Re: Confused about what I can do with HTPC
DVRs are much better at being DVRs than computers are, so I'd recommend getting an HD DVR from your service provider if they offer one. Pretty much the only plus side to using a PC as a DVR is the massive amount of storage.
As for everything else, the main benefit of an HTPC (to me) is the ability to download or stream shows and movies from the internet. Netflix has thousands of documentaries and movies available to watch online. Many TV stations put their shows online for free after they've been aired (Syfy, ABC, Comedy Central... to name a few). Hulu is basically a collection of all the shows you can watch online for free. And you can always download a show if you missed it on TV.
YouTube, as usual, is a great place to find just about anything if you're bored. Music videos, funny crap, educational videos, movie trailers... and more and more of them are showing up in HD.
Gaming on an HTPC can also be pretty awesome. Get some emulators and a couple Xbox 360 controllers and you can invite people over to enjoy some games they haven't played in decades.
Also, if you give your HTPC a ton of storage and some power efficient components they make great file servers to keep backups of all your data and make it all accessible from any PC in the house. We also use ours as a print server.
__________________ ---- Primary Rig ---- CoolerMaster 690 II Advance - Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P - Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 4.0Ghz + Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme
6GB DDR2 @ 942Mhz 5-5-5-20 1.9v (2x1Gb Wintec AMPX PC2-8500 & 2x2Gb G.Skill PC2-6400) - EVGA Geforce GTX 470 @ 750/1500/1850 (1.050v)
Sparkle Geforce GTS 250 1Gb Low-Profile (Physx) - Crucial RealSSD C300 64Gb SSD - Seagate 7200.12 500Gb SATA - Seagate 7200.10 320Gb SATA
ASUS VW266H 25.5" LCD - OCZ GameXStream 700W PSU - ASUS Xonar DX - Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Surround - Windows 7 Professional x64
---- HTPC ---- Asus M3A78-EM 780G - AMD Athlon X2 5050e 45W @ 2.6Ghz - 2x2GB Kingston PC2-6400 DDR2 - Sparkle 350W PSU
Seagate 7200.10 320Gb SATA - Seagate 7200.10 250Gb SATA - Athenatech A100BB.350 MicroATX Desktop - Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic