PC Friendly entertainment centers?

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PC Friendly entertainment centers?

Postposted on Mon May 19, 2014 9:48 am

Recently followed the current techie trend of rigging up a HTPC/Steam machine for my TV out of lying around parts. I love the concept and capabilities of this machine but since it was made from spare parts I don't have the space savings one normally gets building a Mini-ITX board from scratch. The plus side is obviously cost savings since I only had to buy a new Mid tower ATX case, but I'm having trouble with the aesthetics of a giant white nzxt case (and all the cords that go with it)sitting next to my tv stand in the middle of the living room.

I was hoping to solve the problem by finding a new entertainment center that has a slot for a PC tower but to this day I can't find any out there. I found a few with side bookshelves that could have the shelves taken out, but the dimensions wouldn't leave room for airflow. There are also some sizable storage shelves on larger units that could fit a PC or 2, but I need this thing to fit in an apartment. Has anyone else found any smaller entertainment centers that have a spot for an atx case?
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Re: PC Friendly entertainment centers?

Postposted on Mon May 19, 2014 10:37 am

I transferred my HTPC to a short-depth Silverstone Grandia, but the solution we use in our conference rooms is two small cupboard/shelf units either side of the tower with a slab across the top to tie it together.

This is a temporary mess without wiring in the walls and just using temporary furniture but you could do a good job if you picked two nice cupboards and a smoked glass top or something:

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Re: PC Friendly entertainment centers?

Postposted on Mon May 19, 2014 10:52 am

I actually had the salesman at a local furniture store suggest that same setup. Not a bad idea but it would mean my PC still sitting on the carpet.
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Re: PC Friendly entertainment centers?

Postposted on Mon May 19, 2014 11:46 am

1) I would have suggested one of the smallest inexpensive ATX cases I've come across to get you started in the right direction. Most entertainment centers just aren't going to have a dedicated compartment big enough (see deep enough) for an ATX case. Hence, why most HTPCs are mITX.

2) If you're trying to stuff an ATX case into an entertainment center, keep your eyes open for something that you could lay the case on it's side and cut out the (typically cardboard-like) back of the cabinet to accommodate the depth of the case. That's probably going to be your only feasible option.
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Re: PC Friendly entertainment centers?

Postposted on Mon May 19, 2014 3:28 pm

The other boardrooms were in use but actually we have PC's off the carpet in those using a simple plinth. I don't know why this one had no plinth!
Anyway, here's another way to look at it:

1) Furniture is really expensive and lasts for a long, long time. My stuff is cheaper than most (Gloss MDF with glass instead of real wood) but it cost me around £490/$650
2) Computer cases are cheap. $100 gets you a decent HTPC case that will fit the furniture.

Buy the furniture you want/can afford and then move your HTPC into a form-factor that fits your furniture.
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Re: PC Friendly entertainment centers?

Postposted on Mon May 19, 2014 4:22 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:Buy the furniture you want/can afford and then move your HTPC into a form-factor that fits your furniture.

Or, build the computer into your furniture. I've ALWAYS wanted to do this:
http://hacknmod.com/hack/build-a-comput ... your-desk/
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