Best Media Streaming Set-Top Box?

It’s hard to determine what is the best media streaming set-top out of all the models that are out there. It really depends on what you want to get out of it. Do you want to just stream movies? HD or SD? Stream music? Hulu? Netflix? As you can see it can get complicated. EngadgetHD asked the question a few days ago and there were plenty of good comments. I was surprised by the number of people voting for the WDTV. While the WDTV does have a wide range of playable formats it can’t stream them. If I have to get up to load my files it doesn’t work for me. I would vote for the Popcorn Hour or using a Mac Mini. I have the popcorn hour and it will play anything I have. The one problem I have is that the UI is very dated looking. The Mac Mini will cost you more but what you can do is endless. You can use a number of media center programs like XBMC, Boxee or Plex.

If you’re in the market for a media streamer I would make a list of what you want out of it. Do you have NAS or server where your files are stored? With your list of what you want you can narrow your search down. If you have questions about any of the streamers just let me know. I can point you to some that might work for you.

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