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Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide - Page 68

post #2011 of 15901
Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

what's the best place to get a Windows 7 Home or Premium key? I bought an extra one for my Ultimate disc online for around $40 a year ago but that site is gone now.

Pretty much 100% of the keys you buy are not legit. Well they are legit keys but they are from a tech net subscription and could get blacklisted at anytime.
post #2012 of 15901
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post


I would NOT do this. Overloading your CPU header can be catastrophic.

Would something like this work for your situation?
Rosewill 12" PWM Splitter Model RCW-FPS-401
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...pk=RCW-FPS-401

I believe thats what I have now (it came with the case) but my problem is just that they're too loud b/c they're on full blast all the time.
post #2013 of 15901
ah, ok. well, I've been using mine for a year now so I'm not really worried - but I guess I'll have to buy actual discs. Apple has it right with the $29 price. Windows is ridiculously overpriced.
post #2014 of 15901
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryinnv View Post

I believe thats what I have now (it came with the case) but my problem is just that they're too loud b/c they're on full blast all the time.

Try to disconnect 1 or 2 and monitor your temps. You might not need all of them. If you stay in the low 50s (C) you are fine.

Also in my FAQ is a way to change the speed of fans based on what rail they are connected to.

These aren't the PCs of even a few years ago. They run cool and use very little power.
post #2015 of 15901
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

Apple has it right with the $29 price. Windows is ridiculously overpriced.

Well Apple PCs are WAY ridiculously overpriced. So I guess its a wash.
post #2016 of 15901
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Well Apple PCs are WAY ridiculously overpriced. So I guess its a wash.

I guess it depends what you use them for. I love my macbook pro and for my video/audio processing on the go it's been perfect. It also holds its resale value very well.
post #2017 of 15901
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post
Personally I don't like the swivel.
What about something like this?
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/15m-r...gen-free-1080p
Good point, those swivel's do look a bit flimsy & the one you point out looks like the next best. Nice one.
post #2018 of 15901
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin

Try to disconnect 1 or 2 and monitor your temps. You might not need all of them. If you stay in the low 50s (C) you are fine.

Also in my FAQ is a way to change the speed of fans based on what rail they are connected to.

These aren't the PCs of even a few years ago. They run cool and use very little power.
Yeah I read the FAQ thanks, very clear explanations. I just wanted to maintain the maximum cooling capability if possible. My system temps seem fine but it's the ceton cable tuner that concerns me. The manufacturer mentioned 90% of the problems with this card result of overheating and I have no way of monitoring it's actual temperature so I definitely want to error on the side of caution with this.

Going back to that cable, doesn't it take the power from the psu connector and only uses the CPU header for rpm & pwm feedback?
post #2019 of 15901
So I've pretty much got my build together now & almost ready to pull the trigger on my order... Big thanks to Assassin - Will Paypal you something as you've saved me £££ on some of the choices !

Case - Lian Li PC-C33B £140.80
CPU - i3 2100 SandyBridge £93.76
Mobo - Gigabyte GA-H67A-UD3H-B3 Intel H67 Express Socket 1155 £111.20
PSU - Seasonic S12II-380 380W £55.02
SSD - Crucial 64GB RealSSD C300 SSD £86.46
HDD - 2TB WD20EARS C.Green, SATA 3Gb/s 5400rpm 64MB Cache £61.06
RAM - Corsair Memory XMS3 4GB DDR3 1333 Mhz CAS 8 Dual Channel £44.56
Wireless - Edimax EW-7722In 300Mbps Wireless 11n PCI Adapter £20.33
Blue Ray - LG Blu-Ray Writer, BH10LS30.AUAU, SATA, OEM £69.56
HDMI Cable - HDMI15-RS £7.07
[CPU Cooler & keyboard/mouse/tablet/remote controller - T.B.Decided]

I'll be connecting the HTPC to my Panny P50V20, and ideally to my analogue amplifier & two stereo floor-stander speakers (I don't have a surround system or av recevier yet).

