HTPC is an abbreviation that refers to a "home theater personal computer." A HTPC is a personal computer that features software that allows for photo, audio and video playback. Some HTPC devices also feature video recording functionality and a user interface and remote control design.
As of 2014, a HTPC device can connect to a television set using a variety of options, such as HDMI, VGA or coaxial cables. When connected to an high definition television, a HTPC device can display videos and images up to 1080p resolution.
A basic HTPC device is made up of various hardware that is housed inside a chassis. Inside the frame, components such as RAM chips, a central processing unit, power supply, motherboard, hard drive and video are connected together.
The first HTPC devices were first created during the late 1980s with the introduction of tuner cards for Commodore Amiga PCs. The tuner card modified the display screen to show a small video window that played cable or broadcast content. Apple Computer also developed its own HTPC with the Macintosh TV in 1993.
Aside from its multimedia functions, a HTPC device also retains the functions of a standard personal computer and can operate using either Linux, Mac or Windows operating systems.