Building a Home Theater Personal Computer (HTPC) requires specialized hardware to deliver a high-quality viewing experience for the customer. Each piece of equipment must connect and properly provide the necessary services and resources to support the different demands required from an HTPC system.

A useful feature of an HTPC is the ability to record a video program to watch at a later time. HTPC systems can be designed to display live television, stream movies and Internet content, display family photos and videos, and even surf the Internet on a television. Consider the following hardware when building an HTPC:

Instead of building an HTPC, some clients may opt to build a Home Server PC instead. The home server PC can be placed anywhere in the home and be accessed by multiple devices at the same time. The home server shares files and streams audio, video, and photos to computers, laptops, tablets, televisions, and other media devices over the network. A home server may have a RAID array to protect valuable data from a hard drive failure. To stream data to multiple devices without delays, install a gigabit NIC.