No. of Recommendations: 2
I'd start here:

Figure out what you want the HTPC to do, then you'll know what software you want to use to control it. Then you can figure out what hardware you need to support that software.

If I was building an HTPC for DVR purposes, I'd probably go with MythTV. If I wanted it to mostly do playback of existing recordings, I'd probably use XMBC or Plex.
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