The main purposes of this computer is to storage and stream movies locally.
I'm a fanatic of independent and foreign movies, so usually when I travel I buy the blurays, rip, and storage on the computer.
So the computer need to have the capability of stream HD files through a local network and may be at the same time ripping a bluray. Well, to be fair I will rip only 10% of the time.
The other thing is the storage. This is being an issue, since the movies usually are really heavy (arround 16-20 gb), so I was thinking on buying an external solution, may be a storage tower with 6 or 8 drives in Raid 5. I had some issues on the past where hd have failed, and since the drives are pretty cheap on this days may be this could be a affordable solution.
So, the other issue here is, what box do you recommend me to get the streaming to my TV. I really don't know the difference between apple tv, google tv, Roku, etc. I mean witch one fit my needs.
My questions are:
* What OS do you recommend?
* Should I have to add or change some hardware?
* What storage configuration should I use?
* What box for the tv do you recommend?
Your hardware looks good. Because i don't have a ton of knowledge outside of WMC, i can really only speak on a few topics.
1. Raid 5 is smart. I currently run 5x1TB Samsung drives, and have lost 1 drive in 18 months with no data loss. From my experience... spend the money for a dedicated raid card. Also, make 110% you don't let the drives run chkdsk. You can easily toast the entire array. I currently let mine run 24/7, but if you want the PC to sleep, make sure you sleep the entire computer, and turn off all power saving features of the individual drives. If you get a case large enough (such as any of the antec nine hundred, eleven hundred, or twelve hundred) , you don't need external. They come with enough bays to cover everything.
2. You only need 1 Video card.
You want to connect any HDDs assigned to your RAID array to your cards. You can connect additional HDDs to the motherboard's SATA ports. There are many options for RAID cards, I use a HighPoint 8 port. No specific need for a hardware card unless you have a drastically underpowered processor.
I use Windows Media Center, and have two XBox 360s as extenders. The main reason i do this, is because i use a cable card tuner (which WMC directly supports). Unmodified, WMC doesn't do well with burned/ripped DVDs, so i can't recommend that route. I know a lot of people love BOXEE units, they play a ton of formats. Also, you can check out WD streaming units, they seem to do very well with lots of formats. ROKU aren't too bad, but they don't stream much other than web content. Basically, do your research on the format you intend to use, and be sure to locate a client unit that supports the format. I also have had mixed results with WIFI. I ended up hard wiring a 1gb connection to each xbox. The signal is far more stable.