First I'll give you my complete set-up and how I currently stream MKV movies to my home theater system. Then, I'll tell you the issues I have. Third, I'll tell you the solutions I'm hoping for. My goal: someone with vastly more experience can tell me how to utilize the components I have, or buy the ones I need.
Sony KDL-70R550A 70" LCD Flatscreen (HDMI connected to A/V Receiver)
Sony STR-DN1040 A/V Receiver
Sony BDP-S5100 3D Blu-ray Player (HDMI Connected to A/V Receiver)
Apple MacBook Pro 15" 2.7 GHz Intel Quad Core i7, 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, 750GB HD
Apple AirPort Extreme, 802.11n, Dual Band 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz (Extended Network with Apple TIme Capsule)
Apple Time Capsule, 2TB, 802.11n, Dual Band 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz (Extended Network with Apple Airport Extreme)
Plex Media Server for Mac, serving my iTunes Music Library and locally-stored MKV videos on my MacBook Pro
Most of the time, I can stream MKV from my MacBook Pro (which is wirelessly connected to my network) to my Sony KDL-70R550A TV (which is wirelessly connected to my network) without much problems. Occasionally, and always at the worst time (i.e. family and friends are over) my Sony TV will not play, or will stopping playing mid-stream, MKV. Other formats are not usually a problem, but my video library is predominantly MKV which is why I would like a more-efficient/more-effective set-up. I am also running out of space on my MacBook Pro.
I would like a separate storage for my video and music library. My options, as I see it, are a NAS or a HTPC. I've looked very closely at the Mac Mini with the Intel Quad Core i7 and 2TB of storage, using the Plex Media Center, but then I'm well over $1000 to do this. I know I can build a HTPC cheaper, but I'm an absolute brand loyalist who only likes Apple and Sony. I know it's irrational but it's what I like.
I've zero experience with a NAS, and I wonder if I will run into the same issues streaming over DLNA. Plus I'm not sure my Sony TV has native MKV support, so transcoding is still required/necessary for MKV playback. Still, I know Plex Media Server is available to Synology NAS, so it's definitely an option if it's easy to implement and the quality playback I'm looking for is achieved.
Lastly, as the most cost-effective option, I'd looked at streaming options that will give me the Plex app that I can use to stream (hopefully more effectively than with DLNA). Since Plex has an app for GoogleTV, I suppose I could get either the Chromecast or Sony Streaming Player that features Google TV that will then allow me to use the Plex app. My media library would stay on my MacBook Pro, but at least it would save me those embarrassing moments when the movie everyone is at my house to watch won't play.
I'm open to any and all feedback, suggestions, comments. Please!