So I began testing an LG Bluray player with built in network access to stream videos over the network. The LG bluray came bundled with Nero MediaHome 4 which is a simple application to enable you to share videos on your computer to your home network and basically let the LG bluray player to play movies from over your network.
After noticing a dramatic decrease in performance on my RAID 1 computer, I opened up Windows Task Manager and clicked the Processes tab and enabled I/O Read Byes and I/O Write Bytes. To my amazement, it seems the Nero MediaHome 4 background service was writing exessively to the drive even while it was not being used for streaming purposes. In fact, there were more writes than reads which is extremely odd since Nero MediaHome4 is responsible for reading from the hard drive so it is very strange to see I/O writes peaking.
In any event, enough was enough, this program is crap so I removed it and decided to keep it simple. Low and behold, I was extremely shocked to see the effeciency of Microsoft Media Player 12 Media sharing (yes, Microsoft actually gets it right sometimes). After running tests, Microsoft's implementation was twice as fast at listing files and was much less resource intensive than Nero Media Home 4 by far.... a little bit shocked, my confidence in Microsoft has once more been re-established a little more.
There are alternatives such as XBMC which was not tested so I can't comment on its efficiency.