I’ve [I]kinda[/I] done the same thing as the original poster. I’ve built a NAS box running linux. It holds all my movies in ifo/vob format as rip is usually done. I also have mpeg files out there as well. It can be done on a windows box just as well. I only went with linux for the array that I have.
My goal was to allow the kids to view their movies in their rooms if they wanted to but I may scrap that until they get a little older. I can’t seem to find a simple program that lists movies in a simple double-click-to-run format.
Anyway, what I have found is a PVR program that will do the trick. It will require a bit of tweeking to get to run if you want to us a remote of some kind. Keep in mind I just got this set up about a week ago and I’m not running it to my tv yet. I’m just trying to get it set up to go to my main box.
The program is gbpvr, it’s free and it’s a pvr software, but it does have a movie library menu where you can set the directory to your storage location or network store. It runs it like a tivo(ish) box so you can pause and so on. The problem I’m having with it at present is because it’s used in a pvr environment, it’s not very mouse click friendly.
I have to re-mention I’m not in full use of this yet so this may not be the route you want to go.
Hope this helps. If anyone has a suggestion for a program that will list dvd’s in a library type of format, kinda like windows media player, and play them by simple double clicks, that would be great.