I am looking for suggestions on a new Mini HTPC or Booksized HTPC. Something similar in size/features to the Foxconn A3700
(which I own). Everything about it is perfect for me except it is a little sluggish in some of the HTPC applications. Here is what I mean:
I have a 60GB SSD, Win7 Ultimate, 4GB RAM, attached via a 1GB Ethernet connection to a media server in my house. I use Media Browser within WMC and Arcsoft TMT3/6 for bluray playback. I use Virtual clone drive to mount my Bluray ISOs files over the network to the a3700. For the most part, it works just fine although I do experience a few hiccups every now and again during playback of Bluray. One place it is very sluggish is Netflix. When I try to watch Netflix within WMC, it stutters all the time. The only way I can watch Netflix is through the browser, outside of WMC...something I rather not do. I also have a USB TV Tuner card which works fine but occasionally when I am watching an HD channel, it will get all jaggy as if the machine can't keep up with the rendering. This could be the TV tuner but I suspect it is the combination of the two.
The other thing that I do not know (because I haven't tried it yet) is if this little machine can bitstream. I currently have it connected to my bedroom TV with the audio coming direction out of the TV...no AVR or anything decoding the audio.
So I am looking for a new build that has the same (if not smaller) form factor with a bit more "oomph" (it will be mounted behind a wall mounted TV). I also want to make sure that it is at least HDMI 1.4 capable (3D/bitstream/etc). I think I spent around $250 for the A3700 (memory/SSD included) so I would like to be around that range.
Are any of you successfully running one of these mini HTPCs with your AVR decoding the audio? Let me know what you think. Thanks!