A modern home media center no longer exists of only one dedicated computer in the living room, but is a network of several stations located in the house. One station can be used as an engine (server) that connects a television signal and has plenty of disk space for music and movies. The other stations connect to this engine over a wireless network and can stream any television signal, DVD, music and other media. Fiire has developed a medium-performance PC that's tailor made to work as a secondary media center station. There are three versions of the FiireStation
starting at $499.-. What makes it so special is that it's dedicated to work with media (good video capabilities), it's extremely compact and thin, and it's (optionally) fanless to make it totally silent. Because of the thin design and VESA mount compatibility it can easily be attached to the back of an LCD or plasma screen.
The Fiire products are officially made to work with LinuxMCE but regardless of a software solution (which we'll come back to in later posts) cheap, small (thin), video oriented workstations are an interesting development for media centers.
Below a video demonstration of LinuxMCE and the FiireStation in use.