In a world where digital media is becoming more and more popular, the need for an easy and affordable way to get that content from your PC to your TV becomes more present. HTPCs are of course the best option, but are often way out of the budget for someone who wants a simple and small solution to this problem. That's where we're starting to see the market for streaming media players increase. These compact boxes are able to stream media through your network, off hard drives, USB sticks, etc. The market for these players is large - some are just as expensive as an HTPC, others are very budget minded. The features can vary just as much as the cost in some cases. So if you're on a budget, but don't want to cheap out completely, what's the most competitive model to go after?
What I have here today, the Akasa Scala, looks like it could be a wonderful mid-range offering. The Scala is a compact, high definition player that is capable of streaming media through your network, watching it off of a USB attached storage device, or even having a hard drive installed in it for built-in storage. A few other features like Bit Torrent and wireless support add to the large list of features this budget minded player has. Let's see what it's all about!