What is an HTPC?
HTPC is the acronym for Home Theater PC and refers to PC setups meant to be connected to a TV, so we can just say it’s a computer in the living room, but the concept goes way beyond from connecting a simple PC tower to the largest TV in the house.
In the first place, we cannot use an ordinary box because not only would it not fit aesthetically but also because the furniture where we usually place a TV is usually not prepared to house a tower, so it is necessary to use a box with a different form factor than the usual ones used on PC.
Second, and in line with the first, this greatly limits the configuration of the PC that we can build since the components that we can put inside the box will be limited by space initially, which means serious limitations to the mounting level. a fairly powerful living room PC.
HTPC, a concept that has not gained ground because of usage patterns
The idea of the PC in the living room did not catch on on several fronts, one of them being that of television content since the HTPC concept originally had a different conception. Nowadays, a lot of people are wondering if it is worth to mount an HTPC when you can buy a USB + HDMI dongle to convert a TV to SmartTV or just buy such a TV.
But the original concept of HTPC was not limited to just playing media files on the TV, as one of the ideas was to include a large capacity hard drive and a capture device capable of recording said content for it. watch when you want.
The arrival of streaming platforms and the ability not only to be able to select what content to watch and at the right time has made it unnecessary to store content on a large hard drive for many people, so one of the reasons when building from an HTPC to view media content are gone.
But the main reason was the price, no one will spend a lot of money on something that they will only use to play media content, there are boxes based on Post-PC material with the ability to play that content and for a price against the so-called home PCs can’t compete.
Apple’s failed attempt at the Steamboxes
If there is one HTPC product that received a lot of hype in its day, it is the Steambox created by Alienware, the so-called X51, which had in a console factor the hardware of a gaming laptop where a GeForce 750 Ti stands out, equivalent to a GeForce. 860M or GeForce 960M.
The truth is, their hardware for playing games wasn’t bad, but it was a huge business fiasco as the avid PC user likes to configure their PC to measure and update in the system and with it. a system like this you can’t On the other hand, the ordinary user who is only looking to reproduce multimedia content is overwhelmed by the specifications of a full PC and does not need a system also complex.
Valve put a lot of money into bringing the PC into the living room, the problem was that it had to compete with video game consoles that cost a fraction of the price and allow you to play roughly the same games. Things did not go well for the Steamboxes and the adventure of placing a PC in the living room failed again.
What is the best solution to connect a PC to the TV?
What we’re going to recommend might sound strange, but it depends on how much space you have at home and where you live, whoever is writing this article lives in a small apartment where they have a large UHD TV in the room. same room and PC next door, so I only needed to use a strong HDMI cable to connect my PC to the TV, without having to create a specific version for it.
What we recommend is that if you have a gaming PC and want a big screen, either a TV or a monitor, to play from bed, we heat our heads by building an HTPC just for that. , but let’s kill two. birds with a stone and it will be much cheaper than having to build an HTPC or reposition a mini-PC in HTPC.