*A buddy of mine has been thinking about going all futuristic with his home entertainment system, but it's quite the jungle out there with a lot of options. I said I could post a question on here for him as there are some eggschperts here.

He currently has:
a PC
Web- and network-enabled tv
A bunch of external drives.

The router and tv are in the same room, the PC and external drives are in another room.

What he wants to be able to do is:

Have all media stored on some sort of NAS system
Access the media through his TV, PC, tablet and (God willing) his mobile phone when he's on the go
Be able to browse the media and web on his TV (the TV can do both at the moment, but the UI on the TV is a pile of shit)
Have a backup system for all content (this could be done on the external drives, I guess)

I think he has his DVD collection converted to many different formats, from MP4 to VOB to ISO. He's happy to go with one or two formats, but a system that can handle various formats (I think the TV might be a determining/limiting factor here, though)

I showed him Chris's Plex thread and he dug the hell out of the UI on that, so I guess he'd like to be able to use that.

Checking around online presents millions of possibilities, with everything from using an Xbox, buying an iTunes server, using a RAID system, ferrying papyrus and anything else inbetween, so I wondered if any of you guys might be able to give him a bit of a steer.

*Btw, this isn't a 'a friend of mine wants to find the smallest condoms available on the market' type question. I really am asking for a friend