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Moving to Media Portal from XBMC

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by darthmauler, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. darthmauler

    darthmauler Member

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    I currently have a HTPC which I use for all my media playback. It is a low power device with a passively cooled AMD E-350

    I run XBMC for most of my media playback. (All served from an HP Microserver running WHS 2011)

    I use Windows Media Centre as a PVR

    I use Total Media Theatre for Blu-Ray playback.

    My wife hates having to jump between things and I was thinking of moving to Media Portal. Has anyone else done this from XBMC?

    I tried installing Media Portal the other day and the setup looks much more complex than what I have at the moment. I don't want to jump through hoops for a setup I won't be happy with.

    Does Media Portal do Blu-Ray playback with bitstreaming?
  2. spacemanc

    spacemanc Member

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    The main benefit of mediaportal over XBMC are it's TV functions. Unless you are after the TV side of things, then (arguably) most people would say to stick with XBMC.

    What part of the mediaportal setup was complicated for you? Just set it up as a single seat installation, and then go to the configuration and point it to your media files - I cant see how they could make it much simpler. Also you might like to installed the 'Streamed MP' skin :

    streamedmp - StreamedMP Skin for MediaPortal - Google Project Hosting (just download and run it)

    it has lots of added features and is based on the XBMC skin.
  3. lisag

    lisag Active Member

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    I have just moved to MediaPortal from Windows 7 Media Center.

    I must say that I did not find it easy to set up, and have spent a lot of time learning how to use it, and getting it all configured properly.

    Having said that, I am happy to report that I am delighted that I did stick with it as the end result is really worth it! Having said that, I have only ever used Windows Media Center, so it may not be that complicated for someone who is used to XBMC.

    I have got it playing back ripped Blu Rays, which is a bonus, and in fact, can now get it to playback all the video types and Freeview SD /HD correctly, including the correct 2.0 or 5.1 audio. This involved a lot of trial and error with different codecs, and a heavy use of reclock. But.. I currently have just MediaPortal doing everything on my HTPC, with auto refresh rate change, and correct audio switching. So far so good, but early days!

    lisa
  4. spyder viewer

    spyder viewer Moderator

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    Lisag: can you send me a copy? ;)
  5. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    Yes, it will do HD Audio over HDMI, as long as you have windows 7 and a compatible GPU
  6. spacemanc

    spacemanc Member

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    Did you not spend most of that time setting up the TV side? The OP seems to just want to use it as a mediaplayer, and for that Mediaportal pretty much worked out of the box for me?
  7. lisag

    lisag Active Member

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    It was a lot of TV tweaking, but also getting the combination of codecs right. Mind you, I was probably being a bit dim.

    I thought the OP wanted to replace 7MC (TV PVR) and XBMC (media) and TMT (Blu-Ray) all with MediaPortal, so it was all in one front-end for ease of use?
  8. darthmauler

    darthmauler Member

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    No, I want to use it to replace XBMC, Total Media Theatre and Win7 WMC.

    I want an all in one solution rather than seperate apps.
  9. spacemanc

    spacemanc Member

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    OK my bad I missed the PVR bit :blush:

    The TV side seem a bit of a nightmare, but its well worth it. It seems easy once you know how, but like lisa, it took me a lot of research and trail and error.

    I'm just about to build a new PC for someone, so I might take some screenshots of the setup process and post a setup thread. Which bits are you finding hard? Don't be put off by all the setup options - you won't need to touch the vast majority of them.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. darthmauler

    darthmauler Member

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    It was really the TV setup initially on Media Portal that put me off. I don't mind poking around to get everything working as long as the end product will do what I want.

    :)
  11. nunovi

    nunovi Member

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    At least you can play Blu-Ray directly on XBMC if you rip in BDMV folders. This plays the main feature directly, which I have found to be much more wife friendly. It plays instantly, on the XBMC window with all XBMC controls. Video quality is great with the latest Eden version. No more virtual drives, ISOs and external players!
  12. darthmauler

    darthmauler Member

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    What I tend to do is rip most of my discs (DVD or Blu-Ray) as MKV files at a decent bit rate. I pull the discs out if I want to watch any of the special features.

