Where did the great HTPC cases go? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 57 Old 06-27-2014, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Unhappy Where did the great HTPC cases go?

I really like the look of some of the older htpc cases, they were expensive but now you can't really find them, at least not easily.

I'm looking at cases like the Antec fusion remote series:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2637

Or even the Moneual 300 series:

http://www.quietpc.com/mon-312-320

All we seem to be left with is the Antec ISK310:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129081

Or perhaps the ISK600, nice looking but too tall for my cabinet:

http://www.antec.com/product.php?id=...5022033&lan=nz

Silverstone has some offerings but just doesn't have the same lines as Moneual, and as soon as you put in a regular looking dvd drive it instantly looks like a desktop pc.

So what happened to these older series, was the market too small, will they ever be back in the mainstream on newegg?

Will we see the return of the built in VFD with a remote and IR receiver built in?

Any thoughts would be great, especially anyone in the industry.
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Last edited by andrewps21; 06-27-2014 at 10:53 AM. Reason: adding images
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post #2 of 57 Old 06-27-2014, 10:45 AM
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I'm with you - I like the audio receiver sized cases too. I've seen a few DVD player sized cases I like as well. But I think the trend is towards smaller Wii sized boxes like the NUC. Things that cater to onboard graphics, external power supply bricks, ssd, and no optical drives. Kind of a bummer if you like lots of functionality in your htpc.


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post #3 of 57 Old 06-27-2014, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewps21 View Post
Will we see the return of the built in VFD with a remote and IR receiver built in?
I sure hope not.
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post #4 of 57 Old 06-27-2014, 01:46 PM
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I sure hope not.
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post #5 of 57 Old 06-27-2014, 01:47 PM
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/ silvertone thread.

They make a newer version that's pretty nice.

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post #6 of 57 Old 06-27-2014, 03:28 PM
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I love my Moneual Moncaso 320B

It certainly wasn't ideal in terms of the layout inside (cooling is iffy) but I think it is the best looking case out there, bar none. (after they shipped my an ODD cover with the Bluray logo instead of the DVD logo and a blue filter to replace the orange one behind the volume knob)

I've always thought the that the Silverstone and Antec cases that were popular looked like computer cases that were made to look like A/V equipment... the Monuel just looks like A/V equipment. It happens to have identical dimensions to my Marantz receiver.

The IR receiver and VFD are of the iMon variety, which isn't that desirable, but once I found I could ditch the iMon software and use LCDWriter I've been very pleased with it. iMon doesn't allow triple-tap via remote, but LCDwriter does. And I also have the LCD just set to display the current time, just like the cable box the HTPC replaced, so it does serve a purpose, even if a very simple one.

It's a shame they aren't making it anymore. I have a feeling that regardless of the internals, I'll be using that case for years to come.

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post #7 of 57 Old 06-27-2014, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I found some other interesting ones from origenae h6



and zalman Hd135



But again they're all discontinued.

Although this PC-C37B could work but I don't think it will fit a nice graphics card:


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post #8 of 57 Old 06-27-2014, 05:08 PM
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I have the GD08. Looks a lot better than the iNuke next door in the cabinet. Can't see what purpose a display would serve, nor the need for built-in IR with the wealth of other means available.

It has a plate that covers the stock facing for the BD drive.



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Originally Posted by andrewps21 View Post

Silverstone has some offerings but just doesn't have the same lines as Moneual, and as soon as you put in a regular looking dvd drive it instantly looks like a desktop pc.


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post #9 of 57 Old 06-27-2014, 05:39 PM
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Silverstone makes legit cases that look the most like AVRs. I have the GD04, it's nice but I'm upgrading my graphic card which doesn't fit in the GD04. The new GD09 is nice but I'm holding out for the GD10.
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post #10 of 57 Old 06-27-2014, 07:14 PM
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CPU cooler space in GD09/GD10 is severely limited (60mm), even worse than GD04/GD05/GD06 (70mm); Silverstone NT01-PRO is perhaps the only choice for a processor of higher power consumption. These cases are mainly intended for (but not limited to, of course) a gaming HTPC (as Silverstone says) with a full ATX motherboard and huge expansion cards, sacrificing even storage spaces, but opting for a full-size ODD. A little bit strange design decision, imo.

