HTPC Custom case Survey

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by meep, May 16, 2002.

  1. meep

    meep
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    Hi all,

    Having spend a good deal of time looking at various posts here and on AVSForum, it appears that sourcing a decent HTPC case which meets everyones requirements is proving to be a difficulty. Virtually impossible in Europe.

    I'm currently eveluating the possibility of designing and producing such custom cases tailored to HTPC user requirements. The purpose of this thread is to ascertain those requirements.

    Please respond with ideal case specifications. Note that i am NOT looking for HTPC specs (video card, motherboard etc.). I'm talking about the actual box.

    If you feel someone else's answers are similar to your needs, please still reply as I'm keen to get an idea of the number of interested parties on this list.

    here are a few questions to start you off;

    1. Is variety of finish important (option of black, silver, champ)?

    2. Is floppy disk access important? Would a side or rear mounted floppy be appreciated?

    3. Is there a preference for front faschia quality finish only or should the full case enclosure be completed to same quality (sides&top)?

    4. Is a status LCD/Display module important?

    4b. Hou about a built in 4" LCD to act as an actual monitor for set-up etc.?

    5. Support for ir remote sensor?

    6. Would inclusion of quiet 300W power supply be important?

    7. Should silient drive enclosures be included?

    8. What about the ability to specify additions up to and including a full custom build (motherboard, processor, drives, DVD, OS etc., software etc.)

    9. What would be a reasonable time to wait for delivery?

    10. Assuming such a product met your requirements, would you purchase online?

    11. How much would you be willing to pay (including shipping) for your ideal case (excluding power supply)?

    12. I presume desktop form factor?

    13. Any other comments/observations?

    Please don't feel restricted by these questions. I'm really looking at
    a). is this a viable business proposition and
    b). What end users want.

    Thanks in advance

    Peter

    (edits to clarify issues & add extra questions)
     
  2. JohnAd

    JohnAd
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    Hi Peter

    For me I just want something that won't look out of place on a hifi rack and where most of the wiring can be kept inside the PC

    1) Yes you need a choice
    2) No
    3) Not sure what you mean, but the front and sides shouldn't look out of place next to a receiver.
    4) Nice option but not crucial
    5) Yes (IRMan or similar on an internal mb header would be good)
    6) Yes, the new fanless one connected to the case would be good
    7) Optionally
    8) Not for me
    9) 1-2 weeks
    10) Yes
    11) £100 with no power supply, £200 with fanless ( + VAT + Shipping)

    John
     
  3. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    1. Yes (you'll sell more even with only three choices)
    2.No
    3.Fascia is most important the rest just has to be unoffensive.
    4.No ( I want minimalist just the disc drawer preferably in the middle of the case like the PSI one and a nice power light)
    5.yes
    6.Maybe for some people as an option but most of us spec the hardware ourselves.
    7.I've got one I think its not worth it. (possibly an option but you'd need to take them out the case to mount the drive in anyway)
    8. Not sure the market is big enough maybe go for bespoke quiet PCs in nice cases and as light or powerful as you wish rather than the solely HTPC product.
    9.No more than 4 weeks.
    10. yes
    11. 150to 200quid depending on case.

    Do the PSI case with a better chassis and I'll buy one for 200quid.
    Also don't make it too big most of us only need a couple of harddrives and a dvd drive in the case and maybe 3 or 4 cards including graphics.

    Also most of the HTPC cases I've seen including the expensive ones are rubbish cases with a nice front bolted on; fair enough if it works but I'm not paying 200quid for a rubbish case regardless of what the front looks like. I can do that myself.
     
  4. meep

    meep
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    Keith,

    Could you elaborate on what, in your opinion, differentiates a "rubbish" case from a good one. I'm refering specifcally to the chassis design, not faschia.

    Thnaks

    Peter
     
  5. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Things to avoid with the case are generally bad build quality ; ill fitting panels , sharp edges rather than rolled over, bad alignment of motherboard to case slots. Having a slide out or hinged mainboard tray is nice. I could make do with 3 PCI slots at a pinch but suspect most people would prefer a couple more. Maybe quick release bolts but can live without them.

    I'd really like a case thats desktop ( although a modified tower on its side might well be fine) and looks as little like a PC as possible ie: have the dvd drawer mid mounted in the case exactly like the PSI one.

    I'd like to say ensure the case has plenty of room for working in but to be honest I'd prefer a case that wasn't overly large just big enough for what you need ( ATX is preferable to mATX for most people I'd imagine and makes sense from a sales point of view)

    The coolermaster case is a case in point its an mATX case but is bigger than my ATX tower at home so you get all the hassle of being limited to an mATX motherboard choice but none of the benefits ie its still a huge case... crazy ( think its ugly as well looks like a bathroom cabinet)
     

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