No longer is the home PC just used for word processing and web surfing. An HTPC, or Home Theatre PC, is designed to look nice enough to sit in the living room alongside the TC and hi-fi, and to act as a TV receiver, media player, personal video recorder, and so on.
Although an HTPC need be, in reality, nothing more than a standard desktop PC in a small shiny case, there are some areas where it makes sense to go for top-quality components. None more so than in the display system. Dell's relatively new Inspiron 400 HD, for example, is designed for HTPC use and has an HDMI socket on the back for direct connection to a TV that's capable of display High Definition (HD) pictures.
If you have a PC that's linked to an HD-capable display, you'll probably want to find some HD clips to play. A Google search will bring up a good collection, but most of these are movie trailers. One great source of HD samples is http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/musicandvideo/hdvideo/contentshowcase.aspx, and many of the files in this set are in full 1080p mode.
If you've not experienced HD video before, prepare to be amazed. But at around 80 MB per minute, also be prepared to buy a new hard disk if you want to start recording and keeping HD television!
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