In 2005, Microsoft introduced Windows XP Media Center Edition - which added a '10-foot interface' and enhanced media capabilities to their windows XP platform. The 10-foot interface is a reference to their plans to turn the home computer into an integrated part of the home entertainment system, where people typically sit 10 feet from the screen. The enhanced media capabilities include support for tv tuner cards that allow you to record multiple television broadcasts and a Media Center application that handles the TV schedule and has some additional applications for browsing pictures, music and video. While it did not catch on immediately, Microsoft has carried the new functionality forward with it's Vista and Windows 7 operating systems, and there are many advantages to owning a system like this.
Besides the ability to record your Television shows, the Media Center computer offers you the option to work from your den on your HDTV - whether you just want to look up a website quickly during the commercial, or you want to login to the office to check your email - with a wireless keyboard and mouse, you can do pretty much anything from the couch. Media Center computers are compatible with blu-ray disc drives, and also support digital connection to your surround sound receiver for perfect 5.1/7.1 audio, they're fantastic for games (many of which also support surround sound), and are a welcome addition to any home theatre.