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I don't have any Windows Media Center setup, only a Windows Home Server that shares the media (Pictures, Music and Movies). Will a Xbox 360 be happy streaming this content from the WHS?
As far as I know, the Xbox 360 could act as a Media Extender, but that requires a Windows Vista/7 Media Center setup, but this is not what I have.

Edit: This is meant to be a replacement for an old Xbox classic. No interest in other software and/or hardware alternatives. What I'm really asking is; given a Xbox 360 connected to a Windows Home Server share, what features will I be missing compared to as it being a Media Center Extender?

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If you have trouble getting the xbox to stream media, vlc and the ffmpeg bundle will both happily do this – RobotHumans Nov 12 '10 at 14:40
@aking, thanks. I have updated my question. – Magnus Nov 12 '10 at 15:07
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes. The Xbox 360 will work with Windows Home Server. You can view photos and videos and play music. Here is a link to the Windows Home Server Technical brief on Media Sharing:

Here is an excerpt from the brief:

"Windows® Home Server Media Sharing enables you to view, listen, and watch your favorite media stored on your home server by using digital media receivers and playback devices, such as the Microsoft® Xbox 360™."

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Yes, I have seen this, but it doesn't elaborate on the differences between being a full fledged Media Center Extender and "watch your favorite media". – Magnus Nov 13 '10 at 15:06
The Xbox 360 will have the same functionality on the Windows Home Server with media share and on a machine running Media Center. The difference will be between Windows Home Server and Media Center. Media center (with the right hardware) will allow you to watch/record TV (broadcast and internet), listen to internet radio, play your own music, videos, and view photos. Windows Home Server shares the multimedia files that you have with other computers and devices on your network. – RSMoser Nov 13 '10 at 16:29

Simply put, share what you want with the HomeGroup system. The Xbox 360 can then see it. But only in the Music Player and Video Player "programs". Home Server 2011 not having a WMC implementation in it won't let me connect the 360's MCE method and see how it operates.

Its a mediocre way for the data to get there, but its better than nothing. I actually host all my media to my network through a entirely separate program. MediaMonkey now has Video support in its library system, as well as they have now added DLNA Server support. The Xbox sees it the same as it sees the WHS2011 shares for video and music.

But it lets me have a control of everything, plus I have the MediaMonkey program installed on all of my systems and each accesses the central database. I can add, remove, change, etc, any entries from any computer and all others see it.

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