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If you have a dedicated device, you’re basically stuck with a brick. Sure, you can hack the older models and run alternative software, but a regular computer gives you such flexibility without the need for tutorials.
If you have a computer you’ve got a diverse range of options.
A computer hooked up to your TV gives you flexibility, even if the user interface isn’t always ideal.
Dedicated set top boxes are appliances, which is to say they’re not designed for you to upgrade or repair at home. That’s going to be tricky on an Apple TV, to say the least. Buy a cheap USB gamepad, or set up your console controllers to work with your PC.
James outlined why you don’t need a smart TV, saying basically that the “smart” bits will be obsolete long before you should be buying a new TV. It’s not complicated to hook up a desktop computer to your TV and set it up as your XBMC media center.
A computer means you can watch whatever you want, because clever developers work hard to ensure these sites work with software like XBMC.
Even better: if that fails, the option of simply opening the browser is always present. Hulu, to use an American example, offers thousands of shows and movies online for free (with ads).
Remember back in the Dark Ages when people actually had to leave their homes to rent a movie?
Before we were able to stream films and TV shows online, video rental outlets were extremely common – but so were late fees.
Here are a few reasons to use a computer as your media center.