Hi all from Australia,
I am kind of new to this HTPC thing. I did have some research in the internet, but still bit unclear/confused on things, hence I refer them to the experts here.
Currently I am using Plex Media Server in my Windows 7 x64 desktop (in my bedroom) to stream my media/movies to my Samsung TV/Blueray device (using Plex Samsung TV/BlueRay client) in the living room via wired LAN.
It's been working OK, but definitely have some limitations, e.g. unsupported formats, no HD audio, no FF/RW functions on some formats, slow navigations, etc.
I came across XBMC, which supposedly better than Plex, but no Samsung client.
Hence, I am thinking of buying a dedicated HTPC for this, which will be directly connected to my TV via HDMI.
Intel NUC (DC3217IYE) looks to be a good candidate as from what I've read, it can do 1080p with HD audio, high bitrate and all that.
If I buy an HTPC, I plan to install OpenElec OS in it and probably get Flirc for the remote control.
The main problem with NUC solution is quite pricey because I need to buy mSATA, the RAM and even the power cable isn't included!
Since I am planning to only use OpenElec, which only 100MB installation, 30GB mSATA (the lowest GB capacity at the moment), will seem to be 'wasted' and not cost efficient at all. It will cost me around $400.
By the way, I plan to use the NUC with OpenElec to get the media/movies from my desktop PC in my bedroom (running Win 7) via local network.
Can OpenElec do this, i.e. grab media from network drive?
I did have a read about the possibility of booting OpenElec via USB thumb stick and/or SD card, but it seems that some people experiencing some slowness after a while due to increasing number of fanart pictures, etc.
A system that run smoothly and can play everything are the most important aspects that I am looking for in a HTPC system.
What options do I have here? Please help me with suggestions/recommendations/any other possibilities. Sorry if it's bit long to read, but I hope it does convey what I try to achieve..