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Dick the Butcher

What is an HTPC? How much? Etc?

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Other than Home Theatre Personal Computer, I know nothing about them.  Was chatting with someone about having to use a tethered connection from my computer to my TV when watching ESPN3, iTunes, etc.  He said to just get an HTPC set-up.  I acted all like, "Yeah, man.  Great idea.  Should probably."  When I really should have been like, "WTF, you nerd.  What the hell is that?  Get a life."  So, it got me thinking, would it really be worth the money?  Right now I have my TV mounted above my fireplace with the DirecTV Genie in my coat closet [uses RF remote].  What say you, Huddle?

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Better questions you should answer before embarking the perilous path of the HTPC:

 

1.  Do you really "NEED" one?  What jobs will it perform that your current devices don't?

2.  Want to build one?  There are a ton of good cases out there and components galore.  So the question is, do you want to get your hands dirty (not dirty but...) and build one?  Way cheaper that buying a prebuilt.

3.  Do you know what software you want to use and how?  Like are you going to hook it up to an antenna and use it as an OTA recorder to save some DVR space?  Will you be using it to push your downloaded from "questionable origins" content around the house?  

4.  Or do you make your life easier and get an apple TV?  I bring up that object simply because it meets 99% of the needs of MOST people.  It's $100.

 

You really have to figure out what you are going to do with a HTPC before you jump in the deep end.  I wish you luck!

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HTPC is not for everyone. It's a hobby as much as entertainment setup.

 

My upstairs HTPC was an old desktop PC. You don't need alot of horsepower to watch movies. You can buy video cards that can play blu-ray rips for <$10.

 

But Apple TV, a Roku, WD Live, etc...will suit 95% of everyone's needs.

As ddave mentions, all depends on what you are going to do with it. Are you streaming videos from websites, playing dvd/BD rips, mp3s...or the questionable sourced .mkvs.

 

If you run windowns (vista/7/8), Mediabrowser is a nice front end but alot of people like using XBMC.

You will spend time to setup everything and I still tweak mine (changing themes, etc)

I also record HD OTA using a silicondust box.

 

AVSforum.com has a forum dedicated to HTPCs, they also have a section for media boxes (appletv, roku, many other little known boxes) New to the scene are android boxes that have an HDMI port that can stream media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the input, guys.  I don't understand 99% of it, but I got the bit about Apple TV.  I guess I would like the ability to burn my collection of DVDs and then trash the hard copies.  I know, I know, copyright violation, but whatever.  I would also like the ability to store game content for football, basketball, and baseball.  Again, I am not even sure how the whole thing works.  Can it go to multiple TVs?  Multiple computers?  Can you access content when you are away from home, e.g., vacation, business, etc.?

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