Much of XBMC’s setup is dependent upon your specific hardware and audio-video setup I will only be able to offer general recommendations in many cases. Fortunately, the defaults should work for most systems!
Some of the Setup options will also be entirely personal preference. So, if you prefer things a different way please feel free to adjust it once you’re comfortable and understand what the options do (or before if you like experimenting and don’t mind the risk of messing something up!).
Note: If you have a receiver and an HDTV getting digital audio out can be a trick depending on your hardware. As such, if you’re building a new computer to be used with XBMC I suggest researching your choice of audio/video card BEFORE buying something that might cause you headaches for years to come.
The good news is with each release of Linux Mint, Ubuntu, NVIDIA’s drivers, ALSA and other key components hardware support becomes better and better and there are already some very good supported options available depending on your needs!
So, lets begin. Navigate to SETTINGS from XBMC’s Home window and then select Appearance.
Under the Skin tab of Appearance you should see Simplicity selected as well as several options underneath it. One that we will want to change here is the Show RSS news feeds.
Disabling this will allow us to use the TV Alerts from Simplicity and by default the RSS feed doesn’t really show anything relevant to most users (the same information can also be seen by simply going to XBMC.org).
Another option that may be beneficial to disable (if you’re planning to use digital audio anyway) is Navigation sounds. If you’re using coaxial or optical outs (and maybe HDMI) disabling this can help prevent media sounds and navigation sounds from conflicting.
Now under the International tab this should just be the same as your system’s information. So we’ll move on.
Under File lists we have settings that are more relevant if, for some reason, you choose not to use Library mode in XBMC. Library mode is one of THE features to use XBMC for so I strongly recommend using it (we’ll cover this more in Configuration). As such, once again we can move on from this section without making any changes.
Under Screensaver we have some nice options to change. For screensaver time pick whatever you prefer here. I’d recommend the default or less.
This is not to save your screen (which likely doesn’t need it) but to showcase the Screensaver mode Slideshow (and another reason to use Library mode). Once this is selected I recommend leaving both the Use visualization if playing audio and the Use dim if paused during playback options enabled.
Once you’re satisfied with your selections here hit Escape and migrate to the Videos settings which we’ll cover on the next page.