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Why don't we crowdfund our own HTPC case? - Page 2

post #31 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

He did state it was his opinion so you might cut him some slack. FWIW, I'm no big fan of mini-ITX either. You pay more to get less just so you can have a small form factor PC. The NUC or BRIX is a much better choice if you really want to keep things small.

It's all good biggrin.gif

I am with you for sure. I feel the same way, I always have a problem paying more and getting less. My observations is that people doing the BRIX and NUC and ITX builds are certain types of people in certain circumstances that are looking for something simple, small and a decent value.

They are not concerned with squeezing every last ounce of performance (MadVR type stuff) and just want a nice simple experience. For those people the NUC and BRIX is a great choice, but crowdsourcing an ITX to compete with such things is going to cost more and probably not be as good as alternatives. So- it's a pointless attempt. A crowd sourced project would likely need to cost some decent money just for a case ($100+)

At that price point your talking about a different person- with different needs. A true enthusiast would spend a couple hundred on a case, but not everyone would. At the enthusiast level my observation is people wants specific things, and they are looking for a bit more. They tend to have a bigger system (like a theater or an AV rack) and for which ITX is a poor choice.

I would be mildy interested in an enthusiast level case that is MATX or ATX component style, could accept a video card, and had read outs for CPU TEMP, case temp, fan speeds etc..

My theater project is starting and I plan to have a thermometer LCD readout on the top that lists the AV closet temps internally, and the temps of my server, HTPC and PC. But my project is going to require lots of custom wires and only would apply to a dedicated rack of some type- certainly not the same category as a cute NUC sitting on your cablebox in the living room.

The cost and point of a crowdsourced DIY HTPC case goes beyond what people want, or need, or are willing to pay. I think the need and desire for ITX style is misunderstood, those same folks that want it won't want to pay for it. Not when there is plenty of cheap MFG options out there. Besides building in ITX is no fun.. biggrin.gif
post #32 of 159
You guys are missing the point (I think). (And I think I'm gonna get yelled at by Assassin now...tongue.gif)

The people who need/want "MadVR, type stuff" have very different needs than your "typical" HTPC user. A typical HTPC user will be perfectly happy with on-board Intel graphics (which actually are quite good nowadays). All that HTPC needs is a power cable, and an HDMI cable. That's it.

Tuners is a non issue these days. The days of sticking an oven hot tuner card in the HTPC and then running dual/triple/a bazillion fans to cool it down are over. Tuners should be and are external now.
post #33 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

You guys are missing the point (I think). (And I think I'm gonna get yelled at by Assassin now...tongue.gif)

The people who need/want "MadVR, type stuff" have very different needs than your "typical" HTPC user. A typical HTPC user will be perfectly happy with on-board Intel graphics (which actually are quite good nowadays). All that HTPC needs is a power cable, and an HDMI cable. That's it.

Tuners is a non issue these days. The days of sticking an oven hot tuner card in the HTPC and then running dual/triple/a bazillion fans to cool it down are over. Tuners should be and are external now.

Ah, the main reason I have a HTPC is for free DVR functionality. I have the avermedia duet and it isn't the toaster oven you seem to think it is. If I wasn't using it as a DVR I would just have a blu-ray player and use the the smart features built into my TV for streaming. I will agree with you on one thing though, eventually DVR's are going to be completely replaced by streaming services.
post #34 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

He did state it was his opinion so you might cut him some slack. FWIW, I'm no big fan of mini-ITX either. You pay more to get less just so you can have a small form factor PC. The NUC or BRIX is a much better choice if you really want to keep things small.

There is absolutely no reason to insult the op and others. Think the op or others who want to ask questions or participate at this forum are more likely --- or less likely --- to participate when their ideas and questions are called "dumb" or "garbage"?
post #35 of 159
Well I was going to quote a few of these posts and say everyone wants something different, but chose this video instead to speak to the 'let's crowd fund a box so eveyone has the same box' mentality:
post #36 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post



