I've got a wild hair to get myself a state of the art home theater in my 30' boat. I've reached a number of dilemmas and i'd like to think aloud in hopes that one of you has solved a similar problem.
I want it to do hdmi 1.3, blu ray, 5.1 surround, 1080p. I'm looking for the best performing components at a sensible price, basically the opposite of what Bose puts out.
A standalone blu ray player won't do. I want streaming video and pirated stuff too. So my choices are narrowed down to a home theatre pc or a standalone player.
Among home theatre PCs, i'm considering either a mini itx box or a laptop. Mini itx is the smallest format for desktops that still performs reasonably, they have very low power draw and can run directly off DC, widely used in cars. The laptop would have to play blu ray, which eliminates macbooks. I'm not eager for the butthurt of routing cables for the desktop, but to hide the system beneath a settee and use wireless kb/mouse/wiimote would be pretty badass. I'm not eager for a loud/hot/heavy laptop, but i'd appreciate some rip-roaring gaming performance and portability. A standalone player would likely have to be part of a larger system, but could prove to be the most compact practical for movie watching.
Additional factors to complicate the matter is whether i should run it through the 12v system or 110v, and a good solution for monitor mounting that is durable and versatile.
My itx idea:
built in slow cpu: Newegg.com - ZOTAC IONITX-A-U Atom N330 1.6GHz Dual-Core 441 NVIDIA ION Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo - Motherboard / CPU / VGA Combo
add your own power hog cpu: Newegg.com - ZOTAC GF9300-D-E LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300 HDMI Wi-Fi Mini ITX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards
My laptop idea:
Newegg.com - ASUS N70 Series N70SV-X1 NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo T9550(2.66GHz) 17.3" 4GB Memory 640GB HDD 7200rpm BD Combo NVIDIA GeForce GT 130M - Laptops / Notebooks
My standalone media player idea:
Amazon.com: Egreat EG-M34A Network Media Tank NMT 1080p HD H.264 MKV Player w/ HDMI 1.3: Electronics
I've also got an eye out for small speakers and a good display, although i suspect I'll likely use a 1900x1200 24" samsung display and a sweet hdmi 1.3 5.1 samsung home theatre in a box that i have from my dirt dwelling days. Only problem is the subwoofer is the size of a mini fridge, and i'm not sure if i can get away with a full size stereo receiver in a boat for space power and heat reasons.
So there's my mash of thoughts, please feel free to weigh in with your own ideas as how to approach this system.