Define HTPC for me

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Avalanche
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Define HTPC for me

Post by Avalanche » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:32 am

I understand it literally is an abbreviation for Home Theater PC. However, many people seem to be building "HTPC / Gaming / Work / Server / Hotplate-for-my-coffee PC." To me, that is just the definition of a PC. Sure, it can do all of those things. But a HTPC is designed around doing Home Theater functions: Watching TV, Movies, Recording, etc. It is more like an appliance. It lives near your TV. You primarily use a remote to operate it.

Just because computer you use to watch TV does not make it a HTPC. Am I off base here? Weigh in and set me straight.

NB: This thread was admittedly inspired by a few recent posts, but those authors should not take any offense, as none is intended. The misunderstand is probably all on my end, anyway.

Fat_bloater_dave
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Post by Fat_bloater_dave » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:52 am

I don't know it just Seems like an unnecessary restriction, Its only a name really. It's still a PC whatever you use it for, but the construction of the PC can be based upon the needs of a HTPC so its small, quiet fits in esthetically with other equipment, Simple interface but then that doesn't stop it from being able to do other things as well.

So i would say my idea of an HTPC is the same as yours but without the restriction of not letting do anything else although you might be saying that introducing the other aspects makes it less "small, quiet..." etc.

Second thought.
HTPC could just be some sort of marketing label that doesnt mean anything, a PC in its nature is a versatile thing and so for each persons needs it can have differing hardware and differing applications which is why we use a PC in these cases rather than an appliance because they are so restrictive.

I shall stop talking now or i might make a third thought.

seraphyn
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Post by seraphyn » Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:09 am

A HTPC, to me, is a PC which is focused on media play with certain requirements such as silence, good sound quality, low power draw and of course, capable media playback.
You can game etc on a HTPC as it's just a PC, but it's not where you design it for (budget, parts, setting).

My gaming rig is used for HTPC purposes, but i call it a gaming rig as that is it's primary function to which i designed it.

In the end labels are just used to identify someones needs here. If someone states that he wants to build a silent PC we could be suggesting a lot of parts, attaching a label (or multiple ones) allow us to better focus our suggestions to parts more suited for it's main purpose.
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jessekopelman
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Post by jessekopelman » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:02 am

My answer is that an HTPC is not about what you do with it, but how well it integrates with home theater settings/equipment. After all, if it was just about playing multimedia, it would be called an MMPC (which is another marketing term used by many vendors). Home theater implies something that will connect to a TV and/or AV receiver. This indicates, but does not mandate the following: enclosure that can blend in with typical home theater gear, AC-3 or Toslink audio output interface, video output interface other than D-Sub (eg DVI, S-Video, component, etc.), and remote control based user interface. So, my definition of HTPC is all about the hardware interfaces and not much to do with what applications are actually run.

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Post by jhhoffma » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:17 pm

jessekopelman wrote:My answer is that an HTPC is not about what you do with it, but how well it integrates with home theater settings/equipment.
Ditto. It's a PC that works with the same equipment you use to curl up on the couch/bed/floor and watch movies with.

I'd almost go as far to say that it's that, plus something that you can design a form or style factor around, and it's a device more likely to have a tuner card in it.
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Avalanche
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Post by Avalanche » Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:01 pm

jessekopelman wrote:My answer is that an HTPC is not about what you do with it, but how well it integrates with home theater settings/equipment.
So you say it is NOT a HTPC just because you watch TV (or movies, etc) on it. You're saying it should be attached to something that could be described as home theater equipment. I think I could live with this definition, except that the line between HT equipment and PC equipment is getting a little blurry, with self-amplified speakers and ever-increasing display sizes. Some people have small apartments and may watch their computer from their bed or couch. Some people may use long cables from their computer desk to their TV. Some people may sit on their couch with a keyboard on their lap and do their work. I think all of these are reasonable things to do, and some may fit your description, but I'm not sure I am convinced these people can use the HTPC label. I think I'm leaning towards my previously mentioned "remote" qualifier.

Remote Definition for HTPCs:
If you don't primarily use a remote to operate the computer, it can't be an HTPC.

Feel free to disagree with me. I could still be convinced otherwise. :)

jessekopelman
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Post by jessekopelman » Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:45 pm

Avalanche wrote:
jessekopelman wrote:My answer is that an HTPC is not about what you do with it, but how well it integrates with home theater settings/equipment.
So you say it is NOT a HTPC just because you watch TV (or movies, etc) on it. You're saying it should be attached to something that could be described as home theater equipment. I think I could live with this definition, except that the line between HT equipment and PC equipment is getting a little blurry, with self-amplified speakers and ever-increasing display sizes. Some people have small apartments and may watch their computer from their bed or couch. Some people may use long cables from their computer desk to their TV. Some people may sit on their couch with a keyboard on their lap and do their work. I think all of these are reasonable things to do, and some may fit your description, but I'm not sure I am convinced these people can use the HTPC label. I think I'm leaning towards my previously mentioned "remote" qualifier.

Remote Definition for HTPCs:
If you don't primarily use a remote to operate the computer, it can't be an HTPC.

Feel free to disagree with me. I could still be convinced otherwise. :)
We don't disagree much:
jessekopelman wrote:This indicates, but does not mandate the following: enclosure that can blend in with typical home theater gear, AC-3 or Toslink audio output interface, video output interface other than D-Sub (eg DVI, S-Video, component, etc.), and remote control based user interface.
In addition to the remote, I also think it is very important that the HTPC look the part. If that can be accomplished by long cabling runs, so be it. However, your examples of multi-purpose devices are just that. Semantics, I suppose. If I use a chair as a step ladder to change a light bulb, is it now a step ladder or is it still a chair?

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