htpc

How can I keep using my Home Theater PC?

Episode 1239

Louis from Palos Verdes, CA

Louie has Windows Media Center on his computer and now that his cable company has gone digital, he can't use it. How can he fix it? Leo says that it was probably analog. He'd need a digital replacement of the capture card. The Box isn't enough. Louie will need a cable card or M card that can fit into a device that can make that video capture device a cable box. And it's likely he's going to run into roadblocks there as well.

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 does my home theater sound so bad?

FiiO digital to analog converter

Episode 1151

Mike from Birmingham, AL

Mike is planning to build a home theater PC. But when he's running Pandora online, he can control the volume on the PC, the amp and Pandora, but the sound is terrible. What is he doing wrong? Leo says that he'll want to use line-out, not headphone out. Line out has a fixed nominal volume, allowing him to adjust it from the amp. Even better, he could use digital out. FiiO makes a great digital analog converter

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.