Arctic announced the availability of their MC001-XBMC passive HTPC today. Based on the Intel Atom D525 and the AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5430, the unit comes with OpenELEC pre-installed. The hardware platform supports HD audio bitstreaming and TV tuner / PVR capabilities.

The specifications of the unit are provided below:

One of the interesting aspects of the unit is the availability of a 1 TB HDD in the system for media storage and a DVB-T / ATSC TV tuner for PVR purposes. It is a bit unfortunate that OpenELEC doesn't officially seem to have ATSC tuner support for PVR purposes or HD audio bitstreaming enabled yet in the shipping version. Hopefully, a future OpenELEC update should resolve it (though one can use experimental builds / PVR version to get those features). That said, Arctic does have some interesting apps and features such as the Arctic Audio Relay which allows the unit to be used as a centralized jukebox when coupled with some accessories. The rest of the features such as a memory card reader, in-built Wi-Fi etc. are par for the course.

The MC001-XBMC is shipping now for 199 Euros / USD 229. Hit the source link for more information.

Source: Arctic

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  • mckirkus - Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - link

    If only the CableCard based tuners worked with XBMC. It would really open things up for innovation. I currently have XBMC running with WMC (for cable TV) running simultaneously and programmed "Alt-Tab" into my remote to choose what to use. Not ideal. I'm pretty much convinced this is due to DRM. If we could rent HD movies on a computer that would be ideal, but as of now, you need a locked down Blu-Ray player with internet access to do so.
  • Alecthar - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - link

    You're mostly right.

    Because XBMC only functions as the front-end for whatever PVR software you're using, XBMC actually does support CableCard tuners, as long as you're using a compatible backend (MythTV, for example). The problem with getting the whole experience is indeed DRM. The only authorized software for recording fully encrypted cable content is Windows Media Center, so watching and recording some live TV may not work when using MythTV, which supports CableCard but not the closed-source DRM schemes many cable networks/providers utilize.
  • JanieMartin - Thursday, February 7, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online.(Click Home information)
  • winterspan - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - link

    If you are considering a solution like this, do it! I thought it would be much harder to do, but I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to get openElec (XBMC) installed and running on a Zotac ZBOX nano...

    Great HTPC solution!
  • Peanutsrevenge - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - link

    For many people looking at an HTPC, I don't think even 2TB is really sufficient capacity, especially with PVR functionality. The better option for local storage is a 60GB SSD for the quick boot times and silent operation.

    Unfortunately, Arctic seem to have missed that point, looking at their site, only one machine comes with an SSD rather than HDD, which isn't easy to find on their site, only comes with a DVD drive and has windows 7 (along with a price tag >$800).

    The form factor and specs are interesting though and as they do Barebones specs, they have perked my interest.
    If only it was a dual tuner rather than single instead :|
  • zilexa - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - link

    Hi Ganesh, remember our discussion in the comments of the HTPC part 2 article, using a Core i3 3225 based system? Would you agree this new HTPC with old hardware completely changes the HTPC market? Reason: the rediculously low price! Just €119 for the version without storage:
    With 2x2GB RAM included it would be €140!

    I was going for a Zotac AD12/AMD Brazos2 1800 based system for ~260 euros. But after reading your articles and comments I decided to go for the Core i3 solution (€360). It really can bring HTPC to a next level using a feature rich H77 board and allows 1080p60 playback and even limited 4K playback, both are not supported by the Zotac, while having almost the same power consumption and can be just as silent.

    Now the MC001 completely changes the story. The Atom inside doesnt have out-of-rder execution but is clocked at 1.8Ghz so it performs the same as the Zotac/AMD 1800. But the added GPU makes big difference. And I can still use my old audiocds since it has a dvdburner included..

    This is cheaper then any Zotac, and it can play 1080p60. It seems I cannot ignore the fact this MC001 is just the best choice for a silent HTPC. I really dont need the tv tuner with DVB-T, just want to be able to run XBMC smoothly and run Transmission in the background and perhaps a browser like Firefox.

    To sum it up:
    - €70 go for a Raspberry PI solution (including SD card and case) wich will run XBMC but not with too fancy skins. Good enough for the parents. Not futureproof but good enough for ~3 years (as long as h.264 content is widely available).
    - €140: Arctic MC001, can run full XBMC even on Windows and is more futureproof, adds a DVD burner etc perhaps even capable of using MadVR!
    - €250: Zotac AD12, no benefits over the Arctic, its a smaller case.
    - €360: Intel Core i3 3225 based. Full blown HTPC capable of using MadVR.

    So it becomes less interesting to spend >€200 for an HTPC... I think most people will have more than enough power for coming years with the MC001 and for others the Raspberry might even be enough. Intel i3 or Zotac/AMD Brazos2 just don't add enough extra value. Would you agree?
  • Peanutsrevenge - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - link

    What the hell do you want to use audioCDs in an HTPC for?

    How bizarre!
  • zilexa - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - link

    I understand your response but I still have a large collection of high quality audiocds (not the badly pressed ones they sell these days) with much better audio quality compared to any online music service or mp3 or even flac rip. I never had the time to properly rip them to a lossless format so this will still be someting I will do in the near future, thats why I still could use a cd/dvd drive.

    But I totally agree for a modern HTPC you do not need an optical drive at all, not even a blu ray drive (I would never spend money on buying blurays.. I am absolutely willing to pay for a movie but it must be stored on my harddrive. So I prefer 7-15 GB x264 bluray rips). I dont believe bluray has been widely adopted like dvd a few years back and dont think it will ever happen.
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - link

    1) FLAC is lossless.
    2) Haven't BD sales surpassed those of DVDs in the 2011 Christmas season? So I guess last year would have been even better? The only thing that is not progressing well with BDs are a lot of TV shows (especially here in Germany). Other than that, everything comes out on BD and is only slightly more costly. Maybe things are different for you personally, but such a broad statement is clearly wrong.
  • zilexa - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - link

    I know flac is lossless so its the same quality as the source and the source is exactly what I am talking about. I have CDs with a quality I cannot find in stores. So I consider them of high value. Ofcourse I have to rip them to Flac or perhaps Opus or both, but never had the time.

    I actually don't know anyone who buys Blurays. I dont know anyone who buys dvds. Ofcourse BD is sold more then DVDs these days. But havent dvd sales dropped immensely? So I still think I have a point here. You cannot say BD has had the same success as DVD even if it surpassed its sales at some point. Its logical because it is its successor.

    But all I am saying is that in some countries like mine, optical storage, for movies or anything else, is not popular and not being used regularly anymore. People rent movies via their cable or IPTV provider or just download them.

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