Hi all, hope this is in the right place

After numerous troubles with my apple tv 3, i am looking to setup a home theatre pc system.

I have a 2010 mac mini with Drobo and various external drives on it in the upstairs office, the house is wired for ethernet, the office mac runs my iTunes library which i need for my iPad and iPhone.

I have just got a good deal on a late 2009 mac mini core 2 duo with 2gb ram and 160g disk which i want to connect to my Av amp and HD plasma tv. I have got the mini 3.5 -> toslink fibre cable and also a mini-dvi -> HDMI cable already.

I think the hardware is pretty good to go but software...

Frontrow has problems with tv shows listings and i know nothing about Plex, XBMC etc.

Can someone offer guidance on a setup please? I need to maintain itunes for my portable devices and also like the iTunes interface but definitely do not want to move my library to the front room so a network style setup is needed here.

Would also like to control with an iPad if possible

Many thanks