Running the Pi as a media centre is a popular choice, and open-source XBMC media-centre software runs well on the device.
On TechRepublic's Pi, XBMC smoothly streamed both a 1080p H.264 video and a 720p YouTube clip without any problems. Other users report that online TV catch-up services, such as BBC iPlayer, also work well with XBMC on the Pi.
There was some lag in the menus - particularly for the YouTube add-on - and I was unable to rewind YouTube videos on the XBMC build I used.
Anyone planning to use XBMC to stream films from Netflix or Lovefilm will be disappointed as both of their online streaming services rely on Microsoft Silverlight, which is currently incompatible with the OSes that run on the Pi.
There are already several varieties of XBMC software available for the Pi, each offering different features, with new releases shared online.
Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.