Old Laptop Media Center - XBMC




Introduction: Old Laptop Media Center - XBMC

About: Student Energy Technology

Everyone has lots of movies, series, pictures and music. With XBMC we can collect all this data and play it on your flatscreen TV.

I will show you the basics for make an easy media center. After that I will give you some options that you can do after you setup the basic media center.

Things you will need for the basic media center:
-Old laptop/PC
-The opensource software "XBMC"
-HDMI Cable or VGA Cable (take HDMI)
-Remote and receiver for computers
-TV with VGA OR HDMI connection

Step 1: Step 1: Old Laptop/PC

Laptop specifications:
- I think that 2 GB's of RAM is enough
- A dual-core CPU OR pentium will be sufficient.

At first I will reinstall my OS. I took windows 7 (has no reason why I took WIN 7)
I did this step because my laptop was very slow. You can skip this step if you want.

Step 2: Step 2: Installation of XBMC

About XBMC:
XBMC is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub that can be installed on Linux, OSX, Windows, iOS, and Android, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.

You can download it here: http://xbmc.org/download/ 

What I also did was putting an execute of XBMC in the boot process. So when my laptop starts up XBMC will start up fullscreen so it looks like a real media center.


-Click the Start button , click All Programs, right-click the Startup folder, and then click Open.

-Open the location that contains the item to which you want to create a shortcut.

-Right-click the item, and then click Create Shortcut. The new shortcut appears in the same location as the original item.

-Drag the shortcut into the Startup folder.

In step 3 I will show you how can set your subtitles, add a cool skin and add data to XBMC.

Step 3: Step 3: Set Subtitles XBMC

You can add subtitles to your movies en series (XBMC search them up for your) 9 out of 10 they are synchrony with the movie.

Go to System --> add-ons --> get all add-ons --> subtitles --> download xbmc subtitles

when it's downloaded you can configure the settings of this add-on and select the language of the subtitles.

Once you did this steps we can go off to your movies.

Go back to the home menu off XBMC.

Take "video's" and add the source (directory) .

Once you added your source you can start a movie. 

to add subtitles take a look at the picture on the top.

Step 4: Step 4: Remote Controller

In this step you need to setup your rf receiver and remote. Install the drivers and it should be working. I can't say a lot about this because the most people haven't the same remote. I'm using the X10 technology.

After the remote is working with windows you need to enable the remote in XBMC.

-Start XBMC and go to system --> settings.

-in settings you take --> input devices.

--> enable remote control.

Now it should be working.

Step 5: Step 5: Connect With TV

The last step is to connect the TV with your laptop. You just need to connect the HDMI and select the right source on your TV (in my case HDMI 2).

Can't explain much about this step.

If you have any question you can always contact me here.

Have fun!

Weekend Projects Contest

Participated in the
Weekend Projects Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge

      Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge
    • Super-Size Speed Challenge

      Super-Size Speed Challenge
    • Audio Challenge 2020

      Audio Challenge 2020

    4 Discussions


    5 years ago

    My laptop doesn't have a hdmi port.
    how do i connect my laptop to the flat screen TV. The monitor port is pretty unstable and the laptop's speakers isnt that great.
    Connecting the laptop with a different speaker will make a mess of wires which i would avoid.


    6 years ago

    Might I suggest ubuntu after installing it into Ubuntu you can boot directly to xbmc no need for any other app or program to run and get this it requires less to run and boots faster


    6 years ago

    Just to expand for anyone who doesn't know the dedicated xbmc operating system is called 'XBMCbuntu'


    6 years ago on Step 4

    or better yet, install the xbmc app on your smartphone/tablet and control xbmc over your home wifi network