The rig has taken a back seat lately to other projects going on around the house.
I had to make some changes with my HTPC setup. I got tired of messing with my Hauppauge HD PVR & Windows MCE and finally just got a HD DVR from the satellite provider + a little 330W UPS for it and other devices in the HT area of the house.
I took the old HD satellite receiver and put it in my wife's cramped hobby room and am replacing her aging TV with a Samsung UN22F5000 22-Inch 1080p 60Hz Slim LED HDTV and a little 260W UPS. The 22" was about as big as I could fit in the allotted space!
My HTPC is housed in a nMediapc 5000B case, for those of you not familiar with their components it looks more like an audio equipment box so it fits in well with my other HT components sitting in the cabinet instead of looking like a computer.
The inner workings consist of an Asrock Z68 Pro3-M matx board with an i3, Crucial 64GB SSD for OS, 2TB WD Green for music & movie storage, 8GB RAM, 350W PC & Cooling psu, and a low profile HD6450 gpu for video and bitstreaming hi res music.
Externally it's connected to my Onkyo AVR via HDMI from the HD6450.
No sound card at all as I find bitstreaming via the gpu sufficient, and this way the Onkyo AVR picks up all the decoding and output chores, as well as a hub for all the HDMI connected devices.
As I said I just removed the HD PVR and packed it up until I figure out what to do with it...it works well enough but it's just not as handy as using a DVR integrated with the satellite receiver....
But back to the Asrock board...the cool thing about Asrock and basically the only reason I bought it was because of the included CIR header. It's wired through one of the front USB ports, and I use an Asrock receiver plugged in so I can remotely turn on the pc and control Windows MCE with my Logitech remote instead of hacking around with a keyboard.
I basically use my Logitech remote for controlling all equipment associated with the HT setup.
I have a ton of DVDA/SACD capable DVD players I've amassed over the years, (yeah I'm a surround sound freak since Quad days) but I've pared them down to just the Oppo and gave some away to the kids and placed the rest in storage. But since I built the HTPC two years ago I just hardly find a need for a DVD player anymore as I just rip moves/music to the HTPC for playback.
Back on the Merlin front I got 4 more Koolance 1/2" pipe connectors and a few copper Alphacool fittings so I can finish up the copper pipe. Need to look for a way to mount some led's up under the acrylic panel in the bottom of the case, hopefully without having to pull anything out of the pedestal to do so....although eventually I'm thinking of mounting some RGB strips and a controller so maybe it will come to a teardown at some point.