Trouble in HTPC Space

I’m starting to think that our selection of computer goods in Malaysia is severely restricted to the gaming variety. I had the chance to visit Digital Mall, PJ last weekend and spent a while perusing the 4 storeys of shops selling mainly gadgets, phones and computer products. Unfortunately, I failed to find any place that sold anything suitable for my HTPC.

You can see that the local computer retail industry seems to be driven by games. You can see the retail stores pushing high end processors, motherboards and graphics cards. Supposedly, these are needed by the gamers to experience the best and greatest in state-of-the-art games. Unfortunately, gamers are a dumb bunch and end up shelling out a fortune to build a gaming rig that doesn’t perform as well for games as they thought it would have.

Unfortunately for my purposes, I’m going after low power, low profile and low cost systems for my HTPC rig. Seems that my tastes run counter to the main stream. So, trying to get stuff off-the-shelf is not as easy as I had hoped. I was planning to just pick up a suitable e-machines computer or similar for my HTPC rig. Unfortunately, there were none to be found in the whole building. There was only one e-machine model being sold in one-store but it was not suitable for my rig.

Seems that I might actually have to travel down to Low-Yat to have a look, this weekend. I hate having to go down there. Parking is a pain and the crowd is just crazy. Maybe I should take an LRT down instead. I’ve got a new book to read with me and this might be a good time to start. I really need to get my HTPC rig built. Otherwise, my new HDTV is being wasted.

My requirements are really simple – a quiet system that is capable of full-HD output and 5.1 sound. If I had to assemble one myself, at least give me the option of buying the component parts. Otherwise, I would be willing to pay for a ready-made machine at the right price.

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Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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