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Why build a home theater PC?

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  • Home Theatre
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June 5, 2009 7:49:39 PM

Not starting this thread in an effort to start a debate, just a general question... why would someone want to build a home theater PC?

From what i could see is..

- DVD players in your PC tend to be more reliable and cheaper than stand alone DVDs
- BLU Ray players are cheaper in the PC, unless you have already invested in a PS3
- 5.1 and 7.1 is easier to setup, again unless you have a PS3 ( i think? )

....?

There is the general idea that you could uh, watch legally downloaded videos *cough* sorry, i have a cold, and then watch those through the PC, but is that it really?

More about : build home theater

June 5, 2009 8:17:25 PM

HTPCs generally have more storage than PS3s, support more formats of media (just about every format), and can do things like web browsing.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 5, 2009 9:06:28 PM

I built one to see what the attraction was, and soon reconfigured it for other (general) use. For me, this convergence remains "futuretech".

The sole benefit *I* could find was the ability to select and play a DVD I owned without touching the physical media. (Some would consider that fair use, some would not, but that's not really the point here. Or perhaps it is.)

My 65" HDTV as well as my 27" and 24" PC monitors are in my view simultaneously. I see no benefit to playing Internet content on the TV, nor "TV" content on the PC. And as lazy as I am, I can still pop a DVD into a player :)  Others may have different situations.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 5, 2009 9:11:53 PM

I can't resist one other point . . . admittedly personal lol.

Why would *anyone* want to introduce today's Windows "technology" (that's a joke) into their toaster, coffee pot, or TV? That stuff WORKS, or at least it did until HDMI lol.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 5, 2009 9:23:14 PM

I use my HTPC every day and don't think I'll ever go without one. I have 2 dual-tuner TV tuner cards, so I can record 4 OTA HD shows at once or watch one while recording 3.

I also love being able to pause and rewind live TV. Actually, I don't remember the last time I watched live TV because I just record all my favorite shows and watch them when I have time. I also record shows for my daughter, edit them to remove the commercials, and save them to the HD so she can watch them whenever she wants. All her DVDs (I own all the physical disks) are ripped to the HD, so she can get the remote and pick which movie she wants to watch by herself (she's 4).

The recorded OTA HD 1080i content looks great. My only problem is that I never seem to have enough HD space because of all the HD content. I currently have 5 HD's in my HTPC for a total of 2.2 TB of storage. :) 

I also use the HTPC as a server, so I can access all the content from my other computers.
June 5, 2009 9:55:58 PM

Kithzaru said:
Not starting this thread in an effort to start a debate, just a general question... why would someone want to build a home theater PC?

From what i could see is..

- DVD players in your PC tend to be more reliable and cheaper than stand alone DVDs
- BLU Ray players are cheaper in the PC, unless you have already invested in a PS3
- 5.1 and 7.1 is easier to setup, again unless you have a PS3 ( i think? )

....?

There is the general idea that you could uh, watch legally downloaded videos *cough* sorry, i have a cold, and then watch those through the PC, but is that it really?




Being able to watch Hulu on your tv comes to mind. Sure you can record the show and play back later from your HD, but the convenience of just streaming is nice. Course, i think you still have to be in the U.S to get hulu, or use a proxy.
June 5, 2009 9:58:16 PM

You can process the living #### out of the image. Digital content. Web contect. The Yada-yada. One box. Less cables.
June 5, 2009 10:50:24 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I use my HTPC every day and don't think I'll ever go without one. I have 2 dual-tuner TV tuner cards, so I can record 4 OTA HD shows at once or watch one while recording 3.

I also love being able to pause and rewind live TV. Actually, I don't remember the last time I watched live TV because I just record all my favorite shows and watch them when I have time. I also record shows for my daughter, edit them to remove the commercials, and save them to the HD so she can watch them whenever she wants. All her DVDs (I own all the physical disks) are ripped to the HD, so she can get the remote and pick which movie she wants to watch by herself (she's 4).

The recorded OTA HD 1080i content looks great. My only problem is that I never seem to have enough HD space because of all the HD content. I currently have 5 HD's in my HTPC for a total of 2.2 TB of storage. :) 

I also use the HTPC as a server, so I can access all the content from my other computers.


^^This, on all accounts.

I built an HTPC about 2 months ago for use in our faimly room. My dad didn't want to go the TiVo or DVR route, and we would always connect our laptop to our 42" 1080p LCD, so I threw together a relatively inexpensive HTPC with dual HD tuners, and a 640gb HDD to toss all of my music, movies and pictures on. We haven't been happier.

June 6, 2009 1:10:50 AM

The ideal HTPC would be a PC-OS-based replacement for an XBOX360 and DVR. Of course MS didn't put enough force behind the HD-DVD format so you instead use a Blu-ray Disk drive.

With the right components an HTPC can replace everything in your home theater rack except the audio amplifier.
June 6, 2009 3:43:43 AM

My HTPC is just used for watching HD content, aswell as if I just want to upload and edit my movies off of my camcorder ican and after that watch it on the HDTV, without having to burn a BD disk. I also use it for home audio and load up all the music on the 500GB HDD.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 6, 2009 10:58:15 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I use my HTPC every day and don't think I'll ever go without one. I have 2 dual-tuner TV tuner cards, so I can record 4 OTA HD shows at once or watch one while recording 3.

I also love being able to pause and rewind live TV. Actually, I don't remember the last time I watched live TV because I just record all my favorite shows and watch them when I have time. I also record shows for my daughter, edit them to remove the commercials, and save them to the HD so she can watch them whenever she wants. All her DVDs (I own all the physical disks) are ripped to the HD, so she can get the remote and pick which movie she wants to watch by herself (she's 4).

The recorded OTA HD 1080i content looks great. My only problem is that I never seem to have enough HD space because of all the HD content. I currently have 5 HD's in my HTPC for a total of 2.2 TB of storage. :) 

I also use the HTPC as a server, so I can access all the content from my other computers.



As stated before - ^^ this on all counts!

I don't watch a lot of TV save for sports (Go Twins!), but I'm a big movie buff. Having all my (owned) movies on my hard drive ready to play at any given moment is just too cool. I don't listen to a lot of radio either, so having my music collection on my hard drive and setting up various playlists to play through my receiver is just too easy.

Like shortstuff, my HTPC is also home to all of my media. The computer in the bedroom is hard-wired into the network and all the media on the living room HTPC is available to the bedroom HTPC.

-Wolf sends
June 7, 2009 1:19:19 AM

Having spare parts lying around from several upgrades of my original computer....couldn't resist building another one.

It's really convenient having a HTPC, being able to web surf, play games on the big screen, play ripped movies (blu-ray quality without the actual blu-ray player), and the "personal" interest twoboxer was referring to lol
June 7, 2009 1:38:00 AM

My spare parts went into my studio PC. :) 
June 7, 2009 2:59:30 AM

Yeah same, I just used an old P4 but needed a nicer AGP video card to decode the HD/Blu ray :lol: 
!