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Subject: Systems | September 28, 2010 - 04:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
For those wanting to skip the entire process of building an HTPC to capture shows and to stream online content there is a lot of choice between set top boxes and the like. From the renewed Apple TV through Google's new attempt to integrate their player with new TVs to the PS3, there are quite a few different ways to get nonstandard content onto your TV screen. Gizmodo has put together a chart outlining what features each offers, from mobile device integration through Hulu compatibility,
Subject: Systems | September 16, 2010 - 04:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The system which Think Computers just finished testing, the CyberPower Gamer Dragon, costs a hair over $1000 and sports a six core Phenom II with 4GB of DDR3 and a GTX460 in a customized Elite 430 case. They compared the total system price to what the cost would be to build it from scratch and CyberPower turned out to have priced the system below what ThinkComputers could have built it for, always a nice touch from a boutique store.
Subject: Systems | September 14, 2010 - 06:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Recently we have seen the advent of Google TV and a re-imagined Apple TV hit the markets and a lot of consumers are wondering what the difference between the two services is and how they differ from an HTPC. Digital Trends explains in their article, highlighting the strengths and limitations of the two services. Apple TV is very proprietary as you would expect and is mostly a way to connect your TV to iTunes so you can rent shows and movies as well as being able to disp
Subject: Systems | September 9, 2010 - 05:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Tech Report has updated their systems guide, with a mind towards the student who needs something powerful enough to get their projects complete and maybe a bit of streaming media and gaming on the side. Sticking with their established categories of Econobox, Utility Player, Sweeter Spot and the Double Stuff Workstation, they've updated the components to reflect the parts available currently.
Subject: Systems | September 8, 2010 - 04:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
HONG KONG – Sept. 8, 2010 – ZOTAC International, a leading innovator and the world’s largest channel manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards and mini-PCs, today announces the new ZOTAC ZBOX Blu-ray series mini-PCs -- the world’s first shipping mini-PCs with an integrated slot-load Blu-ray drive and slim and stylish design.
Subject: Systems | September 7, 2010 - 03:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
TAIPEI, TAIWAN-September 7, 2010- VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced the VIA EPIA-M850 Mini-ITX board, the first board to feature the latest VIA VX900 media system processor, creating the i
Subject: Systems | September 6, 2010 - 06:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Amulet Devices' Remote Controlis billed as a way to allow you to control your various A/V devices with the power of your voice. As all of us have encountered voice recognition software on the phone at some point, this may make your skin crawl imagining bring that experience to your TV viewing. At an MSRP of $249
the number of people willing to take the plunge will be limited, though Missing Remote did get some good use out of it. Picking up the
Subject: Systems | August 31, 2010 - 06:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
In the setup that Ryan tested, the Maingear F131 has a watercooled Core i7-970 6-core overclocked to 4.5 GHz on an ASUS P6X58D X58
with 6GB of DDR-1600 and a pair of GTX 480 along with a Crucial SSD. Those components add up to a seriously powerful system as well as an expensive one at about $4200.
Subject: Systems | August 26, 2010 - 05:51 PM | Ryan Shrout
We are always interested in those small form factor Atom-based PCs but we are usually let down by their overall performance, even when they are coupled with a discrete graphics solution. Zotac has been making a killing with their line of ZBOX miniature PCs but today they are announcing the release of a new set of options that combine the NVIDIA ION graphics processor not with the Intel Atom CPU, but with Intel Celeron CULV single and dual-core CPUs!
Subject: Systems | August 24, 2010 - 04:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
IBUYPOWER is a fairly well known boutique builder and one of their new systems, the Paladin XLC Phantom Series is up for review at Legit Reviews. With an expected retail price just under $1,500 it is a fairly heavy duty system and the white NZXT Phantom case makes it a rather attractive one as well. A liquid cooled Core i7-930
on an ASUS P6T SE with 6GB of DDR3-1600 provides the backbone of the system with a Radeon HD 5830 providing the graphical power. In an nice change from the usual, when Legit Reviews
Subject: Systems | August 19, 2010 - 08:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Now it might seem ambitious to call an empty HTPC case the 1080p but realize that most who buy an empty case are planning on filling it with powerful components that can handle 1080p playback.
