Do you have an old laptop or desktop system hiding away somewhere; which you plan to do something with, at some time in the future?  Why not turn it into an HTPC system?  Sure, it is nice to go out, pickup an Atom + 9400M motherboard and a sweet Shuttle HTPC case and put together a brand new system, but you could always do that sometime in the future and give the ancient one away.  Watch as Digital Trends turns an old Dell laptop with a 2.66GHz P4, 512MB of RAM, and a GeForce FX Go 5200 card, choose OS and software and sits back watching 720p content on their TV.

“We’ve experimented with any number of home media servers that will stream YouTube, play movies across a home network, and stream music from a library of connected home storage appliance. And they’re nice if that’s all you ever want to do. But for ultimate flexibility, nothing beats a true home theater PC. Using a fully functional PC, you throw away all the limitations of a traditional set top box, building up a box that does exactly what you want it to, the way you want it to.”

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