I have been trying to turn my dead and dying old Powerbook into a media center for awhile now. I found Media Central and was seriously happy until I actually started adding DVDs I had on my network.
Real quick description: I have a Windows MCE 2005 running the My Movies plugin upstairs. There are three or four network drives around 2TB full of movies ripped to \\moviename\\video_ts format. I wanted the mac to work with those already ripped.
Media Central keeps media in this format (backslash)My Mediacentral(backslash)My DVDs you can either put in alias or actual videos ripped. Here is the problem: IT CRAWLED if you put in alias across a network. Every reviewer that tried got the SAME slowness. I have a Mac Pro and gigabit network with gigabit drives so that wasn't the problem. Playing around I FOUND A MESSY BUT WORKABLE SOLUTION!!!
Under (backslash)My Mediacentral(backslash)My DVDs create a folder for the movie you want like MOVIETITLE. Then make an alias from (double backslash)mynetworkdrive\\MOVIETITLE(backslash)video_ts to (backslash)My Mediacentral(backslash)My DVDs(backslash)MOVIETITLE.
It gets a little more complicated because it will slow down still (but alot less) when you start getting around 50 movies. So I broke it up as described at my site Applepunks (Can't post links yet just put . usual thing after)
Later today or tomorrow I am going to write a BETTER set of instructions and show pictures of my whole setup and network diagrams at that site and probably my blog at Americanflannel (same deal about no links do the same thing) . Finally a step in the right direction of getting Windows out of my house!