While in Orlando for the Electronic Home Expo, I talked to Michael De Nigris from Autonomic Controls
. They have a very cool system for Media Center that includes some very innovative solutions. For starters, they can take a 7.1 sound card (which is technically 8 channels) and split it into 4 individual stereo zones that they can send throughout your house.
They also have a solution for using a UMPC (or TabletPC, or laptop) as an uber remote control for your Media Center. Very cool.