role of the PC as a valid, simple to use basis for a home
media PC is something we've discussed a few times over in
the forums, and I suppose the basic conclusion was that,
despite it's unrivalled power and flexibility, the PC is
far too complex, unforgiving and difficult to navigate to
offer a real working platform at the moment.
sure it's a perfectly suitable solution for the tech-savvy
user, but tell a regular home user that after splashing
out on such a system they then ideally need to purchase
a wireless input system, some specific video playback software,
a selection of specialist CODECS and a TV with S-video in
for simplicity, and all this before they even begin to wrap
their head around the questionable joys of the Windows operating
system, and you can begin to see why they don't get seduced
by the idea.
area where things have moved on however is in the design
of the media PC case, or the Home Theater PC (HTPC) case
as it's now commonly known. Back when the idea of a PC in
the living room took shape, nobody but the most determined
user wanted an ugly and far from compact box of noisy electronics
stuck at the side of the TV.
with case companies striving to design new, elegant and
efficient cases that can take full advantage of the advances
in mini and micro-ATX motherboard technology, there's really
no need to settle for anything that looks even remotely
out of place any more. In terms of case design at least,
the HTPC era is well and truly with us.
case I want to look at today is slightly larger than most
of the current HTPC chassis designs, but the advantage to
this is that it allows you to use the more commonly and
cheaply available micro-ATX motherboard form factor. It
also packs a slightly more powerful power supply and has
room for plenty of ventilation, something that becomes essential
when you want to stack it beneath or on top of other hot
components like VCRs or satellite decoders.
by case experts SilverStone, the LC11 is the case they're
touting as the world's most advanced HTPC chassis. That's
quite a boast, I wonder if it's one they can live up to?
always let's take a wander through the specs.
panel, 0.8mm SECC body
5.25กจ x 1
||3.5กจ x 3
80mm intake, 2050rpm, 21dB
mesh grill CPU air intake vent
AGP + 2 PCI
MIC x 1
mm (W) x 96 mm (H) x 430 mm (D)
suppose the most notable items in the spec table are the
inclusion of dual, low-noise 80mm fans generating a mere
21dBA of noise each, and also the reasonably muscular (by
HTPC standards) 240 watt power supply which also boasts
Power Factor Correction.
424mm wide this case is no petite specimen, and is in fact
wider than many domestic VCR and DVD players on the market
at the moment. It should fit in a regular component cabinet
though but may be tight in some smaller ones.