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Playing Media on WHS RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all,

    I currently have a server running Windows Server 2008 connected directly to my TV (1080p via HDMI), and am considering changing this to either WHS or Windows Media Center (WMC). I believe that WHS has more features that I want to utilise (in particular around remote access to my files and media away from home), however I am concerned about the ability to play media directly on WHS like you would through WMC.

    I have searched around the web and these forums and most people point towards using an additional machine with Windows 7 and WMC installed on it, however I do not have the cash to buy another machine, so I wanted to know if WHS will allow me to view my media directly on the TV (for example can something like the 'Media Feature Pack' for W7 be installed on WHS or can another media playing application such as iTunes be installed on WHS)?

    Note that I'm not fussed about recording TV itself as I also have Sky+, the main thing I want is the ability to play music, the odd movie, and maybe see my E-Mails through the server. So is WHS what I'm looking for?

    In addition to the above information, I also have a PS3 connected to my TV, but I've read that this is a bit of a lousy connector to media stored on WHS.

    Thanks in advance for your advice,

    Thom

    Sunday, September 5, 2010 11:32 PM

All replies

  • Windows Home Server isn't a media center operating system; it's not designed to be used as a home theater PC. What it is designed for is to be a central repository of your data, a backup device which will protect your home computers from minor disasters like drive failure, and a device which will give you access to your data (and home computers running supported operating systems) from remote locations. The major restriction you will find is that, by design, use of the server desktop is unsupported for end users.

    If media playback is your primary concern, you will be much happier if you choose Windows 7, which has very good playback tools built in.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, September 6, 2010 1:15 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ken, thanks for the swift response. So I guess the long and short of it is that it's not possible to have a server that can be remotely accessed from off-site, be a central repository for all files and also allow the viewing of these files. This is rather disappointing. The main two features I'm interested in are the remote access and the capability to play media, and it seems like these are mutually exclusive at present.

    Can you tell me if this sort of functionality is available through any other software such as Windows Server 2008 R2 or WHS Vail?

    Monday, September 6, 2010 7:43 PM
  • People have been asking for 3 1/2 years for Media Center functionality, and Vail has nothing more in that direction than V1 (which is to say, nothing). So I'd have to say it's unlikely that local playback of media will ever be a feature of Windows Home Server.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, September 7, 2010 1:03 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ken, thanks for the swift response. So I guess the long and short of it is that it's not possible to have a server that can be remotely accessed from off-site, be a central repository for all files and also allow the viewing of these files. This is rather disappointing. The main two features I'm interested in are the remote access and the capability to play media, and it seems like these are mutually exclusive at present.
     
    Can you tell me if this sort of functionality is available through any other software such as Windows Server 2008 R2 or WHS Vail?
    Thom:
     
    To me, the obvious solution to WMC/WHS dilemma is to tun WHS in a virtual machine on a Windows 7 host, and I think it is a great pity that this is not supported.
     
    But it works. At least for me, so far.
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Tuesday, September 7, 2010 1:55 AM