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MediaPortal Setup Guide

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by robbo100, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    Robbo100‘s MediaPortal 1.2.X Installation Guide

    For Index of topics, please see post number 11.

    1) Introduction

    1.1) What is MediaPortal

    MediaPortal (MP) is a very powerful and configurable Home Theatre Personal Computer (HTPC) package which is free to download and Open Source architecture. MP will run on Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 and allows the user to do a whole host of things, but its main functions include:

    • Watch/timeshift/record Live TV using BDA compatible TV tuners (DVB-S/S2 (satellite), DVB-T/T2 (terrestrial) and DVB-C (cable)), including working as a PVR and waking up from standby/hibernate to make a scheduled recording
    • Share TV tuner resource across a network and can function with a large number of TV tuners, limited only by the number of PCI, PCI-e and USB connections in your HTPC(Windows Media Center (WMC) is limited to 4 unless you purchase an additional piece of software)
    • Maximize the use of TV tuner resource by being able to access the whole mux (frequency) and not just a single channel on a mux like Windows Media Center (WMC). This means that in the UK, you only need to install a single DVB-T2 tuner in your HTPC to simultaneously record ALL the UK High Definition channels (you would need 4 DVB-T2 tuners for WMC to achieve the same)
    • Catalogue and display ALL your video media, music, videos and computer games pretty much whatever the format (including HD Audio formats such as DTS-HD)
    • Play removable media (CDs, DVDs, Bluerays (Note: encrypted Blueray discs require an on-the-fly decoder to be installed to play))
    • Run plugins that do a whole host of functions, such as (but in no way limited to) watch online videos (e.g. BBC iPlayer and Youtube), control home automation, display media fan-art, control your system using an Android or Apple mobile phone, display weather and RSS feeds
    • A skin-able Graphical User Interface (GUI) which will allow you to change the look and layout of your HTPC to suit your needs and personal taste: MEDIAPORTAL - MediaPortal Skins Gallery
    • Use of a remote control to interface with your HTPC
    If you have a particular need for a function and you can’t find it, then have a look here: MEDIAPORTAL - Plugins or ask on the extremely active MP community forum: MediaPortal Forum.

    1.2) How does MediaPortal work

    Before installing MP it is worth knowing a little bit about the software, since this knowledge will help understand why the software is the way it is.

    The primary function of MP is to provide a whole-house media solution, which includes the sharing of TV Tuner resource to multiple users (clients) on the home network. Because of this aim, the software is split into two parts:

    1. The server software (often called the “server-side”), which connects to the TV tuners, grabs EPG data and hosts TV channel logos.
    2. The client software (often called the “client-side”), which provides the user with the GUI for the user to interact with, and then plays the media (Live TV, Movies, Music, Online Videos, Photos, Radio, etc.
    The design of MP is flexible such that both the server-side and the client-side can be installed on the same HPTC (aka “Single-Seat Installation”), or the two sides of the installation can be split between two computers (aka “Client/Server Installation). The beauty of the Client/Server Installation is that with a single server, the user can connect any number of clients to the network which will all share the resources of the server (note, that even in a Client/Server Installation, the user can also run the server with a Single-Seat Installation to effectively then use the server as another client - thus reducing your cost and energy consumption). It is also possible to install just the client-side to take advantage of the media functions without the live TV functions.

    1.3) Assumptions made within this guide

    This guide is written based upon installing MediaPortal on a Windows 7 machine, however, all of the instructions are equally pertinent to installing MP on either Vista or Windows XP (albeit the directory names may vary slightly between versions of Windows.

    The guide is also tailored towards setting up a system using either DVB-S/S2 and/or DVB-T/T2 in the UK (since that is where I am from. However, the process should work wherever you are, and if you have problems (for example you can’t display your Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), then the community forums will be eager to help you.

    The guide does not differentiate between the Client/Server Installation or the Single-Seat Installation (unless specifically crucial to a particular step in the process). This is because the setup procedure for each side of the software is the same whichever type of installation is used.

    The guide assumes the user owns a standard MCE remote control. MP supports many remotes, but for simplicity sake this guide just uses the easiest remote.

    1.4) Pre-Installation Preparation

    Before you start installing MP, there are a number of things you need to do to your basic windows installation to get it ready. These are not all essential, but are good practice to get the best results:

    • On the Server PC (or Single-Seat Installation) I recommend that you install Windows on a small partition (about 70 GB is more than enough) and that this drive is used for your timeshifting files (the temporary video files that MP will generate when any of your clients are watching TV). However, I would then use a larger drive to record your TV programmes. The reason for this is because if your hard drive fills up, it won't stop you watching TV and slow your system down to a snails pace.
    • Make sure that any system notifications (e.g Windows, update software, virus scanners) are disabled or set to “gaming mode”. This will stop you getting annoying update reminders popping up while you are watching your favorite movie!
    • Ensure all your system drivers are up to date (Note: For ATI Graphics Cards there have been some problems with later versions of Catalyst Control Centre (CCC) and version 11.4 is recommended).
    • Ensure your Windows auto-run is set to do NOTHING when any media is inserted. This will stop you getting annoying behavior when ever you insert a CD/DVD/Blueray into your machine.
    • Set your system up to auto-logon when Windows starts up. If you are planning to use Task Manager to wake your PC up and run some scheduled programs (e.g. to download EPG data from the internet, or defrag your system over-night), then Windows will mandate that you have a password set. This will mean that the user is prompted for a password every time it boots-up. Use this registry edit guide to force the system to log on automatically: Create automatic Login to Windows*Account with windows registry.
    • Set your HTPC BIOS up so that the computer turns on automatically after the loss of power. This will mean that if you have a power cut while you are on holiday, the system will power up, then go back to standby/hibernate and be ready for your next scheduled recording.
    • Make sure your media is stored in sensible locations. MP can catalogue your media from many different locations, but it is best if you can group your media types together on the hard drive(s) before you start as it will make life much easier for you. If you need to arrange your music and associated CD art, then a separate tool is available from the MP website to help: MEDIAPORTAL - MPTagThat: Tag Your Music.
    • The fact that MP is designed to work in a Client/Server Installation means that it must see a valid network connection to enable it to work. This connection should ideally be a wired network so that there is always a fully working network as soon as the HTPC wakes up (without which you might get some problems). If you don’t have a wired home network and are installing MP on a wirelessly connected PC or a completely standalone PC, then all is not lost, this guide will help you: MSLoopback Device for Singleseat users | MediaPortal Forum
    • Make sure your system is power-saving correctly (particularly important for your server. I set my system up so that the display turns off after 3 minutes at idle and the hard drives park after 5 minutes at idle. I also then set the system to go into standby after 5 minutes. If for any reason you can't get the system to go into standby using windows, all is not lost as MP has a method of forcing the system to go into standby for you (we will talk about power-saving settings in MP later on in the guide). You will also want to make sure you can get your remote control to wake the PC up from standby.
    • If you are using Windows XP, you will need to install some additional software and patches before installing MP. Details can be found here: [Patch] Tuner Issue and channel-scan crash - Windows XP | MediaPortal Forum
    1.5) Install Your Codecs

    In order for MP to display video in all the different formats on your hard drive and removable media, it will need to have access to audio and video codecs. If you are using Windows 7, then all you will need to install to get most (if not all) of your formats to work is the LAV Splitter: MEDIAPORTAL - LAV Filters. However, if you are not confident with what you are doing with codecs, then there is a codec pack called SAF specifically designed for MediaPortal which can be downloaded here: SAF v6 (based on LAVF) | MediaPortal Forum. When you install SAF it will prompt you to answer questions regarding your setup (e.g. is your HPTC connected to an AV Amplifier) which will help you get the right settings for your systems. SAF will also allow you to configure your system to output HD Audio (such as DTS-HD). The SAF hyperlink above also shows how to configure the codec section in MP setup, but we will come to that later.

    2) Downloading and installing MediaPortal

    Now that your system is ready, you can download the installation files from the MP website: MEDIAPORTAL - Download MediaPortal for free!. The download includes all the additional software that MP needs, and so should not only install MP, but also install other required software.

    2.1) Single-Seat Installation with live TV Support (or a Client/Server Installation where the you would also like the server to have the client-side software installed)

    • When you run the installation file you will be greeted by an initial welcome screen where you are asked to select your preferred language - select what you wish and click NEXT.
    • The second menu will ask you if you wish to start with the installation now, or if you just want to download the required files. Normally you would choose to "start with the installation now" and click NEXT.
    (No Internet Connection: If the PC you are planing to use MediaPortal on does not have access to the internet, you can simply copy the installer to a PC with an internet connection, restart it and select the Only download required components option. The installer will download all necessary components to a folder which you can copy to your media PC after the downloads have finished. Starting the MediaPortal.DeployTool.exe from within this folder it is now possible to install MediaPortal without the need of an internet connection.)

    • The next screen will ask you if you wish to use MediaPortal to watch TV. Select Yes and click Next.

      [​IMG]
    • The user is then prompted with the following screen:

      [​IMG]
    • For the Single-Seat Installation the "one click installation" option should be chosen, and then Next selected.
    • The following screen is then displayed, for which you should select "Install"

      [​IMG]
    • The MP deploy tool will now install all the required components for both the server-side and client-side software. When it is complete a screen is presented telling you the installation is complete and allowing you to exit the deploy tool.
    • After the deploy tool closes, your browser will open with a MP welcome screen (this can be closed after you have read it).
    2.2) Client/Server Installation (client-side and server-side software on two separate computers

    • When making a Client/Server Installation the basic installation process is the same as described above in the Single-Seat Installation section for both computers, up to (and including) point 4, where the following screen is presented:

      [​IMG]
    • At this point, the user should select the Advance Installation option and click Next. The following screen is then displayed:

      [​IMG]
    • This is the point in the installation where the actions differ depending upon whether you are installing the client-side or the server-side software. However, it is self explanatory and the appropriate option should be selected and then click Next.
    • If you have selected the client-side installation, the installation will now proceed as per the Single-Seat Installation from item 6 onwards. However, if you have selected to install the server-side you will be provided with a list of other options (which effectively you want to just select the default options and select Next each time. Initially you will be presented with the following screen:

      [​IMG]
    • Basically, all you need to do is to keep clicking next until you reach the installation screen shown in point 6 of the Single-Seat Installation.
    • Repeat the process for each of your clients and for your one server as required until you have the right element of MP installed on the appropriate PCs
    • Thanks Thanks x 13
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  2. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    3) Client-Side Setup

    3.1) Starting the Client-Side Setup

    Configuring the Client-Side Software is pretty simple really although it can look a bit daunting until you get used to the layout of the config menu, which doesn't take long.

    1. Run the MediaPortal Configuration shortcut which is located on the desktop.
    2. Select "Expert Mode".
    3. Select "Do not ask again".
    4. Click "Continue".
    5. This opens the configuration tool in expert mode for you to start your setup.
    The next section of the guide will be broken into sub-headings. Each of the sub-headings relates to a main menu title in the MP configuration GUI (shown below this paragraph). Where I have not listed a main menu title in this guide, it means that there is no requirement to modify any of the contents as part of the setup (so don't worry if I am missing some out!). Generally there are no "Apply" buttons to press when you make changes in the MP Configuration GUI. The user should move through the GUI making multiple changes without clicking the "OK" button (since clicking "OK" will close the configuration GUI). If you do click on the "OK" button by mistake, then just re-run the MP Configuration shortcut again to continue making configuration changes.

    As a general rule, MediaPortal seems to prefer it when you refer to your media locations using their network address (e.g. \\nas01\music) rather than mapped network drives within Windows.

    (Note: AVForums limits the number of image links per post to 10. To keep within this limit, I have provided hyperlinks to the MP Wiki for each menu to help you understand the context of the instruction).

    [​IMG]
    3.2) General (Wiki)

    If you expand the General menu, there are a number of lower-level menus. Configure the following items as instructed below:

    3.2.1) Dynamic Refresh Rate (Wiki)
    • Put a tick in the "Enable Dynamic Refresh Rate Control" option.

    3.2.2) Startup/Resume Settings (Wiki)
    • Put a tick in the "Autostart MediaPortal On Windows Startup" option.
    • Put a tick in the "Keep MP Always on Top" option (note: this option is not essential and should ideally only be enabled if you are having problems with MP loosing focus during use).

    3.3) Videos (Wiki)

    If you expand the Video menu, there are a number of lower-level menus. This menu provides all the options for how you view your videos in MP (including creation of a database). I will later provide instruction regarding the installation of two plugins which will manage all your TV Series and Movies, therefore the instructions below provide you with the minimum instructions needed just to be able to view and play your videos within MP. There are a number of options for setting subtitles etc, but for now I suggest they are left as default. Configure the following items as instructed below:

    3.3.1) Video Folders (Wiki)

    This is the section that allows you to tell MP where you store your videos. You can link to one or more locations where you store your videos, including removable media.

    • Click "Add"
    • Enter a suitable name for the folder under "Visual name" field.
    • If you wish to add a security PIN then type it in the "Pin code" field.
    • Either manually type in the location in the "Media Folder/optical disk drive" field or click on "..." and then navigate to the folder and click "OK" (this can be a local directory or a network location).
    • Click "OK" (this will close this window).
    • Repeat this process for each folder that you store videos in.

    3.4) TV (Wiki)

    This is the section that allows you to tell the client-side software where on the network your TV Server is. This may be on the same PC, or on another PC on the network.

    3.4.1) TV Client (Wiki)

    • In the "TV-Server>Host Name" field, enter either the IP address, or the network name of your TV Server.
    • Put a tick in the "Group Options>Hide All Channels Group" option.
    • If you are running a Client/Server setup, then put a tick in the "Wake-On-LAN>Wake up TV Server as needed" option (if you are running a single seat installation then you can leave this blank).

