Why don't all these manufacturers get it right? If they have one feature , they do not have another ..
I finally settled on the arctic MC001-E unit , sure it is not a sub 100$ device but it is definitely what I would go with ... I even tried the junkie stick ( yes those android usb dongles that are supposed to play the streaming video ). The last I built my Media center pc was using Zotac Ion ITX board about 4 years ago and To tell you the truth , it still works FLAWLESSLY , openelec / xbmc with the free addons , I never have to worry about the hulu , netflix or what ever you can think of ...
Here is the link to my build - http://www.slimads.com/slimads/tiny?WA11BB22
I am 100% +ve this is going to last me for next 5 years .
Do yourself a favor ,leave all these junkie boxes and something like this - while I was not able to get the tv tuner to work , apparently the next version of openelec uses a different kernel version that is packed with the right drivers ...
What you need is a one unit to go under the TV that can play dvd (atleast ) blueray nice to have , that has an optical out , hdmi out , from which you can stream, a CIR reader , a remote , that is open and does not lock you into any of the proprietary services , has tv tuner should you want to ditch that cable tv and just rely on basic over the air and internet streaming .
I do not care much about storing the dvd's etc.. so I am just fine with the usb cruizer stick driving my openelec .