Set up a computer for TV using OpenELEC

We previously reviewed a few options for an HTPC. So what is an HTPC? It stands for home theater personal computer and can have different requirements based on your needs. Some may also refer to it as a TV computer or a media center PC. Regardless what you call it, the most basic requirement is for watching videos from a computer on a television (typically in high definition nowadays). OpenELEC is a lightweight and easy to use XBMC media center distribution.

VIA Nano X2 U4025 Review

The ZBOX nano VD01 is the most difficult system to review. Inside the only mini PC we tested from Zotac is a VIA Nano X2 U4025 processor with VX900 / Chrome9 graphics (pictured on right). On paper it looks very promising with CPU specs that should outperform the Intel Atom D2700. However, we’re more concerned with the graphics support and performance. Testing setup For this system we used a 256GB SSD with Windows 7 Home Premium and a 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SO-DIMM module.

AMD E-450 Review - Linux HTPC

Inside the ZBOX-AD04-U is an AMD E-450 APU with onboard Radeon HD 6320 graphics. We plan to compare it with Intel’s finest Atom processor (with Nvidia graphics) and see which wins as a media center computer. To read more about the Zotac ZBOX in general see the post analyzing the Intel board here. This post will look at the AMD technology and benchmarks against the previously reviewed ID80. We will also be featuring articles detailing the full setup of a Linux home theater PC (HTPC) and the benefits of a small computer attached to your television.

Intel Atom D2700 - HTPC Review

The ZBOX-ID80-U sports an Intel Atom D2700 processor and onboard Nvidia GeForce GT 520M graphics in a small package. Does the latest and greatest Intel Atom work well as a Home Theater PC “HTPC” or Media Center computer? Let’s take a look at the “ZBOX” package, the technology inside, and wrap-up with some benchmarks. ZOTAC ZBOX Lineup The ZBOX typically comes in three size flavors. I’ll refer to this size as a mini PC measuring (in inches) 7.4 x 7.4 x 1.73.

2009 HTPC components and specs

Motherboard: ASUS AT3N7A-I $155 RAM: PQI Turbo 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 $50 HD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 320 GB 7200 SATA $50 Case: APEX MI-008 Mini-ITX $40 Case fan: Yate Loon Low Speed 120mm (28dBa,47CFM) $4 PSU: picoPSU-90 $33 and 80W AC-DC power brick $25 Cheap DVD burner Free copy of Ubuntu! I set out to create a low power living room computer capable of smooth HD playback. This system was built in September of ‘09 and has been running in the living room almost non-stop since then.