    3.5) Music (Wiki)

    This section allows you to create a database of your music which will be used by MP to download artwork and artist information (discussed later in the plugin section).

    • The main music menu allows you to change the way the music transitions from track to track. By default the "Cross fading" is set to 3 seconds, but I prefer to set this to 0 seconds (so that it doesn't fade in and out at all).

    3.5.1) Music Folders (Wiki)

    This is the section that allows you to tell MP where you store your music. You can link to one or more locations where you store your music, including removable media.

    • Click "Add"
    • Enter a suitable name for the folder under "Visual name" field.
    • If you wish to add a security PIN then type it in the "Pin code" field.
    • Either manually type in the location in the "Media Folder/optical disk drive" field or click on "..." and then navigate to the folder and click "OK" (this can be a local directory or a network location).
    • Click "OK" (this will close this window).
    • Repeat this process for each folder that you store music in.

    3.5.2) Music Database (Wiki)

    This section allows you to scan the folder shares you setup in the previous step so that MP can then gather data about your music.

    • Under the section "Scan Music Folders", put a tick in the folders that your wish to be included in your database.
    • Put a tick in the "Auto-update DB on change in shares" option. (This will mean that MP automatically adds content to your database whenever new music is added).
    • Click the "Update database from selected shares" button. (This will run a manual scan of the folders you have ticked. Depending upon the number of music files you have, this may take some time, but you can still carry on with the setup and this will run in the background).

    3.5.3) Music Ripping (Wiki)

    This section allows you to setup MP to rip CDs to your music collection. You can setup the location of your music collection and configure the rip quality settings.

    • On the "Rip Settings" tab, click on the "Browse" button and select your desired destination for any ripped music (probably the location of one of the folders configured in section 3.5.1).
    • On the "Encoder Settings" tab set your rip settings as you wish.

    3.6) Pictures (Wiki)

    This section allows you to tell MP where you store your photos and configure how you wish to view them from within MP.

    3.6.1) Picture Folders (Wiki)
    • Click "Add"
    • Enter a suitable name for the folder under "Visual name" field.
    • If you wish to add a security PIN then type it in the "Pin code" field.
    • Either manually type in the location in the "Media Folder/optical disk drive" field or click on "..." and then navigate to the folder and click "OK" (this can be a local directory or a network location).
    • Click "OK" (this will close this window).
    • Repeat this process for each folder that you store photos in.

    3.6.2) Picture Database (Wiki)
    • If you wish, you can click on "Update database from selected shares", however this will happen automatically when you start using MP (and take quite a lot of time to create thumbnails of each of your photos), so you can skip this step if you prefer).

    3.6.3) Picture Extensions (Wiki)
    • If you have any picture formats in your photo collection that are not already listed, then type them into the data entry field and click "Add".
    • If your digital camera also records videos, and you store these videos in the same location as your photos, then you can add the video file extensions (e.g. ".mov" or ".mpg") to this list of extensions and your videos will automatically play during your photo slideshow.
    3.7) Remote (Wiki)

    This guide assumes that you are using a basic MCE remote control with your client. However, many are supported (see the Wiki for details).

    • One the "Microsoft MCE" tab, simply put a tick in the "Use Microsoft MCE remote or keyboard" option (Wiki).

    3.8) Codecs (Wiki)

    This section allows you to configure your codecs. One of the great things about MP is that the codecs are configurable which will allow you to play pretty much any file type or format. However, this flexibility can be intimidating for many (don't let it scare you). MP will allow you to set different codecs and renderers for Video, TV and DVD playback.

    If you are intending to simply use the Windows 7 built-in codecs along with the LAV Splitter (download), then your video codecs should be configured as follows:

    3.8.1) Video Codecs (Wiki)

    • MPEG-2 Video Decoder = Microsoft DTV-DVD Video Decoder
    • H.264 Video Decoder = Microsoft DTV-DVD Video Decoder
    • MPEG/AC3 Audio Decoder = LAV Audio Decoder
    • AAC Audio Decoder = LAV Audio Decoder
    • Audio Renderer = Default DirectSound Device (note, you need to configure the windows default sound device to be your chosen device, e.g. SPDIF, HDMI, Analogue Jack).

    3.8.2) TV Codecs (Wiki)

    • MPEG-2 Video Decoder = Microsoft DTV-DVD Video Decoder
    • H.264 Video Decoder = Microsoft DTV-DVD Video Decoder
    • MPEG/AC3 Audio Decoder = LAV Audio Decoder
    • LATM AAC audio decoder = MONOGRAPH AAC Decoder
    • DD+Audio Decoder = LAV Audio Decoder
    • Audio Renderer = Default DirectSound Device

    3.8.3) DVD Codecs (Wiki)

    • DVD Navigator = DVD Navigator
    • DVD Video Decoder = MPC - MPEG-2 Video Decoder (Gabest)
    • DVD Audio Decoder = LAV Audio Decoder
    • Audio Renderer = Default DirectSound Device
    If you wish to use the MP SAF Codec Pack, then the download, installation and configuration can be found here (note: this is useful if you are not using Windows 7 and don't have built-in codecs (of if you wish to use HD Audio over HDMI (see Section 13.1) - to get the "UNLOCKED" version of SAF, you need to send a Private Message to Hoborg via the MP forum).

    3.9) Plugins (Wiki)

    Although this section of the guide was only going to discuss the items that needed changing to get MP to work (and you don't actually need to adjust anything in this menu to get MP to work), it is important that this section gets a mention at this stage. Basically, this menu is where all of your plugins are enabled, configured or disabled. We will discuss this in more detail later when it is needed for the first time.

    3.10) Additional 3rd Party Checks (Wiki) - Note: the wiki screenshot is out of date and does not fully match the current layout
    • Click on the "Enable policy to prevent services startup" button (this disables MCE from running and therefore will stop any tuner resource conflicts between MP and MCE).
    • Clicking that button will bring up a new tick box called "Auto start MPTray to launch MediaPortal with Microsoft MCE button", you need to put a tick in this option (this will mean that MP loads when you press your green MCE remote control button).
    Your client setup is now complete and you are ready to move onto the server-side setup. You will need to complete this setup for each of your clients, however it is best to get the first client and server working before moving installing on the other clients.
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    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  3. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    4) Server-Side Setup

    4.1) Starting the Server-Side Setup

    • Double click on the TV Server Configuration shortcut located on your desktop (this will load the tool used for setting up the server-side software).
    Whereas the Client-Side setup can be conducted by moving through the menu structure in a sequence from top to bottom, the TV Server configuration needs a bit of flicking forwards and backwards through the menu (although not too much so don't worry). Because of this, the section structure that follows in this section is titled based upon tasks, and not menu sections as in section 3. Where you are required to click on a particular menu I will use common nomenclature so that you know where to find the menu. This will be in the form "TV Channels">"Combinations" which means that you need to expand the "TV Channels" menu and then click on the sub menu "Combinations".

    4.2) Introduction to TV Server Configuration (Wiki)

    Most of the menus within the TV Server Configuration are self explanatory, but a little bit of introduction is needed to the second menu in the list "TV Servers". This menu is where all your tuners are configured and where you do your channel scanning.

    If you expand the menu "TV Servers" by clicking on the + symbol you will find a single sub menu which is named the same as the network name of your particular PC (we will call this "Your Server" within this guide from now on to avoid confusion). If you then click on the + symbol again you will find all of the tuners you have installed within your PC (we will call these "DVB-T/T2_Tuner_N" (for a Terrestrial tuner where N is number from 1 to X depending upon how many cards DVB-T/T2 cards you have fitted), or "DVB-S/S2_Tuner_N" (for a satellite tuner)).

    Note: The reason why "Your Server" is listed is because the original design intent for MP was to allow multiple servers to work together, however this was never successfully achieved and so this menu layout is a legacy of this desire. It will be possible to do this with MP2 in the future though!

    4.3) Setting Tuner Priority (Wiki)

    MP will completely manage all of your tuners and will allow you to priorities the way that you use your tuners. This prioritisation will be different for all users for different users. Some people may prioritise the tuner that changes channel the quickest, some may only have one tuner that will play HD (in which case the user might want to set this as the lowest priority so it is always free for HD recordings). If you don't have any strong views or requirements, then you can just the default settings.

    If you make changes to your tuner priority then the TV Service will need to restart. Therefore you should make sure that no clients or recordings are active before making changes in the future.

    To change your tuner priorities click on "TV Servers">"Your Server". Click once on the tuner you want to change priority for and then use the "UP/DOWN" buttons to move it up and down the list. The priority may seem counter intuitive to some, in that the higher then priority number, the higher the actual priority of the tuner (i.e. priority 1 is the LOWEST priority).

    4.4) Scanning for Channels

    This section is broken into two sections, firstly for DVB-S/S2 scanning and secondly for DVB-T/T2 scanning. DVB-C and analogue scanning is not currently addressed in this guide.

    MP will allow more than one tuner of any type to run a channel scan at the same, so you do not have to wait for on tuner to finish scanning before you start with the next scan.

    4.4.1) DVB-S/S2 Scanning (Wiki)

    The DVB-S/S2 tuning section allows tuning with diseqc, however this guide does not currently address this functional capability.

    Important Note: UK DVB-S/S2 transmissions do not allow detection of channels that are "off air" at the time of scanning. Therefore, to get a full complement of channels you will generally need to run a scan during the daytime (for CBBC & CITV etc), and then another scan after 19:00 hrs (for BBC3 & BBC4 etc).

    • Click on the menu "TV Servers">"Your Server">"DVB-S/S2_Tuner_1".
    • Put a tick in the "#1" option.
    • Change the "Satellite" drop-down list to "28.2°E Astra" (this is the UK Freesat satellite - if not using this satellite then select your desired one)
    • Put a tick in the "Create Groups For: Digital Satellite" option.
    • If the card you are tuning is a DVB-S2 card, then put a tick in the "Enable DVB-S2 Channels
      Tuning/Scanning" option.
    • Put a tick in the "Enable Channel Movement Detection" option.
    • Click on the "Update Satellite List" button (this will download the latest tuning details for your chosen satellite).
    • Click on the "Scan for Channels" button to start the scan.
    • When the scan is complete, the progress bar will show 100% and MP will report a list of the new/updated TV and radio channels detected during the scan.
    • Repeat the above process as necessary for each of your DVB-S/S2 tuners.
    4.4.2) DVB-T/T2 Scanning (Wiki)

    • Click on the menu "TV Servers">"Your Server">"DVB-T/T2_Tuner_1".
    • Using the drop-down list, select your country.
    • Using the drop-down list, select your region (if you don't know your region, then enter your postcode into this website Welcome page | ukfree.tv - independent free digital TV advice and find your local transmitter).
    • Put a tick in the "Create "Digital Terrestrial" Group" option.
    • Put a tick in the "Enable Channel Movement Detection" option.
    • Click on the "Scan for Channels" button.
    • When the scan is complete, the progress bar will show 100% and MP will report a list of the new/updated TV and radio channels detected during the scan.
    • Repeat the above process as necessary for each of your DVB-T/T2 tuners.

    4.5) Organising Your TV Channels (Wiki)

    Now that your tuning is complete, you can click on the menu "TV Channels" and you will see a screen with a number of tabs along the top ("Channels", "All Channels", "Digital Satellite", "Digital Terrestrial" - subject to you having both DVB-T/T2 and DVB-S/S2 tuners installed)

    Each channel has a red or green symbol next to it, where green means that it is free-to-air, and red means that it is encrypted.

    4.5.1) Combining Common Channels From Different Service Providers (Wiki)

    In the UK, both Freesat (DVB-S/S2) and Freeview (DVB-T/T2) have a large number of common channels. Before you start arranging your TV channels, you should try and group these common channels into a single "combined channel". By doing this, you will only see a single instance of each channel in your EPG (which will look much better). Once you have done this, MP will use the tuner priorities you have set in section 4.3 to select which tuner to use when requested.

    In the UK, there are far less channels on DVB-T/T2 than on DVB-S/S2, and so it is far easier to combine channels by going through each DVB-T/T2 channel in turn and finding it's matching DVB-S/S2 counterpart. The following instruction will show you how to do this.

    Note: Where you have multiple tuners of the same type all using the same provider (i.e. more than one DVB-S/S2 tuners all tuned to 28.2E), the channels are automatically combined without any user intervention).

    • Click on the menu "TV Channels">"Combinations"
    • Use the drop-down "Card:" list to select one of your DVB-T/T2 tuners (you should be shown a list of channels available from your DVB-T/T2 tuner on the left hand window.
    • Starting from the top of the list, click on a channel on the left hand window. MP will then scan the DVB-S/S2 channel list for a matching channel name and provide the results in the right hand window (note: the channel naming convention from different suppliers may vary (i.e. BBC THREE vs. BBC3), therefore the channel matching may not also be perfect and some searching may be required).
    • When you have identified the matching channel, click on the corresponding "Rank" number on the right hand window to highlight the matching channel.
    • Click on the "Combine" button.
    • Repeat the above process for all the channels you wish to combine.
    4.5.2) Setting Up a Favourites Channel Group (Wiki)

    Now that you have got your multiple providers sorted, you can select the channels that you want to show in your TV guide (so that you don't have all 900 odd channels showing). The instructions will show you how to setup a "Favourites" group of channels, but the group name can be what ever you like (and you can setup more than one group if you wish, e.g. "Sports", "Music", "News" and "Entertainment")

    The following instructions assume that you have both DVB-S/S2 and DVB-T/T2 tuners installed on your system, but if you only have one type of tuner the basic instructions still apply.

