Cannibalize old CPU's for Media Server

Long time dabbler first time builder here.

I have several old PC's sitting in my basement and as I'm getting ready to move I'm hoping to be able to cannibalize some of them to build a media server. I've been meaning to try this for awhile but I'm hoping to start it now. I'm looking to be able to use it over a small home for two laptops maybe eventually a desktop and a game console.

Let me start by saying I don't know if this is possible so somebody may need to just tell me that right out. What I have to work with is an old homebrew PC a Dell and an HP desktop. I'm working off of the assumption I will need a new motherboard but I would like to try and recycle a case and power supply. What sort of specs am I looking at needing? If I keep it wired next to router does this make a difference? Any help would be great
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  1. It really depends on what CPUs you have sitting around and what kind of media you want to stream (be it SD movies/TV shows and music VS 1080p movies).

    Keeping it wired will make a difference and is a good idea for a media PC (unless its directly plugged in to a TV). As for it being right beside the router that isn't a big deal, you just need a long enough Ethernet cable for wherever you want to put it.
  2. Ideally it would be able to stream some HD but my digital collection is mostly in SD. The parts I have come from mostly old dell and and an HP cpu if that would make a difference. I wasn't planning on displaying directly to a TV although I wanted the option to since I don't have a dedicated monitor that I could use. Mostly I'm thinking of homebrew concoction that will fit behind an entertainment center by my router.
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