HTPC newbie seeking advice - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-26-2012, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello AVS!

After doing a little researching/shopping I heard from an expert source (the internet of course!) that AVS is the place to be to learn about building your home theater PC.

I'm from a background where I'm using to looking for the big'rigs for gaming so this has been a bit of a frustrating foray into the world of the cheap and small. Any help will be appreciated!

I somewhat fell in love with the Asus Ebox PC's:

http://www.asus.com/Eee/EeeBox_PC/EeeBox_PC_EB1033/#specifications



I like the form factor and the idea of finding a case like this that I could VESA to the back of a monitor... I want my first HTPC to be as small as humanly possible. So here's my goals:

Requirements
1) mini-itx (not micro-atx) - I'm thinking book size / size of an external WD "my book" hard drive-ish.
2) front side usb 3
3) minimum 1 x 2.5 hdd bay

Not needed:

I don't need a CD / DVD bay

Wish list:

1) VESA mountable - not required but I can dream can't I?
2) stylish

This is all to access network accessible media and XBMC. I have MKV, avi, OGG, and mp4 files at 1080p I'd like to play. Moreover I want this to be a box that I can use to be connected to a VPN at all times so that I can get american content (Canadian right here) via streaming, and torrent anonymously.

I can build it myself or I am OKAY with going with a prebuilt. I fell in love with that ASUS but honestly the chipset and CPU on it are somewhat outdated. I figure I can build my own with more recent hardware for the same if not less money.

Where I got stuck:

I just spent several hours going around the 'nets looking for a bloody case that fits my requirements... all of them have either no usb front or they are usb 2.0. WTF smile.gif

Anyone know of a good case to fit my needs?
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-26-2012, 12:58 PM
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Welcome to the forum. You may find a lot of info in the main part of this Sub-Forum. This section 'Computers and Parts Great Found Deals!' is usually where people post bargains they have found. Perhaps you can ask a mod to move your thread. Meanwhile, plenty of good reading here and below.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-26-2012, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Ooops my mistake Sorry! smile.gif
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-26-2012, 01:57 PM
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If you're planning on mounting it behind the TV why does the USB3 need to be on the front?
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-26-2012, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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The answer lies in this tidbit:

I may or may not mount it to a TV, or something else. Once I've got my HTPC up and going then I can replicate the process and build them for family/friends. It's easier to do if you somewhat standardize it. So call this first HTPC the one for me, but also the beta test for expansion... But ultimately I need the option of doing it, because if I build one for someone they might want to.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-26-2012, 06:35 PM
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Good day. I recently built my first HTPC and here are a few things I would like to add.

Storage- you will not be able to add much storage in such a small build. And while you would like to hide it at the back of the TV, you would either have to place the external hard drive at the back of the tv as well or have the hard drive exposed with the connecting wire for all to see.

Secondly- Do you plan to have your HTPC replace your cable companies DVR? If your answer is yes, then you would again have to think about where you would place to pci card or the usb connecting box. If your answer is no, then this is a mute point.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-27-2012, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello Stamina,

I do not intend to have any storage locally within the device. I have a desktop computer with all my media on it organized that I will use as a storage server. Any files to be downloaded/saved/stored/recorded will be sent to this server.

I am also doing this project with the intent of cutting my TV bill out. I do not watch enough TV to really have it worthwhile, but I always have some form of media on (whether it's netflix or something I downloaded, or sometimes the TV). This project is to replace the cable TV and the monthly bill that comes along with it.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-27-2012, 12:49 PM
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How about the Intel NUC. It's about as small as they come.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856102002

Just add, RAM and SSD.

More info here.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1428929/intel-next-unit-of-computing-nuc-discussion-thread
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-27-2012, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I got a techie boner reading about this and I thank you for that lol! but I lost that boner when I read usb 2.0... Can I compromise on this... I'm not sure... But you've given me something to think about!
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