    • Click on the menu "TV Channels" to view all your channels.
    • Click on the "Digital Terrestrial" tab to show the Digital Terrestrial channel group (this is the list of channels for your DVB-T/T2 tuners).
    • Right click on the first channel in the list that you wish to copy into your "Favourites" group.
    • Left click on the mouse pointer menu item "Copy to group" (note: hovering the mouse over "Copy to group will show you the list of available groups, but since you want to create a new group make sure you click on the "Copy to group") option itself).
    • A data entry box will shown that, in which you need to type in the name of your new group and click OK (in our example this will be "favourites" (without the quotes)).
    • You will now have created a new group, however this group will not show as a tab along the top of the menu until you refresh the GUI. To do this, you need to click on any other menu, and then reselect the the menu "TV Channels".
    • If you now click on the "Favourites" tab, you will see that it is populated by just one channel (the one you just copied there).
    • Move back to the "Digital Terrestrial" tab and then whilst holding down the "CMD" key on your keyboard, select all of the channels you want to copy to your "Favourites" group (best to do this in batches of 10 or so channels at a time) and then right click on one of the highlighted channels, then hover the mouse over "Copy to group" and then click on the "Favourites" group.
    • Repeat this until you have got all the channels copied into your "Favourites" group.
    • The next step is to click on the "Digital Satellite" group tab and select any of the channels that you have not already copied from the "Digital Terrestrial" group, into your "Favourites" group (remembering that you have already combined any duplicate channels (Section 4.5.1), so you should only aim to have one of any channel in your "Favourites" group.
    • Now that you have all your preferred channels copied into your "Favourites" group, you can sort the channel order to put them in sensible order within the "Favourites" group itself. To do this, click on the "Favourites" group tab, and then select each channel in-turn and click on the up or down arrow (or drag and drop the channel into the correct place using the mouse.
    • Finally, when MP displays your EPG it will always show the first channel group as default. Therefore, if you want MP to always default to your "Favourites" group, you need to move it to be the first group in the list. To do this, left click and hold on the "Favourites" tab and then drag it until it appears between the groups "Channels" and "All Channels" (you should now have the tabs in the following sequence: "Channels", "Favourites", "All Channels", "Digital Satellite", "Digital Terrestrial")

    Since there are multiple methods of assigning EPG data to your channels, this is addressed in a separate section of the guide (Section 7).

    4.6) Organising Your Radio Channels (Wiki)

    Organising your radio channels is the identical process to organising your TV channels (see Section 4.5).

    4.7) Configuring Recording Folders

    As discussed in Section 1.4, you ideally want to setup your system so that your TV recordings are stored on a partition other than the one where your operating system is stored. By doing this, you will not make your system grind to a halt if you fill the hard drive up. By default, the timeshift folder is set to your C drive, so that should not need changing (unless for example, you are using an SSD and don't want to read/write to it all the time), but it is likely that you might want to change your recording destination. MP will allow you to store the recordings from each of your tuners in different locations, but this guide will show you how to change them all to a common location other than the default installation value.

    To change your recording destination select the menu "Recording" (Wiki) and then select the "Folders" tab. Click on the "Browse" button, select your chosen destination and click "OK", now click on the "Same recording folder for all cards" button.

    4.8) Configuring Timeshift Folders

    To change the location where MediaPortal stores the timeshift data (e.g because you don't want it read/writing to an SSD all the time) do the following:

    Select the menu "Timeshifting" (Wiki) and then select the "Folders" tab. Click on the "Browse" button, select your chosen destination and click "OK", now click on the "Same recording folder for all cards" button.

    Click "OK" to save your TV Server Configuration settings and exit the configuration GUI.
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    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  4. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    5) Using MediaPortal For The First Time

    Now that MP Client-Side and Server-Side are both setup, you can run the MP Client GUI for the first time. Normally, this will run when Windows starts (based upon the setting made at Section 3.2.2), however since Windows is already running you will have to run it manually on this occasion. To start the GUI, simply double click on the MediaPortal shortcut on your desktop (or press the green button on your MCE remote control).

    Once MP has started up, you will see the default skin that is supplied as shown below (you can change the skin later if you wish as discussed in Section 11). You should be able to use your remote and/or keyboard to navigate round the GUI (keyboard shortcuts Wiki). If you get lost at any time, then simply press the MCE green button, or the "H" key on the keyboard to return to the "Home Screen".

    [​IMG]
    You should be able to access the menus for and view the following media:

    • Music (Wiki)
    • Videos (Wiki)
    • Pictures (Wiki)
    • Radio Channels (Wiki)
    • TV Channels (Wiki)
    Note: your TV and radio channels will work, but you will not have any EPG until you have completed Section 7.

    Once you have had a play, you will want to move onto the next step and setup your EPG and other useful plugins. To exit the MP Client GUI, navigate to the "Home Screen", then press right to move the cursor to the top icons and select the "X" symbol (you can use the mouse to click on the "X" or use "ALT+F4" too).

    6) How To Install and Configure Plugins

    Since MP is open source, there are a plethora of plugins and skins available which have been written by the community. These plugins vary massively in complexity and function, with some being targeted at the Server-Side, others at the Client-Side, and a couple that work on both the Server and Client Side.

    Installing and configuring plugins is generally a very simple process, and MP is supplied with a plugin installed called the MediaPortal Extension Installer (MPEI) which lists available plugins (and skins) and allows the user to install them. Although the vast majority of plugins are provided by the MPEI, there are some exceptions to this rule (usually where a .exe is provided by the plugin writer, or where a plugin is in alpha or beta release and not yet added to the MPEI tool). This section of the guide will discuss how to use the MPEI tool (where other installation methods are provided by a plugin author, these will be accompanied by separate installation instructions for that specific plugin). The guide will also discuss configuring ALL plugins (however they are installed), within the MP Configuration Plugin menu (as already mentioned in Section 3.9).

    Plugins are available from a number of sources:

    • The MPEI.
    • From the Plugin Repository.
    • From MP Forum Threads (posted by plugin authors).
    • From other websites, such as google code (usually linked from an MP Forum Thread).
    Note: the term "Plugin" and "Extension" are both used to describe a piece of software that will run natively from within MP.

    6.1) Using the MediaPortal Extension Installer (Wiki)

    When MP is installed a shortcut to the MPEI is copied to your desktop for easy access. Once this shortcut is run, you are initially shown with a dialogue asking you if you wish to update your list of extensions. You should select "Yes" and MPEI will download the latest plugin data from the various hosting servers, then present you with the following screen (although the window showing your installed plugins will be empty the first time you run MPEI).

    [​IMG]
    There are three tabs along the top of the main program window: Installed Extensions, Known Extensions and Options. The "Installed Extensions" tab will show you the plugins that you have installed on your system, the "Known Extensions" will show you all of the plugins that are available for you to install, and the "Options" screen will clearly show you the MPEI options.

    To install an plugin or skin, simply click on the "Known Extensions" tab, fine the plugin or skin you want to install and then click on it to expand it in the list. Then click on "Install" to start the installation process, and then follow the onscreen user prompts. If you can't find the plugin you are looking for, simply use the keyword search function, it is very effective.

    If you can not find the latest version of the plugin, your MPEI database may need updating. This can be achieved by clicking on the "Options" tab within MPEI and then clicking on the "Download Online Update Info" button.

    6.2) Configuring Installed Plugins

    Once you have installed a plugin, depending upon the complexity of the plugin and the function, you may need to configure it. Plugins are configured using either the TV Server Configuration GUI or the MediaPortal Configuration GUI (depending upon which bit of the MP system the plugin interacts with).

    6.2.1) Client-Side Plugin Configuration (Wiki)

    • Run the MediaPortal Configuration shortcut on your desktop.
    • Click on the "Plugin" menu.
    • Find the plugin you wish to configure in the list of installed plugins and click once on it to highlight it.
    • Click on the appropriate button at the bottom of the list of plugins to "Enable/Disable" or "Config" (clicking "Config" will bring up the specific configuration window pertinent to that particular plugin - each one is different so this bit of the guide will not cover how to complete this section).
    • If you wish to have the plugin displayed as an option in your "Home Screen" in the main MP GUI then click on the "In Home" button, but if you want it to be displayed under the Plugin menu in the MP GUI then click on the "In Plugins" button.
    Note: You can also right click on a plugin to show the same options, as shown in the image below:

    [​IMG]
    6.2.2) Server-Side Plugin Configuration (Wiki)

    • Run the TV Server Configuration shortcut on the desktop.
    • Click on the "Plugin" menu and you will be shown with a list of the TV Server plugins installed on your system with a tick box next to each of them.
    • To enable the plugin put a tick in the appropriate box.
    • Now, when you look at the "Plugin" menu, you will see that it is possible to expand the menu to a lower level using the "+" symbol. When you do this you will see the newly enabled plugin.
    • Click on the plugin and you will be shown the configuration options for that plugin on the right hand side of the TV Server Configuration GUI.
    • To disable a particular plugin, simply remove the tick from the box associated with that plugin.
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    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  5. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    7) Setting Up The TV Electronic Programme Guide

    The EPG is one of the most important parts of the MP system and having a reliable EPG will mean that your TV experience is at its best. With MP, there are many different ways in which you can populate your EPG (via internet data and data received by your TV tuner) and I will discuss a couple of them here, but concentrate on the method that I find the most reliable and that provides a full 14 day set of data.

    7.1) EPG Data Using XMLTV (Wiki)

    My personal preference for EPG data is to download the raw data from the internet using a 3rd party tool, then save this data for MP to use. I source my data from RadioTimes, which is free, and provides far more thorough programme descriptions than the Freeview or Freesat EPG.

    7.1.1) Downloading your EPG Data From The Internet

    There are a number of software tools that you can use to download your EPG data, but I use "XMLTV GUI"

    • Download and install the latest version of "XMLTV GUI" (Wiki).
    • Run "XMLTV GUI".
    • Click on "Tools">"Settings".
    • Click on the "Grabbers" tab and you will be presented with a list of available XML data providers.
    • Put a tick in the "UK - Radio Times" option and then click once on "UK - Radio Times" to highlight it and then click on the "Channels" button, which will then display a list of available channels on the left hand side of the program window.
    • Click on the channels in the left hand window (hold "CTRL" to select multiple channels) and then click on the ">>" button to move them to the right hand window (which shows the channels that you have selected to download data for).
    • When you have selected all the channels you wish to download EPG data for, click "OK" to exit the channel list.
    • Remaining within the Settings menu, now select the "Global Settings" tab, and then the "XML" sub-tab within the "Global Settings". Under the "save listings to" data entry block, enter the following location: C:\ProgramData\Team MediaPortal\MediaPortal TV Server\xmltv\tvguide.xml (note: this directory is a hidden directory in windows so you will need to enable the show hidden folders option in explorer).
    • Click "OK" to exit the settings menu.
    • Click on the "Grab Listings" button to gather the EPG data for your selected channels.
    7.1.2) Importing The Downloaded Data Into MediaPortal (Wiki)

    • Run the TV Server Configuration shortcut on your desktop.
    • Using the instructions in Section 6.2.2, enable the "XMLTV" plugin and select it to view the plugin configuration menu.
    • Click on the "Import" button (this will load the data you just downloaded using "XMLTV GUI" into MP.
    • Click on the "Mappings" tab.
    • Use the drop-down "Group" menu to select your "Favourites" group, then click on the "Load/Refresh" button (note, this process can be conducted with any group).
    • You will now see a list of all your channels from your "Favourites" group, with the "Tuning Channel" column representing the channels in the group, and the "Guide channels" column representing the channels you have downloaded using "XMLTV GUI" (see the image below). Many will have a green symbol where MP has auto-matched the tuned channel to the EPG channel.
    • Go through the list looking for any red flagged channels and manually select the appropriate EPG channel for each one (note: some channels may have no corresponding guide channel and should be left blank).
    • When all your tuned channels and guide channels are matched, click on the "Save" button.
    [​IMG]
    • Now click on the "Settings" tab again and click on the "Import" button again (note: the TV Server Configuration GUI may appear to have hung after clicking on "import" this second time, but it hasn't. It may take 5 minutes or more to do a full forced import of EPG data, depending upon the size of the tvguide.xml file).
    • When the TV Server Configuration GUI un-freezes, click OK to save the changes and exit the GUI.
    • You can now run the MP GUI and test that the EPG has indeed loaded all the data.
    There are two limitations you will experience with this method:
    1. There is very limited data for radio channels (and when I try to use XMLTV for radio EPG data I have experienced problems - so I recommend you don't try it initially)
    2. Although the data you have for the channels you found using RadioTimes will be excellent, there will be some channels where no data exists.
    However, all is not lost, because it is possible to fill the holes in TV and radio data using DVB-EPG (see Section 7.2)

    7.1.3) Automating "XMLTV GUI" Data Grabbing

    Now that you have setup the basic data grabbing system, you will want to automate the EPG data grabbing process. To do this, you will need to set up a Windows Scheduled Task to run the file "XMLTVConsole.exe" which is located in the directory C:\Program Files\XMLTV GUI\ (XMLTVConsole.exe is a dos version of the grabber that grabs using the pre-configured settings you made in Section 7.1.1). I personally configure my task scheduler to automatically wake up my system at 19:00 hrs every day of the week to grab the EPG data, so that I always have 14 days of data in my EPG.

