I should start off by saying that I am not a software person. I enjoy putting computers together but have very little idea what I'm doing once I turn the things on. I feel that it will be easiest to explain what I'd like to do and see if anyone thinks it's possible or knows how to do it.
I would like to use raspberry pi solely to play files from a hard drive that is connected via USB. I rip DVD's that I own and watch them on my computers, phone, tablet, and any other device I can get my hands on, so that I don't have to actually have the physical DVD nearby. Actually most of my DVD's are in boxed. I want to plug Pi into a tv, connect an external hard drive and watch movies through it. I had hoped to be able to set up something like this for my parents as well but it is seeming like it would be way to complicated for them to be able to use. It's already seeming too complicated for me to use.
Is there a way to essentially turn Pi into a windows media player alone instead of a computer? I'd like for it to boot up and allow me to simply select a movie and for it to play. If there are any questions please ask. I'm a bit sleep deprived and honestly am not quite sure I adequately explained myself and am also sure that I repeated some things unnecessarily. Thanks in advance.