Items tagged with HTPC

There may not be a ‘one size fits all’ HTPC, but there are some HTPC features that are universally (well, almost universally) desired. For one, it’s our opinion that an HTPC should be as quiet as possible. It should also be capable of any multimedia related task, it should be easy to install and use and it should look like it belongs in its environment. Even with those guidelines in mind, an HTPC can be many things. But we think one OEM, namely ASRock, has struck a great balance between performance, form factor, and features with one of their HTPC lines and have come up with a... Read more...
Although Home Theater PCs have been around for quite some time, they are still somewhat tough to define. For some, the term HTPC conjures up images of an ultra small form factor, low-power system that will be used for nothing more than accessing multimedia files. But for others an HTPC is more akin to a hardcore piece of A/V and entertainment equipment that can do it all—play back virtually any file type, browse the web, play games at 1080p resolutions—you name it. The muddled state of the HTPC market is compounded further by OEMs and DIYers as well. Pre-Built home theater PCs are as... Read more...
Zotac clearly has a thing going with their ZBOX series. The company has been cranking them out like nobody's business lately, and the ZBOX AD02 mini-PC is the latest. They've been doing great things with the SFF form factor, and particularly with the HTPC crowd, these space saving machines have really hit the spot. The newest series is powered by AMD's new Fusion E-350 APU, with an integrated Radeon HD 6310 graphics chip to handle the high-def output. The tiny box also has room for a 2.5" HDD and two DDR3 SO-DIMM modules, and the "Plus" model ships with a 250GB hard drive, 2GB of RAM and Windows... Read more...
Apple's Mac Mini has been viewed as a legitimate HTPC contender ever since the original model was released years back. People immediately began hacking the mounting options to get them onto the backs of their televisions, and with the new model, it became an even nicer solution. With a more powerful CPU and GPU, more storage space and great connectivity options, many use the Mac Mini as their primary Boxee Box. But there are a number of chinks in the armor. For one, there's no TV tuner option. And second, there's no Blu-ray option. It's hard to take an HTPC seriously these days if you can't incorporate... Read more...
A keyboard is a keyboard, right? Not at all. We tend to favor mechanical keyboards for gaming, backlit keyboards on our notebooks, and keyboards with integrated trackpads for use with our HTPC setups. IOGEAR has a long history of providing keyboards for that last application, and they're keeping the trend alive in the new year. The company has just launched a new keyboard, the Multi-Link Bluetooth Keyboard with Touchpad (GKM611B) for wireless management of up to six Bluetooth enabled devices. Yep, a Bluetooth keyboard, optimized for HTPC use. The idea here is that the keyboard can connect to up... Read more...
We know it's hard to stay on the cutting edge of technology, particularly if you're trying not to go broke while doing it. But Zotac is definitely not waiting around for anyone with their latest release. It feels like just yesterday that we sat down and tested out a Blu-ray equipped HTPC from this very company, and now -- just months later -- a successor is being unveiled. The new Zbox AD03 series is yet another slim, sleek HTPC line of machines that have Blu-ray capabilities. But the major change here is the use of AMD's E-350 APU platform. That's right, Fusion! Already we're seeing Fusion used... Read more...
ZOTAC introduced the new ZBOX DVD series mini-PCs which combine Next-Generation NVIDIA ION graphics with a dual-core Intel Atom D525 processor. The new ZOTAC ZBOX DVD series is available in two models: the ID31 and ID31 Plus. The ZOTAC ZBOX DVD ID31 is a customizable mini-PC that lets you select and install the memory and hard drive while the ZBOX DVD ID31 Plus comes with a 250GB hard drive and 1GB of DDR2 memory. Both systems feature an integrated DVD drive, NVIDIA PureVideo HD technology, HDMI and DVI outputs, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and USB 3.0 connectivity. ZOTAC® Expands ZBOX Lineup with New ZBOX... Read more...
Zotac recently launched a couple of revamped ZBox nettops, that feature a new, sleeker design and integrated Blu-Ray drive, the ZBox HD-ID33 and HD-ID34. The only difference between the two models is the included / not included RAM and hard drive; the ID33 is better suited to DIYers who may already have a spare 2.5" HDD and SO-DIMM laying around, while the ID34 ships with a 250GB 5400RPM drive and 2GB of RAM. There's also NVIDIA's next generation Ion (Ion 2) inside, which means that 1080p playback and some light-duty gaming should theoretically be no problem... Zotac Blu-ray HD-ID34 Nettop / HTPC... Read more...
Nettops are not nearly as popular as their mobile contemporaries, i.e. netbooks, arguably due to the lack of any significant horsepower within the tiny machines. Up until now, most nettops have been good for little more than basic Office duties, Web surfing, and occasional 720p (max) movie playback. There's a fine line that has to be walked with a nettop; there's far too little space to shove a Core i3 or better CPU in there, and besides, companies are trying to keep pricing at reasonable levels. Thus, nettops have largely been left with one main processor option: Intel's Atom... Read more...
ZOTAC has made a living from producing graphics cards and PCs that are smaller than your average mid-tower, but their latest round of Mini PCs may be their nicest yet. For years, HTPC owners have wondered why so many HTPCs were shipping without Blu-ray support. Now, the times are finally catching up. ZOTAC has stepped forward with the first Mini PCs to be loaded with integrated slot-load Blu-ray drives, as both the ZBOX Blu-ray HD-ID33 and HD-ID34 come stocked from the factory with optical drives that can handle the latest and greatest BD flicks. The two machines are largely similar, with Intel's... Read more...
Okoro Media Systems has been producing pre-fabricated HTPCs for years now, and even as the niche narrows, they're continuing to be one of the go-to places for new living room computers. Now, the company is looking for ways to convince consumers to spring for an HTPC when they wouldn't otherwise, and the newly equipped SX100 is just the thing. It's just 3" tall, which is extremely slim for a full-fledged HTPC. And despite what you may assume, Okoro has managed to equip the machine with some pretty respectable specifications given the small size and limited airflow room. The 2010 edition SX100 is... Read more...
Now here's an idea. In order to draw more attention to your gear, just bundle an iPad with it! In seriousness, this actually isn't a bad plan, particularly when the company in question is Okoro Media Systems and the product is an HTPC. HTPC control is a huge issue; do you use your keyboard and mouse from the couch? Do you attempt to program a huge universal remote? What's the best way? Apple's iPad has opened up a new avenue for control, and the decision to ship this tablet with their Media Center PCs is a smart move. The iPad will be primarily used for multi-room music control, but with the right... Read more...
iPads and other tablets may be hindering the growth of the netbook market, but the HTPC market may be hurting even more. Users have gravitated towards online TV or other movie set-top boxes from Roku and the like (not to mention the media capabilities of the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii), leaving only a few pre-fabricated HTPC builders on the market. MvixUSA is one of those still hanging around, and the company has just issued two new boxes for those with not enough time to build their own. The main difference between the S2 and the S4 is the amount of drive bays; the first has two, the second has four.... Read more...
Lian Li announced the new PC-V352 Desktop/HTPC Chassis. Featuring an all aluminum design, the new chassis will be available in three colors (red, silver, and black) at the end of May. The PC-V352 supports Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboards and a removable motherboard tray. The case also has right or left side mounted ODD bays, two multimedia USB 3.0 I/O ports, and e-SATA/SD card reader/HD audio ports. Suggested price for the PC-V352 is $169 for silver or black and $189 for red. Lian Li Launches the PC-V352 Desktop / HTPC Chassis 6 May 2010, Keelung, Taiwan – Lian Li Industrial... Read more...
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