    7.2) EPG Data Using DVB-EPG (Via Your TV Service Provider) (Wiki)

    It is possible with MP, to obtain your EPG data directly from your aerial or satellite provider via your DVB tuner. This function is natively built into MP and very easy to configure using the following steps:

    • Run the TV Server Configuration GUI using the desktop shortcut.
    • Click on the "DVB EPG" menu.
    • Depending upon your service provider, you will want to ether enable or disable the "Enable CRC Check" option. UK Freeview (DVB-T/T2) does not need this option, but UK Freesat (DVB-S/S2) does need this option to work. On older versions of MP, enabling this option when you don't need it caused instabilities after recovering from standby, but this seems to be fixed with 1.2.3 onwards. If you are using a combination of DVB-T/T2 AND DVB-S/S2 then I suggest you enable it to make sure you fill all your EPG data.
    • Put a tick in the "Always try to fill holes" option.
    • Under the "EPG grabbing while recording/timeshifting" section, put a tick in the "Enable" option.
    • Under the "EPG grabbing while idle" option, remove the tick from the "Enable" option (you can try re-selecting this option once you have got the EPG grabbing working, but I have found that this can cause some problems with recovering from standby, so leave it out until you are happy all is working).
    • Expand the "DVB EPG" menu and click on the "DVB EPG">"Radio EPG Grabber" menu.
    • If you are using DVB-S/S2, you need to search through the list of radio channels and look for the channel "Freesat Info" put a tick next to it - the EPG data is sent via these radio channel (note: the red and green scrambled/free-to-air symbols are erroneously opposite on this screen, but this will not cause any problems with your setup).
    • Put a tick in the "Store data only for selected channels" option, and also put a tick in the "English" option in the "Grab EPG for the following languages" option.
    • Put ticks against all the radio channels that you do not already have EPG data for (if you are following the guide, you shouldn't have any radio EPG data yet, so tick all the channels you want data for).
    • Click on the "DVB EPG">"TV EPG Grabber" menu.
    • Put a tick in the "Store data only for selected channels" option, and also put a tick in the "English" option in the "Grab EPG for the following languages" option.
    • Put ticks against all the TV channels that you do not already have EPG data for.
    • Click "OK" to exit the TV Server Configuration GUI and run MP. Your EPG data will start downloading as you watch TV.
    7.3) EPG Data - Other Methods

    7.3.1) WebEPG Plugin (Wiki)

    You can use the WebEPG plugin to grab data from the internet and populate your EPG. I personally don't use this option because it will populate multiple instances of channels (when they exist - e.g. there are about 5 channel 4 channels on DVB-S). This makes for a slightly messy layout when you select record on an item because it offers all 5 channels as an option to record from (which is pointless).​

    8) Setting Up Your Power-Saving Settings (Wiki)

    Most users don't want their HTPCs on all the time because this will waste electricity and shorten the life of the system components. MP is supplied with a plugin called "Powerscheduler" which works fine, but I prefer to use a revised version of Powerscheduler called "Powerscheduler++". Powerscheduler++ (and the legacy Powerscheduler plugin) is unusual in that it installs a component on both the client and server side. If you have a separate client / server setup, then you must run the installation on all computers (the client will need to plugin installed to keep the server awake whilst it is being used).

    Powerscheduler++ is installed using the MPEI (see Section 6.1), however the version I recommend is the latest beta version (V 1.2.6.0). In order to download beta versions of plugins from the MPEI, select the options tab and remove the tick from the "Show only stable releases" option, then look for Powerscheduler++ in the known plugins list and install V 1.2.6.0 (or a later stable version if available).

    In the past I have found problems with installing Powerscheduler++ when the installer attempts to kill the TV Service (which it needs to do to complete the installation). If this occurs then you just need to use "CTRL+ALT+DEL" and manually kill the TV Service process and repeat the installation.

    8.1) Powerscheduler++ Server-Side Setup

    You should have already made sure your server is going into standby correctly in the normal Windows environment (don't worry if it doesn't there is a work-around).

    To configure the Server-Side plugin:

    • First you will need to enable the plugin in the TV Server Configuration GUI (See section 6.2.2).
    • Select the HTPC Profile if you also have the server-side installed, or select the Server profile if you only have the server-side software installed.
    • Set the idle timer to 5 mins (or whatever you want)
    • Click on the EPG tab and put a tick in the appropriate options to make MP wakeup for EPG grabbing (if you wish it to do so).
    • If you wish to make MP automatically wake up the PC to do a reboot, then make the appropriate settings in the Reboot tab.
    • Click on the Advance tab and put a tick in the "Reinitialise TV Controller On Wakeup (Also Reinitialises Tuners)" option
    • If you are having difficulties getting Windows to go into standby, then put a tick in the "PowerScheduler++ forces system to go to standby when idle" option
    8.2) Powerscheduler++ Client-Side Setup

    Setting up the client side pretty simple (note: you should have already proven your HTPC standby is working in the normal Windows environment):

    8.2.1) Single-Seat System

    If you are running a Single-Seat system then you just need to make sure that the client-side plugin is enabled (see Section 6.2.1).

    8.2.2) Client/Server System

    • Enable the client-side plugin (see Section 6.2.1) and open the plugin configuration.
    • Select the HTPC Profile.
    • On the "Client" tab, put a tick in the "Only allow standby when on the Home Screen" option (this will stop your client going to sleep if you are on any screen other than the Home Screen.
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    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  6. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    9) Movies

    There are two plugins available for organising your movies and presenting them with fanart and information:

    1. My Films (Forum Link)
    2. Moving Pictures (Homepage)
    My Films is designed more for experienced users who have existing fanart and film information which they wish to use with MP, and Moving Pictures is designed more for the "normal" use who wants fanart and information scraping to be automated and hassle free. With this in mind, this guide will only provide guidance on the simpler Moving Pictures plugin, which will provide you with screens like the one below (depending upon your skin):

    [​IMG]
    9.1) Preparing Your Movie Files

    No specific preparation is needed before installing Moving Pictures, other than the need for your movie file names to be named the same as the movie they represent. Movies can be stored in multiple folders on different drives, in different sub folders, or all in the same folder, Moving Pictures won't mind.

    9.2) Installing Moving Pictures

    Moving Pictures is one of the few plugins which is installed using a separate installation package rather than using the MPEI, however the installation process is very simple indeed.

    • Using the link to the Moving Pictures homepage provide above, download the installation file and run it to install MP.
    • During the installation process, simply click "Next" when prompted to install it using the default options.
    9.3) Configuring Moving Pictures

    • Once installed, run the MediaPortal Configuration GUI and select the "Plugin" menu.
    • In the window on the right of the MediaPortal Configuration GUI you will see "Moving Pictures" listed as an available plugin.
    • If you want Moving Pictures to be listed in your MP "Home Screen" then highlight the Moving Pictures plugin and click on the "In Home" button, if you want it to reside as a sub-menu under "Plugins" then click on the "In Plugins" button.
    • Highlight it and click on the "Config" button.
    • The Moving Pictures configuration GUI will open.
    • When prompted to select your language, do so and then click "OK".
    • On the Movie Importer tab, there are two windows, the top one being your storage locations, and the bottom one being where your list of films is shown during the data grabbing process. Click on the "+" button, then navigate to the folder that contains your films, then click "OK" (repeat this for each of the locations where you have films stored if you have more than one).
    • Your films will now be listed in the bottom window. Any items with a blue "!" symbol are where there is not an exact match of the file name. Moving Pictures will attempt an auto-match, but this needs to be confirmed by the user by highlighting that film in the list and clicking on the green tick button.
    • If Moving Pictures auto-match has got it wrong, you can manually assign the correct film title using the drop-down menu corresponding to that film and then clicking on the green tick button.
    • If you have a very stubborn film, then highlight it and click on the binocular icon and then manually type in a name for this film and click OK and hopefully it will be found (from my experience this is needed on about 1 in every 150 films in my collection where the name is completely wrong, like "WALL.E-1080P" instead of "WALL-E").
    • As you are fixing any rouge entries, Moving Pictures is already downloading the fanart for the other films.
    • You may wish to make some other changes to Moving Pictures when you get used to playing with it. The most likely change at this stage would be to change the default way your movies are shown (this can be done on the "GUI Settings" tab - I prefer "Cover Flow View"). You also might want to setup some parental locks for your films, which is also achieved on the "GUI Settings" tab.
    • To exit the configuration GUI, click on the "X" in the top right hand corner of window, then click "OK" to save your changes and close the MediaPortal Configuration GUI.
    • Now run MP and your should find the plugin listed either in the Home Screen or under Plugins. Give it a try.
    9.4) Playing Blueray Discs

    9.4.1) Using MP Native Player

    This section is currently only available using MediaPortal 1.3.0 Pre-Alpha testing, and is not currently supported by this guide. The guide will be updated when MediaPortal 1.3.0 Beta is released.

    Native playback without menus can be achieved by following the instructions at Section 12.6.3.

    9.4.2) Using 3rd Party Player (e.g. TMT or PDVD)

    Moving Pictures will show all your blueray discs in the same way as your other media, however currently it can not be played natively within MP through Moving Pictures. If you wish to play your bluerays without having to manually load different software then this is easy to achieve. You will need a 3rd party player (such as TMT of PDVD at a version capable of playing bluerays). To configure Moving Pictures to automatically run this 3rd party player when you select a blueray disc from your list of films, you need to do the following:

    • Run the MediaPortal Configuration GUI and open the Moving Pictures Configuration GUI from the "Plugin" menu.
    • Click on the "About" tab.
    • Click on the "Advance Settings" button at the bottom right of the window and then click on the "Show Advance Settings" button when prompted.
    • Scroll down through the list until you find the sub-option "Blueray/HD-DVD Playback".
    • Click on "Use External Player" and replace the word "false" for the word "true" at the bottom of the window, then click on the "Update" button.
    • Click on "Enable Dynamic Refresh Rate Changer Settings" and replace the word "false" for the word "true" at the bottom of the window, then click on the "Update" button.
    • Click on "External Player Path" and enter the path and filename of your chosen 3rd party player at the bottom of the window, then click on the "Update" button.
    • Click on the "X" button to close the Advance Settings window, then exit the Moving Pictures GUI and click "OK" to exit the MediaPortal Configuration GUI.
    • You will need to configure your 3rd party player to work with your mouse, and make sure you have setup a mouse button to exit that player. When you select a blueray movie to play from the Moving Pictures menu, the 3rd party player will automatically start. When you exit the 3rd Party player it will automatically revert to the Moving Pictures screen.

    10) TV Series

    The TV Series plugin acts just like the Moving Picture plugin (see Section 9) but displays fanart and information for your TV Series (taken from media rips or recorded using your TV tuners). TV Series will provide you with screens like the one below (depending upon your skin):

    [​IMG]
    10.1) Preparing Your TV Series Files

    TV Series needs a little bit more preparation work to make sure that it will be able to import the appropriate data for each of your files. Essentially, each file needs to be named in the following format:

    • Series_Name SXXEXX.ext
    Where Series_Name is the name of the TV Series, XX represents a two digit number for the series and episode, and .ext is the file extension.

    For example, The Simpsons S02E12 will give you "The Simsons Series 2 Episode 12" - which will be this programme: The Simpsons: The Way We Was (TV Series will download the fanart and information from this website for all your programmes).

    10.2) Installing TV Series

    TV Series can be installed using the MPEI, see Section 6.1.

    10.3) Configuring TV Series

    The TV Series plugin author has written a very good step by step guide to configuring the plugin, and I would recommend its use: TV Series Setup Guide.

    11) Changing Skins

    There are many different skins available to choose from. Some are simply and you can't re-configure the menu (similar in that respect to the default skin supplied with MP), but others allow you to configure things exactly as you wish to make it tailored exactly to how you like it.

    If you want to change your skin, then the best place to look is the skin-gallary, which has got screenshots of all the main skins for you to have a look at. There are also other skins available to look at in the skins section of the forum (some of which are under development and available to try in beta versions) and in the Download Repository.

    Installing a skin is very easy, but the configuration will differ depending upon how configurable it is. In its simplest form, installation of a skin will simply involve running the install file (from the MPEI or using a .exe installer), and then selecting the skin as your default skin.

    A skin can be selected as default be two mechanisms:

    1. Run the MediaPortal Configuration GUI and click on the "GUI" menu and then highlighting the skin you want and then clicking OK (note, you can also use this menu to select how you want your Home Screen to look (basic (with plugin icons) or classic (with plugin titles)))
    2. You can also change the setting from within the MP Client by selecting "Settings">"General" then clicking on the skin and selecting your new preferred skin from the list.
    11.1) Installing and Configuring The StreamedMP Skin (Homepage)

    For the purposes of this guide I will show you how to setup the StreamedMP skin. It is a very nice skin and also will provide you with auto-updates from within the MP Client software that you can install using your remote control.

    Installing StreamedMP will not only install the skin, but also a good number of the popular plugins discussed in Section 12. StreamedMP will install the following plugins:

    • Moving Pictures (Section 9).
    • TV Series (Section 10).
    • Trakt (Section 12.19).
    • Lyrics (Section 12.11).
    • InfoService (Section 12.17).
    • Global Music Search (Section 12.18).
    • Latest Media Handler
    • Fanart Handler (Section 12.8).
    • World Weather (Section 12.3).
    • TV Logos (Section 12.5).

    11.1.1) Installation and Basic StreamedMP Setup
    • Download and run the StreamedMP Installation package (available from the Homepage link above).
    • Click "Next" to start the setup. You will then be shown a list of plugins that will be installed with the StreamedMP skin. If you have already installed some of these plugins, then it might be best to remove the tick in case it overwrites your installation with older versions. You probably also want to add a tick to the UK TV Logos option, then click "Next".
    • On each of the next few screens, you will be prompted to select how you want your skin to look for each different menu (i.e. Moving Pictures, TV Series, Music etc). I tend to pick "Fanart Oriented" because I like to see more of the image behind the menu structure.
    • When you get to the end of the aesthetic questions, click "Next" to start the automated installation and configuration process, then click "Finish".
    • Now run MP Client and you will be greeted by a new skin!
    11.1.2) Advanced StreamedMP Setup (Author's Detailed Guide)

    The StreamedMP skin will allow an enormous amount of flexibility to personalise the layout of your MediaPortal menus. With the basic skin, you can only ever have your plugins either on the Home screen, or under Plugins, but by using the StreamedMP BasicHome Editor you can configure different sub-menus, and launch into specific screens that are otherwise only accessible by more convoluted routes (for example, you can jump straight to the Radio Guide screen from the Home screen, which would normally take about 6 different remote button presses).

