Best LGA1156 Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H
Intel's new Core i3 processors are not a bad pick for an HTPC. They are fast, but don't use a lot of power. The Core i3 processors also include an on-die GPU which is HDCP compliant and powerful enough to play Blu-Ray and other HD formats smoothly.
These new Core i3 processors can be used with a new chipset, called the H55. The H55 chipset does not include any kind of integrated graphics because the Core i3 already has a GPU on-die. The result is a chipset which for most users will be functionally similar to a P55 motherboard but will be less expensive. Also, because more hardware is integrated into the CPU, room is freed up on the motherboard.
The Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H is an example of the advantages of this approach. It is a very robust micro-ATX motherboard loaded with features including two PCI slots, two PCI Express slots, Realtek integrated audio, 4 USB ports, and support for up to 6 SATA hard drives. The plethora of of PCI slots is of particular interest since it provides space for TV tuner and sound cards despite the motherboard's small size.
Given the features, it would be reasonable to expect the Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H to be a little pricey. It isn't. In fact, the GA-H55M-S2H only costs about $90 dollars, the same as the Foxconn board. This is a good deal, particularly for a board from Gigabyte, which is generally regarded as one of the best motherboard manufacturers today.