Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 7th Aug 2011 22:46 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems And yes, another item, right away. I'm on the hunt for a mini-ITX motherboard for use in a living room HTPC, and considering there's so much choice out there, I'm a little confused. Then I realised I have you people to help me out, and, well, one thing led to another.
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Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Mon 8th Aug 2011 00:21 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

I find a dedicated media client to be much more convenient than the ultimate convergence scenario. A "popcorn hour" or another appliance works when your complicated server is broken... and is also one less thing to maintain regularly. Combined it still feels like maintaining two separate things.

Also, you can add a new video card and a usb-to-optical adapter to your P4 to modernize its video and audio output. Modern software can use modern video cards to decode video.

If you want new stuff, I think the hardware reviewers have found that nothing is perfect right now. But everything is pretty good. Even the new AMD Llano with gamer-level graphics is not the perfect HTPC platform (see anandtech review?).

The only thing that will work fanless in that chitty case is a platform with similar power output to the Atom. So your only choice is another Atom or an AMD Brazos. Both those current platforms will be replaced with new stuff in 6 months or so according to leaked roadmaps, FYI.

Edited 2011-08-08 00:24 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Luminair
by AdamW on Mon 8th Aug 2011 17:34 in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

This. I used to have a big-ass HTPC which was also a poor man's NAS, and it was a pain to keep it all maintained and so on. Now I have a dedicated NAS box - a D-Link DNS-323 - sitting in the server closet, and a dedicated media streamer - a Patriot Box Office running medebo - sitting under the TV. Hell of a lot more efficient setup, I'm finding.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by j-kidd on Tue 9th Aug 2011 01:00 in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
j-kidd Member since:
2005-07-06

This largely depends on how often you "take down the server for maintenance". With the frontend-backend split, when you break the frontend, you can still use a laptop to play the media off the backend. And when you break the backend, you can still use the frontend to play the media off an external hard disk.

On the other hand, with the one-HTPC-to-rule-them-all setup, you can't afford any downtime.

Reply Parent Score: 2