    Once you have made any changes on this configuration, you need to click on the "Generate Menu" button at the top left of the configuration window. This will present you with a dialogue asking you if you wish to continue editing the layout or not. Click the "Yes" button to continue editing and the "No" button to exit the configuration window.
    11.1.2.1) Starting the StreamedMP BasicHome Editor
    • Double click on the "StreamedMP BasicHome Editor" shortcut on your desktop.
    • When you run this for the first time, you will be presented with a message asking "Do you want the basic home menu enabled?" - Select the "Yes" button and the editor will then be loaded.
    11.1.2.2) Menu Styles Tab Settings

    [​IMG]
    StreamedMP will allow you to set 4 different layouts as follows:
    • Standard Vertical
    • Standard Horizontal
    • Horizontal +Context labels
    • Graphical style
    Select the layout that you prefer (You can change it at the click of a button later, so don't agonise over it too much!).

    11.1.2.3) Weather Styles Tab

    [​IMG]
    Select the layout you would prefer for your weather. It is possible to use animated weather icons, if you would like to do this then conduct the following:
    • Click on the "Install Animated Icons" hyperlink.
    • Select the dot next to the "Animated" option.
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    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  7. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    11.1.2.4) BasicHome Design Tab

    This is the section that allows you to change the layout of your menus.

    [​IMG]
    On the right hand side of the configuration window is a list of plugins titled "Items Selected", by default these are:
    • Pictures - Loads your photos
    • Music - Takes you to your music collection
    • Movies - Starts the Moving Pictures plugin
    • Series - Starts the TV Series plugin
    • TV - Takes you to the TV menu
    • Trailers - Starts the Showtimes plugin
    • Videos - Takes you to your videos
    • Plugins - Shows you your plugins (the items you have selected to show under "Plugins"
    • Weather - Starts the WorldWeather plugin
    • Settings - Takes you to the Settings screen
    Deleting an item
    To delete an item from the list of "Items Selected":
    • Click on the menu item to highlight it.
    • Click on the "<< Remove menu Item" button at the bottom centre of the configuration window.
    Renaming an item
    You can rename a menu to anything you want (for example, I tend to rename "Series" to "Videos" and then put sub-menus for "Videos", "Online Videos", "Play Disc" under this "Videos" main menu (with TV Series being the function of the top-level menu item). To rename an item from the list of "Items Selected":
    • Click on the menu item to highlight it.
    • Click on the "Edit" button.
    • In the centre of the window, change the text in the "Item Name" data entry field.
    • Click on the "Save" button.
    Adding a new item to the list
    You can add anything to this list (although I recommend that you don't have too many because it can cause confusing navigation to the users if the list is too long). To add an item to the top level menu list:
    • Find the item you wish to add on the left hand side in the "Items Available" column (note: there may be plugins listed here that aren't actually installed on your system, if you add a menu item for a plugin you do not have installed, you must install that plugin using MPEI before it will work).
    • Highlight the item you wish to add, for this example, lets use WEBVIDEOS (ONLINE VIDEOS), the details will show in the centre of the configuration windows - you can change the name as you wish it to appear, then click on the "Add menu item >>" button.
    • If you can not see the plugin you wish to add a menu button for in the "Items Available" list, then click on the "Display XML Filenames" button (which will show you every screen available - the naming convention should allow you to find the one you want, but depending upon the number of screens which your plugin uses, you may need to do some trial and error to get the right xml file). Use the same process as the bullet point above for adding it to the menu.
    Adding sub-menus
    This function is what makes the StreamedMP skin Basic Homes Editor so powerful (some other skins can allow you to do this too). Adding a sub-menu to an item will mean that the basic function will remain, but if you press the right button on the remote (in the vertical layout), or the up button (in the horizontal layout), you will be shown a list of other items which can be selected. This allows you to reduce your clutter on your home page, whilst still providing simple links to all your plugins. To add a sub menu to an item, do the following (for the purposes of this example, we will add a sub-menu to the "Videos" menu item):
    • Click on the Videos item in the "Items Selected" list on the right of the configuration window.
    • Click on the "Edit/add submenu" button, which will bring up a new configuration window.
    • Find the item you wish to add as a sub-menu item on the left of the window and highlight it (if it isn't in the list then click on the "Display XML Filenames" button and find the xml file you need).
    • Using the mouse, drag the item and drop it into the "Level 1 Menu" column.
    • You can now click on the new item and click on the "Item Properties" button, and change any advance settings (for example, the WEBVIDEOS (Online Videos) menu will allow you to set a default website to display, and even a sub-category of content to display).
    • Repeat as necessary to add more sub-menus and then click on the "Save" button.
    Set Menu Theme
    The StreamedMP BasicHome Editor has two different themes with 3D looking images included. These can be enabled by doing the following:
    • Select the "Set Menu Theme" button, this opens a separate configuration window.
    • Use the drop down box at the top left of the window to select between the two themes, then click "Apply selected theme" (you can click on the other button to return to the default non-3D theme after if you wish).
    11.1.2.5)Default Background Images Tab

    [​IMG]
    This tab shows you the background associated with each of your top level menus. You can use this page to scroll through the available background images and set the one you want for that menu. If you are not using either of the two 3D themes, you can put any image you wish into the appropriate folder in C:\ProgramData\Team MediaPortal\MediaPortal\skin\StreamedMP\Media and then they will show in the list of available images.

    11.1.2.6) Splash Screen Selector Tab

    [​IMG]
    This tab will allow you to set a different splashscreen to show when MediaPortal starts. To look at the available splashscreens click on the "Download Splashscreen Option Pack" hyperlink. Once it has downloaded, you can use the "Next"/"Prev" buttons to scroll through the available splashscreens until you find one you like, then click on the "Use Image As SplashScreen" button.

    Tip: I tend to set my Windows background image to the same image as the splashscreen so that you get a seemless transition from Windows to MediaPortal. To do this, navigate to C:\ProgramData\Team MediaPortal\MediaPortal\skin\StreamedMP\Media\Splashscreens\ and right click on the image and click "Set as Backdrop".

    11.1.2.7) How to add a MultiShortcut plugin item

    The problem with the multishortcut plugin, is that it does not have an .xml file associated with it by default, and so you will not be able to find it listed as an available menu within StreamedMP. This is not a big problem and is easily fixed using the following instructions:
    • Run the MediaPortal Configuration GUI and find your MultiShortcut plugin in the plugin section. Highlight it and select Config.
    • At the top of the MultiShortcut plugin configuration window you will see an item "Plugin ID", which will be a 4 digit number - note it down, then close the MediaPortal Configuration GUI.
    • Open Notepad and insert the following text into a new document:
    Code:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>
    <window>
    <id>XXXX</id>
    </window>
    <!--Checksum:7c57c23457c374b0735dbc85be47793d-->
    • Now edit the <id>XXXX</id> and replace XXXX with your 4 digit Plugin ID which you noted earlier.
    • Now save the document as an .xml file with an appropriate name (e.g. Internet_Explorer.xml) in the folder C:\ProgramData\Team MediaPortal\MediaPortal\skin\StreamedMP\
    • Now follow the appropriate instructions in Section 11.1.2.4 to add this xml file to your StreamedMP menu
    12) Other Popular Plugins and Features
    This section provides details of some of the most popular plugins that users might wish to install on their system.

    12.1) Watch Internet Videos - Including BBC IPlayer, 4OD etc (Online Videos Plugin) (Homepage)

    The main goal of this plug-in is the seamless integration of video content provided by various websites with the MP Client GUI. In order to achieve this, playback is heavily dependent on directshow filters installed on the users operating system (if you have problems with playback of some video formats from OnlineVideos, then I suggest you install SAF (See Section 1.5). The discovery or scraping of playback links is very flexible and can be done by reading rss feeds, parsing html with regular expressions or even programming against APIs provided by websites, which means that new service providers not already included in the basic setup can be easily added (BBC IPlayer, 4OD and ITV are configured by default so no intervention is required)

    The plugin interface will unify the user experience from all the different websites into one simple structure. Every site will span a hierarchical tree of categories, each showing a set of videos with descriptions and thumbnails. Support for searching, filtering, bookmarking favorites and downloading is included as well. Online Videos will also allow users to watch trailers of movies from their Moving Pictures plugin.

    12.1.1) Installing and Configuring OnlineVideos

    OnlineVideos can be downloaded and installed using the MPEI. Once it is installed, only a few settings are required as follows:

    • Open the OnlineVideos Plugin Configuration GUI from the MP Client Configuration Plugin section. (you may get a prompt asking you to allow firewall access for the plugin, which you should allow).
    • On the "General" tab, you should set the "Download Folder" to an appropriate place on your hard drive (this will allow you to download online content and store it on your hard drive).
    • Exit the OnlineVideos Plugin Configuration and Click "OK" to close the Client Configuration GUI.
    • Run the MediaPortal Client and navigate to the Online Videos menu item and select it (this will either be in your home menu, or under plugins)
    • You will be asked if you wish to "Perform Automatic Update" - select Yes (you should select this when you get asked in the future to keep the database of online videos up to date - because so many sites are enabled by default it may take about 30 seconds to get the data the first time).
    • Use the remote of keyboard cursor keys to bring up the side menu (this may be the right button, or the up button, depending upon the skin you are using), then select the "Manage Sites" menu item.
    • The full list of available sites will be shown, and because so many are enabled you probably want to disable all of them and then re-enable just the ones you want to use in the future. To do this, press the "i" button on your remote to bring up the context menu (or F9 keyboard key), and then select the option "Remove ALL From My Sites".
    • Navigate through the list of sites until you find one you want. When you do, press the "i" button on the remote (or F9) and then select "Add to My Sites". The title of the site will turn slightly grey (grey means you have it selected, white means you don't).
    • Continue through the list repeating the above instruction until you have selected your desired sites (in the UK this is likely to be BBC IPlayer, Demand 5, ITV Player and 4OD as a minimum).
    • You should now be able to view your sites (note, if you have problems with playing any files, then you should try installing SAF (see Section 1.5).
    • To play a video, just click on it and select the stream quality (if more than one are available). If you want to download it to your hard drive then highlight the video and press the record button on your remote control.

    12.2) Browse the Internet Using Your Remote Control (Browse The Web Plugin)

    The "Browse The Web" plugin is designed to allow users to use their remote control to view and navigate through web pages. The navigation method is very simple in that a unique number is put next to each hyperlink on the page and the remote control can be used to enter this number instead of clicking on that hyperlink. As well as being able to navigate to web pages from within the Browse The Web plugin, it is also possible to use automatically call up the plugin whenever you click on a RSS Feed from InfoService (see Section 12.17).

    12.2.1) Installing and Configuring Browse The Web
    Browse The Web can be downloaded and installed using the MPEI.

    • At the end of the install process, the Browse the Web configuration GUI is automatically displayed.
    • Click on the "Keyboard" tab.
    • In the "Link ID" Section change the "Confirm Link ID" to "Action_Select_Item" using the drop-down option. (this will make it so that to change web page you type in the appropriate number (for the hyperlink) and then click on the "OK" remote key).
    • Click "Save" to close the configuration GUI and then click "Next", then "Finish" to complete the MPEI installation.
    12.2.2) Getting Flash Video To Work On Web Pages

    By default Browse the Web will not play Flash Video content, however setting it up is very easy. It should be noted, that the websites you are using need to auto-play the video, because the flashplayer does not generate a hyperlink to play the video.

