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I'm considering migrating from my very noisy and large MythTV box to something much smaller and quieter, like the HP MediaSmart Server LX195. To accomplish this I would need to install a virtual machine that runs Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Ultimate on the Windows Home Server box. Tuner drivers are not a problem for me because I already have an HDHomeRun, and playback shouldn't be an issue because I have an XBox360 to play back all of my content. Dedidcated drive space for the VM shouldn't be an issue because I have a Drobo with lots of space. However, coming from a Linux and Mac background I've got some questions about this solution:

  1. Can I install a virtual machine host software such as VirtualBox or VMWare Player on the Windows Home Server machine?
  2. When watching content on the 360, will I still have access to the plugins. For example, if I install My Movies will that functionality be available on the XBox 360?
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2 Answers 2

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1) Yes you will, providing you don't want to run a 64bits VM on a 32bits host 2) Don't expect VMs to run anything graphics related on a VM

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That's the answer I was looking for. Eventually I just settled on two separate boxes. The automatic sleep feature of Windows 7 makes it quite nice and quiet. The original plan had me using a 360 as an extender, which worked, but the new solution seems to work better. Thanks! –  Pridkett Apr 13 '10 at 20:25
  1. yes

  2. you want to run Media Center in a virtual machine? i think not! :)

here's an article from someone who tried to feed an xbox 360 via Vista Media Center with My Movies in MS VPC:

...and this is where my fun ended. Media Center instantly became entirely unresponsive. Like, full seconds between putting your mouse cursor over a menu option and having the menu option highlight in preparation to be clicked. Removed the DVD from the drive and things became mildly responsive again.

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I have also heard that Media Center does not do well in any VM. I know I could never get it working well in either VMWare or MSVPC. Media Center is a graphics, memory and processor hog. –  BBlake Feb 12 '10 at 16:10
    
I'm not planning on using the VM as the frontend for Media Center. That's what the 360 is for. I'm looking to reduce the number of computers I have. –  Pridkett Feb 15 '10 at 17:45

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