I want to make/buy a PC that can run DVDs, play video files from external harddrives, and stream Netflix to my 32in TV. (I have a DVI to HDMI cable.) This is all it has to do but I want it to do it well since it will be a dedicated media machine and for as cheap as possible! ($100-$200 range) Any suggestions for a build? Thanks!
In that price range it's going to be hard to build it yourself. You also don't say what you don't need. Do you need a case, a PSU, a keyboard, a mouse, Windows 7?
My first thought was something like a refurbished Studio Slim or Hybrid from www.delloutlet.com but even the cheapest of those is $350. A new Dell Zino HD starts at $249 so that might be something worth looking at. That would be more bang for the buck and newer technology than the refurb Studio PCs. You'd want to go for the better CPU IMO, the dual-core 1.8GHz CPU but the rest should be fine for what you want to do. If you want that and Windows 7 then now you're talking $400+.
As for building your own, I think you might be able get a good CPU, good motherboard with integrated (785G), HDD, DVD-ROM, and RAM for just above that price. You'd still need a case, PSU, O/S and keyboard/mouse however.
So, $219 without a case, PSU, keyboard and mouse for a quality HTPC.
There is one ION-based DIY combo on Newegg that looks interesting and has everything but the keyboard, mouse and OS. I can't vouch for it though but the parts all look good though I'd be concerned about the PSU in the chosen case.