ExtremeTech has a great article showing how to build your own linux based HTPC. Definitely worth a read!
To paraphrase one forum quote seen during the research phase of this piece: "Buy the beer first, this ain't gonna be easy." But there is some good news here too. Getting a Linux-based HTPC has probably never been easier, though that is admittedly damning with faint praise. So here then is the tale of our ongoing adventure toward building a Linux-based HTPC.