    • Use your normal internet browser to navigate to Adobe - Install a different version of Adobe Flash Player
    • Select your Operating System
    • Select Flash Player 11 for other browsers (Browse the Web uses firefox, so this option will install the firefox plugin).
    • Remove the tick asking you to install Google Chrome.
    • Click Download Now
    12.3) Weather Forecast (World Weather Plugin)

    The World Weather Plugin is used to downloading your local weather information and will display this information in most skins automatically. It can also show you weather maps and other similar images. It can be installed via the MPEI, and then configured as follows:

    • Start the MediaPortal Configuration GUI and find the World Weather Plugin and click on the "Config" button.
    • Enter your location in the appropriate data entry block (e.g. "London, England").
    • Set your timezone
    • Set the units of measurement as you wish.
    • Click "Save" to exit the World Weather configuration and then "OK" to exit the MediaPortal Configuration GUI.
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    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  8. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    12.4) Running 3rd Party Programs Via MediaPortal GUI

    Getting MediaPortal to exectue a 3rd party programme (anything like an .exe or batch file) is pretty easy, but it is a little more involved than some of the other plugins becuase you can not use the MPEI to install them and need to manually copy files to a couple of locations in the MediaPortal directories. However, follow the steps below and it is a very simple process:
    12.4.1 Installing the Multishortcut plugin
    • Download the multishortcut zip file from the following location: http://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/multishortcut-plugin.75305/page-14#post-795526 (you will need to register with the Team MediaPortal forum to download the file, but I encourage anyone who uses MP to do this anyway)
    • Extract the files to a sensible place (e.g. your desktop) and open the folder. In the folder you will see two folders, one called "Language" and one called "MediaPortal" (ignore the two other files in the zip).
    • Double click on the folder called "Language", which will contain a folder called "MultiShortcut".
    • Open up a second instance of Windows Explorer and navigate to the following directory: C:\ProgramData\Team MediaPortal\MediaPortal\Language, then copy the whole "MultiShortcut" folder (from the extracted zip file) and put it into this language folder.
    • Now go up a folder level in the extracted zip file contents and then drill down into the "MediaPortal" directory (MediaPortal>Plugins>Windows>) and you will find two files called "MultiShortcut00.dll" and "DLLFix.exe".
    • Using the second instance of Windows Explorer, navigate to the following directory: C:\Program Files\Team MediaPortal\MediaPortal\Plugins\Windows and then copy the two files ("MultiShortcut00.dll" and "DLLFix.exe") into this directory.
    • Now, rename the file "MultiShortcut00.dll" within your C:\Program Files\Team MediaPortal\MediaPortal\Plugins\Windows folder to any new name appropriate for the 3rd party application you wish to run, for the purpose of this example, lets rename it to Explorer.dll.
    • If you have more than one 3rd party application you wish to run from MediaPortal, then create a copy of explorer.dll and rename that copy with a suitable name (e.g. PowerDVD.dll). I think you can have up to three, it may be more, but I have never tried more.
    • When you have all your renamed .dll files, right click on the file DLLFix.exe and select the option "Run as Administrator". A dos console will run, and when it is complete, you just need to press any key to close it.
    • You have now installed the Multishortcut plugin and you are ready to confgure it. If you ever want to add another program, simply copy one of your existing MultiShortcut .dll files, rename it, and then re-run the DLLFix.exe file as administrator.
    12.4.2) Configuring your MultiShortcut plugins
    Now you need to associate your renamed .dll files with the actual programs you wish to run, which is done from within the MediaPortal Configuration GUI. The following instructions will show you how to configure the plugin to automatically stop any media already playing in MediaPortal, minimise MediaPortal and then run your 3rd party application when the plugin is selected. When you exit your 3rd party program, MediaPortal will then recover back to full screen:
    • Start the MediaPortal Configuration GUI and click on the Plugin menu.
    • You will now see one or more new plugins (depending on how many copies of the .dll file you have created), each one with the name you have given the .dll files.
    • Select the first one you wish to configure (in our case it is the "Explorer" plugin) and click on the "Config" button.
    • Set the option "Hide MP while executing" to "True".
    • Set the option "Stop MediaPortal Player" to "True".
    • In the "ButtonCaption" data entry block, type the name of the plugin as you would wish to see it in MediaPortal, for out example with will be Internet
    • In the "Exefile" data entry block, put the full path and filename of the 3rd party application, for our Explorer example, this will be c:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplor.exe, then click OK.
    • As with any plugin, you need to click on the "In Home" or "In Plugins" button, depending upon where you wish the plugin to be shown in MediaPortal.
    • Repeat the above process for each of the MultiShortcut .dll copies you have made.
    • Click OK to close the MediaPortal Configuration GUI and then run MediaPortal.
    • If you have configured your skin using a Basic Home Editor (as discussed regarding StreamedMP at Section 12.1.2), you will need to follow the instructions at Section 12.1.2.7 to add your plugin to your Home screen.
    Now when you select the plugin from with MediaPortal, the 3rd party application will run, and then MediaPortal will recover when you exit that application. To make this process suitable for a 10 foot interface using your remote control, you may wish to setup your remote control so that it is possible to utilise one of the buttons to exit that application. To do this, you will need to configure IRSS as shown in Section 12.4.3 below.

    If you have any problems with MediaPortal not regaining focus after exiting a 3rd party application, then you should select the option for MediaPortal to "Keep MP Always on Top" (see Section 3.2.2).​
    12.4.3) Using IRSS to map remote keys to 3rd party application functions
    Some 3rd party applications can be controlled using a MCE remote, but for those who can't (and for those which don't allow you to exit the application using the remote to return to MediaPortal), you can use another plugin called IRSS. This is a very powerful tool which will also allow you to do IR blasting (controlling other hardware like TV or amplifier using your MCE remote if you have an IR blaster fitted to your PC). The following guide will only tell you how to map MCE remote buttons to an application to get you started, and more advance settings are not discussed.
    • Download IRSS from the link here: http://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/ir-server-suite-aka-irss-releases.75092/ (select the download for MediaPortal 1.2.0). Extract the download and run the installation file contained within the zip.
    • During the installation, simply accept the default options.
    • After the installation is complete, the configuration screen will load. Based upon the assumption that you are using a MCE remote, it should have automatically detected your hardware setup and all you need to do is click on the play button at the top next to "Service:", to start the IRSS service, then close the configuration.
    • In the Windows task bar (next to the clock) you will now have a new icon for IRSS. Right click on the icon and select the option "Translator".
    • Before you do anything else, put a tick in the option "Start translator with windows".
    • On the "Programs" tab click on the green plus symbol at the top right of the screen to add a new program to the list. Enter the program name (continuing our example) Explorer then next to the Application data entry field click on the "..." button and browse to the executable and click open, then click "OK".
    • Your new program will now be listed in the main window. Click on it to highlight it and then click on the green plus button at the bottom left of the screen to add a new key mapping (if you want your remote control mapped function to apply to any program, then highlight "System Wide" before moving onto the next step instead).
    • When prompted, press the appropriate key on the remote control - we will use the "Back" key for this example (you have about 5 seconds to do this, but if you are two slow just repeat the above step). When IRSS accepts your button press it will say "Recieved:Back" and shortly after a key configuration window will be displayed.
    • Enter a name for the mapped function, e.g. Quit.
    • Select the "Keystroke" tab and in the large box labeled "keystrokes" type %{F4} (the code for the ALT F4 combination), then click on the "Set" button. Click OK twice to save the changes and close the translator.
    • Now if you run Internet Explorer and then press the remote control "Back" button, Internet Explorer will quit.
    • Repeat the above process for as many remote buttons and as many different applications as you need.
    12.5) TV Logos For Your TV EPG

    You will find a UK Logo Pack in the MPEI (there are a number of different options for different countries). Just run that and it will install everything you need. Sometimes the broadcasters change the channel name sightly (e.g. 5 vs Channel 5), so if you find that the odd logo isn't showing, then find the .png file and modify the filename to match the channel name exactly (this probably won't be needed, but just in case). If you can't find the installer, then you can download the file here: MEDIAPORTAL - UK TV & Radio Channel Logos

    12.6) Playing Bluerays

    It is possible to configure all your bluerays to play back using Moving Pictures (see Section 9.4), but this software may not identify all discs because some not all blueray discs contain films (e.g. wildlife documentaries). Therefore it is best to setup a method of playing a blueray independantly of Moving Pictures.

    There are three methods of doing this:

    12.6.1) Bluerays Using Native Player

    Currently playing bluerays using the native player is only supported in an alpha release. If you wish to try this release, then install the package located in this discussion thread: [WiP] - Native Blu-ray support | MediaPortal Forum

    In order to use this function you will need to have an on-the-fly blueray decoder installed on your HTPC, such as DVDFab decrypter (there is a free version which decrypts many titles) or AnyDVD HD.

    12.6.2) Bluerays Using 3rd Party Player

    To do this, you must setup a new menu in the GUI to run your selected player. This is achieved using the Multishortcut plugin and instructions of use are provided at Section 12.4.

    12.6.3) Playing Blueray Content Without Menus

    If you wish to simply play the content of the disc without needing to see the blueray menu screens (i.e. you just want to play the main feature), then this can be achieved by installing the "BD Handler" plugin via the MPEI.

    In order to use this function you will need to have an on-the-fly blueray decoder installed on your HTPC, such as DVDFab Passkey (there is a free version called "DVDFab Passkey Lite" which decrypts many titles) or AnyDVD HD.

    12.7) Client Plugin Updater (Extensions Plugin)

    The Extensions Plugin is designed to create a link between the MPEI and the MediaPortal Client GUI so that plugins can be updated using the remote control from the comfort of your sofa. The Extensions Plugin can be downloaded and installed using the MPEI and the default installation options should be selected. There are no configuration actions required (other than choosing if you wish it so show in the "Home Screen" or under "Plugins").

    12.8) Automatic Fanart Downloader (Fanart Handler Plugin)

    The Fanart Handler Plugin is designed to download fanart posters for all your media for your skin to display at appropriate times. Very often, Fanart Handler is automatically installed by skin installations. No configuration changes are required, however the user may choose to load the Fanart Handler Plugin Configuration and set the minimum resolution of the downloaded fanart to the desired setting.

    12.9) Automatic Music Information Downloader (Music Info Handler Plugin)

    The Music Info Handler Plugin is designed to download artist and album information for displaying by a skin (not all skins support this yet). It can be downloaded and installed using the MPEI and no settings are required.

    12.10) Automatic Music Lyrics Downloader (My Lyrics)

    The My Lyrics Plugin is designed to download lyrics for all your music (based upon the content of your music database). One installed, you need to configure the plugin as follows:

    • Run the MediaPortal Configuration GUI and find the My Lyrics Plugin in the list, then highlight it and click on the "Enable" button, then click on the "Config" button.
    • Select the "Music Database Batch Search" tab.
    • Click "Start" to begin a search of your music database.
    • This process will take quite some time, however it is only necessary for the plugin to gather the listing of database entried, and you don't need to wait for all the lyrics to actually download. Basically, wait until the actual lyrics start downloading and then if you can't be bothered to wait for it to finish click "Stop".
    • You can now click "Close" and then "OK" to exit the MediaPortal Configuration GUI.
    • If you have not completed the full download of all the lyrics, it does not matter, the data will download when you try to display the lyrics for a particular song (this will only take about 4 seconds for an individual track).
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  9. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    12.11) Games and Emulators (Emulators2 Plugin) (Forum Link)

    The Emulators2 plugin will allow you to browse and select any of your games (console games run via emulators, or Windows compatible games) directly from your MediaPortal interface in the same way you would browse and play your movies using the Moving Pictures plugin.

    This guide assumes that you have your games and emulators working correctly already and that you have configured them to run the games in full screen etc (i.e. this guide will only help you with the Emulator2 plugin setup and not that of the emulators themselves).

    12.11.1) Downloading and Installing Emulators2 plugin
    The Emulators2 plugin can be downloaded and installed using the MPEI. It is currently only at Alpha release, but to be absolutely honest, it is much easier to configure than its predecessor, and I have not found any stability issues.

    12.11.2)Configuring Emulators2 plugin

    • Run the MediaPortal Configuration GUI, find the Emulators2 plugin in the plugin section, highlight it and click on "Config", which will open up a configuration window.
    • Click on the green plus button to add a new console, this will open the console wizard.
    • Click on the "..." button and navigate to your emulator and then click on the "Next" button.
    • Give your console a name, then select the "Platform" type from the drop-down list and select your "Case Aspect" (the shape of the media associated with that console), then click on the "Next" button.
    • Put ticks in the appropriate options on the next screen as you desire and click on the "Next" button.
    • Click on the "..." button and browse to the location your store your ROMs, then click on the "OK" button.
    • Click on the backward curling arrow button to refresh the list of ROMs (which should now show the content of the directory you just set.
    • Click on the "Finish" button to close the wizard.
    • Now click on the "Import" tab and you should see the games you have just added with the new console (if they do not appear, then click on the backward curling arrow button and they will appear). This screen will show the progress of the automatic artwork and data download (the dot next to the game will go green with a tick when complete.
    • Repeat the above process for each of your consoles.
    • Click on the "Options" tab and under the "Stop Emulation" box, put a tick in the "Stop emulation with mapped button" option.
    • Click on the "Map" button and then press the remote or keyboard button you wish to use to exit your emulator.
    • Click on the "X" at the top left hand corner of the window to close the Emulators2 plugin configuration window.
    Different emulators use different argument and formatting to run games, and as such there are some options which you may need to play with to get your emulator to run. These options can be set within the Emulator2 plugin by editing the specific emulator setting (there is also an tab which allows you to drag and drop console art). For example, the Dolphin Wii emulator needs to have the arguments /b /e set, and the "Use quotations in path" option selected, but the Project64K N64 emulator needs no arguments and the "Use quotations in path" option de-selected. If the default settings don't work, you may need to do a certain amount of internet searching or trial and error to get your setting right.​
    12.12) Automatic Cinema Listings and Trailers Downloader (Show Times Plugin)

    The Show Times Plugin will allow you to automatically download cinema listings and trailers for films showing at your local cinema. The plugin can be downloaded using the MPEI and the default installation options should be selected. Once installed, the following configuration is required:

    • Start the MediaPortal Configuration GUI and navigate to the plugin section. There are two plugins listed, one is called "Show Times" (which needs no action), and the other is called "Show Times Grabber". The Show Times Grabber Plugin should be enabled and then the "config" button selected.
    • Click "OK" to acknowledge the config startup message.
    • Click "Create"
    • Set your desired video quality and download settings (downloading lots of 1080P trailers may take a lot of bandwidth), then click "Next".
    • Select your country and enter your postcode, then click on the "Get Theatres" button.
    • Put a tick in each of the theatres that you wish the system to grab data for, then click on the "Next" button.
    • Click on the "Manual Download" button to grab the first lot of data.
    • Click "OK" to exit the plugin config and then "OK" to exit the MediaPortal Configuration GUI.

    12.13) Windows Update Control (Update Control)

    The purpose of the Update Control plugin is to allow you to control your Windows operating System updates. If you are going to install this update, you should configure Windows so that it does not automatically download and install Windows update (otherwise the system will automatically update itself before the MediaPortal plugin can intervene)

    The Update Control plugin allows you to view and execute pending Windows updates. The plugin is installed via the MPEI and there is no configuration required.

    12.14) Youtube Video Viewer (YouTube.FM Plugin)

    The YouTube.FM plugin allows you to search and access YouTube music content. It can be downloaded and installed via MPEI, and I suggest you use version 0.8.3.316 beta (or later).

