If you’re using Sick Beard this is a good section to be familiar with. Sick Beard uses the Allow control of XBMC via HTTP options (so make sure this is enabled if you want Sick Beard to be able to update the library automatically).
Also I would suggest changing the 8080 - Port to 8082 or something similar that’s not being used on your system. Leaving the - Password blank will prevent you from needing to enter in either the – Password or – Username in Sick Beard (and is likely fine if you’re only allowing access to XBMC on your local network).
If your XBMC and Sick Beard are both on the same system the rest of these options can be ignored (unless you know you specifically need or want UPnP control or sharing). If you have XBMC on a separate system though, you will want to enable Allow programs on other system to control XBMC so that Sick Beard can automatically update XBMC’s library.
SMB client / Internet access
Unless you have some reason to change the WINS server, Workgroup, or Proxy that XBMC Media Center uses these can all be skipped.
With the rest of the sections covered, and only two remaining, we have at last come to the heart of XBMC. Fortunately, to start off the default should all be pretty spot on. Video calibration and Test patterns… can be used to dial in the picture and color quality if need be but otherwise we should be okay to move on.
This is where, if you’re using digital audio, you’ll likely have the most headaches with setting up XBMC Media Center.
Unfortunately with the nearly limitless hardware and AV setups that are available I’m not going to be able to help in most situations here. If you run into problems I strongly recommend searching on XBMC’s forums (as it is likely someone may have already found a solution to the problem you’re experiencing).
With that said, in my experience (for digital audio not analog!) setting Linux Mint’s Sound Preferences Hardware tab to Off and then setting Audio output device and Passthrough output device to iec958 (for optical and coaxial outputs) has provided the best results. This may be specific to my own hardware setup, or it may be applicable to most other non-HDMI digital setups.
So, for simplicity sakes lets split this up into three categories.
Analog audio users should just leave everything as is and adjust Speaker Configuration only if need be.
Digital audio users with coaxial or optical outputs that are connecting to a receiver should set Audio output to Optical/Coax, Speaker Configuration to 7.1 or less (depending on your speakers and how smart your receiver is), and keep both - Dolby Digital (AC3) capable receiver and - DTS capable receiver enabled (unless you have a really old receiver or are sending the signal to simpler device like an Astro Mixamp).
Audio output device should be changed to Custom and then “iec958” (or whatever your Passthrough output device defaults to) typed in. And, as you may have guessed, Passthrough output device should stay as iec958 (or whatever it defaulted to for your system!).
Last, but certainly not least, HDMI users should set Audio output to HDMI, Speaker Configuration to 7.1 or less (depending on your speakers and how smart your receiver is), and keep both - Dolby Digital (AC3) capable receiver and - DTS capable receiver enabled (unless you’re sending the signal to a TV or something that supports HDMI but not both Dolby and DTS).
Audio output device and Passthrough output device may both need to be set to hdmi, or the defaults may also be fine. I have not yet had the chance to test this setup so I will update this likely after the next version of Linux Mint is released with more details.
If you have a remote control that’s working with XBMC and your system you can enable if it sends keyboard presses here. You should also likely disable the Enable mouse option here to help streamline navigation in XBMC (so your mouse doesn’t steal focus) and to provide a learning aid and motivation to properly learn the stronger keyboard (or remote) navigation.
These options may or may not be applicable to your hardware setup. I tend to just leave them off and deal with power savings at the operating system level.
Debugging / Master lock
These can be skipped unless you’re having problems with XBMC and need to do a bug report or if you need to lock XBMC from the youngin’s.
If you’re still with me, we’re over the hump! Next up is the Skin setup and then we’ll move onto the Configuration section!