I'm unhappy with the UI on any of the media extenders I've seen (the best for me is the WDTV Live, which still has its problems). I want to duplicate the usability of the great interfaces you see with software like Media Portal. I am serving music, pictures and video from my WHS (an HP EX485) via a wired ethernet connection.
I'm exploring a mini-ITX, low power, system that would fit into the M350 case with 60w power supply
, or a uITX case that is reasonably small and quiet. I have a 2.5" laptop drive to use in the system with Windows XP. This would be streaming content from the WHS and act mostly as a "media extender", but with the ability to get a better interface that would meet the stringent WAF requirements of my house.
Not sure which motherboard to get. I have to be able to output video via HDMI, with audio also sent via SPDIF or coaxial (or, easily selectable between the two depending on source?) IR control is also a must, but I realize I can get that with a USB IR receiver.