I already blogged about Fiire products: FiireEngine, FiireStation and FiireChief. They should be 100% compatible with LinuxMCE. So, when I came to the point to buy VESA mount media director I started to think about 1″ FiireStation. According to its specification the device supports alpha blended UI2. But practically that’s not 100% true. It supports UI2 with Overlay. But it isn’t the biggest problem. Because it uses VIA Chrome graphical chip the 1″ FiireStation comes with custom image based on Kubuntu 6.10 without KDE and possibility to run MythTV locally. So, if you’re gonna spend about $900 you can do it just buying 1″ FiireStation.
Joyless news is that. The VIA based PC is the only one variant to have a VESA mounted media director. But basically it’ll support only UI1 which is too pure and old looking for the modern on-screen menu.
After discussion with one of LinuxMCE developers I decided to try MM200. It’s based on aOpen motherboard, has Intel graphical chip, supported UI2 with Overlay and supports HDTV (at least 720p). Also it’s slim enough to be mounted behind TV (just need to make custom fasteners) and its price is reasonable.