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In Hi-fi

By Ryan Feeley

Home Theatre PC minus PC

On 23, Aug 2007 | 14 Comments | In Hi-fi | By Ryan Feeley

EurekaThe whole time I was waiting for the release of Apple TV, the devices I should have been lusting after were silently released by some Korean hardware manufacturers. Perhaps I had missed their release because their web pages are Search Engine Retardant containing no text, but images of text? When will companies realize that Google does not have a GIF braille reader?

The trend in Home Theatre PCs is to drop the PC and soup up a hard drive enclosure with multimedia features. Drop in a hard drive sized to your liking and start dumping your media onto it. A remote control will help you navigate your vast collection of JPEGs, audio files, video files, even HD! Some of these enclosures can output DVI for video, and digital out for surround sound processing in your home theatre receiver. And often sport Wi-Fi so you needn’t even connect them physically to your computer.

Here are all the ones I’ve come across. Please let me know if I’m missing any of them.

The best single online Canadian source I have come across to date is Ontario based


  1. Thanks a lot Ryan! After the post DemoCamp bar talk I decided to see what the hell you were rambling on about and why I shouldn’t just go buy a MacMini as a HTPC. Wowzers!

    There are some great devices in that last at really great prices. No I’ve got to do some digging and see which is the best for my needs. I do like the looks of the TVIX Box M-5100SH.

  2. Hey Ryan, just wanted to let you know that a few weeks ago I picked up a TViX M-4100SH, and it’s awesome.

    I’ve only used it for SD video, so I can’t say how well it’s HD playback is, but I have no reason to think it wouldn’t be great. With a little work you can manage to get it on a WiFi network, and it has a built in FTP server that you can use to load files onto it from.

    One problem with the FTP server, it’s not really very stable – and I was pulling my hair out trying to find an FTP client that will connect to it. Filezilla will not at all, and several other are quite flaky. Smart FTP did a nice job, but it seems to cause the FTP server to “hang” when it disconnects, requiring a restart of the server.

    What actually ended up being the best was just using the FTP client built into IE6, which I had not used in years but tried after I saw someone at the office use it a week ago.

    I didn’t try any Mac clients cause my media server is a Windows box, and I’ve heard command line clients work really well.

    You can also have it stream across the network, but my WiFi wasn’t fast enough to keep up with it and the video was unmatchable. I’m sure a wired network would be fine but I would rather store my media on the 500GB drive I have in the player anyhow.

    The interface is nice enough, not “Apple nice”, but I have no complaints. The remote is well designed, easy to work in the dark, and has a high quality feel to to. The whole package easily passed the wife test.

    If you are still in the market for a video jukebox type device, I recommend it but make a note that setting up the network side might take a little time. You can always plug it into a USB jack and copy files over – which was pain free, but not ideal for me going forward.

    If you have any questions – fire them my way.

  3. Great common sense here. Wish I’d thought of that.

  4. The next time I learn a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, however I actually thought youd have something attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you may repair in the event you werent too busy looking for attention.

  5. Mouarf. Ce qu’il ne fait pas lire… Mon premier ordi a été un Apple II. Je n’ai quitté les Apple (des Mac, alors) qu’après le 8.6 (sur un PowerBook G3 Wallstreet), parce que vraiment bon j’étais pas une oeuvre de charité. Pour y revenir avec Tiger Mais je gravite autour de 3 OS différents, en permanence

  6. Thank you so much for your concert last Saturday. It was a huge hit and my grandmother still talks about it almost a week later. It was her first introduction to your music and now we can’t stop her!

  7. If your fail to teach your kids the necessity of self-defense and rational and instinctual methods for survival, first, and if you do not emphasize the positive strengths of your culture, you will lose out to any other group that still understands this core truth.Muslims do not denigrate their own sick culture.It has the health of a malign predator or growing tumor.The “immune system” of the West has been compromised by the multiculti fallacy.Unless this conceptual disease is reversed, the illness will succumb to the aggressive infection of imperialistic Islam.

  8. Rått och kallt i Malmö denna dag. Men jag trotsade elementen och vallade kameran en stund. Sedan visar jag också varför hemma är bäst.


  10. I agree that that Minko Shaderlab is definitely impressive.. Personally I’ve always found visual programming tools like that a bit confusing though. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t spent enough time playing with one to get the hang of it. Some UI tools are always great though. Maybe when I have some free time, I’ll start playing around with something like that.

  11. Eikö lämpöä ja sähköä voitais tuottaa täällä kylissäkin ensiharvennuksen riusta ja kannoista,siirtoverkot ovat olemassa,hiilijalanjälki jää lyhyeksi ja maaseutu vaurastuu.Pitääkö kaikki olla suurteollisuuden hallussa.Tarvitaan kaikenkokoisia toimijoita.

  12. you have made my day with this post. i have friends in japan, and have gone there twice now, to volunteer at animal shelters, where animals rescued from the fukushima zone are housed. the people were not allowed to bring their pets when they evacuated, so many pets are still abandoned in the zone, even now. it’s tragic. i will go back again next year, and bring my ukulele to play this song. it makes me cry, but that’s okay. arigatou…

  13. Der er den fin koppen igjen ♥ Jeg fant den nedsatt i en butikk i Tromsø da jeg var der i julen, men jeg hadde rett og slett ikke plass til den i bagasjen. Irriterer meg enda for esken er jo sÃ¥ fin at den nesten er værdt summen bare den 🙂 HÃ¥per du har en fin kveld i stua søte Moa og at du fÃ¥r en fin start pÃ¥ den nye uka 🙂

  14. I’m Scotto, because I am who I am, and that’s all that I am.I’m sort of digging this stuff lately, fun for a little change of pace -Listen to a brilliant version of Devo’s From . My Wakeup music of the day – – via, !

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