Pictorial Example of Media Extender Use
I suspect that many visitors to this forum do not understand the difference between the media extender and the HTPC. I suspect that many are attempting to build a HTPC, when a media extender would suffice.
In the current issue of CPU Magazine (November 2008) on page 64 is an article entitled "A Serving of HD". This article recounts the setting up of a media server for home use and is well illustrated. In this example, no HTPC is used - just a media extender. (In fact, it's the same ME that I use.)
The TV gets 1080p content via HDMI 1.3a. Again, note that this is a computer magazine, but their solution to this issue does not require a computer.