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Building the Perfect PC by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Chapter 6. Building a Home Theater PC

Building a Home Theater PC

We admit it—we’re audio/video Luddites. Our den audio system is a decade old. The receiver has Dolby Pro Logic, but we’ve never gotten around to hooking more than two speakers to it. We use it only for playing CDs and occasionally an elderly cassette tape. We have a standard 27” Panasonic television, analog cable, no premium channels, and no satellite receiver, and we have never owned a DVD player. TiVo? We’ve heard of it.

The only movies we generally watch are old ones on PBS, Turner Classic Movies, MoviePlex, and similar commercial-free channels. Barbara watches The West Wing (which Robert calls The Left Wing) regularly. We sometimes watch Mystery!Masterpiece Theatre, or other PBS programs. Other than news, sports, and the Weather Channel, that’s about it.

For 15 years, we’ve made it a practice never to watch television in real time if we can avoid it. We tape everything, including commercial-free programs, and watch them later at our convenience. That way, we can watch multipart programs without waiting a week between episodes, and if the phone rings we can simply pause the VCR.

Despite the limited amount of time we devote to watching television, it sometimes happens that two programs we want to record are on simultaneously or that we want to watch a tape at the same time another program needs to be recorded. To avoid such conflicts, we have ...

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