I have custom built my machines for a few years now, and I'm getting married in 2 months to a lovely lady who wants a blue ray player (it's like number 1 on her list). I told her that I could build something better (an HTPC) and she's on board with it but I am a little lost where to start. I have no experience with these things but if I could just get some basic hardware/software tips that would be great. I was thinking an AMD e-350 APU, 2g of ram, and what I'd like to do is have 1 or 2 1-terabyte drives to store all of our movies, which is quite a bit, so most the time we would not need the actual disk player making noise. Currently we have a 42-inch 720p plasma display, but will upgrade to a 1080p in the future. I'd also like to be able to watch TV through it (I think this is done, so you don't need a cable box or something?), have it be able to wirelessly connect to our internet for hulu and netflix, I'd like to have like 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound, and to top it off a remote (I assume infrared) to be able to enjoy all of our entertainment!
I'm pretty sure each one of these features requires a 3rd party or seperate card installed into the motherboard, and I'm worried it will be too bulky or will generate too much heat/noise. What are some good pieces of hardware to use if I want all of that as my end result? I'm searching in the dark on these forums, on google, and on newegg i'm afraid as I've only dealt with high-end gaming systems in the past. Ideally a system with no fans would be perfect, but at the very least something very quiet.
Lastly, Is there some kind of software I need to buy to get everything running almost like an actual blue-ray player or Mac's Front Row? I'd hate to have to power on my system and load windows, and go to an ugly folder file and search for my movie (but I'd still like the option too, or browsing internet on the tv, or watching youtube...you know what I mean :P ). Thankyou all in advance, and sorry if these things have been mentioned before, I could only find a few HTPC threads on the search and wasn't able to obtain information I'm looking for.