[Help needed] How to use WHS 2011 as a DLNA-DMR (Digital Media Renderer)? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hey there fellow WHS users,

    first time around these shores...

    I got my new custom built home server up and running in no time and without any hiccups whatsoever - very nice.
    But of course there is one little thing that really bugs me is:

    What works:

    Media Streaming works like a charm and the built-in libraries work flawlessly on any device I tried to stream on (TV, iPhone, HTPC, Notebook, etc.)

    What bugs me:

    Because I have my server in my party room, I hooked up a little stereo system to the onboard sound card. And I guess by now you know what my problem is...

    Exactly, no way to stream to (or "Play to..." in WMP terms) the home server itself!!! ;-)

    Of course there is a workaround for this by having a second Windows Media Player run permanently on the Administrator account and play to this one, but it kinda blows the whole idea and hogs unnecessary system resources :-(

    Is this just an overseen/rare use case (for special crazy people like me) or has this been left out on purpose???


    So the question is:

    Any way to enable the built-in Media Player Process to act as a Media Receiver so I can play media on the WHS itself and stream music from other device to my server?



    Thursday, October 6, 2011 12:32 PM

All replies

  • Indeed, this is one of the strangest requests I have seen on these forums!! ;-) I am not aware that what you suggest can be done - WHS by definition is a Server and not meant to be used as a desktop machine. There have been a number of users that wanted to play music directly from the server (music stored on the server) who have had problems with the sound being disabled by default in WHS. Search this forum for their experiences.

    Personally I would be inclined to consolidate all your music on the server and stream to a media player in your party room.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Thursday, October 6, 2011 1:25 PM
  • Hello Phil,

    thank you very much for your response allthough my request seem to have bewildered you somehow... ;-)

    well, I already have ALL my stuff on the WHS as it's supposed to be. (difficult matter to explain for a non-native speaker ;-))

    let me try again:

    1. Streaming FROM the server is working flawlessly. I can browse the in-built library and play it with all sorts of DLNA-enabled devices across my network.

    2. My problem is playing music FROM the server ON the server via a DLNA-Media controller remotely (like in my dreams of the future living room and promised by the DLNA for quite some time now ;-))

    2. I'd really like to save the extra media player in the basement party room when there is a computer (the whs) with a perfectly good sound card sitting in the SAME party room with a little amplifier and speakers already attached to it ;-)

    3. My current solution is to have another WMP instance running on the administrator account (this works well) which acts just like any Windows 7 PC with a running Windows Media Player and therefore can be used for playback from any DLNA-DMC (media controller - think iPhone). But this just feels wrong - imagine me with my iPhone playing music from "HOME-SERVER: Home Library" on "HOME-SERVER: Administrator" (effectively streaming from one WMP process to the other running on the same machine - pathetic ;-)


    And since WHS2011 already has a special account just for streaming/library purposes running a WMP instance I hoped to be able to hack (i.e. registry) the background WMP to present itself as a DMR (renderer) as well as a DMS (server) like it does exclusively out of the box.

    always missing the last percent to perfection,

    Thursday, October 6, 2011 1:56 PM
  • Anthrax

    No, I understood what you were trying to do but you did say "and stream music from other device to my server" which, judjing by your second post, is not actually a requirement?

    My points were:

    • I am not aware of anyone else having asked this question
    • Others had had problems getting sound to work at all on WHS
    • I gave a suggestion of how I would do it (albeit at the cost of an additional media player)

    Other than that, I can't help with what you are trying to do.


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Thursday, October 6, 2011 2:09 PM
  • Is it possible to use your server as a renderer? Yes. Is it supported by Microsoft? No.

    Microsoft's intent is that you will use your server as a server, i.e. it will hold your digital media and deliver media to client devices for playback. So in order to play back on the server, you wind up having to install software on the desktop, leaving an account logged in or figuring out how to get the software to run as a service, etc.

    I happen to agree with Microsoft; you're going to get a much better user experience from a device designed for playback than you will from one designed for storage. Heck, you'll get a better experience from your Xbox than you will from WMP. :)

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, October 6, 2011 2:24 PM
  • Phil,

    thank you very much anyway.

    I searched the internet for days now and it really seems no one thougt of/cares about that use case.
    This post was/is my last straw and I'm very thankful for any input.


    best regards,

    Thursday, October 6, 2011 2:34 PM
  • Thanks Ken,

    I totally understand - and kinda tend to agree with - your (and Microsofts) point about WHS2011 being a 100% pure server OS and therefore serve and serve only.

    I was just so excited about the new WHS2011 and how the setup worked out with ease and no hard feelings about drive extender whatsoever and yet here I am slightly sighing to myself...
    It would have been very nice to have WHS recognize when a sound card is installed on the Server and just automatically enable the DMR capabilities within the background WMP... (OEMs could add this to their feature lists as well - The new [Company] Home Server with Advanced Party Enhancements and two-mic Karaoke set ;-))

    maybe someone will figure this out ;-)

    best regards,

    Thursday, October 6, 2011 2:46 PM