I fortuitously stumbled across this site whilst looking for reviews of new Intel NUC (a really professional/helpful review!) and then again on this post of yours re 802.11ac. Can't believe my luck, as so far only had come across AVSForum and not had much joy getting any replies to my requests for helpful advice/recommendations on components/configuration to get a robust home theater setup. Please see the post (below) I recently put up on AVSForum. If I'm reading this thread of yours correctly, I believe it answers the question in my post re if 802.11AC would do the job for connecting the front and back-end servers I was planning. I am of course very interested in knowing more about your setup as have no desire to re-invent the wheel or for that matter prove the point that I can still hack it by building my own box - therefore my question re where there any aftermarket outfits offering to kit out NUCs. Thanks in advance. [I have loads more questions re XBMC as not clear to me, especially with its origins, how well it plays in terms of truly taking advantage of current hardware when I am reading stuff about the next Iris Pro NUC - but will do some more research/homework here to determine where I should post such questions].
My post on AVSForum:
Hoping I can be pointed to examples of other users' system setups that I can learn from and take ideas. Quick summary of what I'm trying to accomplish:
-- Due to the room layout and aesthetic considerations, will be mounting Panasonic VT60 with B&W Panorama 2 on a wall bracket that can pulled out/rotated 90 degrees when viewing
-- Thinking of using one of the new Intel NUCs as a 'front-end' media server which will be attached to rear of TV
-- 'Back-end' of media server will basically be box with large amount of extensible disk storage. This will ideally live in a guest bedroom closet ~60 feet away. Depending upon the recommendations/suggestions I receive, it may or may not also have a Blu-ray drive.
My concerns fundamentally are around ensuring that while I have the folks in doing the wall mount install that I also have any custom cable runs installed at the same time. My experience to date with my Brighthouse Networks 60Mb/s service is that I have low confidence that I can rely on its wireless connections. As their modem/router other side of the room/house (again ~50-60 feet away), trying to determine what would be a robust config for net connectivity and also streaming a/v from media 'back-end' server. Is best approach to run cable to hard connect a 2-4 port slave router to the main one? (the NUC and TV then are individually connected to the slave). Similarly should I hard connect the back-end server or would a dedicated 802.11AC wireless connection to the front-end work reliably?
Finally, any recommendations as to what to install/run on the NUC would be most appreciated. I've not paid attention to the HT space for over a decade - suffice to say a lot's happened!
Here I am trying to understand pros/cons of installing XBMC vs OpenElec. here a key requirement is UI ease of use for day-to-day operations - simple to browse/search media library, create playlists. OK if to customize/configure is more complicated. As a side-note: I'm surprised that so far haven't found any US-based companies offering ready-to-go, out-of-the-box NUCs where they offer menu of options to choose from (OS, RAM, Wireless, SSD, ...) - like when ordering a Dell box.
[No 'political' preference but as all my experience has been with PCs, would appreciate any/all suggestions to be PC-based].
Thanks in advance