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HTPC Questions

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I was just introduced to HTPCs today so I appologize in advance if my some of my questions are stupid. Just trying to get a better idea of what I can do with one if I got it

1) Anything trickier about HTPC gaming vs PC gaming on a desktop?

2) Surround sound compatible?

3) Keyboard vs Console styled controller (will either work?)

4) Is Apple TV a type of HTPC?

5) Can they run normal PC programs such as Word?

I've always liked certain PC games games but prefer to play consoles from the comfort of my coucb/recliner. If I can get gaming functionality out of it plus do all of the home theater stuff, I'd be pretty excited.
post #2 of 3
1. Not really. Just plug the HDMI cord into the GPU and TV. You may need to adjust for overscan.

2. Yes.

3. In-game, both will work. Many games have 360 controller support. On the desktop, obviously keyboard and mouse. However, you can set up XBMC or some other front-end, or use Steam Big Picture Mode.

4. No, Apple TV is a streamer.

5. Yes, a PC is a PC. My HTPC runs the same Windows 8 as everyone else.
post #3 of 3
This might be good thread to explain what a HTPC is:

  • A HTPC is a personal computer dedicated to playing media, typically movies and music, in a Home Theater environment - a large-screen TV and/or a surround sound setup.
  • Often this PC has a "10-foot UI", which is a minimized user interface that can be controlled with a remote and all text and information can be clearly read on a large-screen TV at 10 feet.
  • Sometimes this PC is in a smaller form factor designed to sit in a media cabinet, and effort is made to control ambient operating noise, such as minimizing fan noise.

Other than those 3 things, it is exactly like any other PC. It usually runs Windows, and the 10-foot UI sits on top of Windows. Anything you can do on a Windows computer you can do on a HTPC.

And yes, gaming from the couch with a wireless Xbox 360 controller is very doable, with a few caveats:
  1. some older PC games don't have good built-in controller support, if at all
  2. some modern PC games aren't designed with a gamepad controller in mind, usually strategy and Diablo-like games
  3. most likely you will need some sort of keyboard and pointing device to set up and launch the games

Edited by DaverJ - 7/24/13 at 7:17am
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