The concept of an HTPC (Home Theatre Personal Computer) has been a very interesting one. For quite sometime, people have been trying to equip themselves with an ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system. A system that can playback audio files with multiple effects and enhancements, playback and burn DVDs, has an ability to play latest games of a gaming console, surf internet, stream latest audio and video files, has an ability to create a slideshow from photos taken from a digital camera, and a lot more.
A PC having a microprocessor and a flexible operating system has all the mentioned capabilities. But a PC having a place in the living room isn't as easy as it seems. Here's where HTPC comes in picture. HTPC is a specially designed PC, which differentiates from a normal PC in terms of hardware and software. The basic technology remains the same, but it is the interface that makes the difference and makes it different.
Is HTPC for me?
Well, HTPC can suit each and everyone's need. But it can also be overkill. Sort out your entertainment needs. The problem with the current Entertainment system is that every system is specialized in their respective functions. For example; a DVD player can play DVDs without a hitch, but you can't surf on it. For surfing, you need set top box with Internet function, but you can't play games on it. For games, you need a gaming console.
An HTPC can let you enjoy your movies, at the same time lets you surf and play games sans console. It can do all of the above things, but at the same time can turn out very expensive or even very cheap. Confused?? Well, read on and know yourself.
A plain DVD player can cost around Rs. 5,000-10,000. An HTPC will cost you at least Rs. 40,000-50,000, but can rival out even 4000$ Denon DVD player. A little research on Google can confirm this. But, does a person really need that high quality DVD player? Attaching a 4000$ DVD player or even a 1000$ DVD player to a 21" TV makes absolutely no sense and even the 200$ DVD player will be able to give similar output. So, sort your requirements first.