With the announcement of pre-orders and exactly what will be included in each version of Windows 7, there’s been a lot of back and forth on Twitter about which version is best for running Media Center. While our favorite program will be available in the Home Premium version of Win7, if you want to run a headless media server, you don’t get Remote Desktop with Premium and need to jump to Professional Edition to be able to access your closet computer without attaching a monitor.
The problem with RDP is that while you can get in to control certain aspects of your HTPCs operation, you lose certain options within Media Center. You can open the program but it’s a lot like being on an extender when it comes to what options and settings you can change. In other words, paying for Professional Edition isn’t going to get you everything you need anyway. So what do you do? I guess you could go and setup a VNC to remote in, but why bother when Microsoft has already provided you a free solution and one that will nab you 5GB of online storage at the same time.
The app I’m talking about is Microsoft Live Mesh. This is an application and service run by MS which after installed, will let you sync data between different computers you use. As well, they provide 5GB of online storage space which you can sync to as well.
If that’s all Live Mesh offered it would be a pretty good free service. Knowing your important data is safe on several hard drives as well as in the cloud is good peace of mind. The best part is that it’s not all that’s offered. Live Mesh also gives you the ability to remote control and PC you have it installed on. While this session isn’t quite as fast as an RDP session, due to the fact that you’re going through the internet, it does allow you to do things that you can’t do with RDP. Including setup and configuration of Media Center. I was going to try and explain this by writing out all of the steps but it’ll be much easier to show you. Check the video below to see Live Mesh in action. Before you do, just head to the Live Mesh website and get it installed on your PCs. Its well worth it.