The other day I decided for the first time to turn on iTunes Home Sharing, imagine my surprise to discover I could watch everything in my iTunes library with out syncing it to my iPad (at least when I am at home). Since I only have a 16GB iPad this saves me a lot of trips to the computer to sync.
The first problem was when I would start iTunes the iPad would see the shared library for about a minute then it would disappear until iTunes was restarted, when it would show up again for a minute.
I solved this problem by adding two rules to the Windows Firewall (Windows 7 Home Premium)
Allow Incoming on TCP port 3689
Allow Incoming on UDP port 5353
Not really sure I should have had to do this manually, but since I added these rules, the shared library shows up consistently and plays back videos just fine.
Now that I was able to see my shared library, I found a second problem. The videos was all displaying the wrong names and wrong artwork, so you never knew exactly what video you were selecting. A quick search revealed that this is apparently a very common problem. I followed the steps in this thread in the Apple discussion forums, which fixed my movies, but TV shows are still all wrong (both the Show/Season name and the artwork).
I am continuing to search for a fix, any suggestions are welcome. I am not impressed with iTunes Home Sharing so far, it does not “just work”.