home entertainment project, planning stages

I’m just posting quick about a pet project of mine that is still just in the planning stages and likely won’t be done until later this year at the earliest. I’d like to develop and complete a more robust home entertainment system than I currently have.

I watch movies. I listen to music (cd and mp3). But I do not watch TV, and thus also do not record shows. In fact, despite owning a plasma TV, I have not watched a television show or had it even set up with television in about 10 months. I do game, although I own none of the latest generation of consoles. I’m looking to buy into that hobby again soon. I don’t typically download movies or rip them from existing media, but I am looking into doing that. There are many movies I’d love to have on hand, but wouldn’t really ever pay for. Netflix is as far as I would go there, and I wouldn’t mind ripping Netflix movies to digital media, or even copying them with a DVD burner (although I have little experience in that).

FurryGoat pointed me to the InFrant ReadyNAS device which I think is awesome. An alternative might be using FreeNAS, which could be a good project itself. This could act as a media repository, which is something I would certainly need.

I plan to purchase an X-Box 360, at a minimum, so I would stick to that for my DVD/media playing needs. I think I might need to get a Vista box for my Media Center, but I’m not terribly keen on that idea. I don’t really have a powerful enough system right now to run Vista well, although I do have some basic parts for a good base (motherboard and CPU that are good workhorses, but bad for gaming).

Any ideas, feel free to post, but otherwise this is just a planning post for me. I think I would be best served looking into getting into DVD ripping and burning, grab a console machine, and also get a storage NAS set up.

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