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I'm not necessarily asking for any specific hardware, but more if this is possible and what kind of hardware I will need. Also, how practical is this? Is it worth doing or is it better to just get a silent pc and a separate htpc? Will it cost alot of money?
Current situation: In my bedroom I have a noisy computer which I have to turn off every night to get some sleep. In the living room there's a plasma tv, to watch downloaded video on it I have to burn a dvd.
What I want: A server in another room where it can be on 24/7, I will keep the screen, keyboard, mouse and headphones where they are but the server will replace the computer that I now have, so the bedroom will be completely silent. The server will also act as an HTPC so I can watch movies (in high definition) on the tv.
I think I need some kind of "thin clients" (if that's the right word for it and if that's indeed what will make this possible) which will be communicating over the network. Can this be done? I will not play any games, the computer will be used for bittorrent, maybe ftp, surfing the web, instant messaging, irc, and of course listening to music and watching movies. So this should be as light, cheap and silent as possible but still let me watch high definition stuff at 720p (I won't watch anything at 1020p) encoded with x264.
Ok, so server next to tv in living room with DVI out to TV. Running Mythtv on server. Then a cheap box in the bedroom to watch movies, surf etc.
I would put the bitorrent and ftp on the server (as well as any other non system files). Then VNC into the server from the box in the bedroom to handle whatever needs to be done on server.. I would also run NFS so that you will have direct access to all files on server(to play movies and music). You will want GigE to stream the movies without stutter.