Same files play with network shares but not with media server?

I own a live plus.  I’ve had some issues, all of which is from me not understanding networking, etc. but I got it going now.  Any reason why all my video files will play using network shares but will show up as a non supported file when I try to play the same files with media server.  Same file from the same location on my hard drive in my pc.

Or probably the question is, what is the difference playing a file from the network share option and the media server option?  Do borh options show up by default or did I do something on initial setup to see both options?

I’d like to set up my brother with a live  hub but I need to understand more.

Thanks for helping me understant the logics.


Media Servers also require the SERVER to support the file.   Chances are, the Media Server software is sending a Mimetype on the file that the WD doesn’t understand, even though the WD *could* play the file.

If network shares are an option, I always recommend that over Media Servers…

Thanks.  Since I don’t have a SERVER per say, does the player THINK I have one by the way it’s reading my configuration?  I can play my files no problem using the network shares option, just trying to understand how this beast works, lol.  then maybe I can try and help others later on.

Think of the server as simply where the FILES reside.   

If you’re accessing the files on the WD that are stored on your PC, your PC is the “Server.”

This would apply whether you use “Network Shares” or “Media Server” function of the WD.

The MEDIA SERVER side requires ADDITIONAL functionality on your PC; a DLNA Media Server application.

Kudos for clearing that up for me.

Think of it this way:


The same PC can be both a “media server” and “network share” to the WDTV.  Say you want to listen (via your WDTV) to a given music track file that resides on your networked PC.  You can listen to it through the media server interface or the network shares interface; the results are the same in that you can listen to the track either way.  What is different about this situation is how the music track is delivered to the WDTV. 


As it was explained to me by a WD support tech who once helped me with a networking issue, using “media server” is a “pushing” condition in that requesting the track causes the server to initiate sending the track for playback to WDTV. 


If you use the “Play to” feature of the Win 7 media player to play a music track through the WDTV, this is also a pushing condition where the server PC initiates the sending of the file to WDTV.


On the flip side, acquiring the track via “network shares” is a “pulling” condition wherein WDTV takes (i.e… pulls) the track from the server to play it.


Music files can be played via server or shares, but not all video files can.  ISO movie files can only play via shares, not server interface.  For why this is so, eee this link to the FAQ in the WD Knowledge Base:

WD TV Live Media Player does not play ISO files from a WD network drive 


What I don’t understand is why my Win 7 laptop PC shows as both a server and a share to WDTV, but my XP Home ed. laptop only shows up as a share.  Would anyone care to explain this to me (and help me get the XP machine to show as a server as well)?