Can anyone explain how I will actually connect into my analogue amplifier though? Looking at the pictures of the sockets on the MOBO, there doesn't seem to the usual red/white stereo outputs ?
I'm guessing the MOBO only outputs a digital signal via the HDMI for both picture & sound directly into the TV...
Checked the back of the TV & it has a red/white stereo out... So I reckon I just connect that output into the amp & hey presto it should work.....
Right ???
post #2020 of 15901
ok here we go.....

i've been playing with the idea of creating a little master piece for myself for a while, only problem is i'm probably nuts and not in the loop as much as i used to be so its getting pretty heavy going and im at the point where i need some serious help...
from reading this post and others your an expert on the parts im using.

project is to try and fit all this into antec mini skeleton which will be modified as much as needs be:

asus E350m1-i or similar mobo

3x 2.5" hdd
1x 2.5" ssd

8Gb ram ddr3 1600 with xigmatek dragoon n422 ram cooler.
you said this sort of setup never needs more than 4Gb but how about 4Gb to be used as ramdrive, maybe?

Sony BD-Combo Slim SATA Slot Load optical drive

2x graphics cards in sli on a multiple active flexible pci riser setup with thermalright spitfire or similar heatsinks mounted so that each heatsink will sit on the outside of either side of the case. ( i know absolutely crazy )
i just love the way it would look

shuttle silent 300w psu
i have no idea right now how much power a set up like this might need
all i know is the psu needs to be fanless and ultra small to fit within my dream


im a keen amateur photographer so 1000s of hi def pics and do lots of work on photoshop, have a large music and video collection
also small bit of gaming would be nice
plus the usual email/surfing/streaming...

is it complete overkill? will it even work?
all help and ideas welcome

thanks in advance
post #2021 of 15901
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryinnv View Post
Yeah I read the FAQ thanks, very clear explanations. I just wanted to maintain the maximum cooling capability if possible. My system temps seem fine but it's the ceton cable tuner that concerns me. The manufacturer mentioned 90% of the problems with this card result of overheating and I have no way of monitoring it's actual temperature so I definitely want to error on the side of caution with this.

Going back to that cable, doesn't it take the power from the psu connector and only uses the CPU header for rpm & pwm feedback?
The EngadgetHD review of the Infinitv 4 (I presume that is the card you have) indications that you can monitor the temperature from the diagnostics in the web app. You may wish to take and look and see if you can dig it up.
post #2022 of 15901
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostwarrior View Post
ok here we go.....

i've been playing with the idea of creating a little master piece for myself for a while, only problem is i'm probably nuts and not in the loop as much as i used to be so its getting pretty heavy going and im at the point where i need some serious help...
from reading this post and others your an expert on the parts im using.

project is to try and fit all this into antec mini skeleton which will be modified as much as needs be:

asus E350m1-i or similar mobo

3x 2.5" hdd
1x 2.5" ssd

8Gb ram ddr3 1600 with xigmatek dragoon n422 ram cooler.
you said this sort of setup never needs more than 4Gb but how about 4Gb to be used as ramdrive, maybe?

Sony BD-Combo Slim SATA Slot Load optical drive

2x graphics cards in sli on a multiple active flexible pci riser setup with thermalright spitfire or similar heatsinks mounted so that each heatsink will sit on the outside of either side of the case. ( i know absolutely crazy )
i just love the way it would look

shuttle silent 300w psu
i have no idea right now how much power a set up like this might need
all i know is the psu needs to be fanless and ultra small to fit within my dream


im a keen amateur photographer so 1000s of hi def pics and do lots of work on photoshop, have a large music and video collection
also small bit of gaming would be nice
plus the usual email/surfing/streaming...

is it complete overkill? will it even work?
all help and ideas welcome

thanks in advance
I don't think it's overkill, but instead a confused set of hardware.
running an SLI/Crossfire set up on a Zacate doesn't make a lot of sense. I'm not even sure how you plan on accomplishing this as these boards only have 1 16x slot (which doesn't even run at 16x electrically), and after a quick Googling the only "multiple active pci card" I could find was for a VIA board, and in any case I am doubtful it would have the performance to run two video cards. If you want to edit images, I would be looking towards the i3 or even i5. With regards to the RAM, in the case of image manipulation, 8 GB makes a lot of sense.

