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Old 10-02-09, 12:37 PM   #4
CaptNKILL
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 18,844
Default 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.
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