I'm using an MK809 Android TV stick that cost me about $35 on Amazon. Plays my Samba shared media over wifi flawlessly, as well as Hulu/Netflix/NBC/CBS, all while using the USB port on my TV as its power supply. It really doesn't get much more efficient than that.
Instead of a TV remote, I use a "flying mouse" that you can find for around $15 on Amazon. Held like a remote, it's a mouse; hold it sideways if you need to type. I leave the TV's volume always on max, and control the audio thru the TV stick.
It's slick, it's easy, it's cheap, and very efficient, and doesn't require *any* expensive hardware nor any cable running.