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post #11 of 57 Old 06-27-2014, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been looking at the silverstone more the milo ml07 is growing on me, sounds like it can support a nice cpu cooler (83mm) and the gpu runs parallel to the mobo



http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=503
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post #12 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 12:41 AM
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I don't know recent development`in HTPC cases, it might have faded now. What I see here is not inspiring: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...E&PageSize=100

But, you probably can find some old cases in stock. I still think my old Moneual case from year 2008 looks classy: Horrible LCD in Moneual MonCaso 832 case



Only two problems, minor one - it's silver and it's hard to find good silver receiver in US (there were some silver European Onkyo models last time I looked). There were black Moneual case models, of course.

But the main problem is display. I think HTPC has to have a small display to show remaining time of the video, at least. I don't think HTPC should be like a black box. Even cheapest DVD players have a display.

I replaced that horrible Moneual LCD display with VFD, for aesthetic reasons, but for me VFD text is too small to read from 8 foot distance.

Now that Soundgraph seems to be out of business of HTPC LCDs, I bought Matrix Orbital GX Typhoon LCD for $100. It allows to print text big, visible from 8-10 feet. The problem is software - LCDStudio hasn't been updated for years. But, it still seems to work with Windows 8.1 x64 Media Center, although it's limited. It may also support Windows Media player and WinAmp but seting it up for multiple programs would be difficult.

I have almost set it up, and then the display died. I suspect USB-to-motherboard cable that they sent me. Not sure, I just got RMA number and will be replacing it. Will update the story some day - I will be shipping it to Canada, which probably will take long time.

What other HTPC case with reasonably large LCD display would you buy?
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post #13 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post
CPU cooler space in GD09/GD10 is severely limited (60mm), even worse than GD04/GD05/GD06 (70mm); Silverstone NT01-PRO is perhaps the only choice for a processor of higher power consumption. These cases are mainly intended for (but not limited to, of course) a gaming HTPC (as Silverstone says) with a full ATX motherboard and huge expansion cards, sacrificing even storage spaces, but opting for a full-size ODD. A little bit strange design decision, imo.
I think you got the wrong GD09/GD10, from the Silverstone website the GD09 specs says 138mm.
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post #14 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 01:39 PM
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If you don't mind a bit of modding, you can replace the dvd drive bezel with that of the 5.25 case cover.


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post #15 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 02:26 PM
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I picked up a black GD01MX on craigs list for $35 a few weeks ago. Perfect condition, except lcd seems to be bad (so dark seems like no backlight). Barely got the cover on with the heatsink on my silent GT640 and did have to get a slightly smaller HSF for my Intel Q9450, but it sure looks great in my AV rack/shelf!


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post #16 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 05:52 PM
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I'm going to move my ITX build into one of these guys:

Corsair 250D





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post #17 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 06:04 PM
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GD08 is pretty much the perfect case for most builds IMO. plenty of space for coolers and drives and graphics cards.. easy to build in.. sufficient cooling ... good price... good availability... and it looks great.

The only small issue is just choose the right optical drive so it fits right and opens and closes well with the flap doors..

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post #18 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 06:06 PM
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Or for 10x the money, there is this case:

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post #19 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 06:11 PM
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Also no mention of this:

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post #20 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
GD08 is pretty much the perfect case for most builds IMO. plenty of space for coolers and drives and graphics cards.. easy to build in.. sufficient cooling ... good price... good availability... and it looks great.

The only small issue is just choose the right optical drive so it fits right and opens and closes well with the flap doors..

I'm runnin' this case - LOVE it!!


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post #21 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
GD08 is pretty much the perfect case for most builds IMO. plenty of space for coolers and drives and graphics cards.. easy to build in.. sufficient cooling ... good price... good availability... and it looks great.

