I just recently completed a HTPC build using Assassin's HTPC Member Guides (great resources! - thanks Ben) and am trying to develop a good home network media sharing strategy. After researching and reading numerous postings, I have managed to thoroughly confuse myself and need the recommendations from those who have implemented a good setup. I have a simple home network of three PC's to which I have just added the HTPC and a HDHomeRun Prime tuner. Media storage for movies is on the HTPC hard drive. Music and picture media resides on one of the PC's in the Public Music and Picture folders. The PC's are running Windows 7 and have a couple of user accounts each.
In preparation for adding additional network HTPC's (extenders) that will use the assortment of media, should I use a Homegroup (library sharing?), individual folder sharing, or some other strategy? I'd like to keep the strategy somewhat generic (i.e., public folders, non-user accounts, etc.). Also want read-only permissions.
I would greatly appreciate any recommendations as to what has worked well for individuals as I did not want to have to change my overall strategy later down the road. Thanks again.