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3 HTPC Builds, Pick and Build Your Favorite

Posted on 08 November 2013 by sam

PVR’s and HTPC’s have become much more than simple media players. You can game on them and, if you really want, you can even get some work done on them.

Last year, BYOPVR ran an extensive guide to creating your own media setup. This year, we’re going to focus exclusively on custom builds. Simply because they are the most versatile, so will give you the most fun in the long run.

Internet and Live TV HTPC

Silverstone GD04 case

The Silverstone case can fit nicely in any home theater. Here it is shown with a modded front.

The first build, by Clay Montgomory, focuses on getting the PVR part right. There’s a lot of information in the guide for configuring the software, so definitely take a look.

In this article, I’m focusing on the hardware. Clay uses a larger Silverstone case, which has the advantage that you have a larger choice of components and that there’s more room to extend if the harddrive (inevitably) becomes too small.

Here are the most important components:

Small, Low Power HTPC, Ready for Gaming

Antec ISK 310-150

Because of it’s size and looks, this Antec case is very popular in HTPC builds.

This build, by Jeff Atwood, is aimed at low power consumption. However due to the massive power that the hardware manufacturers can put into their components these days, it’s also a fairly good gaming machine. The trade-off? There’s no tuner, so no recording of live TV.

With Steam’s Big Picture mode and their upcoming Steam Machines, I’m sure we are going to see a lot more of these builds.

The components that matter:

The Hacker’s Media Server and HTPC

Scientific Atlanta Explorer 2000 case

You can start from any old case that still looks fine, but some modding will be required.

This final build is for those who want full control, don’t mind playing around in Linux and would like to do some case modding.

Benoit Frigon’s setup consists of a home media server and a separate HTPC. It does contain a few items that you can’t just pick of the shelve. But that’s what makes this build stand out from the others.

The media server components.