Musings of a PC

Thoughts about Windows, TV and technology in general

Joining the Media Centre fun

For over a year now, I’ve been giving some serious thought to the idea of having a home theatre PC (HTPC). There were several reasons for wanting to adopt this technology:
 
  • Central location to store all of our digital photos
  • Rip all of our CDs so that we’ve got a centralised music library
  • Rip all of our DVDs and Blu-Rays so that we’ve got a centralised video library
  • Act as a Freeview PVR

Why have I been taking so long to make a decision? The main factor has been the hardware choice. While I’m not too concerned about geting my hands inside the guts of a PC, building one from scratch would be a somewhat risky undertaking. I’ve therefore been looking at my choices with regard to a ready-built Windows Media Centre system. The main criteria were:

  • High Wife Acceptance Factor – it has to look good and fit in with the rest of the living room equipment
  • HDMI for high definition content
  • No superfluous volume control knob on the front

Eventually, I decided to go with a system from Hush Technologies. They have a number of home entertainment systems, all of which follow the same principle of an aluminium case that acts as a huge heatsink for the stuff inside. It is completely fanless. The only noise – such as it is – is generated by the hard drive(s) and the optical drive. I’ve also decided to add the Silverstone DS351 as an external eSATA connected storage unit.

More on the technical details and the experience of using this stuff in future posts …

 

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