Pricing for networked media players is plummeting precipitously, and this Mediagate MG-M2TV just raised the bar on the lowest common denominator. What's the big deal? Well, this little box plays just about every video and audio format, including AVI, WMV9, MKV (pirates love this one), Xvid, and H.264, and you can plunk it down in your living room for $110.
Sure, it would be nice to have a home theater PC sitting there on your component shelf, but if your financial condition leans more toward the $99 Western Digital HD media player or the equally-cheap Roku/Netflix box — because the Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite or brain-dead Apple TV are priced way too steeply — this HDMI-equipped and 1080p-playin' hotshot might just do the trick. Just be sure there's Ethernet nearby, because Mediagate's soon-to-be-released Wi-Fi module is not quite ready yet.