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A HTPC and a Home Server seem to have a lot of overlap. Both are designed to be on (or on standby) all of the time. Both have modest CPU requirements but should have large storage capacities. Has anyone put Windows Media Center and Windows Home Server software on the same machine?

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4 Answers 4

You may want to have a read through the following thread on WeGotServed about installing Media Center on a Windows Home Server:

Media Center 2005 on Windows Home Server

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Both are designed to be on (or on standby) all of the time. Both have modest CPU requirements but should have large storage capacities

I have a HTPC and WHS, and what I've quoted doesn't match up to my experience. My HTPC does need a decent processor to play Blu-Ray and other 1080p content, but at the same time, it is not on all the time, and it doesn't have much disk wise. So my machines don't have much overlap.

Partly, this is because I do not use the HTPC as a DVR. If I did, I might have different needs, although a good argument could be made that the recording side of your DVR should be on your WHS.

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For me personally I actually try to separate those functions as much as possible. I want a home theater pc to have as few responsibilities as possible (the most important being streaming video and recording video if I have a tuner installed), and I want my server to be the storage area, which will allow me to access all that data from multiple areas.

The reason I want an HTPC to do as little as possible is primarily because I do not want it to be a distraction in my living room (noise, flashing lights, etc.).

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When I built my HTPC, I put a 500G drive in it for media - movies/videos, music and recorded TV library. I simply share the drive out on my network, and connect to it with client systems. I also play games on this system, so Home Server wouldn't be appropriate for me anyway.

The HTPC is running Windows Vista Home Premium, and runs Windows Media Center 24x7. Except when its running games of course.

Client 1 is a Macbook with iTunes that mounts the Music folder and iTunes is pointed at that for its library.

Client 2 is a Dell laptop running Windows 7 RC that mounts the entire shared drive to access Music, Movies, TV, with Windows Media Center.

I don't have money in the household budget to add a proper NAS device/system, but thats on my list, since 500G is starting to get cramped. When I do add a dedicated system for this purpose, it will be a Linux server running Samba to do the file sharing, and live in my basement. That's my preference, there's no reason you couldn't run a Windows Home Server for yourself.

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