    There are some films though that I will only play from Blu-Ray directly. These are films I really love and want to see that at their absolute best. Things like The Dark Knight, Star Wars, LOTR etc.

    I don't have the storage to really stick 50GB films onto my server....
  13. Grangey.

    Grangey. Active Member

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    Can I just clarify something for the OP incase it hasnt already been mentioned.

    XBMC can playback blurays perfectly fine without use for an external player and can now ALSO bitstream HD audio with a patched Eden build. The only thing youl need to play blurays direct from the disc is an on the fly decrypter such as DVDFab's free offering- otherwise ripped blurays naturally play with no problem at all assuming you remove the encryption during the backup process. The only reason now with Eden that you should want or need an external player is for frame packed stereoscopic 3D, but as thats not been mentioned I doubt its an issue.

    So theres one very simple solution to one of the issues.

    The 2nd is TV. This is where media portal rules and is known for but it does take time to setup but arguably is a worthy outcome.

    XBMC however does have "Nightly" PVR builds which may not be as 100% stable as the official versions technically, but should do exactly what youre asking. For more information on this I would suggest you post in the XBMC sticky at the top where someone more knowledgable can inform you about them, but if youre happy with XBMC as it is then it seems like you could be able to stick with it.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  14. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    Just to back up what Grangy is saying, MediaPortal will also need on-the-fly decoding to watch a blueray or blueray iso.
  15. darthmauler

    darthmauler Member

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    Just been playing around with this yesterday. Think I need to do some work on it. At the moment it takes about 30seconds to switch channels.

    I don't know if grabbing the EPG on first install would have any impact on that so I left it running overnight.
  16. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    Try selecting the option to allow the card to be pre-loaded on each of your tuners: See the instruction here: TV Servers - MediaPortal Wiki (under the title "Edit Tuner Settings" about half way down the page).

    Oh, and also set it to Pause, not Stop
  17. darthmauler

    darthmauler Member

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    OK - tried that. Still having issues.

    I am finding setting this up to be a real ordeal so far. Haven't managed to get the EPG to populate. I also have channels that keep stopping working.

    Getting very close to uninstalling it.
  18. Grangey.

    Grangey. Active Member

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  19. darthmauler

    darthmauler Member

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    OK - mediaportal uninstalled never to darken my doorstep again.

    :)
  20. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    Your loss :)

    Banter aside. The forum is massively active, snout would be a shame to give up without posting your logs on the firing with details of your problem.

    Since your problems are TV server side, you will need to overcome them (or install a different back-end) to get XBMC working anyway (which only does the front-end and it doesn't sound like the mediaportal front end is causing you any problems!)?
  21. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    Grangey, it is slightly harsh to criticise the Mediaportal back-end and suggest that using XBMC will fix all the problems when XBMC does not even have a back-end and relies on Mediaportal or other software to do that bit of the job!

    Anyway - are you going to send me those XBMC screenshots for the software comparison thread :)

    Robbo100
  22. Grangey.

    Grangey. Active Member

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    Whos criticising? Im just giving abit of banter aswell :smashin:- Id never criticise mediaportal and when it comes to TV stuff as Im in no position to compare or know anything about it :)

    Youre right though for sure, XBMC does rely on similar things that Mediaportal does (I think one of which is actually a media portal specific thing) but I think from my brief scan over that there are a number of other means of getting TV things with XBMC- but Im sure thats not XBMC specific and is probably the case with MediaBrowser too.

    Ah i keep forgetting! I need to get a few more together anyway but there are a few in the sticky currently but Il try to do them this weekend for you bud!
  23. robbo100

    robbo100 Member

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    No rush mate.

    MediaPortal 2 Alpha was released 20 mins ago, so I will be playing with that for the foreseeable future!

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