With the Release Candidate of Windows 7 available thanks to torrent sites and the MSDN / Technet release and public releases just around the corner it’s time to have a look at the new streaming features of Windows 7. This series of posts will explore how to turn on and use the network media functions.
This post is the first of a 6 part series on Streaming Media in Windows 7, here’s the topic list (they will be linked up as they are published).
- This post, the introduction
- Windows 7 as a media server
- Beyond the basics
- Streaming your media over the internet
- PlayTo with playlists
For those who haven’t explored the network media features of Windows it’s basically a frame work that allows pictures, video and music to be played around your network, without the files having to be moved first – it’s something called streaming. In streaming one device on the networks hosts the media file while another device can be responsible for playing the media. There are loads of advantages to streaming, but three of the big ones are:
- No need to move media in advance of wanting to play it.
- No need to have media in the correct format for the device where you want to play it.
- You stay in control, all media can be held in one place, there’s no need to have it spread out on different devices to be able to use it (but you can if you want).
Network media in Windows 7 has a few components to it, but Windows is able to undertake a number of roles in a streaming network. The main roles are as a Digital Media Server – meaning it hosts the media, Digital Media Player – meaning it can select and play media from a server, Digital Media Renderer – meaning it can have media sent to it and be remotely controlled, and finally it can be a Digital Media Controller – which means it can be a remote control.