I'm surprised that, with the convergence of technologies and the increasing availability of media cards, there isn't a general design thread dedicated to home theatre PCs, to allow us novices gain from the experience of those who have done it, and know what should be included. I intend to assemble a dedicated PC to use in the lounge room and replace a number of other boxes, some still functional, some obsolete. I will be connecting (via optical cable) to my home theatre receiver/amp (Yamaha RV640) and via DVI to a high definition large screen display (Panasonic or Samsung, plasma or LCD - yet to be decided). The system will be used for digital standard definition and HDTV viewing and program capture to HDD; playback of saved video, commercial DVD video and CD audio; burning of selected programs to DVD; and backup of commercial DVD for safe-keeping. I sought advice from my local friendly computer shop, and they proposed the following configuration: AMD Athlon 64 3200 CPU GA K8NSNXP motherboard with nForce3-250 chipset 1G DDR PC3200 400 MHz 256 Mb ATI 9600XT SVGA card with DVI out Vision Plus HDTV card 200 Gb Seagate HDD 7200 rpm with 8 Mb cache 16 speed DVD-/+ RW Pioneer 108 with dual layer 16 speed DVD LG Logitech cordless keyboard and mouse Windows XP Home OS I suspect some of this is on the high side of performance, and not totally necessary since the only function will be TV and DVD activity, without any application computing to interfere with processing. I believe the 200 Gb HDD is necessary for storage. I'll do more research myself on the DVD drives and select the best value for money at the time of committal. My main concerns are the video card, the HDTV card, and whether the motherboard audio (purported to be Dolby 5.1 capable) is adequate, or whether I should go for an audio system off the board, like a Creative card. I understand Windows Media Centre Edition is only available to selected (Microsoft acceptable) manufacturers, but believe I should be able to achieve what I want with just XP. As far as TV reception is concerned, I'm in Australia, we have standard and (some) high definition digital broadcast available via standard antenna and coax, as well as digital cable (standard definition). We don't have program information available for download,so that aspect of the TV card is not important. A remote control for the TV functions would be a desirable feature. Is there someone out there who has experience in assembling a home theatre PC who could advise alternative options to those suggested?