Home Theatre/ Media Centre PC's

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When I first started planning my build, one of my objectives was to make the HTPC appear not as a computer at all so I went in search of a case that would look like any run of the mill video/DVD player that was as small as possible but be capable of accommodating a full size ATX motherboard and use standard fitting expansion cards to save me the bother with getting half height brackets for them. PCI Express was also a must in my specification to ensure future compatibility when doing any upgrades.

The Thermaltake™ Mozart Sx, only 90mm high, fitted the bill nicely and rather a smart looking case to boot. This VC7001SNS model came complete with a Soundgraph™ VFD front display, Imedian media centre software and remote control.


The case with Internals

Things are rather tight in there, I'm sure you will agree. Looking back, I should have bought a power supply that had modular connections to save on space and clutter a bit.

The IDE DVD drive was replaced with a Sata model which tidies things up a bit with no IDE ribbons to route.

The Hauppage Nova TV card goes in the slot visible above the graphics card.

Case Internals

Case In Place


The media centre all built up, software loaded and ready to go.

Media Centre in place

Keysonic Keyboard

The Keysonic™ keyboard is well made and compact, wireless RF and was simplicity itself to install. No driver disc needed. Just plug in the receiver, windows installed the necessary and off you go. The case's supplied remote control fully controls the media centre from switching on to off but is a nightmare to type anything with which is done by a keyboard graphic you bring up on the TV screen. Too much hassle that so the keyboard was added.

Centre and Keysonic keyboard

VFD Display


The VFD can be configured easily to show systems specs, news and weather information from RSS feeds. It also shows information about the media being currently played and the graphic equalizer bars when playing music. Shows time and date when the machine is turned off.

Centre and VFD display

The Imedian software by Soundgraph™ controls the playing of all music and video formats.

Supports .mp3, .wav, .avi, .mkv file types to name a few.

I have yet to find a format that this software won't play.


The current HD version is still in development and won't at present play High Definition DVD's such as Blu-Ray, but this is to be added as is support for internal TV cards such as my Nova T500. The TV card is currently controlled by DVB Viewer which is also launched through the Imedian interface.

Imedian 2

Album/Film art is picked up by the interface and displayed by the software.

The interface is mostly controlled by a directional pad on the remote control. Simply a case of following the arrows to play your selected Media.

Photo Albums play through configurable slide shows.



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