Windows 7 Media Center and Windows Home Server PP3

Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 Beta was released last week and it brought much needed and improved Media Center integration with Windows Home Server alongside other features which improves its experience with Windows 7. Power Pack 2 added the functionality of making it easier to access content stored on a Home Server from a Media Center PC, Power Pack 3 takes it a step further!

Once you have installed and configured the new Media Center Connector which ships with Power Pack 3, Windows Media Center will prompt you to install Media Center Connector:

After installation is completed, restart Media Center and you should now have a new “Home Server” tab on the Home screen of Media Center which includes the following two sub menus:

a. TV Archive

In addition to recording tv directly to the Home Server, you can now also move recordings from an existing Media Center PC to your Home Server with a click of a button. You can either move individual TV shows, a series of shows, or all the TV recordings to be automatically moved from Media Center PC to the Home Server. Moreover, you can also convert the recordings to play them back on a compatible portable device such as a Zune or a Windows Mobile phone (No support for iPhone or iPod Touch).

b. Console View

Console view gives you a quick glimpse to monitor all the statistics and health statuses right from the comfort of you couch without having to run Windows Home Server Console. With Console View, you can see statistics for:

· Storage – Pie chart listing the percentage allocation of the home server storage

· Drives – List, size and health of hard drives installed on the home server

· Backup – List of computers being backed up and their current backup status

· Shared Folders – List of Shared Folders by name with health status and duplication status

· Media Counters – Count of music, photos, videos and recorded TV files on the home server

· Health – Health of the entire home network

· Home Server – System information of the home server’s hardware and manufacturer info

The final release of Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 is expected around the same time as the general availability of Windows 7.