    12.15) iPhone Remote Control (CouchPotato)

    CouchPotato is an excellent iPhone App available form the Apple Store. It allows you to control MediaPortal using your iPhone (including waking up the HTPC from sleep). Once you have installed the App on your iPhone you need to also install a Plugin on your MediaPortal client (on each of them if you have more than one). The Wifi Remote Plugin can be downloaded and installed using the MPEI and is configured as follows:

    • Run the MediaPortal Configuration GUI and highlight the Wifi Remote Plugin and click "Config".
    • Click on the "Download and Install Bonjour" button.
    • Follow the installation prompts, and when requested, remove the ticks from the option to put the printer shortcut on your desktop and auto update apple products.
    • When the installation is complete, click on the "X" at the top right of the Wifi Remote Plugin window to close the plugin configuration GUI and then click "OK" to exit the MediaPortal Configuration GUI.
    • Now run MediaPortal and start the CouchPotato App. You client should be automatically detected. Select it and you should have control of MediaPortal.
    12.16) Android Remote Control

    Since I do not own an Android device, I can not help a great deal with the installation and setup of the Android Remote Control app, however, details can be found here: http://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/ampdroid-1-0-1-final.106911/

    In order for the Android Remote App to "talk" to MediaPortal, two MediaPortal plugins must be installed:
    1. MPExtended - (see Section 12.19.1 for instruction regarding MPExtended plugin installation).
    2. WiFi Remote - (see Section 12.15 for instructions regarding WiFi Remote plugin installation).
    12.17) RSS Data Grabber (InfoService Plugin)

    The InfoService Plugin will download RSS news information from any RSS website and list the feeds in the InfoService Plugin which can be viewed from within MP.

    12.17.1)Installing and Configuring InfoService Plugin

    InfoService can be downloaded and installed using the MPEI. Once it is installed use the MediaPortal Configuration GUI to edit the InfoService plugin config.

    • Open the InfoService Plugin Configuration GUI.
    • Click on the "Add" button, then type in the URL of the RSS feed you want to connect to.
    • Click on the "Get Default Feed Title"
    • Follow the above as many times as necessary for each of the feeds you want to add.
    • Click "Save" to exit the configuration GUI.
    12.17.2) Automatically Run Browse the Web Plugin when RSS Feed Is Selected

    If you make the following setting change in the InfoService Plugin Settings it will automatically run the Browse the Web plugin (see Section 12.2) and take the user straight to the appropriate web page.

    • Ensure that the Browse the Web Plugin is installed and configured (see Sections 12.2).
    • From the InfoService Configuration GUI, click on the "Advance Config" button.
    • At the bottom of the Advance Config menu is the Webbrowser section, use the drop-down menu to select the "Browse the Web" plugin from the list.
    • Click "Save" to exit the Advance Config menu and then click "Save" to exit the InfoService Config GUI.
    12.18) Music Keyword Search Tool (Global Search Plugin)

    The Global Search plugin provides a key word search function for your music database and makes finding music tracks much easier (especially when you have a large music database). It can be downloaded and installed via the MPEI and there is no configuration required.

    12.19) Web Services Provision (MPExtended plugin)

    MPExtended is a project that aims to provide access to your MediaPortal system from all over the world. It essentially provides a web portal to all your databases, and allows streaming of your media (including live TV) to web applications (such as android tablets, or another PC on the internet if you wish).

    Currently there are two parts to MPExentded, firstly the provision of services (MPExtended Services) and secondly a web front-end which can be accessed from an internet browser (WebMediaPortal).

    The MPExtended Services plugin can be installed on it's own (so that other systems can utilise it's services). In order to use WebMediaPortal, you must have MPExtended Services installed. "Normal" users who are operating with separate client / server systems should just install MPExtended and WebMediaPortal (if required) on the server system only.

    12.19.1)Installing and Configuring MPExtended Services

    • Before you install MPExtended Services you must have .NET Framework 4.0 installed on your HTPC. This can be found on the Microsoft website using a quick google search.
    • Download MPExtended from this site: http://mpextended.github.com/download-service.html
    • Run the installer and select either "Singleseat" or "Server" when prompted.
    • Progress through the installation accepting all the default options as you are prompted.
    • On the last screen (when prompted with the option to "Finish") make sure that "Start Tray Application" is selected and then click on the "Finish" button (if requested, allow MPExtended firewall access), you will now be presented with this screen:
    [​IMG]
    • Click on the "Authentication" button on the left hand side and right click on the user "admin" and select the option to delete the user.
    • Enter a username and password in the appropriate fields and then click the "Add account" button.
    • Click on the "Save" button, you will then be presented with a message telling you that the service must be restarted for the changes to have an effect. Click on the "Stop Services" button, and when the button changes to say "Start Services" click on this button to start it again.
    • Most systems will have had their firewalls automatically configured, however sometimes this fails. If you are experiencing any problems with another PC on the network not connecting to MPExtended correctly, then manually open port 4322 for UDP and TCP on your HTPC.
    12.19.2) Installing and Configuring WebMediaPortal

    WebMediaPortal is a web interface which will allow you to access your media and set TV recordings via your web browser from other PCs on the network or the internet (with a correctly configured firewall). It should be installed on the same machine as MPExtended. Installation in very simple:

    • Before you install WebMediaPortal, you need to install IIS Express 7.5
    • Download WebMediaPortal from here: http://mpextended.github.com/download-webmediaportal.html
    • Extract the zip file and run the installation file, accepting the default settings during the install process.
    • Using your web browser on the PC you just installed WebMediaPortal on, enter http://localhost:8080, which will bring up the web interface.
    • Enter the username: admin and password: admin to login.
    • Click on the "Settings" hyperlink at the top left of the page and change your password (if desired).
    • Try accessing the web interface from another PC on the network by typing http://{Server_IP}:8080. If you can not get access, then manually open the TCP port 8080 in your server's firewall.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  10. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    13) Advance Setup Instructions

    13.1) HD Audio over HDMI Setup (3rd party setup guide)

    In order to get HD Audio sent over HDMI (e.g. DTS-HD or TRUE-HD) you four important things:

    1. Windows 7.
    2. A compatible graphics card (e.g. an ATI5450) which supports audio bitstreaming.
    3. The right codec (MP will need FFDShow).
    4. A compatible piece of audio hardware (e.g. an HD-DTS compatible amplifier) for your graphic card's HDMI output to connect to

    13.1.1) Setting Up Your Graphics Card

    Before you try to get HD audio over your HDMI, you must make sure that the correct drivers are installed. I have not tried this with an NVIDIA graphics card, but I know that with the ATI card the drivers to allow this function are not installed by default (althought I don't know why).

    In order to check if your driver is installed correctly, you will need to check if it is enabled in your windows settings by looking for the appropriate formats (e.g. DTS-HD) as shown in the screenshot below:

    [​IMG]
    If you have not got these formats showing, then visit your graphics card manufactures and download the HDMI Audio Driver and install it on your system, then verify it again as per the screenshot above.

    13.1.2) Setting Up MediaPortal

    Once the basic Windows system is setup correctly, then configuring MP to play HD Audio over HDMI is very easy indeed following the following steps:

    • Install FFDShow codecs onto your system (The best way to achieve this is to install the SAF codec package (see Section 1.5). If you have installed SAF then go onto the next step.
    • Open up the MediaPortal Configuration GUI and navigate to the Codec section. Select the "Videos" tab.
    • Change the audio codecs to both use FFDShow Audio.
    • Click OK to close the Configuration GUI.
    • Open up the FFDShow Audio settings GUI (located under Windows Start>Programs>SAF>FFDShow>) and make sure that you tick all the boxes in the Passthrough section (as shown in the image below), then click OK to close the FFDShow Audio Configuration.

      [​IMG]
    You should now be able to play HD Audio over HDMI from blueray discs or videos stored on your hard drive (as long as they have an HD Audio track within the file).​
    13.2) Speeding Up Your Channel Changing (Wiki)

    By default, the MP installation is configured to maximise compatibility with all TV Tuners. However, there are a couple of option that can be selected which will improve the channel changing speed of your system (assuming that your TV Tuners are compatible with this setting). To activate these improvements run the TV Server Configuration shortcut on your desktop and then complete the following actions (note: the following process will require a re-start of your TV Service, so should not be conducted if you are recording or providing a service to a client):

    • Click on the menu "TV Server">"Your Server" to list your TV tuners.
    • Click once on your first tuner in the list to highlight it and then click "Edit" (this will bring up a new window with some preferences for your TV tuner).
    • Put a tick in the "Allow this card to be preloaded" option.
    • Select the "Pause card (faster for some cards)".
    • Click "Save".
    • Repeat the process for your other cards.
    13.3) Using Your Legitimate Sky Card to Decrypt Sky Channels

    Team MediaPortal support the use of off-the-shelf encryption card readers that are built into the tuner. It is possible to use other methods decrypt channels, however Team MediaPortal will not support them because they are concerned that disreputable individuals might be using the system for illegal gain. The following link provides a guide for one method of setup which is to be used at the individual contract holders risk and the author assumes that it is being used in accordance with the law. (http://www.avforums.com/forums/16038332-post68.html)

    13.4) Setting Up HE-AAC Audio From UK DVB-T2 Transmissions

    Freeview HD uses a different type of AAC than Freesat HD, called HE-AAC. To make things worse, the HE-AAC specification was changed quite late in the DVB-T2 development process, so the format is exclusive to the UK. This means that there is a relatively small market for information on this format and hence not much info online about how to get it working with an HTPC.

    This can be achieved using LAV Filters (tested with version 0.48, which can be downloaded using MPEI) and ffdshow (tested with version ffdshow tryouts rev 4382, which can be downloaded directly from the FFDShow website, or part of the SAF codec pack).

    • In LAV Audio Configuration ensure that aac codec is ticked under the Formats tab.
    • In ffdshow audio decoder - Codecs - ensure that AAC is set to 'disabled'
    • In ffdshow audio decoder - Codecs - ensure that Uncompressed (raw) is set to 'all supported' (this is right at the bottom of the codec list).
    • In ffdshow audio decoder - Tray, dialogs & paths - it is useful to select 'Modern' tray icon and tick 'Extended info' as this will show when ffdshow is working and what it is doing.
    • In ffdshow audio decoder - you don't need to have any other ticks in the left hand column. Especially ensure that 'Mixer' isn't ticked as this can cause errors.
    • In ffdshow audio decoder - Output - Output formats for uncompressed or decoded streams - put ticks in '16-bit integer', '24-bit integer', 'AC3 (S/PDIF encode mode)' and 'Encode 5.1 streams only'
    • In MediaPortal Configuration GUI click on the "Codecs and Renderer">"TV Codecs">"LATM AAC audio decoder" menu, select LAV Audio Decoder.
    • In MediaPortal Configuration GUI click on the "TV">"TV Post Processing" menu and then scroll down the "Available filters" list and double click on the entry 'ffdshow Audio Decoder'. This will make it pop up in the list of Activated filters - tick to select it.
    This should now correctly send Freeview HD containing 5.1 audio to your amp as Dolby Digital 5.1, and leave all stereo audio as stereo, enabling you to apply pro-logic to it if you wish.

    You can use the same combination of LAV / ffdshow for videos codecs too, if you have video files containing AAC 5.1 / AAC 2.0 audio.

    (A big thank you to jameson_uk and lisag for help with this section).

    14) Other Useful Plugins

    The following list provides more plugins which may be of interest to users (it is a non-exaustive list, and you will find even more plugins in MPEI, or here.

    14.1) User Input Plugins
    14.2) Network Interface Plugins
    14.3) HTPC Windows Customisation
    15) Trouble Shooting

    15.1) Getting help from the MediaPortal community

    The support provided by the Team MediaPortal forum community is excellent. In all the time I have been using MediaPortal, I have never failed to get a problem fixed with their help (even when in the early days the problems were simple errors on my part - the community are not snobbish about new comers). Before you can post a problem on the Team MediaPortal forum, you will need to get yourself a username and logon (as for most other internet forums). When you have done this, then follow the instructions under the "How to start a bug report thread:" section (just over half way down the page).

    When you create your problem thread, I suggest you post it either here:

    http://forum.team-mediaportal.com/forums/newcomers-forum.240/

    or here:

    http://forum.team-mediaportal.com/forums/general-support.51/

    15.2) Video/audio synchronisation problems

    If you are having problems with audio synchronisation when watching a particular type of media then I recommend that you install SAF and set the audio decoder associated with the problematic media to "FFDShow" (FFDShow has the ability to advance or delay the audio). To set the audio delay, do the following:
    • Remove the tick from the "Keep MP Always on Top" if you have it set (see Section 3.2.2)
    • Start MediaPortal and select the problematic media to play.
    • Press your keyboard windows key and then use the mouse to locate the FFDShow audio icon in the task bar (next to the clock) and double click on it.
    • On the FFDShow "Output" page, there is an "Audio Delay:" data entry box which is set to "0 ms" by default. Change this number (usually something like "80 ms" would be sufficient), clicking on the "Apply" button each time, until you get the audio synchronisation.
    • Click OK to close the FFDShow dialogue and if necessary change the "Keep MP Always on Top" option back if you need (see Section 3.2.2).
    15.3) Windows 7 "Half Screen" After Standby When Used With AV Amplifier
    Windows 7 suffers from a problem whereby when it sees a momentary loss of HDMI connection (for example caused by switching of video sources on an AV Amplifier) it defaults to a basic resolution (resizing any program running on-screen). Unfortunately, with some systems this is not handled well and causes MediaPortal to be displayed in a half-sized window after an event. There are a number of possible solutions to this problem, and two of them are presented below:

    15.3.1) Solution to "Half Screen" problem using VNC LAN
    To overcome this problem, you will need to use a program like VNC LAN to change the resolution the system defaults to when no monitor is connected, using the following method:
    • Install VNC Server on your HTPC (and VNC Client on another PC on your network).
    • With your PC running (but not MediaPortal) pull the HDMI cable out of the back of the HTPC.
    • VNC to your HTPC (I use RealVNC)
    • Right click on desktop
    • Select "Screen resolution"
    • Click "Advanced settings"
    • Click "Monitor"-tab and then unselect option "Hide modes that this monitor cannot display". Then click OK and OK
    • Open Ati CCC by right clicking on desktop
    • In desktop properties page, choose 1280x720 resolution, click "Apply" and select "Yes" to the prompt that appears
    • Close Ati CCC
    • Open CCC again, choose 30hz interlaced, and now you can select 1920x1080 as the resolution.
    • Re-connect your HDMI cable and test.

