Quoted from Andretti:
I'd really appreciate the insight to what it'd take if you have the time at some point.
Hi Andretti. My storage is handled by a box I built running a Linux based distro called unRAID by Lime Technology. It runs off a flash drive and basically acts as a huge file server and includes parity in the case of drive failure. It's a lot different than most storage solutions as the hardware requirements are very light (depending on what else you want to do) and it's very inexpensive.
As you fill up the server, you just add more drives and keep on going. It's a rock solid platform once configured.
The software is free to use for up to 3 drives, and costs $29 for 4 devices, $69 for 8 devices and $119 for up to 25 devices. A device is defined as either a hard drive, cache drive or parity drive. The free (trial) version does not support a parity drive, which is highly recommended.
Hardware is pretty straight forward and doesn't require much depending on what you want it to do. I have mine doing a bunch of other stuff, but if you're just looking for file storage you can get away with building something pretty cheap.
With the file server in place, you'll want to move on to the computer you'll actually be streaming the media to (pictures, TV Shows, Movies, Music, etc). For this, I would recommend something like an Intel NUC or a Gigabyte Brix. They are very small and easy to hide. Here is an example of an Intel NUC:
You would purchase the NUC, a SSD for storage and some RAM. That's the device that would connect to whatever display you decided to use.
The actual interface would be handled by software named Kodi (formerly XBMC). It's an open source platform and I've used it for years.
The actual interface can be controlled with either a remote, iPad, Android or iPhone. The only thing I haven't tested, is controlling the Kodi software with a touch screen monitor. It is reported to work, but I can't say that with 100% certainty since I haven't done it myself. You can control it with an iPad, so if you wanted to install an iPad in the wall and use that to control the interface, that would be one option.
It might sound like a lot to wrap your hear around right out of the gate, but once set up, it's self sufficient. The entire package could probably be done easily for under $1,500 and probably closer to $1,000. The nice thing is that you can then add NUCs other places in the house. I have one at each of my TVs. You can even go so far as to have a SQL database running on the server that remembers watched status for different users. There is also usenet integration if you want to have it automatically download, rename and catalog all your TV shows.....but that's for another day.