Yes, I heard that the AppleTV was hack and they put linux on it, but then Apple did something over the net connection and fucked the hack. Just rumors probably as I dont really believe that extreme. Anyway, well have to wait and see, but there is no doubt the AppleTV would be an amazing frontend. Stylish, small, silent, with hard drive and not too expensive.
I have been looking as well the VIA systems, because you can put it in a dvd-like case, but if you need and extra-graphics card it wont fit there and for the same size and price you can get a more powerful mini-ATX system. I guess thats the way Im going to go for now. Just a couple of questions:
I am very concern for noise, I am going to have one in the leaving room and another in my room. The system is not going to have a hard-drive, is going to be net booted, but I guess Ill need to change the fan to a less noisy option. Any recomendations?
And what about underclocking the chip so it doesnt get so hot? Any experiences?
PD: There is also a very cheap option: the Hauppage Media MVP its 99 dollars and runs a limited version of the mythtv frontend.