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Aurora and WHS or MC?


Andne
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I recently got a computer to put Aurora on (HP Microserver), and it seems to be working ok, haven't spent much time playing with it so far. For a while now, I've had a computer running Vail that pretty much serves two purposes - a media server to stream to my xbox and/or laptop, and to backup a couple of my computers. More recently, I've been starting to put some of my other stuff on it too, but that's just as a file server. Vail and Aurora have some purposes where they intersect - namely backup and file server. I like Aurora because it is a domain controller, which allows me to actually control computers, and hopefully I'll be able to set up folder redirection and actually keep my laptop and desktop in sync for once. It is missing the functionality of a media server though, and I'm pretty sure I need that if I want to stream to the xbox.

 

Anyways, here's my question - if I'm going to rely on Aurora for backup and file server roles, does it make more sense to have a computer running Vail to provide the media streaming services on my network, or am I better off turning that box into a media center computer and streaming media from it? I suppose the one advantage to vail is the drive extender feature - I don't have to worry about managing multiple hard drives as they fill up, just plug another one in and it gets used without having to map more folders in the libraries or anything. Also, does anyone know the differences between and xbox acting as a media center extender vs. streaming from a media library?

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The main difference is that you can get live TV & native recorded tv on the extender which you can't do just streaming. The other big difference is the ui. The streaming is very much a primitive navigation system whereas the extender is very graphical due to it being the Media Center interface.

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As you noted, the Vail build has the streaming on the web while Aurora does not. In Aurora, if you create folders for you media, you would have to enable the guest account, then your settop box would have to be able to access network shares. The WDTV Live or Live+ can. If your device is a streamer, you would have to install a 3rd party program on the server. This might be taxing the HP Microserver. You can wait until there are some addins for this.

 

Can you post some photos of your HP Microserver ?

 

Please tell me more about the install of Aurora, did your HP Microserver complain that the hardware was not up to spec ? The minimum CPU is 1.4Ghz and this box is a 1.3Ghz.

 

Did you install a DVD drive to install the OS ?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry, I finally got around to taking pictures of the server. Take a look:

http://cid-970e93c16e75d729.photos.live.com/browse.aspx/Microserver?sa=286956348

 

No, I used a flash drive to install the OS. I rarely use CD's to install, flash drives tend to be a lot faster. The CPU was a bit of a pain, had to set up unattended install to bypass the hardware checks, but the server works pretty well. I did end up formatting it and installing vail instead, decided that the media streaming was more useful than the domain controls for the time being.

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I did some testing, and with the setting set to best, for a 720p .m4v files (h.264 and 2-channel AAC), the CPU load on the server runs around 80-90%, and it appears to stream ok. I haven't tried to watch an entire video, that's just from watching the first few seconds. This was just over my LAN, so I don't know if I could actually stream that amount of data somewhere else anyways. I doubt it though, if I'm remember correctly, my upload bandwidth is limited to 640kbps. I've also noticed that the player can't seem to figure out the widescreen aspect ratio of my videos either, they are getting smashed horizontally to 4x3. In truth, I don't have much intention of using the remote web access, I don't think my ISP lets me connect back through my internet connection like that. It's been a while since I've tried, but last time I did, it didn't seem to work. The main media streaming I use is the sharing functionality to allow my xbox to connect to the server and play video from it.

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