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Does WHS support WTV file format storage/playback with Windows Media Center? RRS feed

  • Question

  • WHS Power Pack 2 is supposed to have better integration with the Windows Media Center.  I have read that recorded live TV files can be automatically saved to the server, and that the Windows Media Center can list the recorded TV files on the WHS and play them back.  See:

    http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/2009/03/24/windows-home-server-power-pack-2-delivers-first-shoots-of-media-center-integration/

    Also see the Hewlett-Packard FAQ in their MediaSmart product, which runs WHS:

    http://h71036.www7.hp.com/hho/cache/565653-0-0-225-121.html

    Here's my question (finally):

    Windows Media Center on Vista, with the TV Pack applied, saves recorded TV in the new WTV file format.  It no longer saves in DVR-MS format.  The HP FAQ in the link above implies that WHS with PP2 only backs up recorded TV in the DVR-MS format, not the WTV format, and that the Windows Media Center can therefore play back only DVR-MS files from WHS, not WTV files. 

    Look at the HP FAQ link listed above, and search for the question "Q. What media file types are supported by the Web Media Streamer, HP Media Collector, HP Photo Publisher, and local and remote media streaming?


    Thanks!



    Saturday, April 4, 2009 10:17 PM

Answers

  • SUCCESS!  Thanks everybody for your comments.

    1) Started with a sooped-up ThinkPad T42 with 2 gig memory and 100 gig drive.
    2) Downloaded WHS trial.
    3) First WHS install on T42 bombed because I took out the DVD too soon, second install worked.
    4) WHS did not recognize T42 Ethernet, found drivers on Lenovo/IBM site, got Ethernet connection working for WHS.
    6) Updated T42/WHS with everything, including Power Pack 2
    5) Found Home Server Connect software on WHS server, installed on client Vista machine,
    6) Vista machine running Windows Media Center (WMC) has TV pack already applied.
    7) Manually moved some Recorded TV files (both DVR-MS and WTV format) to WHS recorded TV folder.
    8) On Vista WMC, could see local and server files all together in Recorded TV on WHS interface.  Could play, stop, and resume play on all files.
    9) Installed Recorded TV Manager 3.  "Recorded TV Manager" apparently a generic name for several products from www.fjdrasch.com.  Confusing.  I installed "Recorded TV Manager 3" which got me two things: Recorded TV Manager 3 and "AutoMove".  RTVM3 allows manual copy and move of files.  AutoMove allows automatic periodic scan and move of files from machine that did recording to WHS.
    10) Configured AutoMove, and set WMC to record some TV.
    11) Later, the recorded TV file (WTV format) was automatically moved to WHS by AutoMove.  It played fine from "Recorded TV" listings on Vista WMC box - hurray!
    12) Now waiting patiently for HP MediaSmart box to arrive.  Just did not feel like another DIY box this time around.

    To-do (off topic, I know, but feel free to comment if you like):
    1) Figure out house Ethernet connections.  Hardwire to some TVs will be difficult.  Looking at Ethernet over powerline.  Considering Netgear HDXB111 -> http://www.netgear.com/Products/PowerlineNetworking/PowerlineEthernetAdapters/HDXB111.aspx
    2) Figure out small appliance at multiple TVs to record and play back.  Do not need elaborate HTPC.  WHS will store stuff, and current Vista machine will burn DVDs.  Considering small form factor PC with digital tuner or PCI slot.  Possibility at Cappuccino PC -> http://www.cappuccinopc.com/digitalengine-965hg.asp.  Seems smaller/classier that what I can assemble myself.
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 3:49 PM

All replies

  • PP2 does not automatically save your recorded tv to WHS. All it does is add the folder so that it automatically looks at that folder for viewing.
    If the Media centre pc can read wtv files (win7 + vista with tv pack) then the MC PC will read the wtv files on the WHS.
    Saturday, April 4, 2009 11:02 PM
  • WHS Power Pack 2 is supposed to have better integration with the Windows Media Center.  I have read that recorded live TV files can be automatically saved to the server

    No, that's not true.  Power Pack 2 creates a Recorded TV folder on your server and once you install the Media Center Connector software on a Media Center PC, it will integrate the Recorded TV share on the server into the MC PC (as if the files are stored on the client PC), but TV shows are not automatically saved (or copied) to the server.  Your Recorded TV shows will still save to the client, then you have to copy them to the server manually.

    and that the Windows Media Center can list the recorded TV files on the WHS and play them back.  See:

    http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/2009/03/24/windows-home-server-power-pack-2-delivers-first-shoots-of-media-center-integration/

    Also see the Hewlett-Packard FAQ in their MediaSmart product, which runs WHS:

    http://h71036.www7.hp.com/hho/cache/565653-0-0-225-121.html

    Here's my question (finally):

    Windows Media Center on Vista, with the TV Pack applied, saves recorded TV in the new WTV file format.  It no longer saves in DVR-MS format.  The HP FAQ in the link above implies that WHS with PP2 only backs up recorded TV in the DVR-MS format, not the WTV format, and that the Windows Media Center can therefore play back only DVR-MS files from WHS, not WTV files.