I think there are already good choices for low power devices to be used as clients.
There are reasonable options for AVR-sized cases, but I do think most of them are quite ugly if you want to have an optical drive.
There are a ton of regular tower-style PC cases (for when the PC is not in the same room) but surprisingly few that actually have been well thought out when it comes to managing heat and noise, considerations for dust filtering, and being nice to work in.
This is my point, It's hard to find an attractive htpc case with an optical drive bay with good heat and noise management +/- LCD which could be an optional accessory. Traditionally htpcs have been built from left over parts from an upgrade so there's still a market for micro/full atx cases rather than the NUC model.
post #37 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Well I was going to quote a few of these posts and say everyone wants something different, but chose this video instead to speak to the 'let's crowd fund a box so eveyone has the same box' mentality:
Crowdfund designed hardware achieve a consensus with the interested parties. Nobody's saying groupthink here. HardOCP forum members took months to agree on a design.
post #38 of 159
Quote:
Crowdfund designed hardware achieve a consensus with the interested parties.
Exactly. I doubt you can reach consensus on an HTPC case.
post #39 of 159
So if there is a consensus on the prefect pc case it is that there is no consensus. That is why I think a modular system would be the only way to satisfy most user requirements. I have had an idea for a fully modular case system for a while but have never put any designs on paper (frankly, there is no money it but it's a fun daydream) so bear with me and I'll try to explain. First all cases would start by choosing a set of 4 radial posts available is nano(~2"), half-height(~4") and full-height(~6"). All the exterior panels would be available in various sizes and patterns and would connect to the four main posts. There would be 3 width/depth choices for mini-itx (~9"), matx (~13"), and ATX (~17") for a total of 5 footprints. The bottom panels, in addition to the standard MB posts would be pre-drilled a accept a range of optional drive cages. The side and back panels would be available in the corresponding 9 sizes (2-4-6 x 9-13-17) and would be available in standard patterns for card slots, drive access, PSU, and ventilation. This would give 5 footprints x 3 heights for a total of 15 form factors. Perhaps the posts could be stackable for even more options.


The closest thing I have found to a system like this is from Viako, in fact it is almost exactly what I am thinking but with far more options:
http://viako.en.ec21.com/Viako_Mini_Letter_SELF_DIY--4327891_4327902.html

The posts only vary in height so I imagine could be stocked easily. The panels would all be sheet stock and machining wouldn't be very complex but I don't see how all possible options could be stocked. Ideally, the panels would be machined when ordered but I seriously doubt there could be enough demand to setup a JIT CNC operation even though a system like this could have a much wider appeal than just the htpc crowd.
post #40 of 159
Interesting idea ^

Modular sounds cool. Add LCD. Add optical. Add HDD bays. Etc ...

I still want room for a GPU so I'm probably out
post #41 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I still want room for a GPU so I'm probably out

The Viako link was just to illustrate. I am talking about the same concept but modular in all dimesions from 9x9x2" upto 17x17x6". So for example, depending on the panel and drive cage options a 17x17x6" case could be configured for full ATX with all slots available or ITX and crammed with HDDs.
post #42 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starsky View Post

So if there is a consensus on the prefect pc case it is that there is no consensus. That is why I think a modular system would be the only way to satisfy most user requirements. I have had an idea for a fully modular case system for a while but have never put any designs on paper (frankly, there is no money it but it's a fun daydream) so bear with me and I'll try to explain. First all cases would start by choosing a set of 4 radial posts available is nano(~2"), half-height(~4") and full-height(~6"). All the exterior panels would be available in various sizes and patterns and would connect to the four main posts. There would be 3 width/depth choices for mini-itx (~9"), matx (~13"), and ATX (~17") for a total of 5 footprints. The bottom panels, in addition to the standard MB posts would be pre-drilled a accept a range of optional drive cages. The side and back panels would be available in the corresponding 9 sizes (2-4-6 x 9-13-17) and would be available in standard patterns for card slots, drive access, PSU, and ventilation. This would give 5 footprints x 3 heights for a total of 15 form factors. Perhaps the posts could be stackable for even more options.


The closest thing I have found to a system like this is from Viako, in fact it is almost exactly what I am thinking but with far more options:
http://viako.en.ec21.com/Viako_Mini_Letter_SELF_DIY--4327891_4327902.html

The posts only vary in height so I imagine could be stocked easily. The panels would all be sheet stock and machining wouldn't be very complex but I don't see how all possible options could be stocked. Ideally, the panels would be machined when ordered but I seriously doubt there could be enough demand to setup a JIT CNC operation even though a system like this could have a much wider appeal than just the htpc crowd.

This sounds like an awesome idea.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Interesting idea ^

Modular sounds cool. Add LCD. Add optical. Add HDD bays. Etc ...

