I have been looking at various streaming appliances (AppleTV, Roku, Boxee, WD TV Live, etc.). It seems like no one device has a good browser and access to different services (Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, Vudu, etc.) and reliable interface/operation.
Having used BluRay players will built-in apps, those are somewhat slow booting and getting apps going.
Other than cost, is there a reason to not attach a small, quiet, instant-on PC to a TV via HDMI for browsing and streaming? I’m not planning to store video files or much else on this PC, so don’t need much storage capacity other than for streaming.
Can anyone recommend such a PC that is pre-built?
Is just going to a browser and to the individual web sites a faster and more reliable way to access things than via apps on other streaming devices?
Is a PC with SSD, no fan, and fast OS available?
Also, I know this may be sacrilegious on this site, but my priority would be something that just works without a bunch of tinkering. I have done and enjoyed many hours of tinkering over the years - just want something that works relatively well out of the box this time.
Anybody have experience with the Lenovo Q180, or the new Lenovo Q190?
How about the Acer Revo RL100?
With a HTPC your always going to be tinkering, while a HTPC is certainly the most compatible option for online media it is not the most convenient.
The box with the least amount of messing about is an Apple Mac Mini if you don't mind using OSX (you can install Windows too), plus it is high performance and quiet (a tricky balance to pull off). As to a regular PC I've no idea how quiet the Lenovo Q190 is but it should be fine also, but the Mac Mini is faster with a better CPU.
Thank you for suggestions above. Will check out both.
I'm using a 6 year old HP Slimline small form factor pc that I bought for $300 at the time. It is 99% silent from the couch. I have an SSD for the OS and I replaced the cpu fan with a slow running Nuctua. It plays everything and runs 24/7. You really don't need a lot for htpc use.
Yeah they aren't cheap at all, but for if you want a small PC they tend to get expensive.