    I find that very hard to believe.  However, I don't have any Vista machines that come with TV Pack 2008 so I can't confirm.  But that makes no sense.  If the Vista PC can read a WTV file, then it should "just work" when reading the file from the server as well.

    Look at the HP FAQ link listed above, and search for the question "Q. What media file types are supported by the Web Media Streamer, HP Media Collector, HP Photo Publisher, and local and remote media streaming?


    Thanks!




    Saturday, April 4, 2009 11:08 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for your reply, kariya21.

    By saying that Windows Media Center recorded TV files are automatically saved to the WHS server, I meant to say that you can set up a periodic scan to find any new recorded TV files, which are then backed up.  So, "automatic" was not quite the correct word for me to use.

    However , Windows Media Center cannot read a WTV or a DVR-MS file from a server .  This is the problem that I was hoping that PP2 of WHS would address, particularly with WTV files.

    This is a problem (even with DVR-MS files) that many people have encountered - try a Google search.  In particular, the user interface for Windows Media Center allows you to pick only a local drive for recorded TV files.  If you want to use a network drive, you have to go into the windows registery to change things.  You can change the registry to point to the server location in "\\Server\Recorded TV" format, or you can map the server location to a drive letter and specify the drive letter and location in the registry.  However, neither method will work when you try to save recorded TV or play recorded TV from Windows Media Center.  Windows Media Center encounters a problem.  This is well documented in post after post on many Media Center forums.  Yes, it seems like it should work, but it does not.

    It would be great to have the Media Center save to a central server (manual or automatic), which any Media Center computer on the network could then access to play back recorded TV.  It is just that nobody has been able to do it.  This is what I am trying to find out whether WHS with PP2 has fixed.
    Sunday, April 5, 2009 3:54 PM
  • Thanks for your reply, kariya21.

    By saying that Windows Media Center recorded TV files are automatically saved to the WHS server, I meant to say that you can set up a periodic scan to find any new recorded TV files, which are then backed up.  So, "automatic" was not quite the correct word for me to use.

    However , Windows Media Center cannot read a WTV or a DVR-MS file from a server .  This is the problem that I was hoping that PP2 of WHS would address, particularly with WTV files.

    It most definitely works with dvr-ms files.  But that wasn't your original question.  Your question was specifically about wtv files.  As I said, I can't confirm that it works with wtv files.  However, if your Vista PC knows what a wtv file is (meaning it has TV Pack 2008), it should work (I don't care what HP says; it's not their product).  The issue before wasn't that it didn't recognize the file type.  The issue before was it didn't know about the file path (which it now does).

    This is a problem (even with DVR-MS files) that many people have encountered - try a Google search.

    I don't need to search.  I know perfectly well that it didn't have that functionality before Power Pack 2.

    In particular, the user interface for Windows Media Center allows you to pick only a local drive for recorded TV files.  If you want to use a network drive, you have to go into the windows registery to change things.  You can change the registry to point to the server location in "\\Server\Recorded TV" format, or you can map the server location to a drive letter and specify the drive letter and location in the registry.  However, neither method will work when you try to save recorded TV or play recorded TV from Windows Media Center.  Windows Media Center encounters a problem.  This is well documented in post after post on many Media Center forums.  Yes, it seems like it should work, but it does not.

    It would be great to have the Media Center save to a central server (manual or automatic), which any Media Center computer on the network could then access to play back recorded TV.  It is just that nobody has been able to do it.  This is what I am trying to find out whether WHS with PP2 has fixed.

    Sunday, April 5, 2009 7:01 PM
    Moderator
  • It most definitely works with dvr-ms files.  But that wasn't your original question.  Your question was specifically about wtv files.  As I said, I can't confirm that it works with wtv files.  However, if your Vista PC knows what a wtv file is (meaning it has TV Pack 2008), it should work (I don't care what HP says; it's not their product).  The issue before wasn't that it didn't recognize the file type.  The issue before was it didn't know about the file path (which it now does).

    Yes, it appears that it should work, but I do not want to buy a WHS device only to discover that it does not work.  The HP FAQ on their MediaSmart servers (which run WHS), does not mention WTV files, but does mention DVR-MS files.  I simply cannot find any documentation anywhere (at Microsoft or HP or anywhere else) that says that WHS with PP2 will serve WTV files to Windows Media Center. 

