Currently I just have my tower (Specs below) connected to my TV and a surround sound receiver, but I'll be moving into a bigger apartment next year, so I want to build a separate HTPC for the entertainment center and move my tower into my bedroom for gaming and programming.
So here's what I want to build, or plan on building:
I want an HTPC in my living room, RAID some hard drives together to hold all my movies, music, media, etc. I'm looking at getting a Mini ITX for the smaller size and the fact that and HTPC doesn't require as much power as a gaming tower.
Right now, my gaming tower has all my media on it, and I've been using ZumoCast to access files from it when I'm on the go as well as watch movies. Zumocast works, but often I find myself having to download a movie instead of streaming online to get the full HD quality, so I want to create a personal server I can access anywhere I want online, that way I have a little more control and a more unified storage center for all my information.
I have some specs in mind for my HTPC, but I'm thinking of adding an external hard drive container and using the HTPC as a server as well. I like using Windows Media Center to watch movies and media, so I was thinking of using that on the HTPC, but I recently caught a glance of MythUbuntu, and it looks like an OS specifically for HTPCs, but would it work for a server as well? I want to access my files using my laptop or gaming rig like you would use dropbox (But my personal storage, and no monthly payments.)
So has anyone else done something like this? Creating a central storage unit that acts like a Theater system as well as a server? My main concern is the OSs and setting everything up. I've never set up a server before, so that's what I'm most interested in right now. I don't want to go buy all this equipment, then find out it doesn't work very well.