With the advent of set-top boxes, the convergence of TV (broadcasting) and PC (Internet) is set to enter the home environment. Currently, a great deal of activity is occurring in developing standards (TV-Anytime Forum) and devices (TiVo) for local storage on Home Media Servers (HMS). These devices lie at the heart of convergence of the triad: communications/networks - content/media - computing/software. Besides massive storage capacity and being a communications 'gateway', the home media server is characterised by the ability to handle metadata and software that provides an easy to use on-screen interface and intelligent search/content handling facilities. In this paper, we describe a research prototype HMS that is being developed within the GigaCE project at the Telematica Instituut . Our prototype demonstrates advanced search and retrieval (video browsing), adaptive user profiling and an innovative 3D component of the Electronic Program Guide (EPG) which represents online presence. We discuss the use of MPEG-7 for representing metadata, the use of MPEG-21 working draft standards for content identification, description and rights expression, and the use of HMS peer-to-peer content distribution approaches. Finally, we outline explorative user behaviour experiments that aim to investigate the effectiveness of the prototype HMS during development.