I have a small dilemma.
I want to upgrade my media viewing so that I can access all the digital media I have on my various computers, including photos, iTunes music and downloaded movies. At the moment I have a standard definition PVR for recording TV, a DVD player and my Television. All my content is on a Mac Mini in another room. I’ve thought about my options, and included a handy chart that spells out my desired features and how close the different options come to my ideal.
What I need is a few people to review my chart and tell me if I’ve missed anything, and maybe offer up some suggestions. Price is a big consideration. I have very few funds to throw around and currently all I can afford is the iPhone Dock option which would satisfy my “Essentials” list. What I need to know is whether to take that option now, or save my pennies (and goodness knows how long that will take) to get something better.
The final two options on the chart are my “homebrew” options - to use an old computer I have knocking around and add the necessary hardware to achieve my plan. They seem the best, and most feature-rich options and it might seem obvious from the chart that a Windows-based media centre is the answer. The reason I haven’t already started is that the job, whilst doable, would be relatively complex (compared to the other options) and I don’t want to waste all my time fiddling with this when I could be playing with my new daughter. It’s also a fairly costly option.
The last to rows on the chart should be weighted to “time” - that is: the more costly or complex, the longer it will take. And I’m impatient by nature so I’d need a good reason to hold off and spend lots.
Are there any easier/cheaper options I’ve not thought about? I’ve deliberately left off the option of a hacked XBOX, as I felt it lacked a few to many features, please correct me if I’m wrong.