Well since I deployed to Iraq and now have been stationed in Korea, I have amassed quite a bit of digital media to keep myself entertained when I staying in my dorm room.
You know, since AFN is fairly horrible at showing things that I like, I'm better off streaming it or downloading. The latter being my choice since it'* free and in HD!
The only problem is though, watching stuff like this is horrible on a 22 inch LCD computer monitor from about 8-10 feet away. I needed to find a great way to be able to use my huge (for a dorm room) 46 inch LCD TV. So I plugged my laptop in via HDMI. This was all well and good, but now I had lost the mobility of my laptop.
So, I started doing research on HTPC'* and all of their awesomeness. Enter, my new "baby"
Just the specs. For the price I'd call this system "mid-range".
I love this case. Looks just like a piece of home A/V equipment until you look right at it. The **** that looks like it would be for volume, is really the power button. All the normal "computer stuff" is hidden behind the flip down panel. I actually don't use the card reader at all, just the USB ports.
Inside the case. You can see my PSU, CPU/Fan, RAM, and rear fans. The tray on the right side holds the Blu-Ray drive and the three 1TB HDD. This thing is super quiet. You can't hear it at all!
Just a screen shot of the desktop. Very, very simple as this computers ONLY function is for playing media.
Now, for the HTPC "front end" screens. I run XBMC, and I'm still in the process of tweaking it to make it perfect, but this is what I've got right now.
Alright, there she is. So, you technical gurus, what do you think?