The media box is a small version of a Home Theater PC (HTPC). In fact, media boxes are replacing HTPCs as technology improves and the size of electronics decreases. Media boxes connect to HDTVs and stream media content from the internet, other computers on the local network, or its own internal hard drive.
How people interact with a media box depends on the installed user interface. For example, Apple TV uses a pointer remote which is similar to how a Wii controller is used. In contrast Logetech Revue uses a small keyboard with their Google TV based media box.
The operating system installed on a media box greatly influences the user experience. Except for Google TV and Microsoft Windows, most operating systems are unique to their specific media box. For example, Boxee uses its social media center for its Boxee box and Apple uses iOS for its Apple TV.
Media Box Examples
||HTPC vs PC Differences