The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Mini-media center almost complete

Posted by Deliverator on February 6th, 2006

I moved the guts of my mini-media center into a new case. The new case is a Travla C138 in black. It is pretty much the smallest case available that accomodates a PCI slot. It is very nicely machined with no sharp edges and has a nice handle on the back for carrying it. The case has space for a slimline optical drive, 2.5″ or 3.5″ hard drive and has breakout ports for firewire, 2x usb 2.0 and audio connectors at the front of the case. The PCI slot can only be used if you are using a 2.5″ hard drive (a 3.5″ blocks the slot), so I will have to clone my existing drive onto a notebook sized hard drive in order to use it.

I am currently thinking of adding either a ATSC HDTV TV tuner card or a Siig USB 2.0+Firewire+Gigabit Ethernet card. I have put these Siig cards in a number of older computers. USB2+Firewire cards are a dime a dozen in the industry, but imo, Siig makes some of the best oddball i/o cards around. Another possibility is to add a PCI wireless card. I still need a higher bitrate solution for ferrying video than the current 802.11b gear is capable of providing.

To top off the system, I added a RF wireless keyboard made by BTC. It has a mini-joystick for controlling the pointer and well laid out auxilary+media keys for common function like scrolling up/down. It is quite ergonomic and fits comfortably in one’s lap while lounging on the couch. Each side of the keyboard has a easy to grasp handle. The keyboard communicates via RF, instead of infra-red, so it has much better range than your average wireless keyboard. I have tried a lot of wireless keyboards, and for home-theater use, this is one of the few that I would recommend. The only other wireless keyboard I can whole-heartedly recommend for home-theater use is the Adesso WKB-4000 US. It has incredible range and is quite small, which is handy when dealing with coffee tables already overflowing with remote controls. If you are in the market, I recommend checking these two out. They are really better than anything I have used, including the incredibly overpriced line of RF keyboards from Gyration.

BTC Keyboard 32 Travla C138