So for the longest time I've been showing videos and photos on the big TV by copying everything over to a spare USB drive and then plugging it into the PS/3. It works, but it's klunky.
What I really wanted to do was set up a generic computer that I could plug directly into the TV and use it to show videos (mostly GoPro), photos and play music.
I have a Mac Mini with an HDMI output but in the year it was made they didn't support sound.
Then I realized that the Raspberry Pi
hobbyist single board computers ($35) include an HDMI port along with two USB ports, an SD slot amongst others. In addition, there's a distribution of the Linux operating system available for the Pi that's a pre-configured ready to run Media Server called "OpenElec".
The Pi is powered by a simple USB power supply.
You can download a project called NOOBS which has a bunch of pre-configured OS's on it. You simply select from the menu and it installs and boots the selected OS.
I initially tried RaspBMC but it kept locking up on me. After exploring power supply issues, I decided to try OpenElec which for the last hour has been very reliable.
It fires up into a very simply interface for Photos, Videos, Music and Programs. It lets you browse the network for photos if you have a windows (SMB) server.
All in all a very nice solution.