Today I was thinking of assembling together a Home Theatre PC. I’ve avoided trying to do this for a long time because my XBOX actually serves this purpose quite well; I can stream media from my PC on to my TV. But I’m looking for more flexibility so that I can transfer arbitrary media and run Windows programs on my TV.

Surprisingly, there are a lot of lower power, slim devices available now and you don’t have to build them yourself. The ones I were looking at are kits that come with a case, motherboard and processor. All that you have to add is some RAM ($30-$40) and a 2.5″ HD ($130?). Unfortunately, this pushes the price to almost $400.

That’s still a bit expensive unfortunately, especially for a device that may not work as expected. Particularly, I’m worried about 1080p playback on a low power CPU. I don’t want to spend $400 for stuttering.