Is this supposed to be a workstation, HTPC, or both?
post #2023 of 15901
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostwarrior View Post
2x graphics cards in sli on a multiple active flexible pci riser setup with thermalright spitfire or similar heatsinks mounted so that each heatsink will sit on the outside of either side of the case. ( i know absolutely crazy )
i just love the way it would look
Did you happen to catch the name of this thread?
post #2024 of 15901
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayBarratt View Post
So I've pretty much got my build together now & almost ready to pull the trigger on my order... Big thanks to Assassin - Will Paypal you something as you've saved me £££ on some of the choices !

Case - Lian Li PC-C33B £140.80
CPU - i3 2100 SandyBridge £93.76
Mobo - Gigabyte GA-H67A-UD3H-B3 Intel H67 Express Socket 1155 £111.20
PSU - Seasonic S12II-380 380W £55.02
SSD - Crucial 64GB RealSSD C300 SSD £86.46
HDD - 2TB WD20EARS C.Green, SATA 3Gb/s 5400rpm 64MB Cache £61.06
RAM - Corsair Memory XMS3 4GB DDR3 1333 Mhz CAS 8 Dual Channel £44.56
Wireless - Edimax EW-7722In 300Mbps Wireless 11n PCI Adapter £20.33
Blue Ray - LG Blu-Ray Writer, BH10LS30.AUAU, SATA, OEM £69.56
HDMI Cable - HDMI15-RS £7.07
[CPU Cooler & keyboard/mouse/tablet/remote controller - T.B.Decided]

I'll be connecting the HTPC to my Panny P50V20, and ideally to my analogue amplifier & two stereo floor-stander speakers (I don't have a surround system or av recevier yet).

Can anyone explain how I will actually connect into my analogue amplifier though? Looking at the pictures of the sockets on the MOBO, there doesn't seem to the usual red/white stereo outputs ?
I'm guessing the MOBO only outputs a digital signal via the HDMI for both picture & sound directly into the TV...
Checked the back of the TV & it has a red/white stereo out... So I reckon I just connect that output into the amp & hey presto it should work.....
Right ???
Build looks great.

Yes, that is how you'll have to connect it. An issue with Win7 is you canNOT output HDMI and analog audio at the same time.

But your way will work perfectly fine and is exactly how I would connect it.
post #2025 of 15901
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryinnv View Post
Yeah I read the FAQ thanks, very clear explanations. I just wanted to maintain the maximum cooling capability if possible. My system temps seem fine but it's the ceton cable tuner that concerns me. The manufacturer mentioned 90% of the problems with this card result of overheating and I have no way of monitoring it's actual temperature so I definitely want to error on the side of caution with this.

Going back to that cable, doesn't it take the power from the psu connector and only uses the CPU header for rpm & pwm feedback?
I am having to do a little reading as I haven't come across your exact problem in any of my builds.

This is a pretty good discussion of what can be done.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums...ic.php?t=60046

Here's a good highlight:
Quote:
This is quite a common practice, particularly amongst gamers, where splitter cables are used to create chains of two or three PWM fans,

A chain of PWM fans is driven by the CPU temperature. So it is a thermal control system and will be affected by other factors which affect CPU temperature including ambient temperature. At idle all the fans will run at a low speed, typically around 500 rpm. Under load all the fans will increase in speed. On gaming systems with high end graphics cards I have seen top speeds of around 1100 rpm on a fairly demanding game like Crysis Warhead.

To some extent PWM fan chains are a more convenient alternative (and lower cost) alternative to a manual fan controller. Bear in mind that many gamers use large screen TVs rather than the traditional monitor, and also use wireless keyboards, mice and controllers. So they are not necessarily near to the PC, and need the automatic control that PWM chains bring.

Both PWM chains and manual controllers involve fan speeds increasing as system loads increase. Particulary for gaming systems the increase in speed will not be apparent, since most gaming is fairly noisy. Also bear in mind that a PWM chain will increase fans speed if ambient temperatures rise.

