since ages I'm building and running HPTCs in my home. And I'm reading lots of discussion boards concerning this topic... many discussions in the communities are around building/finding the perfect HTPC. Of course many flavours exist, one of them is the "mini HTPC", essentially a small networked thingy, e.g. for running XBMC accessing some home server or NAS.
Now Intel leaped a huge step forward introducing the NUCs. Tiny, energy saving, powerful... the right direction for the perfect 'thin HTPC'.
As an HTPC consumer you need at least:
- Video: high end vieo graphics; efficient video decoding, Clear Video HD, true 24p, etc
- Audio: high end HD audio supporting latest DD and DTS formats, at least using pass-through hdmi
These are the basics... at especially the i3-NUC supports them with its HD4000. However, it would be nice to see advanced video technology also for cheaper Celeron-based NUCs.
But as an HTPC consumer you woule also need/desire:
- IR remote control. Hey Intel, why is this cheap stuff not included? At least a CIR header would be ok... it's on all Intel multi media boards, why not on NUC?
- Analog Audio out, i.e. an 3.5mm stereo jack. Hey Intel, you ever heard of standard head phones? Not everyone wants to buy high end BT stuff.
- USB 3.0. This is already in the the chip set. Hey, why don't you expose that? It's state of the art.
Build a Celeron (or i3) based NUC with advanced video graphics, IR/CIR (RC6 compatible), USB 3.0, analogue audio for a reasonable price.
Hint: look at the OpenELEC project (openelec.tv). Make sure your device supports that OUT OF THE BOX and you will earn LOTS OF MONEY.
Just my 2 cents,
PS.: no offense, me and lots of other people are really and desperately seeking for such a killer device!
With NUC you are almost done... there's not too much (and nothing expensive) left!
You may call them "cheap" but they are very expensive in another way: board real estate. On a board this size, every feature requires careful planning and consideration. When you max out on board space, then you have to start making trade-offs. As we move forward, we're learning new efficiencies that may allow us to place even more stuff like what you want on the board. Stay tuned...
thanks for answering... of course I'm hoping that some folks involved in NUC design decisions are also reading here from time to time.
@Craig: of course I understand your concern, "expensive" in terms of board space.
I fully unterstand that trade-offs are required. I just wanted to encourage Intel to really design a box specifically for multi media and HTPC needs. I see that NUCs with i5, i7, with dual DisplayPort, with 2x PCIe mini are actually in the pipeline. So there seems to be actually board space for features nobody in the HTPC world would ever need.
Ok, lets prioritize. At least the CIR header with a built-in IR receiver (that is able to wake up the box from S5) would be really appreciated.
Thanks for listening,
>>As an HTPC consumer you need at least:
- Video: high end vieo graphics; efficient video decoding, Clear Video HD, true 24p, etc<<
Haswell: Intel have announced the new R-series of chips to run alongside the existing K-series. These will have the new Iris and Iris Pro graphics.
The R-series comes in with a lower TDP compared with the overclocker’s choice K-series chips, sitting at 65W vs. 84W. One of the main reasons for the lower TDP is the fact Intel are looking to squeeze those top-end graphics parts into a new generation of small form factor machines (think NUC) and all-in-one machines.