- Elgato's EyeTV software, with an Elgato USB tuner card (supports ATSC, ClearQAM, so tunes HD cable channels and FTA HDTV). This gives me my DVR, which dumps ATSC video at full quality without even re-encoding (std. MPEG-2 stream)
- FrontRow, which comes with the Mac, to watch DVDs and my media library, including music. Supports anything you can get a QuickTime plugin for (which is almost anything now, even Theora), and can browse media as files *or* in iTunes
- Handbrake 0.94 (64bit) for ripping DVDs to media collection. Dealing with encrypted DVDs is made possible through VLC and Fairmount (more or less transparently - again, my mother-in-law does this).
Other than paying $600 for the Mac Mini itself, the only cost to this was the EyeTV tuner (which came with the DVR software). Very pleased with this, much better IMHO than my Media Center and MythTV experiences. I've also played with Boxee on OS X, which does everything pretty well, including netflix/hulu streaming. Very nice, though definitely still beta. At least they seem to be making better progress fixing bugs than the Myth folks.