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Apparantly the off the shelf extenders run Media Center. I don't really like purpose built equipment for various reasons.

Is there any reason you can't build a general purpose computer and run it as an extender? Here is what I got off the microsoft site -

"About Windows Media Center
New Extender products are powered by Windows Media Center, which is available in Windows Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate. Learn more about this versatile and dynamic set of features that allow you to use your computer to store, organize, and stream your digital media for a whole-home connected entertainment experience. "

If so the next question would be what would be the advantage of running a second machine as an extender vs. just a stand alone media center?

You'd probably want a Blu ray ROM in the extender how ever you would't need a tuner in the extender so you could save a few bucks there. Centralized storage of ripped movies and pictures etc. is probably a good thing and then the extender could get away with a modest size HDD.

I don't see a real big advantage to running a gen purpose machine as an extender but I may not understand all the implications.
Edited by alexh - 6/17/08 at 12:26pm
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6600 @ 3.5GHz, 1.4V P5N32-SLI PNY VCQ285NVS-PCIEX16-PB Quadro4 NVS285 GSkill 2x2GB DDR2-1000 5-5-5 
Hard DriveOSPower
2xSeagate Barracuda 500GB Vista 64 PC Power Cooling 470 
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