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Home theater PCs provide front-row seats

A home theater PC may sound oxymoronic, but a computer in the living room makes more sense than you might think.

A properly configured PC can serve as a TiVo-style recorder, Blu-ray and DVD player, digital video archive and, lest we forget, a PC - all in one box. Pair a big-screen high-definition TV with a home theater PC, and you have a monitor that puts even those monster 30" PC displays to shame.

In the United States, between 1.5 million and nearly 2 million households have home theater PCs, out of 83 million households owning at least one PC, according to Parks Associates, which researches digital lifestyles.

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