I'm talking about those HDD enclosures that double up as a player that reads various picture, audio, or video formats . I've had mine for half a year now and I am fully convinced that this is one of the best entertainment gadgets one can get for the home. My media player sits next to my big screen TV. It is now connected to all my computers through a wired home LAN. I can download any media from the internet onto any of my computers, and then play it on my AV system through the media player. There is no need to transfer any file to the player. Lag time is very short (it needs a few seconds to read a large video file). Video quality is excellent, and so is the sound quality.
The best part of such an arrangement is that I can do video editing on my computer, and immediately do a test run on the big screen without moving files around. My children can use the media player without messing up my player's hard drive, which I like to keep organized. In case you are wondering, my player is MVIX 760HD (cost AUD$280, without the hard drive).