New Media Center PC


So here is the thing.

Kierra convinced me to sign up for a Netflix account last month. Aside from the DVDs in the mail every week, it also has a great instant watch feature. So a lot of movies and TV shows are available to be watched in a browser on your computer. Which is really nice, except for the whole having to be on the computer thing.

So I did the typical geeky thing and hooked up a computer to my TV. And it worked great. Now I could watch all of the things available on Netflix, as well as current TV episodes on Hulu. The only problem is that the PC I used was an old one. And it looked awful in my living room. The huge Desktop stuck out like a sore thumb and totally ruined the look of the room.

I didn’t really want to spend any money on a new desktop that would look better (Though Dell has some nice looking ones). And I didn’t want to just leave the PC in the living room looking ugly. At the same time I didn’t want to give up being able to watch Netflix and Hulu on my TV. So I decided to make my own case.

I bought a decorative chest (You can find them at stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels) that would match the room and cut the appropriate holes in the back for ventilation and port access. Then I gutted the PC I had for parts. Putting everything in the chest. It’s a little cramped, but it all fit and the ventilation is working to keep it from overheating. Ended up modifying a doorbell switch as a new power switch, and even cut a hole and mounted the DVD drive out the side. The end result is a decorative chest that sits on the shelf under my TV. And best of all, it doesn’t look anything like a PC.

Oh, and then I went ahead and installed a custom RainMeter skin for the PC. Which gives us a clean interface that we can run from across the room. With a wireless mouse and keyboard, or an iPhone app I can easily run the whole PC. Anyway, all in all I am pretty pleased with the result.

Click Through if you can’t see the pictures.


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