How do you integrate Windows Home Server and Windows Media Center in your home setup?

smicale in the forums asks how other uses are integrating Windows Home Server and Windows Media Center in their home setups. I am interested to hear how people are using the systems to distribute their content around their home.

One of the problems with Windows Home Server is that out of the box there is no integration with Media Center. People have tried getting them connected (see this forum thread) but even without going to the lengths in the forum you can still use them together.

Do you store all your music on Windows Home Server and then distribute that to Media Center PCs, laptops and other devices (like ROKU Soundbridges)? Or do you have your content on the main Media Center PC and only use WHS as a backup tool. What about video, where do you like to store your video?

I leave my TV content on my Media Center PC and then archive selected shows to Windows Home Server. My music is all on my Media Center PC but I am thinking about moving it to the server.

So what are your thoughts? Do you not use WHS and use NAS devices or just add extra storage to your Media Center PC?

UPDATE: I talked to Terry of of the Windows Home Server site about the issue and he has posted asking the same thing from a Home Server enthusiast point of view



7 thoughts on “How do you integrate Windows Home Server and Windows Media Center in your home setup?

  1. Hey Ian, its smicale or you can just call me Scott. I am thinking that this setup should be in fact like a lot of IT people would do it in business with a Windows server running a domain. I myself am a IT Pro and what I have done for my users is taken Group Policy in Windows Server and applied a folder redirection to the My Documents, My Music, My Photos, My Videos, etc. That way to the user it looks like all there critical data appears to be stored on their local drive but really is being redirected to a server share. That way if they log in on any machine all there data is there. I think that is how WHS should handle things. I would bet that there is a way to do this and if so that maybe the route I take when finishing setting up my network.


  2. I have all my recorded TV on my Media Center PC but I’ve moved all my music, pictures and videos over to WHS with folder duplication enabled.

    I’m really, really, really hoping for some kind of Media Center + WHS official Microsoft layer that will shuffle my recorded TV around to help make space on my Media Center since MC *still* doesn’t have roll-over recording that understands it can record to more than a single drive. I’m also hoping for MC to get an understanding that it should display a “Recorded TV” option whenever it finds a dvr-ms file, even if that PC doesn’t have a tuner so you could use it like a “softsled”.

  3. Music and Photos on Home Server, recorded TV on the Media Center PC. Eventually, I planning on centralizing the recorded TV on the Home Server, but I only have one Media Center PC and one extender at this time.

  4. I actually don’t find the integration that bad. WHS creates a few shares by default;
    Videos, Photos, Music. I two additional Media Center shares – Movies, TVShows.

    For photos, Music and Videos, I simply changed the location of this items in my MCE user profile to point to the appropriate share. (Open your profile, right click on the Photo’s Folder, selection Location, and change it \\WHS\Photos.

    I mapped the Movies share and TV shows share to seperate drives. I use MCE DVD library for DVD’s (movies share) and TV Library for archived shows.

    I have done this for two Media centers and will be configuring my 360 extender tonight. (I am quite sure the 360 extender will work fine out of the box).

    Next will be to configure recorded tv on a share. I will probably use recorded tv manager for this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *