Antec offers poor man's HTPC kits

The Multimedia Stations bundles enable consumers to instantly turn any PC into a home theater.


Home theater PCs are all the rage. OK, well maybe not all the rage, but there are people who have them and I'm sure there are people who want to have them. These kits from Antec are for the have-nots. Called Multimedia Stations, the adapters allow even technically inept people to add a little or a lot of HTPC functionality to a standard desktop (though they require a couple of open 5.25-inch drive bays or at least a free USB port for the most basic adapter).


Pictured from top to bottom are the Multimedia Station Premier ($119.95), Elite ($99.95), Basic ($39.95), and E-Z ($29.95). The E-Z is a simple USB IR receiver that includes Antec's standard remote with the advantage being that it's portable, making it a good notebook accessory. The Basic kit slips into a 3.5-inch drive bay and again, is just a simple IR receiver with a standard remote. The Elite package adds a VFD display, volume control, and a deluxe remote and fits into a single 5.25-inch bay. Lastly, the Premier--which fits in two 5.25-inch drive bays--has an LCD, front media control panel with menu navigation, a volume control wheel, and media playback buttons.


All of the modules include iMedian HD software that supports playback of nearly all media formats and supports full HD 1080p resolution and is compatible with Windows Media Center Edition, Windows Vista, and XP.

About the author

Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering cameras, camcorders, and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.


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