HTPC built on Zotac Zbox HD-ID11

I got a Zotac Zbox HD-ID11 with the latest Intel Atom D510 Dual core on ION2. Its a nice piece of hardware for a HTPC but will be a bit on the expensive side if you are building your own. I had to get a internal HDD 2.5″ drive and SODIMM 200 pin 800 MHz DDR2 RAM. I installed XBMCLive. The HDMI doesnt work out of the box so had to patch Alsa to the latest driver to get it working. Still have to update the BIOS to fix the fan “constantly running” issue and a good remote which can use the protocol XBMC understand. Overall, it has been good.

Of course, it has not been easy as the post sounds. I had to rebuild it multiple times to get the whole thing working as expected over the weekend. It reminded me of the old times when you had to rebuild and recompile Linux for every hardware few years back.

A HTPC replacement for my old xbox

The xbox I have is quite old now. It’s running a very old version of XBMC too and replacement is due for some time.
I was looking for components to build my own HTPC. But looking at my requirements, it wont be used for any ripping, gaming or even browsing, but just as a nettop tethered to a TV. It should be able to decode a standard Blu-Ray disc and should play movies from my PC attached to the network. It should not make any noise.
I came across Intel Atom with Nvidia ION chipset in may discussion topics and looks to be a good choice too. This can stream/decode Blu-ray movies. Still looking whether I need to build my own mini-ITX or buy off the shelf brands like Acer, Asus or Zotac and install XBMC on top of that.
The Zotac Zbox HD-ID11 seems to be good.