Looking to build a perfect "Streamer" HTPC / Boxee Box / Xbox 1 XBMC replacement. Cost is not primary concern but functionality and cosmetic feel is. Would like to use standardized components. Ability to run Windows, Linux (variants), and potentially OSX
if desired. All media would be streamed and local playback. Blu-ray capabilities would likely be supplemented with external USB BD Drive. The idea is to have a strong streamer box that "fits right in" in a home theater environment (both in power and preferably "ease of use").
Costs a bit more than Boxee Box but ideally should last longer than 2 years (software agnostic) and hardware should likely be able to handle next 5-7 years of media. Options like Boxee Box and Roku still handle the "raw" playback of media well but the UI is getting sluggish, software support is starting to die out (on purpose or simply upgrading the hardware and only supporting newer versions). Options like Raspberry Pi are cheaper but the hardware is getting pushed to the limits today.
= Desired features
-- Able to ON from Powered off state (Requires: CIR header - activated via proper remote control)
-- HDMI CEC support (Requires: HTPC Header on mobo - activated via Pulse Eight's Internal CEC adapter)
-- Able to stream a full fatass uncompressed 50GB 1-1 blu ray (Requires: Decent CPU/GPU. Preference to Intel HD4000 GPU or better)
-- HDMI out, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 (Requires: newer mobo)Cosmetic:
-- Smallest functional form factor we can get without getting into completely custom/proprietary - (Requires: Mini-ITX, and likely a PicoPSU or similar)
-- Able to fit full size SSD / full size RAM / standard desktop CPU for sake of price and "standardized" feel (Requires: A small thin case, something similar to Apple Mac Mini)
-- Prefer to have the "horsepower" to be "buttery smooth"
-- Fairly quiet - will attempt using stock CPU cooler
= The Hardware
= PC Part Picker URL: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/BJsB
=========================================Chassis: Realan E-i3 mini-ITX HTPC case w/ 120watt PSU
(At $115 about $20-$30 more than Minibox M350 + 150watt psu)
>> CPU fan/Heatsink: Gelid Solutions CC-SSilence-iplus 25.8 CFM Ball Bearing CPU Cooler
(add to prices about $30 but running stock cooler is kinda asking for it in this small form factor and essentially required with the thin cases)Motherboard: Intel BOXDH77DF Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard
(Has CIR header and HTPC Header)CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz Dual-CoreRAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB Low Profile (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
(Dual channel as GPU relies on the memory here)SSD: Intel 520 Series 60GB
(Any SSD would do here, preference to Intel/Samsung for reliability) - Link
for list of currently cheapest Intel/Samsung SSDs SATA 6gb/s sorted by pricedHDMI-CEC: Pulse Eight - Internal HDMI-CEC AdapterIntel CIR Module: CIR Receiver w/Cable and Mounting Bracket for Intel Motherboards + 4 in 1 Backlit RemoteRemote Control: URC R40 Remote Control
(At $150 - About $70 more than Logitech Harmony 650 but makes more sense as 650 holds 5 devices this can handle bit more and seems much more independent from everything else.
Approx. Total Cost: ~ $750 = $600 (HTPC) + $150 for the Remote (budgeting around $500-$700)
EDIT: Things to note:
1. Apparently the Pulse Eight Internal CEC adapter supports power on from S5 (cold boot). In theory you could get away with either the CEC or CIR module (the CIR module provides you a IR receiver in any case).
--Decided to not build this for the time being, running a long hdmi cable to the TV from a old computer - dont feel strongly enough about TV to purchase this over a mountain bike or something like that and old computer had enough juice. Did order the URC-R40 remote though. For $600 I maintain this would like be the most ideal HTPC streamer build of 2013 until Intel's new platform comes out.