I've always had plans to build a nice fat media music server in my theater room. The trouble is, I invested a huge chunk of cash in the rest of the theater equipment, so the music server's sound quality has to be really really high, and it had to look like a really high quality stereo component. Microsoft's Media Center PC had lots of nitfy features, but no DirectTV, no HDTV, and really crummy cases, so I went dormant for a while.
Then the new Terminator 2 DVD came out with the complete movie in HD through Windows Media 9. This is some technology I've been waiting for: I've always said that I have no interest in HDTV because, well, I don't watch sports and could care less about watching the news in high-def. What I'm wating for is high-def DVD. The industry has been arguing about for some time, and I'm ecstatic to see a movie company produce an HD DVD, even if you need a PC to play it. That has re-kindled my romance with a home theater PC.
I've been doing a lot of research on the web. First of all, Microsoft's Media Center PC has several much cooler models now. This one is my favorite. But they all have really mediocre audio cards, and are pretty darn big. This PC is the perfect form factor. Unfortunately, it's processor isn't up to handling video from Windows Media 9. Soo many goodies, though, I can stay perfectly obsessed for quite some time.