    I've yet to receive a reply from HP on the issue, but I will post the reply if I get a definitive one.  I have no idea how to submit a similar question to Microsoft.  Anyone know how?
    Sunday, April 5, 2009 9:12 PM
  • Yes, it appears that it should work, but I do not want to buy a WHS device only to discover that it does not work.  The HP FAQ on their MediaSmart servers (which run WHS), does not mention WTV files, but does mention DVR-MS files.  I simply cannot find any documentation anywhere (at Microsoft or HP or anywhere else) that says that WHS with PP2 will serve WTV files to Windows Media Center. 

    I've yet to receive a reply from HP on the issue, but I will post the reply if I get a definitive one.  I have no idea how to submit a similar question to Microsoft.  Anyone know how?
    I believe that it does.  There is no reason for it not to (again, file type was never the issue).  However, if you want certainty, my suggestion is to download the 120-day eval and try it for yourself.
    Sunday, April 5, 2009 10:09 PM
    Moderator
  • EREWHON said:
    "Yes, it appears that it should work, but I do not want to buy a WHS device only to discover that it does not work.  The HP FAQ on their MediaSmart servers (which run WHS), does not mention WTV files, but does mention DVR-MS files.  I simply cannot find any documentation anywhere (at Microsoft or HP or anywhere else) that says that WHS with PP2 will serve WTV files to Windows Media Center. 

    I've yet to receive a reply from HP on the issue, but I will post the reply if I get a definitive one.  I have no idea how to submit a similar question to Microsoft.  Anyone know how?"

    KARIYA21 replied:
    I believe that it does.  There is no reason for it not to (again, file type was never the issue).  However, if you want certainty, my suggestion is to download the 120-day eval and try it for yourself.
    Thanks kariya21 for the outstanding suggestion!  I have equipment that would support the 120-day-trial.  That's a lot cheaper than buying an HP MediaSmart server (or comparable device) just for testing.  Sorry if my questions have been confusing, but I have been reading such a huge volume of stuff on the issue...
    Monday, April 6, 2009 2:19 AM
  • Thanks kariya21 for the outstanding suggestion!  I have equipment that would support the 120-day-trial.  That's a lot cheaper than buying an HP MediaSmart server (or comparable device) just for testing.  Sorry if my questions have been confusing, but I have been reading such a huge volume of stuff on the issue...
    No problem.  Feel free to post the results here.  I'm sure someone someday will have the same question as you. ;)
    Monday, April 6, 2009 3:08 AM
    Moderator
  • I have been out for a while.
    The reason HP state DVRMS and not WTV is they haven't updated their documentation to reflect the changes in WMC TVPack and now WIN7 Beta. Just to clarify Erewhon, you will have to use an addin like Recorded tv manager or say sync toy to automate the transfer of your recorded tv files (dvrms or WTV) to your WHS.
    I am doing now what you want to do. I do not have a HP WHS but just a frankenstien build.
    Monday, April 6, 2009 8:51 AM
  • It most definitely works with dvr-ms files.  But that wasn't your original question.  Your question was specifically about wtv files.  As I said, I can't confirm that it works with wtv files.  However, if your Vista PC knows what a wtv file is (meaning it has TV Pack 2008), it should work (I don't care what HP says; it's not their product).  The issue before wasn't that it didn't recognize the file type.  The issue before was it didn't know about the file path (which it now does).

    Yes, it appears that it should work, but I do not want to buy a WHS device only to discover that it does not work.  The HP FAQ on their MediaSmart servers (which run WHS), does not mention WTV files, but does mention DVR-MS files.  I simply cannot find any documentation anywhere (at Microsoft or HP or anywhere else) that says that WHS with PP2 will serve WTV files to Windows Media Center. 

    I've yet to receive a reply from HP on the issue, but I will post the reply if I get a definitive one.  I have no idea how to submit a similar question to Microsoft.  Anyone know how?
    As kariya has indicated, if you have the TV Pack installed on the client, you should be able to playback WTV files.

    Thank you

    Lara Jones [MSFT] | Program Manager
    Community Support and Beta | Windows Home Server Team
    Windows Home Server Team Blog
    Connect Windows Home Server
    Windows Home Server
    Monday, April 6, 2009 6:54 PM
    Moderator
  • I have been out for a while.
    The reason HP state DVRMS and not WTV is they haven't updated their documentation to reflect the changes in WMC TVPack and now WIN7 Beta. Just to clarify Erewhon, you will have to use an addin like Recorded tv manager or say sync toy to automate the transfer of your recorded tv files (dvrms or WTV) to your WHS.
    I am doing now what you want to do. I do not have a HP WHS but just a frankenstien build.
    Thanks for your comment, bucket23.  You mention that you have  "frankenstein build" hardware running WHS, not a commercial product like HP MediaSmart.  I'm getting ready to try a 120-day trial of WHS on my own hardware.  Unfortunately, a laptop is the only device I have available - WHS may not recognize the less main-stream hardware laptops tend to have, but I'll give it a try.  Anyhow, I assume you had directly attached monitor, keyboard, and mouse for the WHS install on your hardware.  Can you leave the monitor, keyboard, and mouse connected when you run WHS for routine operation?  The reason I ask is that I clearly cannot disconnect the monitor, keyboard, and mouse from the laptop.  Will WHS run with them attached?

