First up, apologies if you monitor the various forums closely and are upset by the cross-posting, but I'm in a real quandry and am trying to guage as wider audeince as possible
Right, I am based in the UK and, at the moment, I have a home network (cat5e wired as well as a wireless access point for the laptops) with 3 desktop machines and two laptops connecting to a Linux server for firewall and file / print services. (Linux From Scratch 6.0) My home entertainment consists (at the moment) of 1 TV in the living room connected to a Sky digibox and then portables in the bedrooms with no "off air" feed used for watching videos and the kids PS2s. I have a reasonable amount of Linux experience, but by no means would consider myself to be a guru!
I stumbled across Myth about a year ago and have been keeping an eye on it. A posting there lead me to Pluto which in turn brought me to LinuxMCE. I'm now trying to decide how to proceed in dipping my toe into the water with this!
I have literally hundreds of questions and would ideally like to actually see one (or all three!) options working, so if you live in the Midlands of the UK and wouldn't mind giving me a demo (I live on the Leicestershire / Northamptonshire border) thet would be great ;-)
Anyway, Ultimately, I want to have a box in the basement which will probably replacve the current Linux server. As well as doing the whole file / print thing, and provide internet access, I want it to act as a Pluto / LinuxMCE core / MythBackend. Around the house, I'd like to have network booting fanless ITX based systems connected to the various televisions. In the kitchen, I'd like to install an LCD panel with a touchscreen to watch on and I have plans for a waterproof display I've seen for the bathroom!
Ok, my server machine / core will obviously be on all the time, however I'm a bit of a scrooge and want to get as much "bang for my buck" (as they say in the US) as I can. Am I better getting a meaty machine, or having a moderate spec and the having some extra machines with WOL to use to do the actual capturing? What about the whole hardware / software encoding issue? I hope to use the multiplex streaming when it becomes available to allow me to get as many channels as possible with as few LNBs and capture cards as I can get away with. What about disks? I'd rather not have a whole bank of disks powered up all the time if there is a system which allows them to be powered down when not in use. I understand that there is a Myth add-in which allows you to set up a "wish list" of films and programmes. Will this work with the EPGs available in the UK? How much detail does the EPG in the UK have? 5 of my "customers" are children, so they will want to build up libraries of everything from "Bob the Builder" and "Pingu" (2 year old) to "Spongebob Squarepants" (9 year old) whilst I want to end up with every eposode of "The New Yankee Workshop". WAF is very important to me, not least because I have to get the cost of all this through the financial committee (AKA my wife!).
The final question is, I guess, the biggy. Which should I go for? Ultimately, I want the integration of Pluto / LinuxMCE, but from what I'm seeing that is a road frought with hazzards. Would I be better sticking with Myth only for now? Or is even Myth still a little shakey? I really can't afford to throw money at hardware unless I know I've got a reasonable chance of ending up with a working system which is useable by all the family.
Thanks for reading this and I'm looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts.