The 2008 geek gadget gift guide: MvixBox

The ultimate home theater needs a first-class media server

Why you must have it: Geeks and home theaters are a natural combination, especially when they can throw a PC in the mix. MvixUSA's MvixBox is a Linux server that InfoWorld Test Center contributing editor Mike Heck called to our attention. It can hold two SATA-II hard drives, of up to 1.5TB capacity each, for use as a media server. It's NAS for your home theater. The Gigabit Ethernet port even lets you stream HD files to your media network. On a PC, the MvixBox shows up as a hard drive to which you can simply drag media files. But the MvixBox is also an Apache server with FTP and HTTP support, so you can manage it via a browser and use it as a Web server. And it includes the Torrent Client Blog iTunes Music Server UPnP media server.

Your chances of having the first one on the block: High, as the MvixBox became available just last month.

What you must know: MvixUSA also offers an HD media center box, the MX760HD, that links to the MvixBox and streams video to your big screen.

What you need: The MvixBox works with Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. It costs $299. Hard drives are not included with the MvixBox.

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