Improve your System Dramatically – Add a Home Theater PC or HTPC

The problem with most home theater rooms has to do with room acoustics. A home theater PC can be an extremely useful tool to fix many of these issues. There’s nothing more flexible or reasonably priced that can compete with it. (an HTPC)

What is the home theater PC? What purpose does a home theater computer have in home theater systems?

The truth is, computers are capable of replacing most of the source components in a home theater audio system.

zalman HTPC case picture

The HTPC is capable of doing complex multimedia and home entertainment system functions.

They can obviously play back your movies, music, media files, play games, and surf the web. But this is just scratching the surface.

They can also be used to measure the acoustic response in your room, and implementing DRC or ‘digital room correction’ filters and speaker crossover slopes.

Some of the steps to accomplish this are pretty straight forward and simple, some more complex, but none of it is hard. At worst, you can enter values into a media player such as J River Media Center to fix room problems that you noticed while measuring with “Room EQ Wizard“.

Using the HTPC for your speaker crossover fixes many of the problems associated with the passive components and does so in a very simple and effective way. All within the digital domain.

1. Build the home theater computer yourself:

There are tons of options here. If you are not comfortable building a PC from scratch just go to the link and order a complete computer.

You can also pick and choose recommended HTPC systems and see what others have bought. This is a very handy tool to use when making a decision.

-Then upgrade a few of the components like the sound card and video card to get the final product you need. You may want to add a large Hard Drive too. The options with home theater PCs are endless.

Building a good home theater computer or HTPC is fairly easy.

-Your plans for the project will need to be determined at the beginning, before you start assembly. If you were looking for computer speakers? Click here.

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2. Modify an Existing Computer that you already Own:

You can upgrade your existing computer to satisfy your HTPC needs. A home theater computer will often work just fine with your old processor, motherboard, and memory.

You may find it necessary to upgrade the memory and the hard drive/s. The main thing a HTPC needs is lots of storage space. Upgrading the hard drive space is a very easy project.

Upgrade the soundcard by adding a firewire interface such as the Echo Audiofire 8. This is a firewire multi channel DAC that will give you excellent performance from multi channel tracks. You can stream an analog signal into your PC to implement room correction.

The video card can also be upgraded if you plan to use the video from the HTPC. This is not necessary because you may use a standalone blue ray player or DVD player. But this is a viable option if you so choose.

Read here about how to Integrate the HTPC into the Home Entertainment System. It is very easy to plug hardware modules into the PCI and PCI express slots on an existing computer.

3. Modify a new computer that you purchase for a Home Theater PC.

Or go all the way and build the HTPC using the best of the available components.

We will be posting more articles in the future about PC building to give an in depth look at a PC build.

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Use the HTPC or Home Theater Computer for your Home Theater or Stereo Speakers:

Using the Home Theater PC in your audio and video system is actually fairly easy.

This is not something that you need to hire an installer to do.

The hardware is basically plug and play. You put the hardware in the case, install the drivers according to the instructions, and you are off and running.

The advantages of the HTPC are many.

You will not have to search through your music library trying to find that lost album. Much of the playback software allows you to do a search by name or genre – very handy and easy.

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