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's Place

Nik's Place

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.

Nik's Ship looks set to sail

Nik's Ship looks set to sail

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 Clean and Comfortable Workspace

Nik's Clean and Comfortable Workspace

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.

Nik's projector and Wii, custom mounted

Nik's projector and Wii, custom mounted

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.

Nik's Brushed Metal HTPC

Nik's Brushed Metal HTPC

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.

104 Inches of Awesome

104 Inches of Awesome

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.

  • Bacon

    very nice. I like when people mainly go for aesthetics.

  • Me

    Ooo Slightly different news!

  • pufnstuf

    looks really nice Nik! no clutter to distract from the 104 inches of viewing pleasure. well done on a great xbmc setup.

  • Nik

    Thanks all! I hope to get a 3D projector when 720p is history and also when 3D projectors become cheaper :)

  • Steth

    For a momment i thought i was one of the default images of the xbmc menu.Very nice indeed.

  • Machine-Sanctum

    Definetly nice. I like the “little” screen :) Much much better than the previous feature friday

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/lakeoftea lakeoftea

    your television is amazing. the mental image of the xbmc logo displayed on this incredibly large screen will be be my inspiration as i customize xbmc for ubuntu 11.04 running on a Giada Cube N3.

  • Briam

    Nice setup and like your screen frame. You should screw 3d and spend some money on real speakers though!

  • Sledgehamma

    Very nice dude !

  • Nik


    Yeah, I’ve been thinking of that as well. But to be honest, the Z-5500 is something out of the ordinary computer 5.1 speaker systems that are being sold. The sound is truly amazing for such a cheap setup, I believe you can buy the Z-5500 for about $450 as of now. I think I payed not more than $600 for it 3 years ago. But I really would love to have the Bose Lifestyle V25 or V35. :)

  • spartan711

    Great feature friday, but could we get a technical update? I’ve been looking forward to one for a month now :)

  • Adam

    Awesome setup!! Love the lounge room!

  • http://xbmcmediacenter.com h.udo

    Nik, I have almost the same exact setup, except for the CPU and TV cards! I use a ‘greener’ BE-2350 CPU and two WinTV-HVR-4000 TV cards with DVB-C, DVB-T and DVB-S/S2 capabilities. Yes, I use all the tuners. ;-)

    Anyways, I loved the room colors, general aesthetics and overall West Wing (ish) look, my all around favorite show ever.

    Congrats on such a great looking home office/home theater!


  • Joe

    Sweet setup. Just curious how you handle the cooling for your server and htpc. I am constantly trying to find a way to keep my server (drobo) and htpc quiet while still keeping them sufficiently cool….

  • http://lucascustom.info Matt

    Great looking setup my friend!! Well Done. Will serve as inspiration as I setup my second HTPC this week.

  • Zeke

    “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.”

    Wouldn’t be worried about clutter so much as noise. Even with liquid cooling on everything, the hum of the harddrives could pose a problem unless they’re mounted in some or other case or unit specifically designed or modified to absorb/deflect the disquiet.

    I figured having the Wii up that high would pose a problem too, for example not being able to change games without the aid of a chair to sat upon…

  • Nik

    @Adam and @spartan711



    I might actually buy new TV-cards for my next HTPC which will sport a wireless card and smaller form size. I will check Hauppauge out then :)


    You should definately check out Noctua, and try to use as much passive cooling/heat pipes as possible. By doing that you can reduce the fan speeds and in turn reduce noise. Consider using slower hard drives, i.e “Green” power to reduce both power consumption and to reduce cooling requirements.


    Thanks, and good luck!


    The harddrives are WD Caviar Green, so they are cool and very silent. Extra noise absorbing kits for the chassi is installed. The overall noise is about 20db or less. Chassi fans are Noctua NF-P12 (http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&products_id=12&lng=en). And the CPU fan is one of those silent ones as well, Noctua with 6 heat-pipes. The aquariuam is making most of the noise, the water that poors out of the pump. So you can imagine how silent it actually is. :)

    For the Wii, I’m using a softmod for Wii that allows me to host all games on a external hard drive connected through USB. I’ve got around 300-400 games on it. Google “WBFS” and you’ll get more info about such.

  • Anonymous

    I just got my XBMC Live set up perfectly with my 52″Samsung plasma and networked my other two running on XBOX consoles via UPnP. Man how I love having all my consoles synced!

  • WoberT

    Nice setup! I really like your desk with the computers.

    This is my swedish setup, no xbmc logo on the screen i´m afraid but I just love xbmc and use it everyday.


  • http://www.modelxposure.com Evan Ricardson

    Funny to see his server… I’m using pretty much the exact same setup. 16TB RAID 5 array in an Antec 300 case, windows server 2008 r2 x64 with Hyper V. use it for my mail server, my web server, my file server, and more recently, my build server (i build all the openelec.tv builds and post them up.

    Nice looking setup.

  • Aaron

    What is Hyper V and why would I use it with XBMC? Thanks

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  • john.cord

    300-400 Wii Games….

    Dude! Do you got a extra room for your Library of the Originals from your Wii Games? I dont see anything on your pictures…

  • TieKei

    Nik, I’m really interested in details about your black velvet Frame. Is there a white projection screen or just a plain wall?
    How did you made this awesome frame?

    Nice work!

  • Alberto

    Man, reminds me of my (now damaged) VPL-HS51A projector, though I had it at 95″ still awesome. Gotta get another :) While reading the article I see no mention about the audio setup. And yes, I love the lightning too.