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Rosstation 2.0 is (mostly) Complete
Entered on: October 14, 2008 5:33 PM by Ross

Nerd Alert!

As I mentioned before, my old HTPC (dubbed the Rosstation before HTPC was a commonplace term) bit it a few weeks ago, so I had to replace it.  The relevant specs are as follows:

AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.5GHz

GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H (onboard ATI Radeon HD 3200, gigabit ethernet, HDMI, S/PDIF out)

2 GB RAM (don't need much for a HTPC)

Antec Fusion Black case - the crown jewel of the setup, and 40% of the overall cost.

The case:

I also forgot to mention that the heatsink I bought for this rig doesn't even usually need to run with a fan, so this machine is SILENT.  My Xbox is about 10 times louder.  Check this thing out:

Once atop the chip and inside the case:

Powered up for the first time:

The software was much more difficult than the hardware, mostly because there are so many different ways to do this, so many different software packages you can run.  For a while, I was set on running the Windows port of XMBC, but decided against it in favor of another open source app, MediaPortal

The hardest thing to get working was my requirement that I be able to use my Logitech Harmony 680 remote control to contol the computer as well.  I used a separate controller in the past but what's the point of having a universal remote if it doesn't control everything.  The biggest problem was that the case comes with an IR receiver just for this purpose, but come to find out the bastards only certified it to work with Windows Media Center Edition, which I didn't want to run because of its over-reliance on Windows Media Player (I prefer to have my movies launched in a separate app called Zoom Player which I regard to be one of the greatest software apps ever.  Anyway, I had to order a separate Microsoft remote and IR receiver and disable the onboard one.  Then I found a remote control program called IntelliRemote that I ended up buying because it worked so well, and now everything more or less works.

Here's what it looks like when it's playing music:

And browsing movie shares:

And finally, the obligatory shot of it playing a Spider-Man movie:

All this for just a smidge over $500.

NEWS 577 - 6 Comments
From: Bunky Entered on: October 14, 2008 6:07 PM

Robot is going to be super-hernie when he reads this!

From: BigFatty Entered on: October 14, 2008 10:52 PM

Dude - That is super sweet!.  Plus the price is amazing.  Man....  Fatty is jealous.  That was my original option, but getting a laptop fit better into our lifestyle.  But it still makes me jealous!  (Ok and a little hernie)

Now when Fatz comes a-courtin, we can show off the kids and the HTPCs.  Maybe you can help set-up Fatty's so it starts to grace the sweetness event horizon.

From: NickNick Entered on: October 16, 2008 4:53 PM

I have no idea what this stuff means. I just feel inadequate.

From: The Bone Entered on: October 16, 2008 5:09 PM

Trio Entertainment Unit

Come on man, you are a 34 yr old successful man. Isn't it about time you got a little stylish with your gear? Throw in some hidden speakers and you are golden.

From: Ross Entered on: October 16, 2008 10:55 PM

Where are they hidden?  I could definitely use a hidden speaker setup, since my son is working every waking moment to pull them down on top of himself. 

That said, I personally think that setup doesn't look too sweet and my current kit looks nicer. But that's just my opinion.

From: NickNick Entered on: October 17, 2008 9:35 AM

I think you should get a Bose speaker so that you have that gay looking white box sitting in front of your TV.


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