A home theater PC is a dedicated computer that hooks up to your TV in order to take full advantage of your digital music, movie, and television library; a home theater PC can also allow you to play some PC games, use your computer's optical drive as a disc player for CDs/DVDs/Blurays, and watch videos from streaming services like YouTube and Netflix, all from the comfort of your couch.

What we are going to be looking at here are different pieces of hardware that go inside the build, followed by some useful software and peripherals that can enhance or finish off your set-up perfectly.

This guide provides all the information you need to build a shiny new Home Theater PC for your living room that will be powerful enough to handle your workload and entertainment—all while being compact and quiet! Building your own Home Theater PC instead of buying one pre-built means you’ll get the exact performance and design you desire, with higher-quality components and less (if any) bloatware.

Let's get to it!

In Section 1, we provide example PC builds that combine components to be well-suited for living room Home Theater set-ups.

In Section 2, we’ve got a part-by-part explanation of how to select components for your Home Theater PC build.

In Section 3, you'll find details on some of the most useful HTPC peripherals.

In Section 4, we have an overview of the most prominent software for Home Theater PCs.

Finally, in Section 5, we give you some info about a couple gamer-specific HTPC set-ups for those of you who already own beastly desktop PCs.

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