A couple of days ago I mentioned that I was in the process of setting up a home theater PC. I decided this time to use a program called Orb to be able to access all the media on the machine remotely. The best way that I can think of to describe Orb is WOW!
The program installs on the HTPC machine and you point it to the folders that hold your photos, music and video. It works with the USB-UIRT IR receiver/transmitter that I have and took less than 15 seconds to get it configured and controlling the DishNetwork receiver.
There is no client software to put on your machines. You access your content by logging into the Orb web site and all music, video and whatever else you set up to be shared is streamed through the browser as WMV, MP3, Flash Video and a few other formats.
Our A/V setup here at the house is all centralized in the cabinet by the HD plasma in the basement with one other remote TV in the living room on the main floor being fed by the RF output of one of the two DishNetwork receivers. My wife and I like to use the HTPC connection to watch TV (recorded or live) from other parts around the house. We previously used BeyondTV on the HTPC machine and BeyondTV Link clients on our two laptops. However, BeyondTV doesn't have a Mac client so when I got my MacBook Pro a few months ago, that all stopped for me. Now, with the browser-based interface, any PC in the house can consume the media on the HTPC machine downstairs.
I'm looking forward next week to testing this while on the road.
Sometimes it's fun to be a geek!