“We’ve been interested in HTPCs for certainly the last few years and have been covering integrated graphics motherboards with the emphasis of using them in these scenarios for the last year, testing important factors like power consumption, HD capability and video quality.
We aim to run this buyer’s guide quarterly to cover everything from the smallest mini-ITX builds, to the most awesome full HD capable gaming behemoths. While we will still aim for the best value for money, all the builds must be able to handle 1080p full-HD playback with possible Blu-ray support and there is a deliberate balance between efficiency, noise and performance – basically being “just capable” to do what is required, while having the best feature-set to do it with.
We respect everyone’s needs are different and we are deliberately leaving space where possible to include a TV card (which are sometimes region or software specific) or more/less internal storage should it be a media hub, or simply a front end where media is stored elsewhere, like a NAS box.”
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Badaboom Media Converter v1.1.1 @ Legit Reviews
- Slingbox Pro-HD and SlingLink Turbo @ Techspot
- How To: Setup an HDMI Home Theater @ Digital Trends
- nMedia HTPC-1000B Media Case Product Showcase Video @ Hardware Canucks
- SunBeamtech Acrylic HTPC chassis @ Guru3D
By now you are likely used to system build recommendations on hardware review sites, like our own Hardware Leaderboard, with several suggested builds at various price points. bit-tech has put together a guide that is similar, with one significant difference, the three builds they recommend are all intended to be used as HTPCs. They range from a design meant to take up as little space as possible, to an affordable system to an HTPC that can handle gaming. See them all here.