Drasch Computer Software

Windows Home Server 2011

Why I don't plan to build a version of Recorded TV Manager Add-in for WHS 2011.

April 20, 2011

First of all, I highly recommend the excellent analysis by Terry Walsh at We Got Served.  Windows Home Server vs. Windows Home Server 2011 - Is It Worth Upgrading?

In my case, as both an enthusiastic WHS V1 and Media Center user AND a (small) commercial add-in developer, the economics of this decision are somewhat different from those outlined in Terry's analysis.  Although I already have some 64-bit hardware which I use for development and testing, I would need to buy at least two more 64-bit machines to support a WHS 2011 add-in development effort.  One new machine to upgrade my own network to WHS 2011 and the second to build a network for product testing.  I would also need to purchase VMWare Workstation to support multiple virtual 64-bit machines for additional testing scenarios.  Needless to say, this is not a small expenditure.  Furthermore, Microsoft has completely changed the add-in software programming model, requiring a complete re-write of the entire user interface and operating environment.  This represents a significant effort in new programming and testing.

Consequently, I don't think there is a sufficient potential market to justify the investment in time or money in building a new Recorded TV Manager add-in for WHS 2011.


Windows Home Server as a product is changing dramatically.  Instead of the Stay-At-Home Server of Mommy, Why Is There A Server In the House?, WHS 2011 seems to be taking us to a down-sized version of a small business server which will necessitate much more technical administration and maintenance.  Personally, I'm going to stick with WHS V1 for now and I suspect that a lot of others will do the same.  I will continue to sell and support Recorded TV Manager Add-in for Windows Home Server as long as the platform remains viable.

Windows Media Center also has an uncertain future because Microsoft and all the other media giants, are focused on Internet video on demand.  While that is already showing potential,  I think it will be a long time before cable (or satellite) goes away. As long as I have cable and multiple tuners and a lot of disc space, Media Center makes a great DVR, and Recorded TV Manager is invaluable for managing and navigating a large collection of recordings.  It is my intention to continue to support Recorded TV Manager, and I am working on some updates I hope to release by summer 2012.

There is, available now, a viable upgrade path for WHS V1 Add-in users (and anyone else recording a lot of TV).  Recorded TV Manager Console provides all the same functionality as the WHS V1 Add-in except it doesn't require a Windows Home Server.  The Console can be installed on any Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 machine, including virtual machines.  I am currently working on an update to the Console which includes many improvements, including a new "Smart AutoMove" functionality.

Thank you for supporting Recorded TV Manager.

Rick Drasch
comments@fjdrasch.com

(This page updated on January 15, 2012)


Recorded TV Manager Home Page

April 20, 2011

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