I still want room for a GPU so I'm probably out

A full height panel should have room for a GPU
post #43 of 159
Bigger is better biggrin.gif
post #44 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Bigger is better biggrin.gif

That's what she said...
post #45 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

That's what she said...
She was talking about the "thingy" sitting in the bedside drawer.....with batteries....wink.gif
post #46 of 159
The remote right biggrin.gif
post #47 of 159
I wonder if a faceplate for an existing case would be extremely crowd source-able and keep the cost down?

Years ago there was two htpc faceplates done for Antec 302B cases. One was an anodized flooded metal faceplate with vfd window that allowed for a
the vfd to be optional, as well as the infrared receiver. The second was a milled aluminum faceplate, with many layouts options.

Even ten years ago, the perfect htpc and perfect htpc case, meant much discussion and some bickering.... Nothing there has really changed, except for the ability to
build tiny htpcs. I still am in the camp that I want flexibility and expansion options, and being able to run high end hardware. So my ideal htpc is more aligned with Mfusick's
arguments too.
post #48 of 159
Bigger case means more airflow...less heat...more happiness. smile.gif It also means more HDDs...more storage....more happiness. smile.gif
post #49 of 159
There was a thread on here about building your own case that had some pretty impressive results. You can do a lot with wood and acrylic without the need for any machining tools, you might do some internet searches.
post #50 of 159
If one has the tools then I've often wondered if a mdf face plate for a case would offer up custom looks, with little added expense. Simply use rattle can paint
and wet sand between layers, to get a perfect piano finish. Sure worked out well for a cap for a tower subwoofer I built, when I wasn't impressed with some
quotes I was getting.
post #51 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I can't believe this thread is still running. I expected it to fade into oblivion.
M-ITX is just garbage IMO. It's easier to hide a real HTPC than try to move heaven and earth to make a full performance ITX build that has no heat issues. At the end of the day all you need is an HDMI wire, and something to control it (remote, keyboard, tablet etc)

Just because you're incapable of conceptualizing the use or need for a small HTPC doesn't make it garbage. It doesn't take moving heaven and earth to make a full performance ITX HTPC without heat issues. I do it several times a week. The end of your quote even contradicts your statement that all you need is HDMI and a remote. How big of a box do you think is needed for that? This is just a ridiculous statements meant to be inflammatory.

BTW, if you find an HTPC case design you like and you can figure out who actually manufactured it in China, you can usually modify the design to your liking for an order of 100-200 pieces. The hard part will be figuring out who really makes the case, contacting the manufacturer and forming a relationship, communicating your design and paying for it. Most are not willing to prototype so you better get the drawings right or you'll have plenty of boxes full of what they thought you meant. It also helps if you live on the west coast and speak Chinese.
post #52 of 159
Just received an pm from Zygmount this morning, to that effect.:

"It can be done if you order 100 pcs. We can do any modification to standard model as we already did to some clients.
But MOQ = 100 pcs" So if you can get 100 like minded people together... And you'll want to run it by David Bott as there
has been some problems in the past with activity like this.
post #53 of 159
Same here. 100pcs though some minor mods depending on the model can be 50pcs. You can do it too. Just search Alibaba though it's easier if you work with someone who already has relationships overseas.
post #54 of 159
What is the fascination with ultra small ?

(No flame please)

I'm sincere and want to know. Is it just because people want to make their HTPC visible ? That's same reason people often choose lights and LCDs and stuff on the front ?
post #55 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

What is the fascination with ultra small ?

(No flame please)

I'm sincere and want to know. Is it just because people want to make their HTPC visible ? That's same reason people often choose lights and LCDs and stuff on the front ?

Or it could be the exact opposite? People may want the ability to mount their HTPC to the back side of the TV to give a hidden look when a closet isn't available?

Also, why does it have to be big? Bigger is not always better in this case and sometimes a small form factor when the size of your component rack or entertainment center is running tight on room because you have xbox, ps3, wii, DVR, receiver...yadda yadda yadda. A lot of people don't need a full size video card and sometimes just want something that is plug and play and doesn't take up a lot of room or power. Something like the Nuc is ideal because you put it together and leave it alone. Why does it have to be huge if you just want it to work and not tinker with it?

Honestly I'm thinking of buying a NUC for my mom to put XBMC on it for her, mount it to the TV and be done with it. No wires or box in sight. Nothing to fool with. Done right it's an appliance and it'll just work. There are some advantages to that. Not just another big box with wires to hide and get to the TV somehow. Much less work and a perfect application.
post #56 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

What is the fascination with ultra small ?

