New setup, help me decide
I am moving to a small condo (living by myself) and realizing basic cable is all I want to pay for. I am putting together a potentially brand new setup, wanting to utilize sickbeard, purchasing a new tv (that's a separate issue but 3d is a maybe) and possibly a tablet or laptop as the htpc or simply a browser, or browser and sc2 machine (depending what happens with my old pc). Pardon me for not sounding very technical, this is not something I do frequently but I can learn anything.

A few concerns I have:

Right now I only own a desktop pc, I see this as a potential eyesore in my small condo and the fans are too loud. Being a closet computer gamer, if i keep it, I might only bring it out for sc2 gaming, my desk will be close to the tv as well, so I might actually want to consider a setup that would allow me to put sc2 on a separate monitor as well as the tv on low to mid settings so friends can watch. I might also sell the desktop or use it for parts for the htpc. I like the idea of having a laptop or tablet of some sort in the condo in some capacity for work emails and portability, the quality of this tablet or laptop depends on whether it makes sense to use it to meet my media center needs.


1. Build a sexy, low profile htpc to leave next to tv, potentially use parts from old desktop (core 2 processor, can get specs tomorrow), this machine may of may not be able to do browsing or sc2. Buy a cheap laptop for work and portability needs.
2. Buy laptop that will also act as a htpc, consider boxee box or other media player, widi or Asuscast, or simply leaving it near the tv hooked to hdmi. External 4 TB HD with media. This will also meet my gaming needs.

3. Some sort of setup involving a tablet and external hard drive?

Bottom line, I do not presently have a htpc, just a loud, bulky desktop pc, and am prepared to spend money on sexy options to suit my needs. I do some work from home but mostly excel and emails. I play a little sc2, but don't like broadcasting that I'm a gamer and prefer low profile setups and might just want to do away with my bulky desktop. I want to play the latest 1080p quality content and get sickbeard in my life. Do I need a dedicated NAS or will I be fine relying on a 4tb hard drive? My condo is small so I need to optimize space and not have any eyesores. I appreciate everyone's advice and will repay any advice with a nice thread for the community with pictures once my sexy bachelor pad setup is complete.
If you've already got some parts, try this case if it's sexy your after - but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. " Antec Fusion Remote Black Case "

I don't think 4T hard drive is an option - however, there are 3T drives coming out now. But a couple of those, and you can put them both in that case, and use one to backup the other, or something similar. That ought to get you going for a couple of years at least. Smile

If you have some money to spare, I'd really have to recommend a NAS. Since you seem concerned with your front room being quiet and the htpc being small - you can put a big ugly loud NAS in an unused room of your home and stream everything off of it with a tiny front-end htpc. This setup works especially well if you would like to have multiple htpc's in other rooms, etc.

Hope that helps!
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