I am retired and I was before manager in DP center.
There is something to say before all: tell if it is a family home computer or a personal home computer.
We do have 4-5 computers at home (3 people now: I, Wife and son). None of them is a "family" computer and I do not think that family will use in a near future a "family" computer fo a numer of reasons: computer in a family room,personalisation of this computer for a family use and extreme complexity of integration of TV, Video, Image on this computer. I have no experience in Media Center but the idea of introducing a new system for a family use appears something like buidling a Babel tower: too complex..
So I use mainly my homecomputers (notebook) and bureau_PC:
1. Mail and chat, Office (Word excel)
2. Surf (travel, technical infos,leisures, buy a lot of small unusable things...and others useful)
3. Photoediting and printing
4. Radio from the world (news) and music (ITunes)
My Son-in-law (18 th years, student in politics at University): Notebook mac and bureau PC
3. Surf for studies in Politics
4. Mail and chats
Office notebook at home 3 or 4 days a month:
1. Mail and OFFICE
I am not sure that we will need a family home computer. I think that the notebooks should send Videos or Photos to the Family TV (DVD recorder ) thru a home network. But this is not easy to operate though it is possible.
Later if it is possible to have a large DB where we (Personnal computers) can send thrugh a 1 GB network: photos, DVDS, record TV and easily look at them, this could be a possibility, but the system has to be simply packaged with a "one-button" operating way. Not so easy to implement. And I would certainly not do this implementation! I would buy it packaged.
Hope this gives some ideas.