Remote Potato is a fantastic app for adding remote DVR capability, common in commercial DVR set-top boxes, to Windows 7 Media Center. We’ve taken a look at this handy tool previously here on Hack7MC and the feature set remains largely the same with a few additions. The most current version of Remote Potato adds support for a number of additional media libraries not available in the first few iterations including your music, video and picture libraries. You’ll need to assign a user through the setup program for access though no password is needed as long as you follow the setup’s directions to enable password free access.
Also newly released is an app for you iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch that enables remote streaming of your media directly to the device. This is another feature currently being instituted by cable providers that is a fantastic addition to Media Center. The app isn’t free, costing around seven dollars and including most of the features of the web-based service including TV guide access, recording scheduling and remote media streaming. Check out the video below from developer FatAttitude showcasing this new feature.
The base program, using a web based interface, still does much of what it had done previously as would be expected though with some slight upgrades to the streaming. Though there were still problems streaming video in anything above normal quality, even over a local gigabit network. Recorded TV, video and movies now support full seeking so you can skip past commercials or any other bit without much trouble however, which is a welcome feature indeed.
Remote Potato still takes on remote TV scheduling with relative ease, though the Silverlight version of the guide can be sluggish at times it’s more than a competent replacement for the cable companies often less than stellar offerings. For those looking to replace their costly commercial DVR with Media Center without loosing out on any of the features it’s hard to image not giving the free Remote Potato server a try. Browsing through your other media collections just serves to sweeten the pot, especially when combined with the portability of the iPad/iPhone app.