You can get a Zotac id80 or id40 anything with a nvidia ion2 or 520 for around 200 , then just use a USB thumbstck to house openelec, and 2 - 4 gb memory, 12 - 20 or so. And bam, around 250 In hardware, free software.Or if you have a older pc just add a gt430 and you have a $30 streamer. I run unraid have 2 openelec boxes now, just added a gt430 to another old box. One in the family room, on in the theater all streaming from unraid. I am liking it. It scans all your movies automatically, no need to scrape on the server. Search for openelec frodo built in google. I can post the link if you need. But so far, it runs ISo,Mkv,m4v, etc. nothing yet that it has had issue with. Dts-hd tru hd, all pass great. It has come along way, and very easy to me, and the wife has no issue either ( that is a miracle )
Openelec is to me just like a streamer, really not a HTPc. No config etc. I am in IT for a living, used to love HTPc and tinkering, now when I am done at work I just want to watch a movie and not have to maintain another computer. ( I know, lazy) spent the last few months turning a garage into a theater, and now time to relax and enjoy. Funny thing from the whole experience, the a/c is the most expensive thing in the room. Go figure.