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Old 02-02-2004, 07:37 PM   #1
moxfyre
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: College Park, Maryland
Distribution: Debian unstable
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What's the best source for small form factors?


I'm interested in building my own set-top-box as a project for my family. I want it run Linux and play DVDs, CDs, MP3s, and browse the internet. I'd like it be VCR-sized, with an optical drive, Infrared port, and a nice sleek appearance and as quiet as possible.

I'm trying to figure out what is the best form factor to use. Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX? Where's a good place to buy this hardware as cheap as possible? It seems like I can get a way overpowered AMD tower for like $300, but to get something nice and small I'd be paying $500-$600 or more.

Any help is appreciated! Thanks,

Dan Lenski
 
Old 02-03-2004, 12:37 AM   #2
maroonbaboon
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney
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I suspect this is not so easy, and needs quite a bit of time and expertise. A fun project for sure but refining it enough for family use might be tricky.

You can start with one of the small-form-factor multimedia PCs on the market, with remote and LCD read-out, but you need to make sure you can find Linux drivers for these features.

VIA EPIA Mini-ITX is as small and quiet as you can get, but there are issues with Linux drivers for video and MPEG (DVD) decoding. See

http://www.viaarena.com/?PageID=378

If you start with a standard Micro-ATX and add components, with quiet fan and power supply you need to figure out how to add a remote. One place to start looking is www.lirc.org. Or maybe there are commercial products you can use these days.

Best thing would be to find an already successful example, and copy or improve it.
 
  


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