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Home Theater PC Upgrade (mini ITX)

Earlier this month, I decided it was time to upgrade the HTPC we use as a DVR and media server in our living room. The previous HTPC had served us well, but the case is about as big as our Onkyo receiver and components were a few generations behind. Since space on the entertainment center is getting more valuable by the day, I ended up ordering the following components to downsize and upgrade:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also tore open an old external HDD to cannibalize the 2.5″ 160GB drive to use as the recording hard drive (consistently writing and rewriting to a SSD is not advisable). To record ATSC/NTSC/ClearQAM cable programs, I reused the Hauppauge 2250 dual tuner PCI-e card and the networked SiliconDust HDHomeRun dual digital tuner from my previous HTPC.
 
The Antec case is incredibly tiny and well put together. It also came with a 150W power supply, so I didn’t have to worry about finding a quality power supply for the mini ITX form factor. The power supply also has the necessary slimline SATA power connector, so you don’t need to buy an adapter to connect the Blu-Ray drive. The i3 2120T only uses 35W and includes Intel HD 2000 graphic processor, so no on-board video or additional GPU is necessary. The SSD is used as the boot and program drive, allowing low power usage, quick boots (not often needed for an HTPC, but useful when you need installing updates, etc.), and Windows Media Center to perform silky smooth.
 
 

To get an idea of how tiny this little guy is, here’s it compared to a Wii remote and my Onkyo receiver.


This HTPC is fast, tiny, quiet, and consumes very little power–exactly the things you look for when putting together a computer to serve as the center of your living room experience.

Interested in what Rocket Custom Computers can do to help you create the ultimate HTPC that fits your needs? Contact us today at [email protected].

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