Project : A new MCE box for the house–what to get?
Its amazing how reliant you get on devices within the house. I am a huge fan of Roku devices which my children now use effortless through out the house, also sitting in the theater along side a Roku is an Apple TV device which gets used regularly but the #1 device is still the Media Center boxes that are scattered around the house. When one finally gave up the ghost the other night I thought I was going to have a riot on my hands. Its amazing how dependent people become or at least the expectation that these devices will just go on and on. When this device died I was given permission (by she who must be listen to) to rebuild or create something new and do it quickly as she had girlfriends coming over to watch a movie.
If you are reading this article then you may have noticed the redesign to our site, urbankiwinz spent many a frustrating night rebuilding it to meet the performance requirements that we needed ( due to the high demand we were receiving) whilst he coded away I have been researching loads of configurations and designs ( I was thinking about creating my own case) but after some counsel from urbankiwinz he convinced me not to go down this path.
So where do I stand now, I have requirements for something small, quite and with a blu-ray drive. In the past I have used a Silverstone case , mini ITX motherboard, fan less video card rubber encased blu-ray drive and ultra quite power supply all to keep noise down. I do still have the desire to build something but the more I look around I see that there are some really nice designs in the market. I am currently looking at the following two:
Intel Next Unit of Computing
I am starting to favor the mac mini with Windows 7 on it running MCE. Both of these devices do fail on the internal blu-ray drive. So at this point in time I am looking at using an external blu ray drive if I go down this path. I am going to head over the customer pc people at playtech to see what they have in there showroom, I have bought gear from these guys before and they do tend to source some amazing things.
I will update this article as this project progresses.