The problem with fixing fan speeds by resistor cables is where do you fix them. If you set it too low then components may run hotter than you want, and certainly there is a risk of over-heating if ambient temperatures increase as well. Fix fan speeds at around 800 rpm say, and it will result in more noise than a PWM chain at idle. Equally it may not be fast enough if you have a high performance graphics card.

There is nothing to stop you from starting with a PWM fan chain using say the Akasa splitter cable, which takes power for all the fans from a molex and not the motherboard. If having tried it you decide you want manual fan control, you could keep the PWM chain and use software such as CPU ID HWMonitor Pro. Or you could still use resistors to set fan speeds to a specific level.

Having tried all the options, I now use PWM chains on my own systems and those that I have built for my gaming relatives. Frankly it is the easiest and most economic method, and using resistors I could not even at 5v get fan speeds down to the levels that PWM will produce.

I accept that some people simply don't like the idea of fans increasing in speed automatically. For them I still think the best option is to use a PWM chain and HWMonitor Pro (or SpeedFan) to fix speeds exactly where they like. This gives a lot more control than resistors, and is certainly cheaper and more convenient.
post #2026 of 15901
Thread Starter 
Just found this.

Is this the cable you bought before? Or something new?

http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?t...model=AK-CB002
PWM Splitter - Smart Fan Cable
Supports 3 PWM fans from a single motherboard header


Quote:
Combining the power of a PSU molex connection with the versatility of a PWM motherboard connection for the very first time the Akasa AK-CB002 is a unique product furthering the cause of quiet efficient computing.

Supporting three PWM fans from a single motherboard header makes this the ultimate fan splitter for today’s low noise performance systems. Case fans and watercooling radiator fans can now benefit from smart and precise PWM control alongside the CPU fan. Utilising the intelligence of PWM for three fans enables multi fan connection and usage of more powerful fans while allowing their speed to be synchronized with CPU load. RPM feedback for the motherboard is provided from a connector marked CPU fan.

Combined with akasa Smart&Cool series fans (PWM enabled) it is a smart and easy solution for building quiet performance systems.

• Simple solution for quiet and smart fan control
• Synchronizes three PWM fans with PC CPU usage
• All connectors labelled for easy connection


Edit: Looks like that Rosewill I posted earlier for $4 is the same thing. Looks perfect --- uses your PSU to help power the case fans taking some of the stress off the CPU header. You get pwm control on all 3 fans. Use a pwm splitter to power the 3rd case fan.
post #2027 of 15901
my bad, just had to ask

i'm a complete beginner when it comes to mITX / mATX / HTPC
as mesasone was kind enough to point out the 1 16x slot (which doesn't even run at 16x electrically), on the E35m1-i. i wouldnt have noticed.
thanks@ mesasone.

i've been trying to find away of making my project a reality to know avail.
i found this thread and started reading when i got to the end i posted.

this i want to be my all and everything HTPC, Photoshop Workstation, and all rounder.

again sorry,
i would really appreciate any help you could give me
thanks
post #2028 of 15901
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostwarrior View Post
this i want to be my all and everything HTPC, Photoshop Workstation, and all rounder.
Just build a photoshop workstation PC and it will be able to do everything that a HTPC can do. The converse of that is not necessarily true.

A HTPC requires very little processing or graphics power compared to a workstation or gaming PC.
post #2029 of 15901
Thread Starter 
Added the most recent AMD zacate drivers (download link) to the FAQ which are a huge upgrade in performance to many of the drivers that shipped with the zacate boards.
post #2030 of 15901
Quote:
Originally Posted by ru4real View Post
If you use a fan with its own thermal sensor, then the fan should be operated as an exhaust fan, in order to cool your system effectivvely.
That is true for thermal-control fans that have the sensor on the fan. Those can't be intake fans because intake air is always cool. Some thermal-control fans have a sensor lead that is placed inside the case on critical components. Those can be used for intake fans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryinnv View Post
Thanks a lot for the info. I was doing a little digging in the meantime myself and I found this thermal fan on the Silverstone website:

http://www.silverstonetek.com/produc...ol121&area=usa

Definitely looks like I'd be giving up some CFM's but the noise specs are very good (18dBA max), this case has 3 fans so perhaps it's not that big of a deal? Unfortunately I can't seem to get the original fan specs that came with the case to compare against.
I've been a fan (chuckle) of thermal-control fans for a while and have first hand experience with some of the options available. Here are some of the fans available:

