You hear about them all the time and more and more PC manufacturers (even Apple) are churning out Home Theatre PCs (HTPC). With most versions of Microsoft’s new operating system Windows Vista touting media centre functionality and more and more PCs coming with video in/out and even remote controls as standard the PC is truely making it’s way into living rooms across the globe.
Why do I need a HTPC you ask? In the not-too-distant future the HTPC in some form will take over for many if not all of the current components in your home theatre setup. If you have a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) at home you already have what ammounts to a HTPC hooked up to your television. A full scale HTPC is a complete media centre in one compact(ish) package serving your digital music and movie library as well as recording and playing back your TV shows, family photos and whatever else you decide to load on your hard drives.
The people over at ExtremeMhz.com have created a comprehensive guide on how to build the Perfect HTPC. The guide goes through everything from cases to cooling, graphics cards to peripherals and has a breakdown of what software is available and what each package provides you with.
Just a warning: Still at the toddler stage HTPCs have a long way to go before being completely bug free and easy to set up so expect to spend a lot of time and money when following this guide.