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2017 HTPC Upgrade and Repurpose. Part 1.

It’s been more than six years since I posted about my first ever HTPC build and recently I’ve been amassing parts for a new build to replace the one from 2011. In part 1, I want to go over the need for the upgrade and what I’m trying to accomplish with the new setup.

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First, we of course, need codenames for each build. I decided to name each build after a place we went to or are planning to go to in the year of the build. The 2011 build gets Project Ayers Rock with the 2017 build being Project Brussels. (Early 2017 will most likely be when I get this thing up and running)

Anyway, let’s keep going.

The Setup

Ayers Rock is still kicking just fine after six years but lags on a few things. The quick and dirty need for an upgrade include:

  • Struggles with moderate games.
  • Location is not optimal for decent over-the-air TV signal.
  • No Bluetooth for connecting controllers.
  • Needs a storage upgrade.
  • Needs a memory upgrade.
  • It’s just time!

The itch to play some PC games in the living room, more adventure, puzzle games rather than straight action, has been tempting so a new rig with a video card is in the works. Bluetooth helps so I can connect my Steelseries controller to it.

Ayers Rock has moved from three different houses and a few different living room configurations. Unfortunately, the current setup leaves it in the middle of the house with no easy way to get the Mohu Leaf antenna near a window for a clear OTA signal. Since we’re happy with this furniture setup, another solution is needed. (more on that soon)

With needs in the storage and memory department, it’s just time to rebuild it all!

Above is the basic layout. The plan is to repurpose Ayers Rock with the new build, Project Brussels, taking over downstairs in the living room.

Project Save Ayers Rock turns this build into:

  • File server for music and movies
  • DVR server for OTA signal and TV recording

The hope is that with the build being upstairs in the office, I can run the antenna to a window and get a much better signal. I’ve really wanted OTA TV to work smoothly and running a DVR server for Kodi to connect to downstairs, this should work nicely. We’ll see in a later post.

Project Brussels will be the updated build for:

  • Playing light to moderate games in the living room
  • Watching/consuming media like music and movies

I’ve got the plan nailed down, the parts are on order, and after some initial first impressions, I’ll get the results posted up with a complete step-by-step.

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