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There is not yet a multimedia PC for the living room at a reasonable price. One must therefore build one personally. If you do not have the necessary knowledge, many shops will help you assemble these components.
• The case
For the living room, it would be good to choose a not too big, noisy and ugly PC. Buy a mini PC that comes with the motherboard and power supply. Choose a quite silent model (less than 28dB).
• Motherboard and Micro-processor
Use a motherboard that supports 478 for Intel processors. As processor, a Pentium 4 with 533 MHz bus will be largely sufficient. Add 512 MB or 1 GB of DDR memory, a DVD player and a hard drive of 120 GB to store your audio and video.
Now it is time to choose a video card with no fan to reduce noise, but has a DVI output if you want to use a video projector. Choose the most affordable model (40 dollars) with an ATI or NVIDIA chipset and a TV and DVI Output. Indeed, this machine is not intended to be used for games.
• TV Tuner
To capture television, the PC must be equipped with a TV tuner. The simplest way is to use a compatible PCTV Systems card. This card will not only receive television but also have a remote to control your system from a distance and all necessary software to record to disc or play DVDs, music files and photos. Just install this software and Windows XP. But you would still need to remove drm wma (removal of drm from wma files) when and where necessary.
• Video projector
To reproduce the image, it is best to choose a video projector, that will not cost you a leg and an arm and that is also very silent. You could also use an LCD TV but it's much more expensive.
• Audio Amplifier
It is now time to install the sound system. You can use the sound output from the motherboard or better sound card. For reproduction with surround sound effects, choose a system with an excellent reproduction quality for its price.
• Connecting the PC to the network
Just connect it like any ordinary PC on a LAN connected to Internet.
With this PC, you can get almost all the functions provided by the previous system, the price of an integration effort and more complex manipulations.