THE PERFECT HOME THEATER
How to spec, build, and set up a home theater PC—whether it’s for gaming, streaming, or a simple plug-in NAS, we break down exactly what you need
TAKE YOUR MIND BACK for a moment. The year is 2007, Steve Jobs has just announced the iPhone, the Indianapolis Colts have finished smashing the Chicago Bears in this year’s Super Bowl, and Windows Vista has now been out for three whole months. Microsoft’s operating system brought with it a hefty installation size, a ton of unnecessary resource-consuming processes, and— more importantly for us—access to the Windows Media Center across all of the various editions of the flagship OS.
For the first time (outside of the Windows XP Media Center Edition OS, of course), there was an intuitively designed, integrated user interface developed specifically for simpler input methods, such as a remote, and baked directly into the operating system itself. This is arguably the one thing that Windows Vista got right, and it would later inspire the Xbox 360’s media center as well, eventually leading on to the development of Kodi.
We’ve built rigs around the concept, we’ve tinkered with features about backing up your legally obtained media collections, and we’ve delved into how to stream the latest 4K content direct to your home computer. Yet we’ve never combined the lot. Welcome, then, to
Maximum PC’s first foray into the technological territory of building your own perfect home theater and content-consumption computer.