users typically couldn't change without digging into the registry.

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