I have spent hours reading through forums, registering with groups, and searching the web for ways to set up a home media network. I guess I should start by listing my expectations. Storage, playback, and sharing of my media files, (music from I-tunes, amazon.com, and ripped from CDs, movies from my DVD collection as well as i-tunes, amazon.com and streaming from Hulu, Youtube, ect.). Integration of my PCs, printers, HDTV, Mp3 player, A/V equipment, and gaming counsels.
I am by no means a guru when it comes to networking and/or programing. I am however, open minded and willing to learn. I am not afraid of new ways of thinking or change (in the way of ditching Microsoft O.S.). I have been running Ubuntu 9.10 on one of my PCs for a few months now in preparation of using LinuxMCE to achieve my goals. I am willing to put my time and money into this project and am not opposed to adding whatever is needed to aide the process whether it means a new PC or upgrades to existing hardware and software.
The following is what i currently have at my disposal:
HP Windows XP MCE PC
-ATI HD2600 512MB PCIe video
-Integrated Realtek HD sound
-TV tuner/PVR PCI
Dell Ubuntu 9.10 PC
-Nvidia GeForce 6200 256MB PCI video
Dell AOI wireless printer
7.1 A/V receiver
Belkin wireless router
Am I chasing a pipe dream thinking Linux MCE will allow all of these things to play nice with one another? Do I have to hack all of my hardware to achieve this goal? (I must admit the thought of my Ipod touch as a remote for all of this looks very appealing) Should I start by running Linux in the form of Ubuntu 8.10 on my PCs and severing my dependance on MS? Am I even correct in believing that Linux MCE will only run on top of Ubuntu 8.10? I am committed to figuring all this out from the ground level and would appreciate any help on where to start. Please excuse my ignorance on this subject, and thank you for your time.