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How To Setup The Ultimate PC-Based Home Entertainment System

A guide to setting up the ultimate PC-based home entertainment system that's VR ready.

We love our PlayStation 4 and Xbox One but what if you want to do more? What if you want to play the best version of multi-platform games and be able to use the best VR headsets? What if you wanted to be able to use all streaming services or even stream yourself gaming in the best and most customizable way? What if you wanted to do all of this from your living room and have it double as a future-proof workstation too?

That's easy! You just need the right PC and accessories. We don't just cover movies and television on Screen Rant though. In the ideal PC home entertainment setup we're going to show you a gaming rig with tech that can do it all - something that'll fit your needs in practicality and function, and we'll explain what tools you need to take advantage.

Best PC Hardware For A Home Entertainment Setup

The centerpiece of your setup has to serve two functions. It must fit and look the part, and have the power to address your needs. Any PC can offer access to the main streaming services, but we're looking for an all-in-one solution that can also handle everything from the best video games to VR for your living room or office entertainment setup.

For these reasons, we used and are recommending the ORIGIN Chronos which combines power with form factor. It comes in black, white, or red and is small enough (12"x 4") to fit into your normal TV stand/shelving unit horizontally or vertically while still packing a VR-ready experience with its GeForce GTX 1070 video card. This PC can do everything (and quietly!) and fit almost anywhere and looks good while doing it with its case, accent colors, and Red LED lights.

ORIGIN Chronos Specs and Key Features

  • Power Supply: 600 Watt Silverstone SFX Series
  • Motherboard: ASUS STRIX Z270I Gaming
  • System Cooling: ORIGIN FROSTBYTE 120 Sealed Liquid Cooling System for 1151 Socket
  • Processors: Intel Core i5 7600K Quad-Core 3.8GHz (Overclocked to 4.9)
  • Graphic Cards: Single 8GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 FE (Overclocked)
  • Memory: 16GB ORIGIN PC DDR4 Powered by Kingston 2666MHz (2 X 8GB)
  • Hard Drive One: 240GB ORIGIN PC Approved SATA M.2
  • Storage Drive One: 6TB Western Digital Red
  • External Optical Drive: 6X External Blu-Ray Writer
  • Audio: On Board High Definition 8-Channel Audio
  • Networking: Onboard Network Port
  • Bays: 5 x 2.5" SSD and 2 x 3.5" HDD
  • USB: 2 x USB 3.0
  • Ports: 1 Headphone Jack and 1 Microphone Jack

The Origin desktop is the best home entertainment desktop for you living room gaming and VR needs and if you want to watch physical discs in addition to streaming, the included external optical drive has you covered. In terms of sheer power, the specs here offer 100+ FPS frame rates in our benchmark tests with Battlefield 1, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, Call of Duty: WWII and other popular PC action games we tested. It's more than enough for long-term television use and is good enough to serve a primary gaming rig with a high refresh rate gaming monitor. We even tested it as a streaming rig but that's for another guide coming soon!

Note: We're running Windows 10 and focusing on wireless use though there is an Ethernet port if your setup is close to a router/modem.

Peripherals and Equipment Needed For A Home Entertainment PC

You've got a TV and the core of your setup in the Chronos but now you need to equip it with right tools to maximize potential. It's time to get wireless!

PC gaming from a living room sofa or traditional furniture arrangement can be trick for players trying to use a keyboard and mouse but it doesn't need to be. You can hookup a console game controller from PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, but to take advantage of what a PC can really do, you're going to want a good keyboard and mouse - and something to use them on. There are budget-friendly options that include a $20 wireless keyboard and mouse combo from Logitech and a basic lapboard but what we're going to recommend as the best option.

Recommended Wireless Gaming Peripherals

  • Wireless Mouse: Logitech G403 or G603 or strong, pro gamer mid-range solutions.
  • Wireless Keyboard: Logitech G613 (it's mechanical too!)
  • Lapboard: There's the Razer Turret which is too small (not good for mouse use) and Corsair's Lapdog which is big but doesn't include the keyboard, but the best one from a ergonomics and gamer perspective is the ROCCAT: Sova. All of these lapboards have built-in (or add-in) keyboards which means you only need a good wireless mouse.
  • Wireless headset: SteelSeries Arctics 7

This lapboard is the crucial for making the living room a comfortable and functional spot to game and work from as well. With this and a wireless mouse, you're good to go. Just plug in the antennae for Wifi use on the Chronos (or whatever PC rig you setup with your television) and with a simple HDMI cord you're all set to begin. However, if you're going to be gaming on this thing you'll want a strong wireless gaming headset too and we recommend the Arctis line from SteelSeries which works well and sounds great. This lets keep cord free from the comfort of your couch and lets you communicate with your pals online.

Update: We've updated this section to include the ROCCAT: Sova Gaming lapboard.

Software

  • Plex - A program which lets you add streaming or video/music services like Netflix and YouTube and access your own media library in a super-organized way. You can really turn that PC experience into a customized home entertainment one with this, and even stream out your media content to other devices.
  • Steam - the must-have store front and library for PC games. Valve's popular Steam service features 'Big Picture Mode' which turns your gaming PC into a console-like interface and is controller and VR-friendly.
  • Discord - the new staple for gaming online with friends. Discord lets you chat online with friends, have your own little public or private forums, and if you're intro streaming you can build your own community here. For free!

This this PC home entertainment setup and the increasing dominance of streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, and more, there's little need for traditional cable and satellite. There are even streaming packages for your favorite sports and most news channels are available for streaming or online elsewhere too. We're going wireless with our recommended accessories so cut that cable cord too!

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