The need - to allow my non-technical family members to access our media library (our pictures and movie clips).
My setup is: Upstairs desktop Windows Vista machine with 1TB of media files on it, mainly my pictures (JPG) and home videos (AVI, MTS, AVCHD). These clips are 1080p, so require reasonable computing power to play. Also, upstairs PC is connected to a WIFI router to stream the data.
Dowstairs there's a HDTV with an HDMI input.
Also a laptop with a HDMI port on it, and some media playing software.
The problem is, the HDMI cable would need to run all across the room and I'd rather have something connected to the TV permanently and available as a HDMI input for the TV.
I was thinking about getting a Logitech Revue box, but when I saw its performance when displaying pictures (only one at a time, no previews etc) I decided this wasn't a good idea.
I thought about Apple TV, but read that it only "has" the latest 1000 pictures, whereas my Lightroom library has 100,000 items :-)
Then I thought about mini-PCs, like Asus EEE Box, or Mac Mini, but the prices of reasonable machines start at around £300. I could get an external HDD if the WIFI wouldn't be fast enough to stream the HD video (about 2MB/s is required).
Is there a cheaper and equally good way to get the media down "on demand" and easily accessible on the TV?