¹ = Thermistor is in the fan casing, not suitable for intake fan
² = Thermistor is on an extension lead and can be used for intake
post #2031 of 15901
Having trouble keeping things cool? Maybe you need one of these: http://www.madshrimps.be/news/item/77658
post #2032 of 15901
I've been having a few issues getting the playback dialed in in MCE and have posted my current Shark007 settings here. Also, if that post is expanded to the full thread the rest of my Shark007 settings are posted above. Any help on getting this dialed in would be really cool. Thanks.
post #2033 of 15901
UPDATE:

I went into the Sound settings in Windows control panel and set my Denon Receiver to 7.1 and disabled the Dvix media foundation splitter in the MKV TAB in Shark 007. So now I am getting Multi-Channel in for my Denon which is LPCM with the HTPC doing the decoding but why is the pass-through bitstreaming not working? It seems that I have all the settings correct for that.
post #2034 of 15901
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostwarrior View Post

my bad, just had to ask

i'm a complete beginner when it comes to mITX / mATX / HTPC
as mesasone was kind enough to point out the 1 16x slot (which doesn't even run at 16x electrically), on the E35m1-i. i wouldnt have noticed.
thanks@ mesasone.

i've been trying to find away of making my project a reality to know avail.
i found this thread and started reading when i got to the end i posted.

this i want to be my all and everything HTPC, Photoshop Workstation, and all rounder.

again sorry,
i would really appreciate any help you could give me
thanks

What does your set up look like as far as A/V equipment? Are you using a monitor and a "big" display? Just a monitor or just a TV?

Depending on how you are/plan to be set up, I would build a workstation capable of outputting to two displays, which is nothing fancy these days. Display #1 will be your monitor and display #2 will go to your receiver or TV/Projector/whatever. Set up a remote and have your media center software (XBMC/Windows Media Center/Whatever) to run on the second display. I know this is easily done in XBMC, perhaps someone else could chime in for MC7.

As for specing out a workstation, as Assassin hinted, that is beyond the scope of this thread and there are better venues for it. However for starters I would look at using an i5 2500 or 2500k, gobs of RAM (8 gigs for sure, might consider 12 or even 16) if you're doing serious image editing, and for HTPC purposes you will probably be better off with one of AMD/ATI's offerings as their current implementations handle 24p content a bit better. Crossfire/SLI are very over rated imho, even for heavy gaming so I wouldn't worry about that unless you want to run three displays (two monitors + TV/Projector).
post #2035 of 15901
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I've been having a few issues getting the playback dialed in in MCE and have posted my current Shark007 settings here. Also, if that post is expanded to the full thread the rest of my Shark007 settings are posted above. Any help on getting this dialed in would be really cool. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I went into the Sound settings in Windows control panel and set my Denon Receiver to 7.1 and disabled the Dvix media foundation splitter in the MKV TAB in Shark 007. So now I am getting Multi-Channel in for my Denon which is LPCM with the HTPC doing the decoding but why is the pass-through bitstreaming not working? It seems that I have all the settings correct for that.

In your screenshot of the Shark007 audio tab (which is the 32-bit Shark007... not gonna work in WMC if you're 64-bit), you have ffdshow set to pass-through, but did you go into the ffdshow audio settings and select which types of audio to actually bitstream? If so, remember there is both 32 AND 64 bit ffdshow settings to play with depending on the player you are using. Media Center will use the 64-bit ffdshow settings on a 64-bit system. Go into your 64-bit ffdshow audio settings (you can get there through a dropdown menu in the "Config" tab in the 64-bit Sharks007), go to the "output" item in the left pane, and make sure all of your HD audio streams have their boxes checked in the pass-through options:



By default, all of the boxes are unchecked if I remember right.
post #2036 of 15901
Here's my settings (The link was only available in the 32bit Shark007 application):



I think I need to change the compatibility to not be PCM
and use all formats.
post #2037 of 15901
Update on my use of the Zacate build performed by Assassin.

