Plex can play just about any type of media file. An active developer community is constantly adding additional plug-ins for accessing online feeds such as Hulu, YouTube, Pandora and more. Plex can also lookup information for media on your local hard drives and download additional information and cover art for your files making for a very polished user experience.
While Plex's strength is with local media files, Boxee excels at online content. The Pandora plugin for Boxee is second to none and the Boxee iPhone app is a blast to use. Most users would be fine with either Boxee or Plex, but if you really want the best, you'll find you end up using both for each of their strengths.
Boxee and Plex each have Hulu plugins, but due to constant updates to Hulu and their feeds, the plugins tend to fail from time to time. For these instances, I go directly to the source and use the Hulu Desktop app. The Hulu Desktop app can also be controlled with a remote control and is easy to navigate.
See the full review, "Hulu Desktop - One more step towards cutting my DirecTV Service".
Switching between applications with a keyboard and mouse is easy -- doing it with a remote control can be a hassle. Remote Buddy makes it easy to switch between and control multiple applications (such as Boxee, Hulu and Plex) using your remote control. It even directly integrates with some applications to add even more functionality. The Remote Buddy is also the only application I know of that works with several types of remotes including the Apple Remote, Universal Remotes, Wii and PS3 controllers.
See the full review, "Remote Buddy is man's new best friend for the Mac Mini Home Theater".
If you want to go off the Cable/DirecTV grid then you're pretty much limited to the over-the-air signals. The EyeTV hardware/software combo allows you to watch, schedule and record shows for free. Even better, you can easily compress the files for use on you iPod or stream the video to your iPhone.
See the full review, "How to Build a Homebrew Mac DVR".
iTunes is still integral for managing music on a Mac, so you should make sure you're updated to the latest version. Apple is delivering music, tv and movies via iTunes. Even though it can be a proprietary file format, it's still one of the easiest ways to get content on your Mac and related devices.
See the full review, "iTunes HD Download on Mac Mini Experience - Man made mad by 'Mad Men'".
I'm a technology early adopter. I thoroughly enjoy geeking out with the latest hardware, software and electronics. I probably have as much fun setting up, tweaking, and configuring systems as I do actually … more