The home theatre personal computer (or HTPC's) concept has surged in popularity, particularly in the last year. With the improvements in small form factor mother boards and in video card output quality, people are really starting to consider integrating the PC in their home entertainment setup. I wanted to venture into this zone as well. I don't have a DVD player. My family and I are relegated to watching DVD's on the PC or hooking up the PS2 to the entertainment center in the main living room.
But, if I was going to trek on this endeavor, I wanted something special, unique, and up to the standards to bear the bit-tech name. I also wanted modularity or the ability to change things out down the line. Basically, I wanted the form and function of a tower case, the size (as close as possible) to a small form factor case like a shuttle box, and I wanted it to blend in nice with the rest of the HiFi component family. I also wanted to make it out of a material that we haven't used yet here at bit-tech.
Sure, wooden cases have been done and there are some really nice ones out there. However, this would be my first one but I wanted mine to stand out and one way was to hybrid in some various materials together. I borrowed a technique from a well known artist Kerry Vesper that makes amazing sculpture and furniture out of plywood along with other types of wood. Now, I knew my first attempt at this technique wasn't going to make him consider a career change. I wanted to make sure the design was simple and elegant as to make the construction as easy as possible but still exploiting this neat idea. Basically, his technique involves layering strata of plywood and laminates each layer together and also employs woodscrews for added strength. The work starts out rough but when sanded down has a remarkable and seamless effect. To kick it up a "nerd-notch" I decided to sandwich in layers of blue UV reactive acrylic. Another great advantage of this technique is the materials used are fairly cheap and the design is limited only to your imagination and your woodworking skills.
The front panel is extremely glossy and reflective, the slight distortion at the top is the DVD-RW drive cover, at an angle it is virtually imperceptible which is what I wanted.