The purpose of the Linux HTPC Howto is to help educate people who are interested in learning about or building their own media computer (aka Home Theater PC or HTPC). The perfect HTPC solution doesn't exist and because of this there are many ways to build a HTPC and there are even more pitfalls that can make a HTPC more troublesome than helpful. This guide is designed to help both Windows and Linux users see what is involved in building a HTPC and what technologies need to be considered to make your goal a reality. The guide also takes many of the complicated details that are typically overlooked by people new to HTPC's and helps make things easier to understand.
I have been building HD HTPC's since 2003 and I prefer to use MythTV which uses the Linux OS. Although this guide references Linux often, most of the howto is not software or OS specific, and in 2005 over 80,000 visitors were Windows users.
The howto continues to grow when I have the time. There is quite a bit covered and I hope my attempt to make it enjoyable and comical at times don't get too dry. You'll have to pace yourself, it's not a single sitting reading, unless you're looking for specific information. I have tried to only go deep into areas that can have serious impact on the performance or functionality of a HTPC, and this has been what I feel has made this Howto so useful. When I wrote this I had spent hundreds of hours researching for facts and it was very difficult to find answers at all, let alone quickly. I hope this guide helps save time, frustration, and money for all of you.
Wiley Publishing released a book in November 2005, Linux Toys II that I did the MythTV chapters technical editing for. It's a good book if you would like a hard copy of steps to setup MythTV.