Ok I have read loads of threads, and done much googling. I have not really got a question, I have some observations and have reached some conclusions which I am interested in peoples views of. Observations: 1) Everything flows from what content you have access to and in what form it is. Therefore you make purchase decsions based on what content you have - not buy and then think about what content you have access to. 2) I live in the UK. Bottom line is that the UK is very very poorly serviced wrt online USA sourced TV content. There seem to be tricks people try to fool the internet to thinking they are in the States - but that route is just a bag of hurt. Without a major change (e.g. netflix coming to the UK) I will get most of my TV content (some HD and some SD) by cable. I watch a load of US TV shows, 3) I have a tiny amout of digital media on my PC, and pile of DVDs and a few BluRays. I need to rip all of this, and start to buy where possible digital in the future - or I will never have local content I can stream. 4) Boxee or XBMC will get me some free media - again very limited since I am in the UK. 5) My telly is already a media center of sorts. It is a LG and LG has netcast, and I have wired it into my broadband. This gives me for example Youtube and BBCiplayer. LG will likely update netcast so it may get better 6) My Xbox360 is also a media center of sorts - but I have to leave my PC on. 7) Apple TV 2 is dirt cheap, and is probably a fun toy to own and play with. The hardware is limited, the software is tied to itunes, a bit of effort will jailbreak it and get XBMC on it. 8) A Boxee box is 2x the cost of an apple tv2, but less of a toy (better hardware), but the software is more flaky. Boxee boxs may not be here in the future. The sortware probably will. 9) A mac mini with a couple of large USB drives (main and backup) would make a top media system, and I could still use an apple tv to stream to say the telly in the bedroom. But in no way is a mini cheap. I have not owned a mac for years - it would seem such a waste not having it in my office as a desktop! 10) Digital media needs large amounts of storage which forces you to stop thinking about what disks are in your PCs and makes you start thinking about NAS or fileserver pcs. My conclusions: 1) Lack of content in the UK is a killer blow. I can't get rid of cable, and I need to maximise my utilitly from it. It is the only way I am going to be watching shows like Fringe, Bones, 24, The Event etc etc etc. No purchase necessary. 2) Make more use of the netcast on the LG telly. 3) Don't buy a boxee box. 4) Buy an apple TV2 and play with it. Experiment with jailbreaking. Experiment with DVD ripping. It will be fun and it costs the same as 1 pair of shoes for my wife. 5) Stick with existing PC for fileserving for now. 6) Now is not a good time to buy a mac mini. No ones knows where the refresh will be but it could well be before the summer. Resist the temptation to buy one now. But view a mini a the meduim term goal.