Re: DLNA applications
I generally have HTPCs hooked directly to the TV for playback. DLNA interfaces are awful. I like the HTPC experience.
With the cost of PCs being so low I prefer to have an HTPC for each television. These are low cost Atom ION PCs and are very capable of 1080P delivery without stuttering, etc (with the correct drivers). You can even get them small enough where they can simply be mounted behind the flat panel. Since you don’t want to replicate content, have a fairly decent server that’s capable of serving the content to multiple HTPCs concurrently. All content stored on the server and streamed to the HTPC clients over gigabit lan.