Since Vista came out I've had an HTPC that has leveraged it with mostly good and stable results. Well, fast forward to last night as I try to update the Nvidia video driver and it blue screen's for the first time. It reboots and blue screens again. I go in to safe mode to find out all the previous restore points have been corrupted. When it rains it pours.
So I could probably spend some time resolving the instability issue in Windows, but instead I think it is time to simply reimage. I've thought about Linux for a HTPC before, but the fact I am almost a complete dunce when it comes to Linux has held me back. I'm ready to dive in and already learning a lot on this forum, but before I get too far down this road I thought I would ask others to ensure Linux can indeed offer me what I'm looking for in a HTPC. They seem to me to be pretty simple requirements. Any guidance on what might be best for me as far as the OS / distro or specific apps I would appreciate it.
- DVD / BluRay Playback via unraid server
- Rip DVD's and BluRays that I need to archive to unraid server
- Have a very simple and easy front-end like Media Browser that will search Media on the unraid server, download metadata and fan art. Ultimately, allow for simple playback for people that no nothing of the HTPC (wife and kids).
- Allow for "upscaling" and sharpening to dramatically improve the image of DVD videos. Arcsoft and PowerDVD allow for this with their SimHD and Sharpening tool. I find that it is pretty good for DVD playback and wouldn't want to give this up moving to Linux.
- SabNZBD, Couch Potato, and SickBeard. I'm practically certain these apps are created for Linux as well as Windows so I don't think it will be a problem.
Again, any guidance or recommendations are appreciated.