WHS (Windows Home Server) + XBMC = Fun

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NotShorty Offline
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Post: #1
Does anyone else use Windows Home Server as (among lots of other things) a way to play your media library over your LAN to your tv(s)?

I do and I'm looking for others in this very small demographic to share tips and ideas... but right now I'm too tired to elaborate.

Post any thoughts if you're interested.

Thanks,
NS
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mebby Offline
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Post: #2
Can you confirm whether or not WHS works OK with XBMC? I've been considering getting this for a while but I was concerned that it may not work well with XBMC.
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68rustang Offline
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Post: #3
I am working on setting up my WHS now. I have been transferring all my media files from the desktop to the new WHS box. I really don't forsee any issues. If anything the WHS should be a more stable platform for sharing media.
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NotShorty Offline
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Post: #4
Hey, long story short, WHS ended up not being a good solution for me. I got a free copy of Windows Server 2003 through the DreamSpark program, and it's working really well. If you're a student in one of the participating countries, you can get it for free too:
https://downloads.channel8.msdn.com/Default.aspx
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NotShorty Offline
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Post: #5
BTW, WHS worked just fine for serving to XBMC, but WHS itself was causing me issues (although I think it was entirely because of the older hardware I installed it on, possibly because of my excessive use of utorrent on it).

I'd like to encourage others to check WHS out though. I think it's a fantastic product with tons of desirable features (especially web interface), and I will probably be a WHS owner in a few years. Server 2003 being free for me will keep me happy for now.
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Lukano Offline
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Post: #6
NotShorty Wrote:BTW, WHS worked just fine for serving to XBMC, but WHS itself was causing me issues (although I think it was entirely because of the older hardware I installed it on, possibly because of my excessive use of utorrent on it).

I'd like to encourage others to check WHS out though. I think it's a fantastic product with tons of desirable features (especially web interface), and I will probably be a WHS owner in a few years. Server 2003 being free for me will keep me happy for now.

WHS was also found to be corrupting or losing data for some users, if I recall correctly. I don't remember the specifics, but I'd be wary of it until you can confirm that it's safe to use again.
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hazeh Offline
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Post: #7
I've been using freenas without problems for a long time now.
I seriously doubt I'd ever consider using WHS but I'm still a little interested in how they compare.
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troutbum Offline
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Post: #8
I had a WHS server, and I guess it did some things OK. It is really easy to set up and run so it has that going for it. But the upload speeds are severely throttled by the DE. DE doesn't kick in until you have multiple HDDs.

I was seeing upload speeds of < 3MBps. It was fast enough to stream to XBMC without problems, but if you are regularly throwing 4-8GB iso's to your media server 3MBps is a PITA. To give you an idea of how slow that is I am using the exact same hardware and network and I am seeing 40-50MBps on my linux server. The final straw for me was when the WHS started creating problems with avi files, to the point where I could not play them on XBMC. So I switched to Linux.

Linux can do everything WHS can do and then a bunch, much faster, much more stable. I can also run LinuXBMC on the server for HD content. Need I also mention that linux is free and doesn't have any of the WPA activation headaches...The only downside is it isn't as easy to set up and manage. It is not rocket science though and anyone who is pulling their xbox apart to add a modchip and then installing xbmc should be able to figure it out.
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Gamester17 Offline
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Post: #9
I personally recommend FreeNAS, it is free, runs on cheap hardware and is very easy to install/configure/maintain.

PS! Feel free to update the NAS (Network Attached Storage) wiki article.

Big Grin

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.
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CrazyIvan Offline
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Post: #10
Another one to checkout is unRaid. Working great here.

cheers,

crazyivan
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flamez Offline
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Post: #11
I use unRaid as well. Its great!
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cousinsp Offline
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Thumbs Up  Whs & xbmc
Post: #12
I run Windows Home Server and XBMC on an XBOX on the same network at home, and it's the perfect solution for me. I've ripped all the kids DVDs to the server, and archived them in a cupboard. I'm no longer finding them all over the lounge. As it took so long to put them all on the server, I've enabled folder duplication, which puts the files on more than one hard disk, in case of a disk failure. On top of that, the printer is plugged into the Home Server to be used by any PC in the house. All the PCs are also backed up automatically to the server on a regular basis. If I lose a hard drive on a PC, i can just plug in a new drive, boot off the rescue CD, and leave it to rebuild back to the last back up. Add access to my home files via the internet, and what more could you want? The XBOX seems to play streamed video from the Home Server much better than from a DVD.

I'm wondering if running the Windows version of XBMC on the Home Server would be a possibility. That would be cool, and presumably enable HD content.Big Grin
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Geeba Offline
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Post: #13
I run WHS! works great! as stated it backs up all my PC's and even looks after the AV needs to as well as all the remote features and the stuff cousinsp mentioned. the folder duplication is great! And Orb software is genius!! (still playing with that)

I've never had any problems steaming from it ether... its fast and reliable. Gigabit everywhere bar Xbox of course... I store files as AVI, VOB, ISO, RAR.. everything and it all plays fine. make sure you install Power Pack 1 thou as there was a file coruption problem with early releases.

If your using a torrent client on it use a sperate drive and dont pool it... then get all the downloads on that prior to moving them to your share folders...
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achoke Offline
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Post: #14
I have both of the mentioned items. I love xbmc, and really like WHS.

I know that this home server was really developed for an idiot to setup a server in their house, but I am no idiot. At least a majority of the time I am not. I love not having to tinker with my home setup constantly, whenever an issue arises, or something new is out. Streaming its great, but will definitely be dependent on your network infrastructure.

I have currently setup SABnzbd for downloading media on my WHS, which I can control from anywhere I have access to the internet.

I went the easy route and bought a HP MediaSmart Server, but now that the price of WHS has dropped I would definetely recommend a custom built rig.

For great information regardging WHS please check out the following links...

  1. http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/
  2. http://www.mediasmartserver.net/
  3. http://blogs.technet.com/homeserver/


The price of WHS has recently dropped 30%...the article about the price change is available here... http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/2008/10/31/...ice-by-30/

-Adam
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sicon99 Offline
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Post: #15
I have heard good things about unraid but is there any big difference beteween that and free raid?

worth the 69$ over free?
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