How To

Simple Affordable Home Theater PC

simple-htpc

Home theater computers these days are few and far between.  With the demand, television companies are trying their hardest to keep up by implementing things like built in Netflix, Hulu, Youtube and more.  But this is just not enough and it never will be until we get what we want.  And that just happens to be the convenience of browsing the internet on our TV’s and watching what we want to watch and not having corporate ads shoved down our throats.  Until this happens, people will continue to build HTPC’s and hook their laptops up to their TV’s.

With today’s technology, everything is getting smaller with more power.  This is great for HTPC enthusiasts like myself.  I got sick of hooking my laptop up to myquantum-byte-mini-pc TV every time I wanted to watch a movie, Netflix or to watch my favorite streamers on Twitch.tv.  I was looking for a solution that would be unobtrusive yet still give me the functionality I wanted out of a computer.  So I began my search and behold, I find the Quantum Byte mini PC with built in WiFi.  This mini PC packs everything I need.  I don’t download anything because I have a media server setup in my office and I can stream that media to any PC or device on my network flawlessly.  And this little gem is perfect for that!  I can still browse the internet, watch live streams and do everything I can do on my desktop in my office!

The Quantum Byte has an HDMI port, VGA port, Ethernet port and 2 USB ports on the back side.  I didnt even care about the ethernet port because I wanted it wireless anyway.  So to me that us just a bonus!  It has one extra USB port on the right side along with a microSDHC/SDXC card slot.

I was able to hook this directly into my TV with no issues.  I had it up and running after filling in the Windows welcome information in a matter of minutes.

So for those looking for a Simple, affordable home theater PC, it doesnt get any simpler than this.  The Quantum Byte is a plug and play mini PC with no bloatware!  There are some negative aspects but very few.  It does not come with a keyboard and the SSD hard drive is only 32GB.

rii-i8After doing more research I found a pretty badass keyboard that has great reviews on Amazon.  It is the Rii i8+ Mini wireless keyboard.  Not only is it awesome but it’s only $18!  I have had many wireless keyboards in the passed and they all had jittery connections or were just too big!  But with the Rii i8+ I have had zero connection issues or lag and it worked right out of the box when I plugged in the receiver. The Rii i8+ has a built in mouse touch pad much like a laptop and it fits in your hand like a small game system.  For the price, it is very well made.  Did I mention it charges via USB?  Yup, no batteries needed and it lasts for a long time.  I have yet to see it die.  but that might be due to it’s auto shutoff feature if it’s not used for more than 5 minutes.

The Rii i8+ is a perfect keyboard for Plex and makes navigation a breeze.  I sometimes turn on the Quantum Byte just to play around with the keyboard in Plex.  It’s actually kind of fun to use!

So you get all of this entertainment hooked into your TV for around $200 including shipping.  Below is a breakdown of costs and extras you might want to add on.

Simple Affordable HTPC.
Item Price Buy Total
1 Quantum Byte Mini PC $169 View Details $169
2 Rii i8+ Keyboard $19 View Details $188
3 Seagate Expansion 1TB $50 View Details $238

Even if you do decide to add on the 1TB external drive, the total is still very affordable at $238 before taxes and shipping!