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Especially for home center pc's like VDR is the computers case important since it carries the acceptance of the HTPC and defines functionality and impression. Furthermore your case has to fit to the form factor of the Mainboard and should offer enough place for pci extension cards like DVB cards or sound card.

Standard Form Factors

The Standard formats are

  • ATX
  • micro-ATX
  • flex-ATX
  • mini-ITX
  • nano-ITX

Requirements for your Case

Your case should probably

  • not look like PC
  • should be matching to HiFi equipment and/or TV
  • have a width of 16"..17"
  • have a depth of max. 17"
  • should be as flat as possible, but have enough place for pci cards
  • have interfaces like serial IO, A/V, USB..
  • be as quiet as possible, but should cool down all things inside


  • the smaller the form factor of the case to more probably the DVB card doesn't fit into the case. Especially the height of approx. 15cm might be a problem.

Solution: Mount the card in horizontal position with a riser card. Attention: some flexible riser cards may cause problems with the PCI bus and are often difficult to locate.

  • Heating-/Noise problems: see Fan

Tested combinations case-mainboard

Some cases like from mini-ATX to mini-ITX are easily combinable with a DVB Card. Some sources for cases:

Reviews of different cases are at

An interesting solution might be the reusage of an old or broken CD or DVD player. Looks like HiFi and has Display, places for DVD and keys.

Have a look at the following galleries