Plugging a streaming device into a TV is a great way of adding services like Netflix and Plex to your TV but for many of us enthusiast nothing beats having a PC plugged into your PC. Intel’s new Compute Stick is going to give you the benefits of a HDMI stick with the power of the PC. It’s a quad-core Atom powered PC with 32GB storage, 2GB RAM with USB port, WiFi and Bluetooth. It uses a micro-USB cable for power (as do devices like the Chromecast and Roku Streaming Stick) and will come with Windows 8.1 for $149. A Linux version with 1GB of RAM and 8GB SSD will cost $89.
This will give you Windows 8.1 apps on your PC without having to have a PC setup with your TV, it could run Windows Media Center (if you upgrade the version of Windows) or media apps like Netflix, Media Browser, Plex or XBMC. As its running Windows you can put anything you want on it within reason. You can probably not going to use it to record 8 live HD channels via Media Center but it should be great at media playback, It certainly has plenty of potential for a low price. The Compute Stick is due to launch later this year.
More details at Intel.