(No flame please)

I'm sincere and want to know. Is it just because people want to make their HTPC visible ? That's same reason people often choose lights and LCDs and stuff on the front ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by likelinus View Post

Or it could be the exact opposite? People may want the ability to mount their HTPC to the back side of the TV to give a hidden look when a closet isn't available?

Also, why does it have to be big? Bigger is not always better in this case and sometimes a small form factor when the size of your component rack or entertainment center is running tight on room because you have xbox, ps3, wii, DVR, receiver...yadda yadda yadda. A lot of people don't need a full size video card and sometimes just want something that is plug and play and doesn't take up a lot of room or power. Something like the Nuc is ideal because you put it together and leave it alone. Why does it have to be huge if you just want it to work and not tinker with it?

Honestly I'm thinking of buying a NUC for my mom to put XBMC on it for her, mount it to the TV and be done with it. No wires or box in sight. Nothing to fool with. Done right it's an appliance and it'll just work. There are some advantages to that. Not just another big box with wires to hide and get to the TV somehow. Much less work and a perfect application.

Agree. Behind a wall mounted TV for a small case. If you have an AVR then I think the case should be the standard component width for stacking.

For a component sized case I think mATX is plenty, but the height should accommodate 120mm case fans. My last build was a Fractal Design Node 605 which works up to ATX, but you have to make compromises at that size because larger add-in cards will use up the space for extra drive bays. It also uses a slimline optical drive which doesn't function as well in a case like this.
post #57 of 159
So perhaps two cases biggrin.gif One small high value, and one full featured enthusiast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post


Agree. Behind a wall mounted TV for a small case. If you have an AVR then I think the case should be the standard component width for stacking.

For a component sized case I think mATX is plenty, but the height should accommodate 120mm case fans. My last build was a Fractal Design Node 605 which works up to ATX, but you have to make compromises at that size because larger add-in cards will use up the space for extra drive bays. It also uses a slimline optical drive which doesn't function as well in a case like this.

Perhaps I am handier than average PC nerd. I would located it below in the basement and just run up a wire snaked through wall for USB IR port and HDMI feed. Still seems easier/better than trying to mount a little guy HTPC behind a TV (would it fit behind a wall mounted TV? I don't have that kind of room in my living room behind my 55" Plasma; my living room system runs off HDMI feed from HTPC located in another room)

Then again, I don't have optical or HDD's in my HTPC's either.

I find it cheaper and easier to run a wire(s) than to pay extra for ITX boards, cases etc... I guess it's the same reason I don't want LCD, or LED lights, or anything on my HTPC. I see lots of people building LCD front HTPC's but that is not for me. I don't want to see, or hear my HTPC at all. I want it to look like it does not exist biggrin.gif I adds to the element of "magic" when I show it off to other people.
post #58 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

So perhaps two cases biggrin.gif One small high value, and one full featured enthusiast.
Perhaps I am handier than average PC nerd. I would located it below in the basement and just run up a wire snaked through wall for USB IR port and HDMI feed. Still seems easier/better than trying to mount a little guy HTPC behind a TV (would it fit behind a wall mounted TV? I don't have that kind of room in my living room behind my 55" Plasma; my living room system runs off HDMI feed from HTPC located in another room)

Then again, I don't have optical or HDD's in my HTPC's either.

I find it cheaper and easier to run a wire(s) than to pay extra for ITX boards, cases etc... I guess it's the same reason I don't want LCD, or LED lights, or anything on my HTPC. I see lots of people building LCD front HTPC's but that is not for me. I don't want to see, or hear my HTPC at all. I want it to look like it does not exist biggrin.gif I adds to the element of "magic" when I show it off to other people.

What?

You basically just described what you just called "garbage" and "dumb".
post #59 of 159
Fwiw there is plenty of room to mount or install a nuc behind a plasma. Here is my test run behind my 50" panny.



post #60 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post

Just received an pm from Zygmount this morning, to that effect.:

"It can be done if you order 100 pcs. We can do any modification to standard model as we already did to some clients.
But MOQ = 100 pcs" So if you can get 100 like minded people together... And you'll want to run it by David Bott as there
has been some problems in the past with activity like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

Same here. 100pcs though some minor mods depending on the model can be 50pcs. You can do it too. Just search Alibaba though it's easier if you work with someone who already has relationships overseas.
Do you mean a case with multiple faceplates or various configurations as an earlier poster alluded to?
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