I've been looking at the LinuxMCE project over the last 2 years and sort of finally decided to take the plunge.
My experience comes in the form that I've been using OpenSuse, and Fedora Core over the last few years at home and have also dealt with both SCO Unix and *BSD in the past, so hopefully it shouldn't be too difficult to implement - more a time factor lol.
I'm looking into building a core only machine, mainly as it will be residing in the rack I have. Initially I planned to stick the components in a 1u chasis, though this is where I'm starting to think I may hinder myself, as it will only have one expansion slot available via riser card. I'm looking to the guru's on the project to advise the best way to achieve this. From what I see, I could feasibly go with the 1u and still have access to TV tuners, though of course these would need to be the USB variety, is there any performance issues with using the USB equivalents?
At present, I have a fair amount of PC related hardware, though I must admit, my AV equipment is a little outdated, most of which will need upgrading. As this will take time, I'm looking into developing it slowly, initially with the core, then an MD to playout to a 22" HDMI TV, once that's running and I can convince the better half to let me shell out for some new equipment, hopefully all will be good lol.
At the moment I have an Intel Celeron 2.1 with 1GB of mem that I'm looking at using as a test machine (Until I get the core hardware), hopefully this will help for me to become a little familiar with the system. My plans are to primarily, make use of the central repository for media, and later make use of the other functionality. I've worked with asterisk in the past, so the telehpony side of things looks good. I'll also be wanting to look into the home automation side, as well as the security (since to me these go a little hand in hand).
What would your suggestion be, I've found both a 1u chasis, and a 3u chasis, both of which will fit in the rack, though obviously the latter has space for 4 expansions, rather than just the one via riser.