Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Madison, WI, USA
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I'm trying to put together a chronological listing of A/V technology history for our blog and I have uncovered some really interesting facts. I also want to include historical information about HTPCs. This is probably impossible to determine, but does anyone have any information about the earliest HTPCs? Who, when, where they were developed...?
I assume the earliest HTPCs started appearing in the mid to late 90s, but some may think it was much earlier. I suppose it depends on how you define an HTPC.
Maybe it was when the first consumer add-on sound cards were sold, but it might be more accurate when the first pro-sumer cards, like the M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 were being purchased by HTPC early adopters. My first add-on soundcard was a Turtle Beach Multisound, which I think I purchased around 1992. But maybe it was really when the combination of a good soundcard, video card, DVD-ROM drive and a CPU was fast enough to scale and output progressive scan DVD and surround sound, that the HTPCs were born. Actually, I had a Real Magic Hollywood decoder board that allowed me to play DVDs with a 486 or early Pentium PC, so maybe the HTPC predates the faster CPUs. I'm sure software also plays a big part. Applications like WinDVD, PowerDVD, Winamp, etc., played a big role. Does anyone think any of this software deserves to be recognized as an HTPC milestone?
Now an HTPC can do so more because of HDTV tuners, etc.
So does anyone know when-
the first decoder boards were sold?
the first DVD-Rom drives were available?
the first prosumer soundcards?
good quality video cards? (the video card in my earliest HTPCs were from Matrox)
TV tuner cards?
Anything else I should include?
Thanks for your help!