I'm actually considering purchasing a Mac Mini and building a media server. The problem with an Apple TV is it being IOS and being very restrictive along with a lack of user control over the system. This is not only important from a privacy and security perspective but also with what you can install and run, including a Linux and Window system if one wanted to do so either nativley or in a virtual enviroment. There's many good open source softwares out there as well.
NO. NO. Don't go down the hellish Mac route.
I'll speak to you more about this tomorrow.
Burn Apple, burn!