Where does a HTPC enthusiast who needs some of Kaleidescape's ease-of-use, but is left cold by even the new Mini System
pricing turn? We'd suggest rolling your own HTPC, but if that's out of the question, then VidaBox's
new RoomClient:SE might fit the bill. For $2,250, you can pick up what amounts to a cute little Vista Media Center box packed with a single analog tuner (hey, it's good for a few more months
) and a digital tuner, a 1TB hard drive, DVD burner, audio out via optical or 8x3.5-mm jacks and video output over HDMI (courtesy a DVI adapter), component, VGA or S-Video. Once you're ready to step things up, the RoomClient will pull duty as either a VidaBox Server or extender; sadly, the Blu-ray streaming of its bigger brother RoomClientHD
didn't make the cut.