So I was mentioning to a friend about wanting to build a media server in my house to serve up Music/Movie/TV shows etc to all TVs (convert my DVD collection to a centralized server). He mentioned Raspberry Pi as the media center that could connect to the main sever using XBMC. I had heard of RPi but didn't realize it's full capabilities for something like that. But as I'm getting older, working full time, and having a 6-month old baby at home, my time to do research and learn has diminished (as has my mind trying to concentrate). So I figured I would just flat out ask if what I'm trying to do will work before pulling the trigger and starting this project.
1 - Put all video/music on a central Windows machine and install XBMC on it, I should be able to stream over a network to an RPi running XBMC. This would make it easier to watch movies etc without having to grab a disc, load, turn on the DVD player, load up etc etc etc. That wasn't a problem before, but I imagine it's much easier to do with all just a simple remote control without getting up. This means using a remote control with RPi (I read about MCE working with it? need an IR reciever plugged into the RPi?). Feasible?
2 - RPi can do emulators for games (also XBMC). I've seen mention of MAME, NES, Sega, SNES, etc. Can those be played over a network though? From that same Windows centralized server, will I be able to play games in all rooms over the network without storing the games locally on a hard drive next to the RPi unit? Wireless USB controller? Feasible?
3 - I've also been reading about replacing set top boxes for cable in the home by using a CableCard compatible TV Tuner (on FIOS here and it is an option to get a CableCard). Now I hear that XBMC can't do live TV recording, so Windows Media Center is used for that. But will RPi be able to interface with that? This will mean being able to record more shows at one time and using my own storage size options. Also need to be able to view live TV as if there was a set top box. I wouldn't mind a more hassle interface to save the money on not paying monthly for those boxes, but the wife probably wouldn't be happy unless things work pretty similar to how they are now. Feasible?
4 - What about things like Amazon Video, Netflix, Hulu, Youtube? Can those be done directly on the RPi, or through the Windows box streamed to RPi? Feasible?
I don't need to be able to do everything, but knowing what my limitations are before going in will help me prepare and accomplish this project. Knowing what should be easy and which parts are the more complicated ones will also help get me in the right mindset for separate parts of this ordeal.
I highly appreciate any help with this before I start. I loved being part of the PC DIY community when I was younger and had the time, but now I have the money but less time. I'm trying to kindle that spark again.