How we built a tiny home theater PC with Intel's NUC

PC World: "At 4.6 by 4.4 by 1.5 inches—about the size of a very small box of chocolates—the NUC contains a Core i3 processor and two SODIMM memory slots, and can be upgraded with both a Wi-Fi card and mSATA SSD internally. I was most intrigued by Intel's DC3217BY model, which includes an HDMI as a video connector and a Thunderbolt port for storage.

Hmmm. HDMI. And a Thunderbolt port. The feature set made me think this particular NUC would be an ideal platform for building a compact media streaming box—or even a full-fledged home theater PC.

Home theater PCs are often massive beasts, shipped in cases the same size as beefy A/V receivers. Those are great if you want massive amounts of storage, or want to build in a high-end 3D card for PC gaming from your couch. But to me the diminutive NUC seemed like an ideal platform for streaming video from the Internet or local server storage. And if you wanted to, I thought, you could connect a hard drive to that Thunderbolt port, enabling the NUC to act as a light-duty DVR."

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