The only small issue is just choose the right optical drive so it fits right and opens and closes well with the flap doors..
Really? I think it looks... not very great would be kind. It's a black monolith, with exposed ports, and weird optical bays. The only thing at all it has going for it is the A/V-style feet in the front. (and those look like an afterthought)

Sorry, just not my cup of tea if I'm looking for a case to go somewhere I'll see it. The front looks awful to me. Aside from that, I do think it looks like a well engineered case.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #22 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
Or for 10x the money, there is this case:

Kinda looks like an OrigenAE S21T case with a different facia............


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post #23 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
Also no mention of this:

I have this case. It looks great in the cabinet and it's super easy to work with inside. I like the noise asborbing material in the lid, and the flip down door that hides the DVD slot and USB ports. Overall unbeatable for the cost IMO.

Looky here!
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post #24 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toys7505 View Post
Kinda looks like an OrigenAE S21T case with a different facia............


Toys
Same manufacturer, with a vastly superior interior design IMO. Swiftech makes custom res/radiator for that case. It can pack a TON of hardware in there for a liquid cooled gaming htpc.
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post #25 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix View Post
I have this case. It looks great in the cabinet and it's super easy to work with inside. I like the noise asborbing material in the lid, and the flip down door that hides the DVD slot and USB ports. Overall unbeatable for the cost IMO.
I did a build for a friend in one. It was a joy to work in. The front panel looks so much better than the Silverstones. Corsair and Fractal take the cake for ease of build IMO.
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post #26 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
GD08 is pretty much the perfect case for most builds IMO. plenty of space for coolers and drives and graphics cards.. easy to build in.. sufficient cooling ... good price... good availability... and it looks great.

The only small issue is just choose the right optical drive so it fits right and opens and closes well with the flap doors..
IMO the two Optical Bays and the open USB ports make it look average at best. For that price Silverstone could have done a lot more with the design.

Looky here!
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post #27 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 06:56 PM
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I guess I am not that picky on looks. My side has been off my desktop for almost a year. My server is a norco chassis. I am more go... less show. I don't stare at the case. Infact I don't even see it. Any solution I employed I would not see the HTPC. That is what component racks are for. They go outside the room or in sound proofed closets. For the money the GD08 is my favorite case- it does most of the important things reasonably well.

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post #28 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
I guess I am not that picky on looks. My side has been off my desktop for almost a year. My server is a norco chassis. I am more go... less show. I don't stare at the case. Infact I don't even see it. Any solution I employed I would not see the HTPC. That is what component racks are for. They go outside the room or in sound proofed closets. For the money the GD08 is my favorite case- it does most of the important things reasonably well.
I simply have a price threshold where I expect a manufacturer, especially one with a good reputation like silverstone, to put more than what I consider amateur hour effort into design. $145.00 for a PC case is definitey over that threshold. Regardless, while you may not really care what something stuffed into a closet looks like, I think the gist of this thread is the search for HTPC cases that are aesthetically pleasing because they are out in the open where people will see them.

Looky here!
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post #29 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 07:15 PM
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for me its not solely about looks (though something roughly 2'x1' is preferable).


I cant for the life of me figure out why Silverstone, Lian Li, and Fractal Design aren't adding small ir receivers. So many new motherboards support that. Id like that so much more than an ugly usb receiver. it would cost next to nothing to and would add functionality.


If youre hiding it why use a $100+ living room style case at all? Why not a basic tower that can fit all your hard drives?


I want my HTPC to serve as the center of my system and it needs to replace as many things as possible. cablecard/atsc/and fm tuners, bluray/hd-dvd/dvd/cd, and a capture card. that's not going to fit in an itx case.


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post #30 of 57 Old 06-28-2014, 07:48 PM
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I re-used an old Dell mini-tower PC case. It holds a pair of dual tuner OTA cards & a standard ODD. I stuck it in the corner behind an end table so it's hidden from site & therefore looks were not that important. And it was free.
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