Streaming from a Windows Vista PC ‘server’

Hi all,

I know this is a slightly broad networking question, but I’m asking it specifically in relation to using Infuse on iOS & Apple TV.

So to cut a long story short, I had it all planned out: I’m waiting eagerly for the rumoured (but by all accounts imminent) new Apple TV hardware. I have numerous iOS devices, a 2TB Fusion Drive Mac Mini (2014) & a 3TB Time Capsule on my network, and I intended to purchase Infuse Pro to stream from the ‘Mini, mainly on the ATV. Suddenly without warning last week, my Mac just stopped booting completely and all recovery modes failed. I’m hoping to somehow bring it back to life, but at the moment it’s looking like a failed hard drive (and / or SSD).

My other long term plan was to one day buy a NAS & ship mass file storage to that, rather than burdening the Mac. That idea is even more on hold now that I might have to replace the Mac drive… or of course replace the Mac completely if it turns out to be something more terminal. And yes, Google Drive or similar might also be a possible consideration but for one major flaw…

So I’m considering short term alternatives to this predicament; probably temporary if I can get the Mac running again, maybe permanent if this works.

Other than a very locked down company laptop, the only other computer I have is my old Dell Studio tower PC with Windows Vista (of course the machine the Mac replaced is still going strong!). It’s offline & I’ve uninstalled everything unnecessary from it, and you know what, it still runs beautifully. It has a 750gb hard drive, gigabit Ethernet (no wi-fi but that could be remedied) & a USB 3.0 hub. At the moment, 750gb would do me for my local video collection.

I’m aware Vista (and Windows 7 after it) have long since been discontinued for security updates, so I don’t want to give it an internet connection. But is there some way I could use this machine as a NAS safely for Infuse to stream from?

I’ve no need for remote connection outside of my network, nor access to any cloud or other libraries, so wouldn’t need a Plex server. I believe Vista should be able to dish out my files to the network as a more modern OS would. My aforementioned issue with Google Drive or similar is the only way I can rip discs is with either my Mac or my Vista PC (which currently has no ripping software, owing to its being offline).

Can anyone help me with the following questions, please?

  1. Could Infuse stream from this Vista PC, and if so would it stream well & smoothly? I know the drive would probably be a bit slower than my Mac, but I’m okay with a short wait as long as it’s then stable.

  2. Could it be woken for network access by Infuse like my Mac?

  3. Would there be any issue with files with newer codecs like TrueHD, HDR or Atmos? (Presumably not as Infuse does the transcoding)

  4. Is it possible to set up the computer as a server on my network without giving it an internet connection, or would this still be a security vulnerability? If it’s relevant, I use my Time Capsule as a router connected to a Virgin Media Superhub with 250mb cable broadband. Would I need to give it a static IP? Here my understanding is slightly limited, but this may be one to research separately on how Vista works if nobody remembers.:slightly_smiling_face:

  5. If this did work, would it just cost more in electricity after a year than the cost of a NAS or a Google Drive subscription? Assuming it could be woken up by Infuse and wasn’t used for much else, it shouldn’t actually need to be fully on 24/7?

  6. Anything else I’m grossly overlooking or should consider? :slightly_smiling_face:

Sorry for the length of the post, and thank you in advance for any assistance.


Infuse should be able to stream from this just fine. There aren’t any demanding requirements for servers, as Infuse handles all the playback tasks on the Apple TV.

After setting up a share in Infuse, you can run the Speed Test option on Apple TV (under the share’s settings) to see what kind of speeds you get. As a test, you can also try adjusting the SMB version to see if a particular version provides better speeds.

You can enable the Wake-on-LAN feature by adding your PC’s MAC address to Infuse (under Advanced share settings). Doing this will allow Infuse to wake the device quickly if it’s sleeping.

A wired ethernet connection for both the PC and Apple TV will provide you with the best speeds, but most files can stream over Wi-Fi just fine.

Hope this helps.

Thanks James. I’m thinking through the options to cheaply increase the storage. I think there’s a 2TB partition limit, but would there be any difference between adding a second internal HDD vs using an external USB drive? Could Infuse detect & stream from an external drive like this (as this would be easier & more flexible to recycle if & when the PC dies)?



An external drive (or a few of them) would work just fine.

Infuse’s library can group content from multiple sources together, and display everything neatly in one area.

Cheers James. On thinking about it more, I’ve a feeling Vista doesn’t support USB 3.0 (I have a hub of four sockets but I’m sure they run at 2.0 speeds), so maybe an internal drive will be better.

Just testing the setup to make sure everything will work as intended with its internal drive. Currently Infuse sees the machine but only generic ‘Music’, ‘Pictures’ and ‘Videos’ folders, not the ones I’ve actually shared. I’ll work on that, but I’m also really struggling to get the PC’s LAN connection to be Local Only with no internet connection. I’ll research this as I appreciate this is a pure Windows (and legacy Windows at that) question.


Hmm, it sounds like you may be connecting via UPnP or DLNA instead of SMB. UPnP/DLNA connections are much more limited than a direct SMB connection.

Can you double-check the connection type in the share’s settings menu in Infuse?

Hi James

I think you’re right that this is my problem. After some research, it transpires that by default Windows Vista doesn’t support Samba by default. Via a quick registry key modification, I should apparently have now enabled it, and all relevant folders are shared.

However, Infuse still sees the entire share as UPnP / DLNA. Is there a way to manually change this, or is it all at the share’s end, ie in Windows?


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If you have an existing share set up via UPnP/DLNA you will need to create a new share for SMB.

This can be done via the Settings > Shares menu. Infuse should auto-detect your PC, but if not you can use the Other… option to create the share manually.

Hi James

You were right - however Windows Vista doesn’t support Samba shares by default. With a bit of research, I have managed to make it work with a couple of Registry tweaks, and as if by magic I now get proper ‘Advanced Share’ options. :slight_smile:

I am going to install the HDD I’ve removed from my Mac into the PC tomorrow as a second hard drive, and hopefully I’ll be on my way to my free ‘server’ PC. It also works far better and faster with its Local Only connection than my W10 laptop does!


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