    15.3.2) Solution to "Half Screen" problem using Regedit

    • Run Regedit
    • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\Configuration
    • Under there, you will have a number of subtrees which control how windows handles the graphic properties in certain instances with different display hardware connected to your machine. For each of those different subtrees you will find another subtree called "00" and under that subtree, there is yet another subtree called "00".
    • Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\Configuration\xxx\00 (where xxx is the first display instance in the list such as "SAM021EHSHLA8715_2C_07D6_29+NOEDIE_10DE....."(etc)), change the following:
      PrimSurfSize.cx
      PrimSurfSize.cy
      Set the .cx to 1920 and the .cy to 1080 (assuming you are wanting a resolution of 1920x1080)​
    • Now under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\Configuration\xxx\00\00 (note the extra "00" so one level further down in the registry structure), change the following:

      ActiveSize.cx
      ActiveSize.cy
      Set the .cx to 1920 and the .cy to 1080 (assuming you are wanting a resolution of 1920x1080)​
    • Now repeat this for each of the display instances in your list so that they all default to your desired resolution.
    Your system should now always stay at the same resolution no matter what happens, so you should never get a half screen problem.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  11. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    16) An Introduction to MediaPortal 2

    The idea of MP2 is not only a complete code re-write to make it run faster, but also to give the system true client/server behaviour.

    Currently MP1.X works as a client/server system for the TV (i.e. you have a server side which controls the TV backend and a client side that then watches the TV). However, all the other media is all controlled on the client side.

    The implications of this current setup is that you only need to configure the TV settings once (on the server) and all the clients on your network will all work without need for configuration (other than to give the network address of the server), but the user will need to configure EVERY client on the network to view all the permanent media (music, videos, movies, photos), which is a pain if you have lots of clients (e.g. downloading the fanart for each client can take time).

    With MP2, the server holds the configuration for ALL the clients in common, so you only need to set it up once and all the clients automatically "just work". Since MP2 has also moved away from the separate configuration GUI (and now uses a 10 ft configuration GUI), you can also make amendments to the configuration from any of the clients on the network. With all of this said, you can still taylor each client if you wish (such as adding locally stored media and removable drives (e.g. Blueray/DVD) or by changing the skin (a number of which are supplied with MP2 - note there are skins and themes, where each skin has a number of configurable themes).

    The current MP2 Alpha release is just a first step towards the final product (but the work behind this first step shouldn't be played down in significance)! Basically the release installs the "server-side" software which (unlike MP1.X) just sits there running in the background without any need for configuring it - since this is done via the client-side software (you need to manually start it at the moment before you start the client-side), it also installs the "Client-side" software which is the front-end. So far, there has not been a re-write of the TV Service, but that will come with time. Until that happens, you can install a plugin that allows you to use MP2 with the old MP1.X TV Service.

    If you are running just a single PC and want to try MP2, then you need to install the "Single-Seat" option (which installs both the client and the server software on the same PC). After you have run it, start the server-side software using the desktop shortcut, and then start the client and then use the settings option to setup your shares.

    If you have a client/server setup (using two separate PCs on the network), then simply install the server-side on the server and the client-side on the client, and the client will autodetect the server, then use the client to setup the shares.

    17) Index

    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
    0
    Section​
    Title​
    Post​
    1
    2 1 Introduction 1
    3 1.1 What is MediaPortal 1
    4 1.2 How does MediaPortal Work 1
    5 1.3 Assumptions Made Within This Guide 1
    6 1.4 Pre-Installation Preparation 1
    7 1.5 Install Your Codecs 1
    8 2 Downloading and Installing MediaPortal 1
    9 2.1 Single Seat Installation With Live TV Support 1
    10 2.2 Client/Server Installation 1
    11 3 Client-Side Setup 2
    12 3.1 Starting the Client-Side Setup 2
    13 3.2 General 2
    14 3.3 Videos 2
    15 3.4 TV 2
    16 3.5 Music 2
    17 3.6 Pictures 2
    18 3.7 Remote 2
    19 3.8 Codecs 2
    20 3.9 Plugins 2
    21 3.10 Additional 3rd Party Checks 2
    22 4 Server-Side Setup 3
    23 4.1 Starting the Server-Side Setup 3
    24 4.2 Introduction to TV Server Configuration 3
    25 4.3 Setting Tuner Priority 3
    26 4.4 Scanning for Channels 3
    27 4.5 Organising Your TV Channels 3
    28 4.6 Organising Your Radio Channels 3
    29 4.7 Configuring Recording Folders 3
    30 4.8 Configuring Timeshift Folders 3
    31 5 Using MediaPortal For The First Time 4
    32 6 How To Install and Configure Plugins 4
    33 6.1 Using the MediaPortal Extension Installer 4
    34 6.2 Configuring Installed Plugins 4
    35 7 Setting Up The TV Electronic Program Guide 5
    36 7.1 EPG Data Using XMLTV 5
    37 7.2 EPG Data Using DVB-EPG (Via Your TV Service Provider) 5
    38 7.3 EPG Data - Other Methods 5
    39 8 Setting Up Your Power-Saving Settings 5
    40 8.1 Powerscheduler++ Server-Side Setup 5
    41 8.2 Powerscheduler++ Client-Side Setup 5
    42 9 Movies 6
    43 9.1 Preparing Your Movie Files 6
    44 9.2 Installing Moving Pictures 6
    45 9.3 Configuring Moving Pictures 6
    46 9.4 Playing Blueray Discs 6
    47 10 TV Series 6
    48 10.1 Preparing Your TV Series Files 6
    49 10.2 Installing TV Series 6
    50 10.3 Configuring TV Series 6
    51 11 Changing Skins 6
    52 11.1 Installing and Configuring The StreamedMP Skin 6-7
    53 12 Other Popular Plusins and Features 7
    54 12.1 Watch Internet Videos - Including BBC IPlayer, 4OD etc (Online Videos Plugin) 7
    55 12.2 Browse the Internet Using Your Remote Control (Browse The Web Plugin) 7
    56 12.3 Weather Forecast (World Weather Plugin) 7
    57 12.4 Running 3rd Party Programs Via MediaPortal GUI 8
    58 12.5 TV Logos For Your TV EPG 8
    59 12.6 Playing Bluerays 8
    60 12.7 Client Plugin Updater (Extensions Plugin) 8
    61 12.8 Automatic Fanart Downloader (Fanart Handler Plugin) 8
    62 12.9 Automatic Music Information Downloader (Music Info Handler Plugin) 8
    63 12.10 Automatic Music Lyrics Downloader (My Lyrics) 8
    64 12.11 Games and Emulators (Emulators Plugin) 9
    65 12.12 Automatic Cinema Listings and Trailers Downloader (Showtimes Plugin) 9
    66 12.13 Windows Update Control (Update Control) 9
    67 12.14 Youtube Video Viewer (Youtube.FM Plugin) 9
    68 12.15 iPhone Remote Control (Couch Potato) 9
    69 12.16 Android Remote Control 9
    70 12.17 RSS Ticker Data Grabber (InfoService Plugin) 9
    71 12.18 Music Keyword Search Tool (Global Search Plugin) 9
    72 12.19 Web Services Provision (MPExtended plugin) 9
    73 13 Advance Setup Instructions 10
    74 13.1 HD Audio over HDMI Setup 10
    75 13.2 Speeding Up Your Channel Changing 10
    76 13.3 Using Your Legitimate Sky Card to Decrypt Sky Channels 10
    77 14 Other Useful Plugins 10
    78 14.1 User Input Plugins 10
    79 14.2 Network Interface Plugins 10
    80 14.3 HTPC Windows Customisation 10
    81 15 Trouble Shooting 10
    82 15.1 Getting help from the MediaPortal community 10
    83 15.2 Video/Audio Synchronisation Problems 10
    84 15.3 Windows 7 "Half Screen" After Standby When Used With AV Amplifier 10
    85 16 An Introduction to MediaPortal 2 11
    86 17 Index 11
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  12. Grangey.

    Grangey. Active Member

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    ABOUT TIME!

    Look forward to seeing the finished article mate :)
  13. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    Don't congratulate me until I finish it! :)

    Have you got that XBMC blurb and screenshots for the comparison thread yet :laugh:
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  14. Moolers

    Moolers Member

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    Great timing robbo, going to give MP a go over the weekend. Thanks.
  15. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    I probably won't have finished the guide by then, but I will try to get some done!
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  16. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    The guide is starting to take shape now and I hope to get some time in the week to finish it all.

    I would be grateful of any comments relating to:

    • Level of detail
    • Content
    • Layout (some improvements are needed, but this should give you the basic idea)
    • Technical accuracy
  17. Trollslayer

    Trollslayer Active Member

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    I looked at MediaPortal again but had forgotten it won't allow you to bitstream audio, it insists on trying to decode so my Blu-ray rips fail.
    Sticking with XBMC because I can sell it to pass through and let my AV receiver do the job.
  18. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    By "bitstream audio" do you mean DTS-HD and TRUE-HD? If so then MP does do it (the magic blue light comes up on my amp) and my guide will show you how (when I get to that point).
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  19. Trollslayer

    Trollslayer Active Member

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    Thanks, I tried playing a MKV file with DTS-MA and MP just said the codec wasn't supported.
    It would be nice to get the PVR functionality inncluded, maybe even my Sky HD as well.
  20. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    I will definitely include it (I have added it to my todo list on post 11).

    You don't know how to add columns to my table in post 11 do you? I am struggling a bit.....

    I have now found that the post limit is 15000 characters. Luckily post 1 is 14999 characters :laugh:
  21. lisag

    lisag Active Member

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    Thanks Robbo for all the time you are putting into this :smashin:

    I find the TV Series plug-in incredibly confusing and time consuming to set up, I have sort of abandoned it for now.

    Also, I can't work out what the 'views' section does such as 'Video Views' under the Videos section in MP Configuration. (I am doing fine without it, but sort of curious as to what it does, and it may fox others?).

    Trollslayer - +1 here for bitstreaming HD Audio.
    The brilliant thing about MediaPortal is that you can configure codecs very precisely, the main reason I switched from 7MC.

    I have tried many different combinations, and have found ffdshow best for bitstreaming for me, I think most people use LAV filters instead, but I don't like them so much because there is no tray icon to tell me when it is being used. I do use LAV for all versions of AAC though, as it is the only one I could get to work properly for that.

    lisa
  22. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    The video views option will let you switch between "shares" mode (just a list of files in you setup shares) and the various "database" views. If you have not setup a video database (by scanning your selected shares in the client config GUI, then nothing will be displayed.

    Since I find TV series and Moving Pictures does all I need I have never a video database and watch my home videos either in shares mode, or mixed in with my photos in the photo sideshow.

    This guide is at risk of turning into a MONSTER!!!
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  23. spyder viewer

    spyder viewer Moderator

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    Hi Robbo, great that you've taken on this leviathan of a project.

    I make no secret of the fact that W7MC meets my needs (except having to pay for it) and to have dabbled a couple of times with MP. Using your guides, will it be possible to identify those activities that just get to a situation where it does all that W7MC does and no more? One of my perceived problems is the amount of work needed just to get it up to the point where it equals WMC and previously, I've got bogged down on a particular aspect, given up, and gone back to WMC. If I could just do this, I could then add features and enhancements to a working project.
  24. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    It is difficult to say, because I have never used MCE. Maybe I need a volunteer to make that judgement for the community when the guide is complete (might you be that person?).

    I estimate my guide will only take 2-4 hours to complete. How does that sit in terms of workload?
  25. spyder viewer

    spyder viewer Moderator

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    It will probably take me longer to read than for you to finish!;)(Stop jumping up and down: I know you mean "execute"!

    I, of course, will give it a try! Probably next week-end.
  26. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    The last quote meant that it will take the user that length of time to complete (2-4 hours). I am staying with my end of the week completion schedule for writing it :)
  27. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    OK, I have worked out how to add columns to the table now!
  28. Restorer

    Restorer Member

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    Big thanks for this. Looking forward to giving MP a spin when I get it worked out.
  29. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    OK,

    I think I have the general layout and structure sorted now (it is quite a trick to stay within the <15000 characters per post sometimes!)

    The Section 11 and 13 are not fully populated with sub-headings yet. If anyone has any areas which they think MUST be included within these sections then please let me know and I will add them to the list.

    I hope to complete the last tiny bit of the Client setup tonight, along with getting the majority of the server setup done too.

    Constructive critism always welcome!
  30. 2010

    2010 Member

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    Coincidentally I installed mediaportal yesterday (I'm from a xbmc/7mce & dvblink background) and the basic setup is straightforward with a DVB-S2 card but I could do with a guide for channel sorting/epg/oscam.

    I am having trouble with the mpei on my server (W7 64bit) where it hangs during skin installs but no problem with my client (W7 32bit). Is this a known issue?

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