The WD TV
is still more or less the king of the tiny media player boxes, but now Viewsonic is getting into the game at a lower price point -- and minus the whole network compatibility bit. The VMP70 is a "direct connect" media device, so it will play content from your choice of USB-compatible storage, pumping it at up to 1080p to your display over HDMI or component cables, also sporting composite for lower-def fare. It packs an S/PDIF port to get clean audio, and supports a slew of formats including the usual suspects (DivX,Xvid,H.264) along with some slightly less usual ones (RM/RMVB, DTS, OGG). It's all available for an MSRP of $129.99, but order now
and you'll get special holiday pricing of $98.99. Operators are standing by... somewhere... probably.
Viewsonic's VMP70 Media Player