In building our house I had an electrician run cat5 cable along with phone and cable TV lines to most rooms in the house. All the runs come back to a central point next to the electrical panel in the basement where he is installing a structured media panel that will house everything. Included is surge suppression, a four-port router w/ firewall and an 8-way coaxial splitter with amplifier.

My plan is to set up a media server as the hub of the network that will house music, pictures and movies that will be accessible anywhere on the network. I think I can see how a PC or laptop would be able to access this content, but what I'm not sure about is how I would go about setting up, say, the TVs in the house to watch a movie I have stored on the server. I'm wondering if anyone on the board has done something similar to this and could tell me something about their setup. Some of my questions:

What kind of OS/software would need to be on the server?
Would each TV need it's own set top box to access the network?

Thanks in advance for your help