It’s offical Windows Home Server Power Pack 2 will be available via Windows Update starting Tuesday, March 24.

The main feature of interest for Windows Media Center users the Windows Media Center addin that is part of Power Pack 2, its an addin that enables streaming to Media Center from Windows Home Server’s shared folders and it does not need the complex workaround we currently have. There are also other media improvments like support for MP4 files streaming.


Official details from Microsoft and there are more details on the Microsoft’s Home Server Blog

Power Pack 2 adds new features to improve the Windows Home Server experience for consumers. The update includes enhancements for remote access configuration and computers running Windows Media Center, along with content streaming support for Windows Media Center Extenders. Power Pack 2 also includes Italian language support in addition to existing Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish versions.

The English version of Power Pack 2 will be available on March 24 and will automatically install as part of Windows Update if Automatic Updates is enabled on the home server (How to turn on automatic updates). Users need to have Windows Home Server with Power Pack 1 already installed on their home server beforehand. Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish is currently scheduled to be available before the end of April.

Timed with the release of Power Pack 2 comes the launch of Windows Home Server in the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN). With more than 100 add-ins developed for Windows Home Server, MSDN availability offers a larger community of professional developers to build new applications and solutions on top of the Windows Home Server platform


Remote Access

· The Remote Access Settings page is redesigned to make it easier to use.

· A Web-hosted diagnostic service is used to more accurately test if remote connectivity is available from outside the home network.

· New and improved initial configuration and repair wizards, as well as better troubleshooting guidance for common home networking issues that can prevent Remote Access from working properly.



Windows Home Server Console – Remote access settings


Windows Home Server Console – Configuring remote access



Windows Home Server Console – Troubleshooting guidance

Media Sharing & Windows Media Center

When the Windows Home Server Connector software is installed or updated on a Windows Media Center computer, the next time a user starts Windows Media Center they will be prompted to install the Windows Media Center Connector. 

· Windows Media Center computers will automatically have access to content stored in shared folders on the home server.  Music, Photos, Videos, and Recorded TV folders are enabled by default.

·  Windows Media Center Extenders can access and stream multimedia content stored on the home server.  Access permission can be granted on an individual folder basis.

· Windows Home Server now supports streaming MP4 files, a popular format for high quality multimedia, to Xbox 360 and other devices that support the MP4 format.  Metadata such as title, artist, composer, album, and genre now appears in the music or video library.


Windows Media Center – Windows Media Center Connector installation reminder










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