Dell sells a Studio Hybrid computer which is very small and power efficient, but is too small for a PCI TV tuner card, and too expensive for what I want.
The Sonata Desktop mATX Media Center Style Case, Silverstone LC02 Media Center Case and Hiper Black Media Center Case, etc are all too big.
Shuttle make a K45 barebones computer which is small, power efficient, cheap and has space for a PCI tuner card.
It doesn't have TV output, but as we now have a Samsung LCD TV with VGA input, this isn't a problem.
It would be nice if it had S/PDIF output for connecting to a surround sound system, but it's not required for current UK DVB-T broadcasts.
I chose the K45. I hope it's quiet.
That's the case, PSU, motherboard, GFX and audio sorted, and I already have 2 DVB-T tuners, which leaves CPU, RAM and HDD to choose.
The motherboard has an Intel LGA775 slot, so it could be fitted with a Pentium Dual-core, a Celeron, a Core 2 Duo, etc. The Celeron is much cheaper than the others and has more than enough processing power for playback of DVB video. It also has a 35W TDP, so it shouldn't need lots of cooling.
1GB of RAM should be enough.
A 250GB hard drive would be plenty, but 500GB is only a few pounds more, so you'd be silly not to.
|Shuttle KPC K45||£75.81|
|Corsaid 1GB DDR2 RAM||£16.67|
|Seagate 500GB SATA HDD||£48.95|
|Intel Celeron 430||£23.74|
To be continued.