    The WHS Getting Started Guide, page 16, has the following step at the completion of the WHS install on the server hardware:

    20. Shut down the computer; disconnect the keyboard, mouse, and monitor;
    and then restart the computer.
    Windows Home Server is meant to be a remotely administered device.
    Configure Windows Home Server from a home computer after you install
    the Windows Home Server Connector software.

    Tuesday, April 7, 2009 6:08 PM
  • Your question “Does WHS support WTV file format storage/playback with Windows Media Center?”

    the answer is yes, also in Windows 7 if right click the WTV file in explorer it will give you the option to save it as DVR_MS file.


    Richard A Miller. Media Center MVP
    Tuesday, April 7, 2009 6:39 PM
  • G'day erewhon,
    WHS will run with them attached.
    Tuesday, April 7, 2009 10:11 PM
  • E .... I record tv (wtv) all the time and copy it to the Recored TV folder on WHS pp2.  Works flawless.  I have the TV Pack loaded on my 3 Vista machines and also have 2 Win 7 machines.  I can view the tv programs from any of the 5 machines.  I have a HDHomerun which I use to connect to the cable outlet.  I can view and record OTA & QAM HD.  The picture looks awsome on my Sammie 61" but also my 19" NEC looks good too. 

    My only gripe is I wish MC would copy it to WHS without third pary software intervention.
    Wednesday, April 8, 2009 1:00 PM
  • E .... I record tv (wtv) all the time and copy it to the Recored TV folder on WHS pp2.  Works flawless.  I have the TV Pack loaded on my 3 Vista machines and also have 2 Win 7 machines.  I can view the tv programs from any of the 5 machines.  I have a HDHomerun which I use to connect to the cable outlet.  I can view and record OTA & QAM HD.  The picture looks awsome on my Sammie 61" but also my 19" NEC looks good too. 

    My only gripe is I wish MC would copy it to WHS without third pary software intervention.

    Nothing a scheduled task couldn't fix. :)
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 12:53 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks k .... but what I was talking about is setting something up under guise or Recorded TV in MC.  Although what you suggested would work.
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 1:17 PM
  • SUCCESS!  Thanks everybody for your comments.

    1) Started with a sooped-up ThinkPad T42 with 2 gig memory and 100 gig drive.
    2) Downloaded WHS trial.
    3) First WHS install on T42 bombed because I took out the DVD too soon, second install worked.
    4) WHS did not recognize T42 Ethernet, found drivers on Lenovo/IBM site, got Ethernet connection working for WHS.
    6) Updated T42/WHS with everything, including Power Pack 2
    5) Found Home Server Connect software on WHS server, installed on client Vista machine,
    6) Vista machine running Windows Media Center (WMC) has TV pack already applied.
    7) Manually moved some Recorded TV files (both DVR-MS and WTV format) to WHS recorded TV folder.
    8) On Vista WMC, could see local and server files all together in Recorded TV on WHS interface.  Could play, stop, and resume play on all files.
    9) Installed Recorded TV Manager 3.  "Recorded TV Manager" apparently a generic name for several products from www.fjdrasch.com.  Confusing.  I installed "Recorded TV Manager 3" which got me two things: Recorded TV Manager 3 and "AutoMove".  RTVM3 allows manual copy and move of files.  AutoMove allows automatic periodic scan and move of files from machine that did recording to WHS.
    10) Configured AutoMove, and set WMC to record some TV.
    11) Later, the recorded TV file (WTV format) was automatically moved to WHS by AutoMove.  It played fine from "Recorded TV" listings on Vista WMC box - hurray!
    12) Now waiting patiently for HP MediaSmart box to arrive.  Just did not feel like another DIY box this time around.

    To-do (off topic, I know, but feel free to comment if you like):
    1) Figure out house Ethernet connections.  Hardwire to some TVs will be difficult.  Looking at Ethernet over powerline.  Considering Netgear HDXB111 -> http://www.netgear.com/Products/PowerlineNetworking/PowerlineEthernetAdapters/HDXB111.aspx
    2) Figure out small appliance at multiple TVs to record and play back.  Do not need elaborate HTPC.  WHS will store stuff, and current Vista machine will burn DVDs.  Considering small form factor PC with digital tuner or PCI slot.  Possibility at Cappuccino PC -> http://www.cappuccinopc.com/digitalengine-965hg.asp.  Seems smaller/classier that what I can assemble myself.
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 3:49 PM
  • Good job erewhon.  Glad it all worked out for you
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 7:17 PM