My HTPC requirements were as follows:

1. Play 1080p movies
2. Use Win 7 / Media Center
3. Download & play movies, music, pictures & data
4. Surf the internet
7. Connect to a HDTV via HDMI
8. Watch HULU +, Netflix, etc.
9. Be easy to use
10. Connect wireless to home network

So, does it do all this? Yes! I have completed each of those tasks without trouble. I still have much to learn, but so far it does what I am asking of it. I have a couple files to test for a fellow member and will hopefully attempt that today.

PICS:

I don't use a "traditional" TV stand/rack. I have the HTPC behind and to the side of my TV:


Top view of the HTPC. I ended up connecting to my home network via ethernet cable (yellow cable) instead of using the wireless option. Initially, I used the wireless, but with my crappy 1Mbps speed and multiple devices, I opted to use the cable. When I used the wireless connection, the set-up was instant, and I encountered no issues:


A pic of the Lenovo N5901 Keyboard to give you some perspective about it's size:


ISSUES:

The button to open/eject the disc drive on the case is not long enough to engage the button on the disc drive. This means I have to open/eject the drive from the pc instead of pushing the button.

IMO, it would make more sense to move the "Fn" button on the Lenovo N5901 Keyboard to the other side (right side) of the space bar. This comes into play when typing the "@" symbol, as both the "Fn" and "@" keys are located on the left side of the keyboard. This causes me to handle the remote a bit awkward. Once again, not a big deal. I'll get use to it.


THANKS AGAIN, ASSASSIN!!!
post #2038 of 15901
Well that didn't change anything but maybe I need to reboot first.
post #2039 of 15901
Along with everyone else, put a build together this weekend. I'm a cheapskate (go slickdeals!) yet didn't wanna compromise for my HTPC build. I have a WHS serving up 14 TB of media, so I just needed a top shelf player.

Here's what I came up with...

HEC Micro ATX case w/300w power supply. $50 Link
i3 2100 combo with MSI 61 MB $99 at Microcenter. Wow. Amazing deal. MB Link
4gb DDR3 $40

Total - $190.
I threw in a 60 gig OCZ Vertex drive I picked up a while ago for $80, and loaded Win7 (thru MSDN, so no cost for me) and away I went.

For some reason the chipset had a little trouble displaying the desktop properly on my big screen, but after setting the overscan to 50%, all is working flawlessly. That CPU is a beast.

Was a little worried about the super-budget case, but it's silent, and with almost nothing generating heat in the case, it's as cool as the other side of the pillow.

Only thing left to do is try to grab a couple more of the combos from Microcenter, pick up some refurbed 32 gig SSDs, and do it all over again. *grin*
post #2040 of 15901
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpmb View Post

Update on my use of the Zacate build performed by Assassin.

My HTPC requirements were as follows:

1. Play 1080p movies
2. Use Win 7 / Media Center
3. Download & play movies, music, pictures & data
4. Surf the internet
7. Connect to a HDTV via HDMI
8. Watch HULU +, Netflix, etc.
9. Be easy to use
10. Connect wireless to home network

So, does it do all this? Yes! I have completed each of those tasks without trouble. I still have much to learn, but so far it does what I am asking of it. I have a couple files to test for a fellow member and will hopefully attempt that today.

ISSUES:

The button to open/eject the disc drive on the case is not long enough to engage the button on the disc drive. This means I have to open/eject the drive from the pc instead of pushing the button.

IMO, it would make more sense to move the "Fn" button on the Lenovo N5901 Keyboard to the other side (right side) of the space bar. This comes into play when typing the "@" symbol, as both the "Fn" and "@" keys are located on the left side of the keyboard. This causes me to handle the remote a bit awkward. Once again, not a big deal. I'll get use to it.


THANKS AGAIN, ASSASSIN!!!

You're welcome. It was a fun build.

For some reason the pics didn't show up for me at first. Here they are again...


Regarding the eject button:
It was working pefectly when I shipped it so I bet the bluray drive slid ever so slightly during transit. Just pop off the top of the case, loosen the screws to the bluray and move it where it is in line with the button on the case. Shouldn't be too hard.

Glad you like it!
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