AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
556 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently in the process of researching parts for a mostly PC, secondarily HTPC, for a friend of mine. While doing this it started to occur to me that it might not be a bad idea for me to build a dedicated HTPC for games, video scaling, DVD's etc for myself in a year or so. I do have a few concerns though and maybe you guys can help me...


1-The case. I want basically a standard size ATX case turned on it's side. All the desktop models I've seen seem to only be big enough for micro ATX boards and don't have large enough spaces for big (ie:slow) fans and can't handle as many components (boards, hard drives etc.) Do any of you fine folks know of a company that produces a case that can do all this stuff?


2-Playing nice with my cable providers STB. I currently have a digital cable box with plans to upgrade to a HD STB at some point in the future. There seems to be no simple approach to getting them to play together in a user-friendly manner. (Yes i know, ir blasters but to me that isn't simple or user friendly.) Ideally the cable companies would have a "plug-in" chip/card that you could connect to co-operating video card manufacturer's cards to utilize your computer as the box but..... good luck with that.. Anyone have a good solution? I mean if there isn't I may as well just get the Asus Radeon 9600XT with it's s-video/composite inputs so I can record 480i sources when I want to. Or maybe an ATI AIW and split my cable signal to it and the STB so I could atleast use the ATI on the analog channels. I mean what would be the advantage of an actual capture card otherwise? I won't be able to record HD as it comes out of the STB uncompressed and likley analog so why spend the extra money on a capture card?


Other than that, I think the noise concerns would mostly be addressed if I can figure out a solution for #1 and just purchase quite fans etc. Seagate Barracuda's seem to be the HTPC choice for quiet though I'd love to hear thoughts on Maxtor's new hard drives with the 8Mb buffer and 3 year warranty.


J.R.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
1. Most ATX desktop cases aren't any larger than the smallest ATX towers, so are somewhat limited. A list of cases has been discussed in other threads here, many full ATX cases, but they still tend to be cramped and limited.


For example, the Antec Overture case (see newegg or www.antec-inc.com for pictures) is cramped but does pack in quite a bit for its size--two 5.25" external bays, 2 3.5" external bays, and mounting for three internal 3.5" drives. It really only has mounting for one 80mm outlet fan. It uses the power supply for an inlet fan (the power supply is mounted in a really weird way).


One thing I haven't seen mentioned is rackmount cases. A 4U rackmount makes for a largish desktop, but is generally fairly roomy and typically has many fan mount points. Newegg has some inexpensive 4U rackmounts.


2. There are some digital HD cable boxes with Firewire outputs, you can plug that into a Firewire port on your PC. FCC regulations require that cable companies provide STBs with Firewire by April 2004 to all who request it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
You mean the EN-7200? I looked over the specs on it when I was looking for a desktop case myself and it seemed very generic. Also, I've had Enlight cases and I didn't actually like them much, for generic cases I somewhat prefer In-Win.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
I am considering building my own HTPC case out of Aluminum sheet because I didn't like any of the cases out there.


I'd rather have a silent HTPC than one that looks like AV equipment. I also don't want it to look like a standard computer hence the DIY solution. Basically I want an aluminum pedistal with a computer hidden inside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
556 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys:)


Delvo, I'm afraid I've got to agree with Kayle, actually I'd say he was kind...lol. But I suppose I should have been more specific in stating that I wanted all that criteria for a case PLUS I'd like it to look nice too:D


Kayle, LOVE the Overture case! it's only downfall seems to be "adequate" cooling. Other than that it's got pretty much everything I'm looking for! I suppose I could do what one reviewer did... Underclock, yes I said UNDERclock the CPU to reduce heat.:eek: As for Firewire.... I'm in Canada and though we do adopt a lot of the same or similar regualtions in regards to these sorts of things as the US there's no way of knowing that for sure. That and if we do adopt them it's usually a good deal of time later.


Just in case though... I know firewire allows 2-way communiction, is it feasible then to think the PC could send info to the STB to change channels etc through the link?


BigBreaker, If silent is (understandably) your thing you might want to check out the Overture, It's supposedly quite quiet and well built.


J.R.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
556 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,031 Posts
Aah yes, I didn't realize you were one of those weirdos who likes his computers to be disguised as toasters or microwaves... Enlight is indeed a bad place to go for those uglitronics you're after. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
556 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey a toaster!....Now that's a good idea!:D


LMAO...good one Delvo... gave me a good chuckle this morning, almost made me squirt my cofee out of my nose:p


J.R.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
There are more HTPC cases beyond the Ahanix d.Vine series--they've recently been discussed on this forum so go search to see more.


Firewire is bidirectional and there's even standards for controlling tuners and such over firewire, whether we get STBs that follow those standards is unknown at this time.


I would classify the Overture as a quiet case, not a silent case. My HTPC is the quietest computer I currently have, you can barely hear it if you are within a foot or so of it. This is due at least as much to good selection of CPU fan, case fan, and hard drives.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top