I would like to put together an always-on machine to handle various multimedia and file server tasks for my house. Mythbuntu's looking like a good candidate (other Linux-based alternative suggestions welcome).
I've read quite a bit about what Mythbuntu can do and I realize that some items on my list may be answered elsewhere, but part of what I'm looking for here is how these things perform in real life. I have an existing Vista-based network/media center which looked good on paper but turned out to be a complete catastrophe in real life, so I just want to dismantle it and get things right this time.
Any feedback on suggestions/ impossibilities/ real-world-experience is appreciated. Here's what I would like to accomplish:
1) Feed 2 HDTV TV signals (cable and/or on air) into a pair of tuner cards and have complete PVR capabilities on several diskless frontend machines (this should be straightforward enough).
2) Store a library of video files of different types/codecs on the backend server and be able to browse through them and watch them on the frontend machines.
3) Store my entire music collection on the backend and be able to come home and easily select an album to play on a frontend machine without spending 10 minutes to get it going.
4) Stuff the backend server full of hard drives and be able to access all my files remotely from other Linux and Windows machines in the house. This includes working on documents, editing photos, etc directly over the network so all files are kept in one place.
5) Keep all my documents encrypted on the server, probably by designating one hard drive as a Truecrypt (or equivalent) encrypted volume, so I'll be safe if the machine is ever stolen. Any files I'm working on from a different machine would be decrypted on the fly.
6) Run an always-on bittorrent client on the backend that can be remotely controlled by other (Ubuntu) machines on the network so I can keep all my bittorrent activity in one place.
7) Remotely access the server from a pocket pc device or other remote computer to schedule tv recordings, view connected webcams, etc.
So there's my wish list. I got most of this functionality set up on Vista-based machines early this year, but like I said, what looked good on paper turned out to be a complete train wreck in reality and is just making life miserable. Thanks in advance for any feedback.