Two out of three ain’t bad, but wait there’s more…

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Let’s see, so far I have gotten my Media Center PCs and my PS3 to connect to the WHS. I tried several things last night but have been unsuccessful in getting the xbox360 to connect. I’ve tried using Windows Media Connect v2.0, PVConnect and connecting to the WHS through the Media Center Extender feature all with no luck playing videos.

I’ve heard you can do a little hack to get WMP11 to install which has Windows Media Connect v3.0, but I’ve come across a more appealing solution for streaming video to the xbox360 from the WHS.

Installing the Zune software on the WHS will allow the xbox360 to connect and view any of the content in the Zune library. I had previously tried this on one of the Vista desktops (I have 2x30Gb Zunes) and it worked. I didn’t have time to do it last night so, I will try it tonight and with any luck I will be able to move on to breaking the WHS with all the other tweaks and hacks out there.

One feature I’m excited to see, but not use on there is the backup. It uses disk dedupe technology so you are only using space for each unique version of a file.

3x computers running Vista means only one copy of the Windows folder. I’ve also excluded it from doing a backup of the large game install folders (WoW is over 9gb). Maybe I will back them up once I add a couple 1.5Tb Seagate drives. :)

One more thing…

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I got videos to work on my Playstation 3! Updates fix things and break things. Apparently an update to the PS3 broke PVConnect. All the videos would show up but say “Unsupported Data.” To fix it you modify a file on the WHS via remote desktop. We Got Served not only had this information but is filled with a lot of other useful information. I will copy the fix into the rest of the story…

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Windows Home Server

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I purchased a HP MediaSmart Server ex470. For those who are not in the know, it is a headless Windows server running a hybrid of Windows Server 2003 called Windows Home Server. My primary reason for having the server is to centralize the 3 PCs multimedia files (pictures, music and movies). The secondary reason is to stream the files to Vista Media Center, my PS3 and xbox360.

Installation was a snap, although I had to change over to a Vista 32 box to install the included HP software. I was able to configure accounts username/password to match the server without entering any information. It also gives each account a private user folder to store personal files that are blocked from the other users. Permissions were fairly basic, but this is meant for a home not business so I understand.

Shortly after copying media files I ran into my first snag. Viewing video files (mp4 or dvd (video_ts folder) on Vista Media Center, PS3 or xbox360 all had various issues. I will be following up with some of the things I’ve tried, the successes/failures of each and what I am still trying to make this all work…

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