Subject: Systems | August 13, 2010 - 05:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Samsung's U250 hides a Core 2 Duo T6600, 4GB of DDR3, a 500GB HDD and a DVD-Dual layer drive behind a 23" 1920x1080 touchscreen display. The Inquirer like the look of it much more than the earlier U200 as the display has been improved but unfortunately the multi-touch capabilities have not. The system lacks the power for high end gaming at decent resolutions but there were no issues with DVD playback or with watching YouTube videos. Other all-in-one PCs have bett
Subject: Systems | August 12, 2010 - 09:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
As ExtremeTech is quick to point out, proprietary HTPCs are easy on initial setup but incredibly difficult to customize and most people will find that after a while they would like at least some customization on their HTPC. There is a way to build a box that is completely flexible, it just takes some setting up before you can use it. Do not give up hope as they will take you through the setup of a flavour of Linux specifically customized to be the OS behind an HTPC, Mythbuntu 10.04, as well as t
Subject: Systems | August 6, 2010 - 03:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
At $650 the Acer Aspire M3400 falls between the Budget and Mid-Range systems on the PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard in price. Both the GPU and CPU are from AMD though the parts differ from the HWLB build, using a Phenom II X4 820 and an HD 5450 on an unspecified motherboard that sports the AMD 800 series chipset and 6GB of DDR3-1333. The performance is about what you would expect, reasonable for general usage after the removal of the crapware that comes pre-installed but not a gaming machine by any means.&nbs
Subject: Systems | August 3, 2010 - 10:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
It is not quite an HTPC as it does not seem to have recording capabilities, the WD TV Live Plus HD media playercan stream from your Netflix account, YouTube and various other online media sources making it a little more useful than many media streamers. It is rather small, about the size of an external HDD case and it consumes about 4W which makes it great for people short on space and fre
Subject: Systems | July 23, 2010 - 05:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
At $200 the Hauppauge HD PVR High Definition Personal Video Recorder is a small box that connects to any video source and records it. To test that claim Bjorn3D tried recording from their cable set top box, an Xbox 360 game, a Xbox game, satellite television, Blu-Ray movies in 1080i, a SD DVD movie, and even a movie off of a VCR. All were completely sucessful, the HD PVR did not have a problem recordin
Subject: Systems | July 20, 2010 - 09:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Lenovo's C315 is an all in one desktop PC, what looks like a large touchscreen monitor is in reality a full PC with every bit of the functionality of a more common looking box. It might even be more capable than some as the list of components even includes a TV Tuner. Inside is an Athlon II X2 250U @ 1.6GHz, ATI HD 4530 M92-M+ integrated graphics, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB spindle based HDD. The configured system that Tech Spot tried was $849, more expensive than many other all
Subject: Systems | July 7, 2010 - 09:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The ASRock Core 100HT represents a big upgrade in performance for this series, moving off of the ION platform and instead using an Intel i3-330M 2.13GHz as a processor really gives a bump in performance capabilities. The entire system is 7.68" x 2.76" x 7.32" and its black finish will allow you to place this unobtrusively in
a living room and the wireless connectivity will help you if you stream content from another machine. Something new to think about is 3D TV and gaming, something you would assume was limited to machines with a high end video card or two;
Subject: Systems | July 2, 2010 - 06:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Tech Report has updated their system guide for the summer, featuring everything from a new Econobox to an improved double stuff system. They also go beyond just internal hardware recommendations to look at the choices you have in operating systems and even a bit on the most important peripherals such as monitors. Drop by and see what they recommend for you and don;t forget that we have our own PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard, freshly crafted each month.
Subject: Systems | June 21, 2010 - 07:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The term media streamer can be attached to many devices, from a high powered NAS device to an Xbox by way of custom built HTPCs, but in this review AnandTech has classified a media streamer as a device capable of streaming media but is on a diet of 50W or less. That does reduce the lineup quite a bit as very few HTPCs or servers are able to survive on 50W of power. From Atoms and IONs to ARM based processors and into gaming consoles, they cover almost all of the bases of boxtop streame