Media center computer

HTPC (home theater PC), otherwise known as media center computer, is a home workstation combining the capabilities of a PC with applications for photo, video, and audio. It integrates the elements of a home theatre into an all-in-one entertainment system. It is usually smaller and much quieter that a standard desktop computer. Typically, it has a remote control for convenient use at home. Alternatively, it may be operated by an in-air mouse pointer, which controls the device from a distance. It also has a user-friendly interface that can be viewed at common TV viewing distance. Wireless keyboards and other peripherals can commonly be utilized as remote control devices. The media may be received by satellite or cable broadcasting, but also streamed directly from the Internet. Media can be stored on a local hard drive or any type of network connected file server. All major operating systems offer software for ‘media centers’, but their components may vary. In addition to managing photos and surfing the net, some companies enable media center computers to control home automation systems.