Once you've tried networked multimedia, it's difficult to go back to anything else - as any rich AV enthusiast will tell you.
You might have read about dream kit like the Kaleidescape media system - yours for £25k. Kaleidescape stores 'ripped' DVDs and CDs on the massive hard-disk array of a central server.
This content can then be accessed from networked clients that drive the AV systems located in the various rooms. No more hunting high and low for discs - sure sounds tempting, doesn't it?
The good news is that you no longer need a Jean-Paul Getty-shaped bank account to join in this particular branch of electronic fun. Indeed, the humble PC - which can accommodate terabytes of affordable hard-disk storage nowadays - can be pressed into service as a media server.
Indeed, multiple PCs can be used; in addition some clients will also work with networked hard disks, known as networked-attached storage (NAS). The networking gear you'll need is a gateway-router, now found in thousands of broadbanded homes around the country.
Picture quality. Plenty of features. Hi-def compatible
Compatibility issues. No significant uPnP support
Not as polished as it needs to be, but a big step in the right direction nonetheless
431.8 x 50.8 x 254
Ethernet Composite video
Ethernet 802.11b 802.11g