One of the promises of Windows 7 is a better and easier solution to home networking via Homegroups. Essentially the feature allows you to set up a relationship between the various machines you might use on your home network, including that notebook you might lug home for the office. Once this is set up, you avoid the now familiar and frustrating authenticating process.
Craig Pringle has gone through the steps to set this up to utilize Windows Media Centre on his system at home and has an excellent post on the steps needed to take advantage of this. He says it is as easy as set and forget and that would be a blessing for all. If you’re not using the Windows 7 beta you might want to bookmark this page for future reference.