“The advent of digital downloads and music / movie streaming have made the HTPC scene quite popular. While pundits keep on debating the reasons as to why the HTPC remains a niche market, companies have recognized that a new market has opened up, namely, that of the media streamer. While streaming conventionally refers to communication of the IP variety, it is customary to include playback of media from local sources while discussing this market. The selling point of the media streamers lie in the fact that, unlike HTPCs, they do not consume a lot of power and they are supposed to work right out of the box. For the purpose of this article, we will not cover media streamer platforms which consume more than 50W in detail.”
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Moneual MonCaso 320 HTPC Chassis Review @ MissingRemote
- In Win Diva sff chassis @ Hardware Bistro
- Could my next HTPC be a Mac Mini @ Computing on Demand
The term media streamer can be attached to many devices, from a high powered NAS device to an Xbox by way of custom built HTPCs, but in this review AnandTech has classified a media streamer as a device capable of streaming media but is on a diet of 50W or less. That does reduce the lineup quite a bit as very few HTPCs or servers are able to survive on 50W of power. From Atoms and IONs to ARM based processors and into gaming consoles, they cover almost all of the bases of boxtop streamers and they also venture into online providers in an attempt to show all of your choices. An article definitely worth your time as sooner or later you will venture into media streaming if you have not already.