How-to: Schedule Windows Media Center to record shows remotely with Remote Potato

Difficulty: 2

Remote Potato MenuOne of the finishing touches to any media centre is the ability to schedule recordings from anywhere. Remote Potato is an excellent tool that will let you do just that. As it has evolved, Remote Potato has added support for streaming your music, videos and pictures to any computer with a web connection.

Remote potato turns your media centre into a media server and a web server. This lets us access our media centre from anywhere. For my own amusement, I scheduled my weeks viewing from Lady Elliot Island. This island is 80km’s off the coast of Australia, and is the most remote place I have ever been. Situated in the Great Barrier Reef, it is only accessible by plane. The mainland is not visible in any direction from the island. The software worked fine. When I returned home, all the shows I had scheduled were on my computer waiting for me to view them.

Remote Potato can be viewed with the stunning Silverlight interface or a very reasonable html interface. This is the first time I have noticeably seen Microsoft’s Silverlight in use and it is a real treat. It will also detect various mobile phone types and deliver an appropriate webpage to your phone. This is excellent if you want to schedule your shows while you are out and about.

Remote Potato GuideRemote Potato has an excellent TV guide which is very quick and easy to navigate through. Simply find the show you want to record and choose if you want to record the single episode/movie, or the series. If you go into the movie section, it will list all the movies currently in the guide. This makes it possible to very quickly select what movies you want to record. Channel logos can be added by using My Channel Logos.

The Recorded TV, Music and Picture sections let you view the media on your computer from anywhere. You will need a very adequate internet connection at both ends to stream video, but it is all built into Remote Potato. This will work very well in years to come as our internet connections improve.

Remote Potato is under very active development now and there are new features being added all the time. The installation is straightforward, though there is plenty of support in the forums if you get into trouble. You will probably need to setup port forwarding and create an account with Dyndns.org so that you can access your media centre using the same address each time.

For more detailed setup instructions on setting up Remote Potato, please visit DeanHatesCoffee.com as he has an excellent write up on it.

Remote Potato is available for free (donations welcomed) from Fatattitude.




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