There are many ways to create a media center setup. There is a huge variety in hardware and software choices. You could use an old computer you no longer use and bring it back to life as a media center or you can buy a new dedicated PC in a small form factor. Our favorite combination is a nettop PC with the free XBMC media center
software running on it like demonstrated in the video above. We will post a full guide on installing and setting up an XBMC media center in the near future, but for the sake of the quick and easy character of this introduction we will look at other faster and cheaper possibilities.
The quickest and cheapest way to use a media center is to use a so called hard drive enclosure with media player functionality. This is an external USB hard drive with the only difference that it has a HDMI output so you can connect it to your TV and play all the files on the hard drive. We reported on devices like these before but they have certainly developed over time. Your best buy at this moment would probably be the Xtreamer Prodigy
which has all the features and functions that you would expect from a media center and is a fair competitor for the Boxee Box. For only $119,- you get a gorgeous little device that you can pop a hard drive in with all you music and videos, you hook it up to your TV and youíre†good to go.†A summary of the specifications can be seen in the video below.