Which at first glance seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. Great price, handles the Xvid AVI and H.264/AC3 MKV files I currently watch on my PC. My main concern is that I've read nothing that tells me it plays Windows 7 Media Center files, and I've heard mixed things about 1080P24 playback; some reviews say it works flawlessly with them, others say it stutters or has lip sync issues; it is still however a definite possibility. The small size is nice too.
Then I thought about getting more ambitious and getting an HTPC for this purpose. While I realize that wouldn't come in at a $199 price point, I would like to get fairly close if I went this option:
- Intel Core i5-655K Clarkdale 3.2GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Unlocked Desktop Processor BX80616I5655K
- Item #: N82E16819116369
- Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
ASUS P7H55-M PRO LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131623
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
- Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
- Item #: N82E16822136218
- Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
The Core i5-655K has onboard graphics, that handle 1080P flawlessly, so I don't have to worry about a graphics card. I'm still not sure what I'd do for a case (or a power supply, if the case doesn't have one built in.) Likewise, I'd still have to do research on memory. Is what I've posted above a good start? If not, what would you recommend instead? If so, what else would I need to fill it out and get it up and running?
Average Customer Rating:
18 out of 25(72%)customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Which would provide me a whole second Windows 7 Media Center installation that could network with the
Windows 7 Media Center on my main PC. I don't need a Blu-Ray player or even a TV Tuner card (since I
already have a stand-alone Blu-Ray player that works great and an excellent TV Tuner card in my main PC).
My main concern with this option is that even if you upgrade the processor, you're still running a machine with an AMD Athlon™ II X2 P340 (2.2GHz/1MB cache) processor. I'm worried that's not powerful enough to handle streaming 1080P video from Hulu et al. For the $199.99 for the WD TV, I would be willing to forgo online streaming. But If I'm putting $300+ down, I want to be able to do it all.
I'm also a bit concerned by the mixed customer reviews; some love it, but roughly 1 out of 4 don't.
The biggest problem here is that I'd be in way over my head, and the costs start escalating rapidly. I don't have a lot of space in my cabinet, so I'd be looking at a Micro ATX motherboard to fit into the smallest case possible. Right now I'm considering: