Noob alert. Okay I'm generally unhappy with overall performance of media streamers. Different ones have different strengths but none are solid for HD video and HD audio over the wide range of codecs, BD menus and such. I was looking at the dunes, and by the time I spend that much, I could build my own, I think. This thread is overwhelming, and it will take me 3 months of Sundays just to get caught up over the last 18 months.
What's the cheapest combo of parts to playback all HD audio (bitstream only) and all popular US HD codecs and frame rates for the best possible 2D video and audio including menus? I have a separate server and need no onboard HDD's other than an SSD for OS and software and a gigabit controller. I may or may not need a BD reader at this point, and I have no interest in 3D at this time in my life.
Also what HT software are most people running these days? I have begun reading some older guides and will buy the new one soon.
I'm sure this has already been discussed so feel free to point me in the right direction.