A while back, I created the Vesperdeco HTPC
and overall it was a big success. Readers seem to like it a lot, it was something completely different, and it delivered all the functionality that I wanted. However, the finicky crowd that you are pointed out some things about it that made me reanalyze my creation. Basically, it was too big and heavy. I also got a little bit of sass over the use of plywood. One of the inherent qualities of a modern HTPC is it's relative size of normal everyday home theatre components. Our astute readers pushed me to take one more stab at the home theatre PC and this time push the constraints of size, design, and my fabrication skills.
Around the time I had been planning this project, Yoshi, the modding guru from TechTV's show The ScreenSavers
contacted me about a possible appearance during their "mod week". I figured since I had the plans and some of the materials already gathered for this project, I could do this project and take it to the show. That set a firm deadline for the completion of the project and I made it just under the wire, literally installing the OS and peripherals the day before I packed everything and headed to San Francisco and the TechTV studios.
The agenda for my new project would be similar to the Vesperdeco. It would be another wood and acrylic combination but with a different twist. I didn't want to deliver just another version of the vesperdeco to our faithful readers.
- Watch DVD/VCD/Divx/etc
- Watch and digitally record TV
- Listen to CD's and MP3's
- Surf the Web, Play Games, other apps.. etc.
And this time it's personal... er, rather this time it's solid oak and cell cast acrylic. Much more premium materials.
First, to pull this off, I needed some critical components to get the functionality, performance and features I wanted. So some excellent manufacturers stepped up to the plate once I informed them as to what I was working on.
The rest of the list comprises of:
- LG DVD RAM/+RW/-RW drive (all bets are covered with this one.. until dual layer comes out, doh!)
- ASUS A7V8X-MX (it started out with another motherboard but ended up as this, more on that later)
- 512Mb Corsair XMS Platinum DDR 3200
- AMD Barton 2500+
- Enermax 250W EG265S-VE FM MicroATX Power Supply
They would all be blended together to create this: