Hacking Windows 7 Media Center

Sharing Recorded TV Between PCs

by @ 5:50 am on February 23rd, 2009 in extenders, tv listings with 17 Comments

Direct from Josh at MN Maven, comes this tip on sharing your recorded episodes between different PCs on your network. This will even work inside Windows Media Player, letting you watch your recorded TV shows while getting a little work done at the same time.

Windows Media Player Recorded TV

This requires that the receiving pc be running Windows 7 (the Media Center should also be running Windows 7 or TV Pack 2008). The first step is to share the folder you record to on the Media Center machine. Typically this is the “Public\Recorded TV” folder which would be shared by default.

If the folder isn’t shared, locate the folder, right-click and select properties. Select the Sharing tab and press Advanced Sharing. Select the “Share this folder” checkbox and assign a name. Before pressing OK be sure that “Everyone” is listed under Permissions. If not, add it now by pressing Add and typing Everyone into the objects box at the bottom.

Windows7 Share Folder

Once the folder has been shared, you need to add the folder to the library on the receiving computer. This can be done either in Windows Media Player or Media Center.

To add the folder to Recorded TV in WMP, make sure Recorded TV is listed. If it isn’t right-click in the left pane and select Customize Navigation Pane then make sure Recorded TV is selected.

In Media Center select Recorded TV from the start menu then bring up the right-click menu. From the menu select “Manage Libraries” then choose the option to add a folder. Select the option to add a folder from another computer then locate the folder on the next screen. Once you’ve done that let Media Center finish setting up the library.

Media Center Manage Libraries

That’s all there is to it. Though this doesn’t add the ability to watch live TV from the Media Center as is possible with non-PC extenders this is one step closer. At least now we can share our recorded shows between full HTPC machines or even just watch that show from last night while we work.

Don’t stop there! Check out these 10 other steps to maximize your Media Center experience.


Keith Stewart
Comment #387 from Keith Stewart [Reply]

has anyone had the labeling mess up? Where it lists the shows by date recorded or by series, on the Pc receiving the shared TV shows, it doesn’t list the shows properly. Instead of just the show title, it’ll say the_office_04_16_09_19_00 It’s happened on many of the beta builds including the latest 7077. Just wondering if it was just me or not.

Comment left April 20, 2009 at 6:35 am Permanent Link

Marcus H.
@Reply #44848 from Marcus H. [Reply]

Yeah. The thing I’ve found the ‘resolves’ it is to not have the remote computer’s Media Center open while the show is recording. If the MC is open on the far one, it seems to lock in on the Show title and time file name rather than the ‘usual’ sorting, even when you close and reopen it.

Comment left June 27, 2011 at 2:44 pm Permanent Link

Keith Stewart
Comment #388 from Keith Stewart [Reply]


here is a link to what i am talking about

Comment left April 20, 2009 at 6:38 am Permanent Link
@Reply #389 from mhealy [Reply]

I haven’t had that problem, though, I’ve gone back to build 7000 until the release client is available. If you right-click and select “Properties” for the file in Windows Explorer do you see anything abnormal under the “Details” tab?

Comment left April 20, 2009 at 7:56 am Permanent Link

Keith Stewart
Comment #394 from Keith Stewart [Reply]

oddly enought no, it seems to have the metadata listed there. For some reason the second PC either isn’t reading it properly or can’t read it.

Comment left April 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm Permanent Link

Comment #2180 from BrianAz [Reply]

I also have this metadata problem. It is very frustrating. Still looking for a solution.

Comment left July 18, 2009 at 2:08 pm Permanent Link
Comment #2929 from FreQi [Reply]

I am also having this problem and I am running the final build (technet release). If I look at the recoded tv list on the machine that did the recording, the metadata appears just fine, and in fact, some of the other recordings of the same series show up just fine. It seems kind of random.

Comment left August 27, 2009 at 7:37 pm Permanent Link

Comment #3003 from CuriousGeorge [Reply]

Is it possible to start watching a TV-show that hasn’t finished recording yet using this method? Let’s say I want to start watching at a movie at night in the living room, and then when I get too tired, I start recording it in order to watch it on the media center connected to the TV in the bedroom?

Comment left September 1, 2009 at 5:44 am Permanent Link
Comment #4564 from CuriousGeorge [Reply]

I am seeing this also with the RTM of Windows 7 along with other Recorded TV sharing issues. Incredibly frustrating as it makes having more than 1 7MC machine less useful.
I believe I have narrowed this specific problem down to shows that record while another 7MC instance is running. That other 7MC instance will not pick up the metadata of the new show for some reason if it is on when the show starts recording. The only way I can see to fix these messed up shows is to remove the shared folder from the other 7MC then add it back. This seems to force 7MC to rescan the shared folder and correctly pickup all the metadata.


Comment left November 5, 2009 at 12:36 pm Permanent Link

Comment #4590 from Anonymous [Reply]

I had also this issue and even one more: The recorded movie was not shown on the 2nd MC. I had to restart the 2nd system and then I could find the new recording.

There might be a solution for both issues: Refresh the scan of the watched folder regularly. There is a registry key for this:

Comment left November 6, 2009 at 6:16 am Permanent Link

Comment #4591 from Anonymous [Reply]

Sorry, this is the link

Comment left November 6, 2009 at 6:16 am Permanent Link

Comment #6086 from Tudor [Reply]

I have windows 7 on both computers, I tried the process above, and when I go to play a recorded program, I get a digital rights problem.

Comment left December 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm Permanent Link

John Walshaw
Comment #12217 from John Walshaw [Reply]

Although I do not have the finalized native solution, I believe that there is one. The below post shows that Recorded TV does show under Shared. The question is, “What is the configuration that made this possible”


Comment left June 4, 2010 at 8:49 am Permanent Link

Marcus H.
Comment #44849 from Marcus H. [Reply]

Another solution, since you’re running both machines on Win7 is to use Home Group.

On the HTPC, you just include the video files directory(ies) in the Home Group sharing, and then on the remote machine you simply add it in that way through the same interface. Let Windows handle all the pesky security for you, since HG is substantially easier to deal with I’m finding. (And I’ve been a desktop support/network admin guy for 2 decades in Windows environments. Home Group just removes several steps from the standard sharing.)

Comment left June 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm Permanent Link
Comment #46335 from Carrie [Reply]

Grade A stuff. I’m uqnsuetioanbly in your debt.

Comment left August 11, 2011 at 12:39 am Permanent Link

Comment #309411 from Jeff [Reply]

I had this working when I linked my two Windows 7 machines, but now I have a new laptop running Win 8.1 and my desktop is stil Win7. I can’t get it to work. Is it possible to pair these and watch my desktop recorded shows on my laptop?

Comment left November 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm Permanent Link

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