A Home Theater PC (HTPC) or media PC is a convergence device that combines the functions of a personal computer and a digital video recorder. It is connected to a television or a television-sized computer display and is often used as a digital photo, music, video player, TV receiver and digital video recorder.
The general goal in a HTPC is usually to combine many or all components of a home theater setup into one box. They can be purchased pre-configured with the required hardware and software needed to add television programming to the PC, or can be cobbled together out of discrete components as is commonly done with Windows Media Center, MythTV, GB-PVR, SageTV, Famulent, or LinuxMCE. The traditional HTPC concept in its purity is becoming less popular, being replaced by other devices.
For an example of just such a new device, take a look at the next link.
Nero today announced LiquidTV, a combination software and hardware product that brings the entire TiVo experience out of the living room and onto Windows PCs. Offered as a mix of TiVo software and a handful of unique features, LiquidTV brings a handful of integration and even video-exporting features to a home theater setup or on-the-road TV enthusiast. LiquidTV won't be available until October 15, but Ars Technica spoke with Nero and took a demo unit for a spin to see how well TiVo's PC liberation went.
LiquidTV is a two-part product: the TiVo PC software that runs the show and a WinTV-HVR-950Q TV tuner card from Hauppauge. This package sells for $199—which includes a one-year TiVo subscription—but you can also purchase the TiVo software by itself for $99 if you own a compatible TV tuner card. Along with the included tuner card, Nero provides a branded TiVo remote, IR transceiver, portable digital TV antenna, and an RCA input cable for the card.
Setup, as one would expect from a product with "TiVo" on it, was pretty simple. The TiVo PC software is compatible with Windows XP and Vista (we're using the latter), and it warned us about TV tuner-aware applications that could cause conflicts, such as Windows Vista Media Center. The process walked us through getting the tuner card installed, picking a local cable operator, and entering subscription credentials to download TiVo's two-week programming guide. For the record, we're using our home cable line with Nero's included TV tuner card on a quad-core 2.66 Mac Pro with 6GB of RAM, running Vista natively.
I am amazed at the speed by which all of this is converging.
 James Bowman
Now Fareed Zakaria thinks it clever to pretend that he wants someone to "please put Sarah Palin out of her agony."
You’d think these people could remember that they’ve tried this before. On the same page on which Howard Kurtz tells his readers of what a mess Governor Palin made of the Couric interview, he notes with disapproval that Paul Begala was unrepentant about having described the current president as a "high-functioning moron." Now President Bush isn’t running for anything this year. Such absurdly hyperbolical insults have become a mere tic, a habit that they can’t break for those on the left — which is why, as Mr Begala told Mr Kurtz, "You cannot imagine the positive feedback I've gotten." Oh yes I can! He acts as though the rest of us haven’t been reading the bumper stickers for the last eight years. He wouldn’t have said it if he wasn’t getting a lot of positive feedback.
But that’s just the trouble: the Begalas of the world have cried wolf too often and too frivolously. The force of the complaint, even if it were true, has been dulled by sheer repetition. It’s the same with their promiscuous and bogus charges of "lying" against the President. Now that they’re trying out the same accusations against Senator McCain, they’re finding it harder and harder to get any traction out of it. People may or may not believe that either President Bush or Senator McCain have in fact lied about something, but they are most unlikely to connect that belief, one way or another, with such charges from their political opponents. They’ve heard them too often before. So with Sarah Palin’s intelligence. She may be as thick as two short planks, as Princess Diana once said of herself, but no one not already disposed to believe so is likely to be persuaded of the fact by people for whom it is second nature to cast aspersions on the intelligence of Republicans.
Doubtless such people really do believe in their own superior intelligence, and that of the politicians who think as they do, but it’s pretty hard to point to any time in the past when Americans — as opposed to Britons — have been impressed by that argument, even if they thought it were true.
 Mark Steyn
Peter, I always enjoy hearing Burke's admonition that a member of parliament owes his constituents his judgment rather than a spasmodic jerk to the latest opinion poll. But isn't it the case that we're in this mess because US politicians previously subordinated "the general reason of the whole" to "local interests" and "local prejudices"?
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"As a general proposition, when told by unanimous elites that a particular course of action is urgent and necessary to avoid disaster, there's a lot to be said for going fishing."
Roger that, Mark Steyn, roger that.