HTPC MediaPortal Build

FlubWubJub

Active Member
After many years attempting to build HTPC's, but never actually getting to where i want with one (WAF being the main issue), i've decided to come back 5 years after my previous attempt and try again.

After seeing deleted member's MediaPortal set up on here i've taken the plunge and ordered the below last night.


Ordered it all last night, so it will hopefully be delivered on Tuesday :)

I'll be moving over from SkyHD to Freeview HD, so that will probably take a little getting used to, but the amount of extra media i can have to hand with this setup should make up for a few missing channels.

I've already mentioned i'll be going for a MediaPortal front end as i've been rather impressed with this video's and screenshots i've seen of that. I can also use Airplay with it i believe, which will save me having an additional AppleTV.

Speaking of Apple, i'll also be using this HTPC as an iTunes server, as i have AppleTV's hooked up to other TV's in the house, so having my music and films available for those will be a nice little bonus.
 

MonkeyJug

Active Member
Shoulda went Freesat and tried out my guide! DJBlu's EPG grabber is lightyears ahead of Sky's EPG...
 

MonkeyJug

Active Member
Here's something to aim for:

 

FlubWubJub

Active Member
I presume that's your setup MonkeyJug? Looks tidy, and yes that's what i'm aiming for :)

EndlessWaves - This is the first PC i've built for about 5-6 years so i'm really out of touch. I'll have a read of that link later, thanks.
 

FlubWubJub

Active Member
It's built!

Not without problems i might add.

The build itself went without fault, and some of the components i've chosen are very nice i must admit.

The only let down really was i compromised a little on the cost of the case and so have ended up with not the prettiest looking thing. However, it's tucked away down the bottom of my AV cabinet (very snug fit – i didn't actually measure
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).

I'm very impressed with the noise – or lack of, i should probably say.

It's virtually silent. I would say no louder than a sky box.

I'm glad i went for the fanless PSU and spent a fair bit on a decent quality CPU cooler.

As i said earlier, i have had a problem with it. I've discovered the HDMI port on the motherboard seems to be faulty. I get no output at all from it. Tried on various TV's and different cables etc but nothing.

Works on VGA and also via DVI – So that's a bit of a bummer.

Luckily the motherboard supports sound over DVI and so i have it all set up via a DVI to HDMI adaptor.
It's not ideal having a faulty motherboard, and really i should send it back, but as the longer term plan was always to stick a graphics card in there, then really i'm not too fussed. I can't be arsed with the hassle of returning it to be honest. I have 1080p and sound over DVI so i'm happy.

Windows 8 is all installed and updated. I've installed MediaPortal and have just began set up and configuration of that.

I just need to set up the EPG but i have Freeview HD ready to rock and roll, along with time shift and recording etc. Unfortunately at the moment i don't have a remote control so am having to do it via keyboard so not getting the full sexiness of it all just yet.

Anyway, that's enough waffle for now, here's a couple of photo's.

… until next time
smile.png


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MonkeyJug

Active Member
I doubt your mobo is faulty. Getting onboard HDMI to work with some displays is just plain pot luck it seems. I'm guessing you've had a good tinker around in the BIOS?
 

MonkeyJug

Active Member
Looks exactly like what I am wanting to build, how hard is it for a begginer to build something like that, would not be needing the live TV as have Sky
Thanks

I have sickbeard, couch potato and sabnzbd all inter-linked through my entire setup which is tricky to setup.

If you just want to point to your media and update manually, then it's not too difficult...
 

FlubWubJub

Active Member
Did you go for a SSD

Yes mate, just a 60GB SSD for the OS for the time being.
Media will be stored on a NAS.
When i get round to sticking a gfx card in for gaming in future i'll probably stick another bigger SSD in there too for the games.

I doubt your mobo is faulty. Getting onboard HDMI to work with some displays is just plain pot luck it seems. I'm guessing you've had a good tinker around in the BIOS?

