I have a reasonable amount of time. Reasonable does not include fishing for a link to a suspicious claim you referred to that you could have provided, particularly in light of the timing now in freshly started network and NFL seasons, and unrelated issues like mowing, groceries, sleeping, health and keeping the bills paid. This is about watching TV after all. Equipment is just a vehicle.
Absolutely not. Were there a local HTPC user group or equivalent means of discovery of an offer to show and tell elsewhere I would avail myself of it.
Including malware and its associates. I'm quite familar with how well Norton and McAfee drag Windows down, and that MSE isn't anything like bulletproof. I spent the better parts of last Friday and Saturday failing to eradicate malware from a neighbor's XP puter, installing Linux on it, then tutoring him on the things that work differently in his new OS.
It doesn't matter what Windows does better when the UI of it and most apps that run in it is unduly difficult in my environment. It's made to make M$ money and please a majority. Other than using a keyboard and electricity, I'm not part of any majority I can think of WRT TV and puters.