Definitely an i7 for the core, was hoping to get away with AMDs for the MDs. As for bluray, I thought the teams over at VLC were getting pretty close, but I may be wrong, I was going for future proofing.
Definitely going the NAS route, probably incorporating a DLNA server into the NAS if this will work natively in LMCE (I think I remember the wiki indicating it can). I thought this could be a relatively inexpensive CPU, more and better than an atom like a dual to tripple core AMD for 40 bucks or so US, but still inexpensive. Add a raid capable mobo and several 1GB Seagates for 60-80/ea. Basically what I now but with a CPU upgrade, an OS change, and more HDs.
I also thought about doing this with either the communications or security systems, but I didn't know if they would automatically connect to the core. Say I build a box with an above mentioned CPU and install a minimal linux system with asterisk or the security camera suite (or maybe both?), would that be fast enough?, would it offload enough to benefit?, is it even necessary since tkmedia mentions the offloading to MDs feature?
Great ideas LMCE! Please keep them coming. I hit a financial snag for a moment, but now the project is on tract again. I make a purchase decision on the initial hardware in the next few days 1 week.
Final thought...I have a few old laptops and netbooks I thought of using as MDs some are on the wiki page. I though of using one of the more compatible ones with a touchscreen monitor (cheap VGA) and setting it up at the bar for web browsing and playing the arcade style games maybe as mini-MDst for the controls) or custom orbitor.