Discover how to access video, recorded
TV, photos and music from any PC or mobile device.
Windows Media Center is the perfect
central location for all of your media: music, photographs, video and recorder
television shows. Its main drawback is that all that media is tied to your home
Remote Potato is a free program that
enables you to access all of the media stored in Windows Media Center on your
home computer from another location. You can access it over your home network
or – via the internet – from outside your home on a computer or smart mobile
device using its web browser or a dedicated app.
And not only do you get access to your
home computer’s media collection, Remote Potato enables you to remotely set up
and manage your TV recordings while you’re out too, which is perfect if you’re
stuck at work and look set to miss your favourite show.
At a glance
Skill level: Straightforward
Time taken: 25mins
Suitablefor: Windows 7,
Windows Vista, Windows XP
Potato enables you to access all of the media stored in Windows Media Center.
Navigating through Remote Potato on
your browser is simple – either click a menu item or thumbnail to select it, or
return to the previous screen by clicking the back button. Click the potato
icon to return to the main page.
If you set up a playlist you can
access it from any Remote Potato screen by clicking this button. It allows you
to play music while browsing your collection or getting on with other work.
You have two choices to make when
selecting a video, movie or TV show to watch. Choose ‘Silver Select’ first for
maximum performance but, if you run into problems, pick ‘WMSP’ instead.
Click a folder to browse its contents
and click the folder icon to the left of the folder name to go back up a level.
Content is displayed as thumbnails by default – click the second icon on the
right to switch to list view.
Streaming is a process whereby large
media files are transferred in small chunks, allowing the file to be played
before it’s completely downloaded. Streaming quality depends on the speed and
type of your connection – try a higher setting first, then lower it if playback
stutters. As a rule, choose a lower quality when accessing it via mobile
broadband or Wi-Fi.
You can find Remote Potato in the
Resources section of your disc.
Step-by-step access your media remotely
Install Remote Potato Server
Remote Potato Server
Install Remote Potato Server from the
cover disc onto your home computer running Windows 7 Home Premium or later,
with Windows Media Center already set-up and configured. When prompted during
the set-up process for Remote Library Access, enter your Windows username and
password to gain access to your music library.
Secure your server
Follow the rest of the set-up prompts
– once complete, click ‘Close’. After a short pause, the server will
automatically start and a wizard will guide you through the initial set-up
process. Start by ticking ‘Yes, enable security’ and providing a username and
password, which you’ll use each time you wish to access your media remotely.
Assign a static IP address
a static IP address
You need to assign your PC
a static IP address – see http://bit.ly/static-win7 for a simple
step-by-step guide to doing so. Next, consult your router’s documentation – or
visit www.portforward.com – to discover
how to access your router’s configuration utility. This is typically done by
typing the router’s IP address into your web browser.