At some point I was planning on building a Home Theater PC (HTPC), but so far didn’t get anywhere. The setup I have right now, my regular PC (mostly a gaming machine) plugged into the TV and some silly cable setup to another 2.1 audio system, is working well enough.
So if this is something you’re interested in, here are some resource I gathered on the topic. To start, Martin Fowler provides a good overview of various options. He also links to Jeff Atwood (aka codinghorror), who built his own system.
A friend of mine got a setup consisting of a jailbroken Apple TV (on amazon.de, amazon.com) and a Synology NAS (on amazon.de, on amazon.com). The Apple TV runs the frontend software and streams data from the NAS. After a Jailbreak, you can put
BoxeeXBMC on it, otherwise you’d be restricted to Apple’s network storage options. The Apple TV is quite cheap, the NAS isn’t, and you also need to buy disks.
Maybe I’ll revisit this sometime next year, for now my regular PC with Zoomplayer does the trick. What would you recommend?