So I am moving back to the U.S. in about three months and getting a new apartment there. In preparation I've been researching two big projects - one is furniture (I'm a law student and I need a calming, easy to use work space) and one is an HTPC. I've spent two weeks researching and I can't for the life of me figure out what to do. Basically here's what I want from an HTPC. DVD Playback (I am going to rip my DVDs and put them on a 1TB drive hooked up to an Airport extreme (or the machine itself). Emulators. I bought a ton of old games in Japan and I want to play them on whatever machine is hooked up to the TV. PVR - I will probably have cable (though I'm not sure - I may just go the Hulu/Bittorrent route) - but if I do, it will need to hook into my cable box. Attractive easy to use front end software. It needs too look good and be controllable with a remote (not necessarily the Apple one). Extra points for a front end that will also incorporate emulators. And here are some things I would like but aren't 100% necessary: Region free - I have a ton of Japanese DVDs. While I have a hacked external DVD drive that will work in a pinch, a region free drive would be nice (not possible with the mac mini without eating my warranty). PC Games. If possible I'd like the option of playing Morrowind, Oblivion, and Fallout 3. Dual tuner cards - to record something and watching something else at the same time. Quiet with a small attractive case. Integration (as much as possible) with iTunes and iPhoto (which will both also be stored on the networked 1TB drive). Based on all this, it seems like my best bet for front end software is either Vista or Windows 7 Media Center. The machine itself is probably going to be a Mac Mini (but again, region free DVD is going to be impossible with it). I am open to either building a machine (though I am worried it won't be quiet) or buying a pre-made PC too (I was looking at the HTPC centered HP Pavilions and the Dell Studio Slims - the studio slim seems especially good because I can get a 19" Dell monitor to hook up to my Macbook Pro). Another option was buying an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. However, I won't be able to run emulated games on them (the PS3 runs some emulators via Linux but I am told the performance isn't so hot). Right now I'm on standard def, but I may upgrade to HD so I would like that to be a possibility. Right now I am looking at getting a Mac Mini, installing Vista or 7 Media Center on it via Boot Camp and buying the Elgato Hybrid (which for sure works under 7 and has hacked drivers for Vista). I may buy the airport extreme but was also thinking about simply using the Mac Mini as an airport style device itself through Internet sharing. I have a controller for the machine and a 1TB external drive to use with the machine. Other than that, I'm still in the planning stages. Any help or advice would be very very very appreciated.