Yup, it really does seem like the port is at fault.
Both displays i've tried it on (with two different cables too) don't even get a signal from it. Nothing. Not even an 'unsupported resolution' message of similar. Neither display has ever had an issue with HDMI from PC's etc before.
There are no options at all for HDMI (well, a couple for audio over HDMi but not video).
I've been diagnosing the problem along with a few other AVF'ers in another thread in the PC Gaming forum.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Great progress!

EPG grabbing can be a bit of a journey as there are quite a few options. I use XMLTV GUI using the RadioTimes grabber, as it's fast, can be automated to run in the background (mine runs every day at midday), and I get 10 days of good quality data, crucially including episode and season numbers, which I find really handy.

Unfortunately there are quite a few tv channels missing, plus all of the radio channels for those I use OTA EPG grabbing (although I'm using Argus TV server instead of MediaPortal TV server) there is also WEBEPG in MediaPortal you could try. If you just want basic EPG data for now, probably just using OTA would be the easiest.

With your HDMI issue, I think you may miss out on some of the HD audio codecs, unless you can get audio to work over HDMI even if video won't? I think PCM 5.1 and DTS-HD and Dolby True HD will only work on HDMI and not on SPDIF.
 
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FlubWubJub

Active Member
Thanks @deleted member

I've setup WEBEPG for now as when reading through the MP wiki it said that is the one made by the MP guys and so i figured this would be the best one. Although it seems a little hit and miss so far.

I'll try XMLTV instead.

When you say it's fast - i've noticed the TV guide is somewhat slow... especially when loading up a channel. From pressing 'ok' to watch the channel to it actually coming on can be a couple of seconds.
In the video's i've seen it's pretty much instant. Is yours delayed at all? I'm hoping it's just a config issue?

Also, what remote do you use for your setup?
I just popped out and bought a MCE remote from Maplin but it's crap.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Hi, yes there is a little delay when starting live tv in both MediaPortal TV server and Argus TV, I count it to be about 5 seconds with Argus, it should show in my video. I very rarely watch live TV so it's not an issue for me. It may be possible to make it faster, I presume it is to do with the tuner kicking in, you could maybe try asking on the MediaPortal forums if there is a way to make it quicker. It might also be to do with the sql server, but now we are moving beyond my realm of understanding!

I have three MediaPortal machines at home, one server + two clients and I am using Logitech Harmony remotes acting as MCE remotes, together with these receivers:

New Dell Microsoft MCE Media Center Remote Control USB IR Receiver OVU400003/00 | eBay

New Remote Control USB Receiver with IR Cable for MCE & Logitech Harmony | eBay
 

robbo100

Well-known Member
You can sometimes speed up channel change speed (aka "Zapping"), by altering the card pre-load settings.

TV Servers - MediaPortal Wiki

try selecting the option to "Allow this card to be preloaded" for all your tuners. Also, select the option "Pause Card".

tuner.png


Note, that some tuners are not compatible with this mode, so if you have any stability issues (often seen after waking the PC up from sleep), then you will need to revert these settings.
 

FlubWubJub

Active Member
Little update...

I had a play about with the card properties as per last post, and there was an improvement between switching channels. It seems the main problem now is the initialisation period for the card after the PC wakes from sleep.

I think to be honest i'll end up leaving the PC on all the time (or at least during waking hours) which will avoid this.

I've also been thinking a little about storage and added in a 250GB HDD that i had acquired for the TV recording...

I was initially thinking of going for a 500GB HDD for TV Recording/Timeshifting, but having thought about it I only have the 300GB sky box and half of that is reserved so i've been coping with approx 150GB storage already.

An executive decision was made and i'm now using the previously mentioned 250GB 2.5" drive for this instead.

I acquired the drive in a bit of a 'frame' which turned out has come in really handy, as my case doesn't have any space for more than one 2.5" drive.

So, with a slight modification to the frame (hence the bent looking metal on one of the top edge's) and i've managed to use the 2x holes in the lip of the frame to slide under my currently installed SSD and mount them side-by-side.

Hopefully the photo's will make a bit more sense.

All-in-all a tidy little job – just need to sort the software side of it now.

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