home theater PC

Can I connect my new HDTV to a computer for home theater?

Intel NUC

Episode 1160

Robert from San Diego, CA

Robert got a 65 Inch Samsung HDTV that he wants to hook up a computer to. Leo says that an Intel NUC is a good idea because it has HDMI ports, is inexpensive, and will work great. They're hockey puck sized, and perfect to create a home theater PC. Robert will need an external hard drive for storage though. This is a great idea for a HTPC project.

Why can't I control my home theater PC with a remote?


Episode 1121

Steven from Los Angeles, CA

Steven wonders why there's no infrared remote capability for the motherboard of a home theater PC. Leo says that it's a home theater function and some do come with remotes. But often, the infrared port is overlooked. And that's a shame.

Many phones have IR ports now as well, meaning it would be possible to use the phone to control the TV. Leo also says that IR is an old technology now. It requires line of sight and that's not so great. But here's a remote for his PC if he wants one.

How can I create a DVR out of an old PC?

Episode 1045

Edward from Northridge, CA

Edward has been trying to learn more about HTPCs (home theater PCs). He wants to make an old PC into a DVR. Leo says that copy protection is often an issue with this, and cable boxes are encrypted to prevent people from using their signal that aren't paying. A computer can descramble it with a cable card, but cable companies aren't that helpful with using them. They have to give you one by law, but they don't like it. The cable company pretends they don't know anything about it, even though it's been the law since 1993.

How can I get my home theater PC to remember its settings?

Episode 973

David (DavidBix) from New York, NY

David built a home theater PC and when he boots up, his sound card doesn't remember the settings to be able to watch TV. Leo says that's been a common problem and can be very frustrating. There has to be a way to save settings somewhere, but Windows isn't offering to do that. Leo has a hunch it's the source that should be saving it, and that would be the sound card driver. The chatroom says that the user access control (UAC) will prevent remembering.

Would a Raspberry Pi running Linux make a good home theater PC? (Part 3)

Raspberry Pi

Episode 949

Ashar from St Johns, Canada

Scott isn't sure, but if Ashar is comfortable with it, it may be. The chatroom says that the Raspberry Pi is more of a science fair project than a usable computer. A streaming stick is a better option. Roku has one, but he'd need a TV that has an MHL port. There are others though that would still be a better option than the Raspberry Pi.