A First Look at the HTPC Case Genre with the Ahanix D.Vine 4by Purav Sanghani on October 10, 2004 1:00 PM EST
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Checklist - What to look forIn search of a well designed HTPC case, we have created a list of things to look for when seeking the perfect chassis. We have also listed some aspects of a case that we can do without for a home theater PC solution.
What to look for:
- Integrated LCD/LED display - To view "What's Playing" or other various information about on-screen content
- Easy access to drive bays - e.g. a standalone DVD/CD player, accessing the HTPC's optical drives should be hassle free
- Access to external audio and video ports - Most, if not all, home theater equipment have various audio/video inputs and outputs to accommodate external devices. Most motherboards with onboard audio come prepared for front panel audio.
- IrDA capabilities - The home theater experience is obstructed if computing methods of input, such as keyboards and mice, are required for operations. Motherboards and IrDA expansions can only go so far if a chassis is not capable of allowing IrDA equipment to be installed. Look for HTPC cases that have places to install IrDA transceivers.
What we can do without:
- Heavy modding - Bright lights, gaudy designs, anything that will make it stand out from the rest of the home theater equipment
- Loud fans, power supplies - Home theater equipment should run as quiet as possible so it doesn't take away from the audio experience
- Complicated designs - The HTPC should be as easy to use as any other component of a home theater system