I recently dusted off an old Raspberry Pi and installed Samba to serve all the movies we have on two external hard drives on our local network.
In recent times, we never had a (film) server for this, so we were connecting HDDs to Macs and Macs to TVs. With wires. Like cave people.
Now, we simply turn on the Pi, and a few moments later we can browse movie files via VLC – running on the FireTV stick, or on any of our Apple client devices.
It’s not a fancy media centre with posters and infos about each film, but it very much serves our simple needs to easily access movie files and play them on whatever screen we choose.