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Frequently Asked Questions

Some frequently asked questions to help you get the most out of Remote Potato.

General
What are the system requirements to run Remote Potato on my home PC?
To run Remote Potato, you will need a PC running Windows XP (SP3), Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8. (see question below for more information on running Remote Potato under Windows 8) 2Gb of RAM or more is recommended.

The ability to stream video is subject to CPU requirements and compatible video files; a dual or quad core CPU running at 1.2GHz or greater is recommended.

If you intend to purchase a client app to use with video streaming, we recommend that you download the free server software first and confirm that it is able to stream video to a web browser.

Streaming of HD recorded television is also possible although it requires a more powerful CPU. Certain audio and video codecs may not be supported in a streaming scenario although we make every effort to provide support for new and unsupported codecs on an ongoing basis and in future updates to both server and client apps.
Is Remote Potato compatible with Windows 8 / 8.1?
Yes, although one additional step is required to get it to work. Simply install the software, then download and install either the Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 Upgrade pack - see inside the downloaded file for installation instructions.

The Windows 8.1 Upgrade Pack is still in alpha testing - so please let us know if you have any problems with it.
I tried to stream a show for the first time and nothing happened! (using 'Classic Streaming')
Do you have Windows Firewall turned on, on your home PC? If you are streaming to a web browser and have selected MS-WMSP streaming, read the following: The very first time you stream a recording, Windows Firewall will throw up a window asking if you want to allow Remote Potato to send out the video stream. You should tick both 'Private' and 'Public' networks and click OK to continue.

It can be frustrating to discover this the very first time you're away from home, so we suggest you do a test stream first while in your house and you can allow Remote Potato through the firewall in this way.
How do I access Remote Potato away from home, over the Internet?
You may need to perform a relatively simple task something known as ' port forwarding' in order to forward a couple of ports to your PC. On your home PC, launch the Remote Potato Settings application from your start menu, then click the link to run the setup wizard. This wizard will tell you which ports need to be forwarded.

Excellent guides, and a free config program, are available at this site.
How do I get the web address of my home computer?
Remote Potato will actually tell you the IP address of your home computer - open the settings application and look for the link marked 'Tell me how to connect to this server' at the top of the window.

Unfortunately, this changes, because every time your reset your home router and connect to the Internet, the IP address of your home can change. Therefore, to remotely contact your home over the Internet, you may also want to consider a free dynamic DNS service.

This keeps track of your home IP address, so that you can always access your Home PC over the Internet, simply by using the URL that they give to you.

Remote Potato contains in-built support for a dynamic DNS service - to set this up, open the Remote Potato settings application on your home PC and then re-run the Setup Wizard from the 'General' tab.
When trying to stream, nothing happens - and I get an error message in the debug log saying 'No common media type between these pins'
This error can occur if you have installed non-standard codecs onto your system - we've seen a user experience this error when using a codec pack from shark007. Try uninstalling any extra codec packs one by one to find the codec that is causing the error.
How do I design my own theme?
Good question, have a read of the theming guide.
Why can't I see some of my music in the Music Library?
The music library is taken from the Windows Media Player library on your server -- firstly, check whose login details you have entered on the 'Music Library' tab of the settings application.

Secondly, have you remembered to tag your music? You should consider a program like mp3tag to add ID3 tags to your music so that Windows Media Player and Remote Potato are able to add your songs to the music library.
In the HTML skin, how do I make the EPG wider / narrower for my display?
You'll need to change the theme; read the theming guide.
Is there an API so I can access the data for use in 3rd party apps?
Why yes there is. You'll be wanting the API home page.
Where can I find source code for parts of Remote Potato?
Remote Potato contains a custom build of ffmpeg, which is released under a GPL licence. It is based on a custom build of ffmpeg released by InMethod which was also released under a GPL licence.

You can download the source code that was used to build ffmpeg from this link.

In addition, the Remote Potato ffmpeg source contains a modified version of an open-source segementer by Chase Douglas, the source code of which can be downloaded from here.
Media Center
How do I get my channel logos displayed in the EPG?
Do you have logos displayed within the EPG of Windows Media Center itself? If your logos are displayed within Media Center, they should automatically appear in Remote Potato.

An excellent program to install channel logos into Media Center is My Channel Logos.
Does Remote Potato stream Live TV?
Remote Potato does not directly allow you to stream live TV due to various system limitations (e.g. recording conflicts), but it is possible to achieve this via a workaround:

- Use Remote Potato to start recording the TV show that you want to watch.
- Wait a few minutes, then stream the recording of this show, i.e. you are watching 'almost live' with a few minutes delay.
- The stream will finish at the point where it was when you began streaming; then you'll have to re-stream again, but you can then skip forward to resume from the point you were already watching.
Why aren't any movies showing in the 'Movies' section?
Do you have 'Show only movies from favourite channels' checked in the 'Advanced' settings tab? If so, then no movies will display unless you have selected some favourite channels within the 'channels' tab.
Why are no thumbnails are displayed for very recently recorded shows?
The thumbnails are not generated until you physically go to your Windows Media Center PC and choose 'Recorded TV' within Media Center. This can also be seen by opening your 'recorded TV' folder on the media center PC, before the above step - you will see the missing thumbnails. We are looking into alternative ways to generate thumbnails without having to physically go to your PC, but as most users regularly visit 'Recorded TV' anyway, this is not a high priority issue.
Known Issues
Videos or pictures stored on a mapped network drive do not show up in lists
There is an issue with Microsoft .NET that means you cannot directly view media from mapped network drives within Remote Potato - instead you must do the following to get it to show up:

  • In the Remote Potato Settings Application, click to edit the appropriate shared folders: Recorded TV, Videos or Pictures.
  • In the window that appears, if you're using Windows 7, un-tick the box marked 'Use my Windows 7 library'
  • Click the button 'Add Network Path' and enter the name of the network server and share into the box that appears.
I tried to re-scan my channels in Media Center, and got a message that 'A serious error has occurred... please re-start'
First off, don't panic - there almost certainly hasn't been a serious error. This is a known side effect that can occur because Remote Potato is accessing your media center database; and Media Center isn't expecting it to be.

If you get this error, just re-boot, stop the Remote Potato server from running, re-scan your channels and then re-start the server.
I can't get Remote Potato to run on port 443 - instead I get an 'Error 99'
Certain ports, such as 443, are reserved by Windows for secure net activities by default and are therefore currently unable to be used by Remote Potato.
Picture thumbnails not displayed when I browse my picture library
Remote Potato gets its picture thumbnails from the Windows Explorer thumbnails that are generated. If your Windows Explorer settings on your server are set to "Always show icons, never thumbnails", they won't be displayed. Please re-enable this setting on the server to get your picture thumbnails to display.