Remote controls are must-haves for anything you need to control from the comfort of your couch. Siggy Moersch reviews six alternatives for making your Windows HTPC more living-room friendly.
In our final installment, Siggy surveys quiet graphics cards, TV tuner cards and products for multimedia control and display. And we finally show the details of both our test builds.
Hype aside, is it really possible to build a PC that is quiet and does everything that a high-end remote-controlled set-top box can do? And don't forget it's got to look good in your living room, too.
Until now, DVD players with DivX support have been a good alternative to the noisy living room PC. Now the first multimedia boxes based on hard drives have arrived. They can store hundreds of gigabytes of video and play it directly from the hard drive, yet are hardly bigger than a paperback novel.
A multimedia PC is only accepted in the living room if it has the look of hi-fi equipment. THG introduces four such HTPC cases, and the toys that go with it like remote controls with special operating software for the sofa, motherboards and quiet cooling systems.
The fanless MVP Player from AOpen offers photo, audio and video file playback, while weighing in at only 8.8 oz. Add a PC hard drive, and you can watch your movies on your TV or listen to music anywhere you go.
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