Monday, November 28, 2011

Covergence : Highly Customizable, Great looking Skin for XBMC

As some of you might know, I am a big fan of XBMC Media center : the software of choice for my HTPC (Home Theatre PC), and with good reason: It's attractive, powerful, and highly customizable (check my earlier post where I covered the basics of XBMC).

Yesterday I came across a great skin for XBMC called Convergence. Convergence is a mod of Confluence (the default skin of XBMC) that share the basic core of the Convergence design but mix it up with new features and focus, incorporating a good number of eye candy, tweaks, addons and scripts. Also, its highly customizable: you can easily change transparency, main menu buttons or default actions. Check out the screenshots:

For complete list of features, check this link

To install Convergence, follow these instructions :
1. Make sure XBMC Eden is installed. Eden is the latest version of XBMC, currently in test phase. Dont worry, its quite stable. If you don't have it, download it from here 

2.Click here and download the zip file and save it to a local drive that XBMC has access to.
3. Start XBMC and navigate to System –> Add-ons –> Install from zip file. Browse to the file location, click on the ZIP file and click OK. A small notification will pop up in the lower right corner to indicate a new repository was added.

 

4. Now go to System -> Add-ons -> Get Add-ons -> Mudisle Repo->skin. In that you’ll find an entry for the Convergence itself. Select it and you’ll get an installation box.

5. Click install and wait for the installation to complete. This will take a while.

6. Now go to System  -> Appearance -> Skin and select "Convergence"

When you install Convergence you don’t just get a pretty new skin, you get a set of 5 useful plugins too. Pretty neat.

Note that you can repeat the process for any downloaded skin. Remember that each new skin creates a new repository and you’ll need to use that repository to install the skin.

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