If you’re looking for clean lines and an elegant use of color and lighting, one need look no further than the living room of Nik from Sweden.
Nik was one of the very first people to post his setup on the XBMC Facebook Fanpage. Ever since then, after convincing him to let us crash at his place whenever we happen to be passing through Sweden (i.e. possibly never), we’ve been trying to get him to agree to a Feature Friday.
This week, we finally succeeded!
Next week, we plan on asking him to loan us 20 kronor for the bus.
Nik’s place looks like it could easily be used as a set for a show like the West Wing. There is no overhead lighting to speak of, and the resulting colors are beautiful to behold. All of the light sources in the room come from specific items, like the windows, and the fish tank, and the hallway, and, of course, the hidden light behind the miniature pirate ship.
Now, before we start making any more jokes about borrowing money, let’s turn to the brains of Nik’s operation.
Nik’s server and workstation are both kept in the same room as his entertainment center to conserve space. Some might worry about clutter with such an arrangement, but Nik appears to have it figured out.
Nik’s server is running Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V installed and 16GB of RAM to host a number of virtual machines. In addition to hosting all of Nik’s media (8TB of storage, holding hundreds of HD and SD movies), this server acts as Nick’s webserver and email server. When Nik isn’t busy watching his videos or playing games, he’s at his desk, programming, building websites, and otherwise being useful.
Next, we turn to Nik’s projector.
As with the rest of the room, the projector is mounted on an austere ledge, built using two inexpensive brackets and a small shelf. The projector is a 720p HD-ready Epson that runs very bright, even when the window is fully open and sunlight streams into the room. Right next to the Epson is, as you can, a Nintendo Wii for light gaming.
Nik’s HTPC features a distinctive Zalman HD160 Plus (not to be confused with the HD 160XT Plus), which is somewhat difficult to find online. That is to say, for this American author the Zalman HD160 Plus case was a bit obscure. These cases may be easier to come across in Sweden and throughout Europe.
Inside this beast are an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5400+, an NVIDIA GeForce 8300 GPU, and 4GB of RAM, along with two TV cards (a DVB-T and DVB-C) for live television, all housed on an Asus M3N78-EM motherboard. Nik has not yet tested the XBMC-PVR waters, but that is eventually on his list. Until then, he is using DVBViewer for his live television needs.
Nik controls both XBMC and DVBViewer, as well as the rest of the software on his HTPC using his iPhone. He uses the app Remoteless for Spotify, Air Mouse for DVBViewer, and XBMC Remote from Collect3 for XBMC.
Finally, saving the prettiest picture for last, we turn to the screen itself, which is 104 inches of awesome, framed in black velvet.
Now THAT is a nice little living room!
And that’s it for this week. Thanks to Nik for sharing and being one of the very first people to post his entertainment center on our Facebook Fanpage. For everybody else, keep sending in your pictures and stories, and we’ll try very hard to get them all posted. Also, with any luck, we may have a post of a slightly different nature early next week.