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Build the Ultimate Home Theater PC Paperback – December 12, 2005

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471755494 ISBN-10: 0471755494 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The best of both worlds—now THIS is entertainment

You love tinkering with technology. The digital lifestyle is your lifestyle. So building your own Home Theater PC just might be as entertaining as using it. In these pages, a couple of fellow tinkerers explain the components and subsystems of a Home Theater PC and help you choose and pur- chase parts, assemble and test the PC, install Windows® Media Center Edition, and get the whole thing up and running. Then, invite your friends over and watch 'em turn green.

All you need to know

Clear, step-by-step instructions, complete with parts lists, pictures, and diagrams

  • What makes it an HTPC
  • Choosing the CPU and memory
  • Graphics, video, and HTPC audio
  • Monitors and displays
  • Networking your HTPC
  • Remotes—and how many you can lose
  • Installing MCE 2005
  • Your choice—P4, Pentium M, or Athlon 64
  • Maximizing your multimedia experience
  • . . . and more!

About the Author

Ed Tittel has been involved with computers for nearly 25 years. Since 1994 he's been a full-time writer and tech editor. Among his many book credits is PC Magazine: Fighting Spyware, Viruses, and Malware, also published by Wiley.

Mike Chin has been a gadget geek since before he learned to read. After dabbling in business journalism and home audio, he settled into technical writing and consulting. He created, the leading online authority on computer acoustics.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471755494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471755494
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,859,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ed Tittel is a full-time freelance writer, trainer, and consultant who specializes in information security, markup languages, and networking technologies. He is a regular contributor to numerous TechTarget websites; teaches online security and technology courses for HP; and writes regularly for Tom's Hardware and ITExpertVoice.

Ed has contributed to over 100 books on various computing subjects, including a dozen different titles in the ...For Dummies series. He is probably best known for creating the Exam Cram series of IT certification prep books in 1997, and for having edited that series from 1997 until 2006. Ed's best-selling titles include "HTML, XHTML and CSS For Dummies" (soon to go into a 7th edition, for a cumulative total of 13 editions of HTML For Dummies titles he's worked on), "The Guide to TCP/IP" (which he co-authored with protocol expert Laura Chappell), "Windows Server 2008 For Dummies," and "Networking Essentials." He's also written numerous titles on security including the "CISSP Study Guide" (4th edition, with co-authors James Michael Stewart and Mike Chapple), "The PC Magazine Guide to Fighting Spyware, Viruses, and Malware," and the "TISCA Training Guide."

For more information on Ed, please visit his personal Website at You can also visit his profile on LinkedIn at to get information about various blogs and other activities.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By ZippyFuzzy on April 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
I had high expectations for this book but I guess I should have researched it more. As it turns out this book is really two books in one. The first describes how to build your own PC. The second describes how to use Windows MCE.

The only difference between an HTPC and a regular PC hardware is the form factor and the inclusion of a capture card. Essentially any decent book on building your own PC can help you out on the hardware side. It looks like this book did a decent job with it, even though I simply went to newegg and picked out my pieces since I had built a PC before.

What I was hoping for was coverage of all HTPC software out there today and a comparison of options. This book unfortunately only covers MCE. BeyondTV, MythTV(and Linux), Meedio and Mediaplay are all ignored. This is a huge oversite on the part of the author. Hence my 3 stars.

In summary if you are new to building a PC and intend on using MCE this is the book for you. Experienced PC builders and those that wish to use other software options should avoid it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David G. Crandell on January 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book in December. I have wanted to build my own computer for some time. I never had a reason for one until I read about Microsoft's Media Center Edition. This prompted me to hit the Internet for info. I came across 5 or 6 sites with good info, but they were outdated. I came upon this book on The book is "hot off the presses." It give 3 great examples from start to finish, which include 3 different platforms. Each one of the components are assigned a chapter which included recommendations.

If you are able to partition a hard drive and use hand tools you will be able to build your own HTPC. The process is very rewarding. By the way I am 55 years old and this is my first computer.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andy on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I uncovered this book just after I finished building my own HTPC (Media Center). In process, I did extensive online research, leveraging,, and other resources. Finding simple answers was such a tedious task, that I decided to create my own knowldege base online at to help others. If I had had this book earlier I would have saved a lot of time in finding those answers and money on buying uncompatible parts. This book is simply an enciclopedia for all Media Center technology enthusiasts and PC builders!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By O. Pankiewicz on August 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is great reference material for any HTPC newbie. It has clear directions and setup diagrams. If your not planning on using MCE, then this book will only be useful to you on the hardware side. Also, technology changes so quickly that you need to compliment this book with websites such as [...]
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