So a couple of days ago I started doing experience write ups of using some Windows Phone 7 applications to remote control Windows Media Center. The first app was Big Screen byRemote which is excellent for being able to remotely schedule recordings and otherwise manage your recorded content and EPG. But what about point and do remote control? Something I’ve always wanted to be able to do since getting my Logitech Duo a couple of years ago was to be able to view the content on my Media Center from my remote, then when I found what I wanted to play to…well…just play it.
That’s now possible thanks to apps like Remotely Possible.
As is the way with all these remote applications you need to install a server component onto the Media Center PC and you need to download the Windows Phone 7 application from the Marketplace. Before we take a look at the installation experience we’ll have a quick review of some of the things that are possible with this application:
- Remotely view your media* on your phone, select it to play on your Media Center
- Remote control your Media Center over WiFi
- Launch applications other than Media Center over WiFi and remote control them…Internet Explorer for example.
- Also supports the iPhone (if you have legacy hardware around )
The application, at the moment, doesn’t give you access to EPG data on your device or provide any of the remote record facilities that an application like Big Screen byRemote does. Ok I know you’re itching to see it in action so here you go:
So how do you go about configuring this thing?
Download the Server from Validbit.com and install it on your Media Center, there’s not much more to it than that. If you don’t fancy remote controlling iTunes you won’t need Bonjour. You will need to set a password which you’ll later need to enter on your Windows Phone 7 device. To make things easy just follow this 2(ish) minute video. I’d also recommend rebooting to get things into a totally stable state.
Next download the Windows Phone 7 App from the Marketplace or using the Zune software. Make sure you’re connected to your home network via WiFi. Then launch the app and go to Settings, use the + at the bottom to enter the IP address of your Media Center, you’ll also need to enter the password you entered when setting up the server software. Save everything and you’re done.
Another good application that does a really handy job, I especially love the ability to view files on the phone first and I really, really like the additional meta data that it makes available. That extra meta data improves the usability of the application no end and makes it look delicious on the phone.
On the down side I’ve just spoken to someone else who’s mileage has varied from mine. He couldn’t get reliable skipping during playback or a couple of other things working perfectly. I however did (as the video shows) and I had a great experience. This is one of the best things about Windows Phone 7 you can Try the application before you buy, just like I did. In the trial the fetching of media in your collection is limited to 10 albums / TV shows etc. but it’s plenty to test….indeed it’s plenty to make 2 videos and a blog post from
p.s. that’s my first video with my new Sony a55, nice isn’t it!