Firingsquad takes a closer look at the problems of home theatre PCs:
HTPCs were not simply about DVD playback either. With TIVO bringing “timeshifting” into the public’s vocabulary (or at least making TIVO a verb), HTPCs became a solid alternative to TIVO or Replay TV products. Why spend hundreds of dollars on a TIVO with monthly subscription fees, when you could put a $100 tuner into your PC and have the freedom to upgrade your hard drive at any time. Windows Media Center helped make HTPC use easy, and Media Center Extenders such as the Xbox 360 made it even easier to use a HTPC as a media server. When HDTV PC tuners came out, it was also a no brainer solution. There was no cheaper way to record high-definition content than a HTPC.
When Blu-ray and HD DVD were announced, I had high hopes for a new resurgence in high-end home theater PC s. Unfortunately, every time I’ve tried to do a Blu-ray and HD DVD PC setup, I’ve run into trouble.