Sunday, April 5, 2009

Annoyance with Windows Media Center and WHS Power Pack 2

The recently released Power Pack 2 adds better integration with Windows Media Center to Windows Home Server.  Now you can specify shares to be "Windows Media Center shares", where you don't have to specify permissions or make sure that the Media Center is running as a user that exists on the WHS.

In addition to Music, Videos and Pictures, Power Pack 2 adds the notion of a "Recorded TV" share.  dvr-ms files that are places on this share will automatically appear in the Recorded TV secion of Widows media Center.  I was pretty exicited about this, as this would allow us to archive TV shows and watch them later, but without wasting disk space on the Media Center.  For example, we copied 25 eposides of Six Feet Under to the WHS.

But there appears to be a problem with this integration.  Some time when I look at Windows Media Center, the files that are located in the "Recorded TV"  share on the Home Serve do not appear.  Only the files that are local to the computer will appear.  If I double click on one of the files that reside on the Home Server, on the media center, the it then appears in Media Center UI.

If I reboot the Media Center PC or let it sit for a day or so, the TV shows do come back.  It seems that there is something that is causing the Media Center to loose references to the content that is not local, but something does start a scan for new content.  I need to figure out how I can force that scan.

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