The good news is that you can build yourself a perfectly capable HTPC for the cost of parts, or cheaper if you have some lying around.  The bad news is you will have to learn some Linux.

ExtremeTech has put together a guide on how to build a Linux based HTPC/PVR, covering the software you will use and even some pre-built Linux distros that will save you from learning everything about setting up Linux.  Check this out and see what you are missing, and how easy it can be to get set up.

“An increasingly viable option for getting a HTPCs on the cheap, and in general, is to install Linux-based media center software on commodity hardware. The software is all free, the only hardware component that you might not already have lying around in your closet is a TV tuner, and you will probably be surprised at how easy and effective a solution it is.

If you take the time to look around, you’ll find lots of software for both Windows and GNU/Linux that meet these specifications. To help you evaluate the best choice for your needs, we’ll skim off the cream of the crop.”

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

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