We put together our HTPC (home theatre PC) quite a number of years ago. Although it wasn't decked out with the hottest tuner, or had PVR abilities like current day offerings, it did the job quite well with just a Matrox card and a small 256MB of ram. Back then, cases for HTPCs were slim pickings, which made us end up using a mid-sized tower.
Fast forward to current year and do a simple search for HTPC on Google. There are now guides to making one (including ours), Wikipedia entries, and a slew of other links on the subject. Needless to say, the HTPC market is booming big time. With the constant drop in prices for home theatre setups, many people are looking into HTPCs to perform their multimedia duties.
Not surprisingly, a lot of new companies are forming to feed this need. One of them being nMedia PC. Formed in 2004, nMedia PC is on the forefront of the HTPC boom. Based in China and the US, they manufacture pretty much all you need for your home media center. Today, we are going to take a look at their HTPC 288BA case. Let's get started.
The HTPC 288BA case that I received from nMedia is a micro-atx case that came equipped with the optional VL system VFD screen. The front of the case was designed to fit into the rest of your audio/video equipment. The front panel of the case is made from brushed aluminum and the rest of the case is made from steel
The front of the case can be divided into three different areas. The far left has the logo and room for the Windows Media Center Remote IR receiver. The center has the DVD player, VFD screen, and external connectors. Last is the power / reset button on the far right area.
The nMedia PC logo is discrete and fills the space above the IR smoked color cover quite nicely.
The power and reset buttons are larger than most PC buttons, but do fit well with the case. The power button has a clear acrylic ring around it and does glow blue when powered on.
The feet of the case are not just glued on pieces of rubber; nMedia took the time to make sure they looked like real feet that you would find on your standard / high quality A/V equipment. They are a strong piece of plastic with a brass band around them, and a soft rubber matt to keep it from scratching your media cabinet.
The top cover comes off the case and opens up all of the room for the full size ATX PSU and micro-atx motherboard. Plus you can see the two 60mm fans that are on the back of the case. There is also one 80mm fan on the front of the case on the same side as the PSU / Hard drive cage.
Looking at the empty case from the back with the DVD tray removed we can see where the VL system VFD fits in the center. Also, on the right in the picture below is the location for the Media Center IR receiver.
A closer look at the VL system that was preinstalled for us.
Specifications on the case pulled from nMedia web site: