The only solution is a PC-friendly HDTV with the appropriate A/V connections for your sources.
that's exactly what i'm looking for... what would be the best hardware that works with linux that allows me to have those connections? i found a couple, but zero info on how it would play with linux.
And you guys are all ignoring the benefits. with sources going into the htpc, i can record. and i can use much better controls than a IR remote. Also, if I limit myself to using a receiver, a receiver is the least future proof equipment there is. need a new video or audio codec? that will be another $500. Need a new port, another $500. ...with the HTPC the beauty is that you can add complex hardwared stuff on the go, and for codec, it's trivial.
an example why a universal remote is not a solution: my wife only listen to pandora. ONLY! ok, we got a receiver with ipod port even so it was easier for her... but you can't control the pandora app with a remote. now she wanted a bluetooth add on or a bluetooth enabled receiver... but then a friend told her that the battery on the phone dies too fast that way, then she found out some receivers have pandora... (besides the extra $500 point above
then next week she's into grooveshark... or she hears about a receiver that has bluetooth4 that solves the power issue... with the HTPC all that is trivial. a one line script would enable her to vote/skip musics on whatever service using whatever remote control. also $15 usb dongle would give any new bluetooth version, etc...
but now i'm just rambling