Yesterday Ben Drawbaugh and I got into it a little back and forth on Twitter about the HTPC and using it as a HTPC directly connected to your display. Whether that is your tv, your projector or some other display medium or in the case of Ben using your HTPC more as a server in a closet up and out of the way basically running as a headless unit serving up extenders.
Back in July Ben and myself joined Josh (the other Josh) and Adam on Entertainment 2.0 Episode 37 part 1 and Part 2 in which we discussed this very topic. If you haven’t listened to the episodes I highly recommend it, some great conversations going back and forth and a ton of info. On both parts I’ve given my stance, PC’s directly connected to a display (depending on the display) are a great thing, with virtually unlimited codec support, and a plethora of content like Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, ect… Having a dedicated HTPC directly connected to your display beats out any extender out there.
I’ve been running a fully dedicated HTPC directly connected to at least one main display in my home for years, and I will never go away from that method for as long as extenders (read Windows Media Center Extenders) lack the ability to perform just as good, if not better, than a dedicated HTPC. Until you can get blu ray players that are also extenders in the same GUI front end, and until you can get full Flash playback on extenders, HTPC’s (in my point of view) are honestly the best way to go.
Now to the poll… what is your point of view? Do you Extender it? or Do you HTPC it?