Anyone here ever use a Linux distro for a home media server? I'm looking on Tiger Direct and there's a special on where you can get a refurbished quad core Gateway for like $350, with 4 GB of DDR3 memory. It's small form factor so I'd have to find a way to cram more than 1 hard drive in it, but it would be nice to put it in my basement, plug it into the network and be done with it, so my PC can stop being the media server at home.
I'm just curious if there's any Linux distros designed specifically for this purpose, and how well it transcodes, and if the reduced overhead for the OS might get me better performance with transcoding HD rips, like 1080p. My current PC is pretty decent, but it seems like I need to pause the movie every 10-15 minutes and let the buffer fill back up (a minute or 2) for decent playback.