Do keep in mind, this is a volunteer effort, and you are not entitled to answers on the spot.
1. Yes, it is. I would recommend getting a USB UIRT to use as your IR transciever, because of the IR learning capabilities. You will need it to create a device template for your TV, Reciever, and Cable box.
2. You can use the CD install. But I recommend backing up your media, and then using the DVD install to wipe your drive. the transition will be much cleaner.
3. We do not provide a DAAP server currently, however we do expose all media via UPNP for other non-media director devices.
4. Yes. All the storage on the core, and on any media directors is exported via SMB and NFS shares.
5. I am working on integrating emulators, one by one, into LinuxMCE, complete with orbiter control surfaces across all the major devices, for each. Please read my MAME Plugin threads in the users and developers forum.
6. That's nice. Those protocols will still work correctly under an LMCE based network.
Now for the network part:
LinuxMCE is designed to become the center of your entire house. As such, it also takes over internet gateway, firewall, and qos duties from any routers you may have. You will need to make sure your core has two network cards, the first connected to your cable modem directly, the other, connected to a switch which provides the network for the inside of the house. This was done for a wide variety of reasons, and is documented elsewhere on this forum and on the wiki repeatedly. I will not repeat it here.
Any routers will need to have their DHCP service disabled, and to connect the router using only the LAN ports. The WAN port is no longer needed.
If you do not do this, LinuxMCE will not work properly.
I am a GB-PVR (Freeware PVR product on WinXP) user and am a little frustrated by its setup and usage. I just discovered LinuxMCE, and after watching the video and skimming some forum posts, I have a few questions. My XP/GB-PVR installation is running, so before I wipe it out, I was wondering if folks could comment on the following. Some are not related to replacing just GB-PVR, but replacing XP with the custom-rolled Kubuntu for LinuxMCE.
1. My hardware is a Compaq Deskpro SFF with 512mb RAM, RCA analog TV+Out with NVidia Geforce 6200 low profile card, 320gb IDE HD, Hauppauge PCI II (26xx) PVR-150. I use the remote IR blaster to change TV channels for the Scientific Atlanta 2100 box for Comcast. Is that reasonable hardware?
2. My hard drive is partitioned into two NTFS partitions, one for Windows and GB-PVR, and the other for %temp%, TV recordings, 40gb of mp3 files, ripped video, 50gb of family photos. Can I install LinuxMCE and keep my data partition intact?
3. I serve mp3s in the house via a Win32 DAAPD server installed on the GB-PVR host. Is there an equivalent that does not interfere with LinuxMCE and is also "zero config"?
4. I rip mp3s on remote computers and copy them to my media directories via some SMB shares, can I do an equivalent thing with LinuxMCE?
5. I run a few external apps that are launched from GB-PVR as custom menu options, they run full screen and quit back to GB-PVR. They are an Intellivision emulator, an Apple IIGS emulator, an Amiga Emulator, MAME, and a few Win32 educational titles. What can be done comparably for LinuxMCE?
6. I use MSN IM and AOL IM as well.
I think that's everything. Thanks!