Re: Building Another HTPC
This is my opinion but:
An HTPCs function should be limited to presentation only. Typically HTPC users want a near-silent solution that does what they need (plays video/audio content). With that in mind most go with parts that require little to no active cooling. This means a single quiet drive (single-platter drives are often most wanted, see SE16 320GB WD drives). Relatively cool CPU/Mobo/Video card, and a near-silent PSU, etc.
Storage is almost always located elsewhere and is accessed via a network share. This gives you the ability to setup the storage however you wish to support your storage needs. It's also important to keep regular backups on any critical data (documents, etc.). It is also more efficient to have an automated backup system running on a file-server rather then on your presentation box. A file-storage system with a quality HBA/RAID card will better handle the backup operations and still allow access to files through the network. In addition high quality RAID cards support raid expansion so you can add more disks as your budget allows.
When it comes down to it, it all depends on what you wanna do.
7. Blu-Ray - There are solutions to create backup BR discs even with BD+ protection but there are no guarantees. I myself am building my File-Server for the express purpose of being the central source to play my BR Disc Backups over a network. To future-proof the HTPC I would recommend Vista 64-bit for straight BR Disc playability.
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