after some listening test, i have decided to settle with linux and setting up a new cas system using an Apple TV (1st gen).
a minimal linux system will be "poured" inside this little machine and act a frontend music player. all of my music files will be placed in a NAS.
since the Apple TV (atv) is using a Pentium M processor and almost any standard x86 linux distribution will do the job.
a peep inside of the atv,
atv is not using standard BIOS, you will need a special bootstrap process in order to boot into a new OS other the standard ATV OS, i've tried this,
it works! :-)