I am about to begin my portable HTPC project. I want a small, portable box that I can easily carry with me in one hand and that will have a big library of media on it already and can connect to any tv or monitor. The OS will be Windows 7. The main interface for the media player will be J. River. For those wondering why J. River? I need a software to streamline the navigation of all my media. The regular Windows interface is built for mouse/keyboard use on a monitor right in front of you. For an HTPC, you need something with bigger fonts and cleaner interfaces, and not mouse or keyboard oriented. If you think about regular dvd players, you see how you navigate mostly with up/down/left/right and an centered Enter button. I need the same for an HTPC, along with support for a mouse if necessary. What I'm going to do for that is get a Wii remote and use it on the PC. You can wave it around like an air mouse, and it also has a cursor pad and buttons. Perfect.
I need the htpc form factor as small as possible, but with hardware that can handle full HD. I'll likely build it myself, but if there's a good one already available, I'm willing to get that also. Any suggestions are welcome.
Any of you ever wondered why HTPC's have never taken off? It's not because it's too hard or too geeky. It's simply because the companies don't want it to be successful. If HTPC's were common and easy, it would make pirating even more appealing. Same reason why even after 15 years, dvd players still won't play a disc with regular avi files on it. It's easy to do, they just don't want to do it. And we can find the weird boxes that do this, but it's a niche right now. People don't even know about it right now because it's not marketed. if people knew you could just watch anything on your tv from the computer, the dvd market would die, and we'd start seeing a lot of really nice HTPC's all over the place. How could you not want that? It's basically a box that will play anything you throw at it right on your TV.