I built an HTPC trying to do everything on the cheap in December. What I've been left with is something that - whilst plays any video very well, is big, ugly, noisy and gets very warm... Because of this I'm already looking to ditch this and this time am going to look to spend a little bit more to make sure I don't have to repeat this process again for a while.
So far I've been looking at two main options - an all in one off the shelf package or building a new one with higher quality components.
For the off the shelf package I've been looking at this offer from maplin (£230 after the vouchers)http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=383816
Which would appear to be a good solution apart from the fact it has no optical drive. I've had a brief look for optical usb blu ray drives but options there seem limited.
Second option would be to buy individual components starting with the Antec Micro Fusion case (link below) + MicroATX motherboard, CPU, Graphics Card, Memory + OS. After doing a brief search around ebuyer, I saw that this route would take me to around £300 (before looking at an optical drive) unless somebody know's different?http://www.ebuyer.com/product/140998
Has anybody been in a similar situation and could see a better option than either of these two routes?