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What is better? XBMC or MediaPortal

Abbey Chase

Standard Member
Hi all,

I am about to build a HTPC based on the ASUS E35M1-M Pro motherboard with 4Gb of RAM and a 1Gb SATA 3 Seagate, a LG Blue-Ray 10X drive within a Silverstone Milo case. I have not decided whether to run Windows 7 or Ubuntu yet, but I am guessing the HTPC software that I run might have something to do in that decision. I would like to know, based on my build, which is better and why:

  1. XBMC
  2. MediaPortal
Thanks for any input.

cheers,
Abbey
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
If you don't plan to use it with a tuner, XBMC.
XBMC has much better audio codec support.
 

Abbey Chase

Standard Member
What do you need it to do? Planning on a TV tuner card?

Well not at first I am not planning on a TV tuner card, but several months down the road when the budget allows it, I would like to introduce that component in my system.

One of the post above says that XBMC has much better audio codec support, but what does that mean exactly? Does it mean that I would have to install some codecs above and beyond what comes with Media Portal?

cheers,
Abbey
 

belongamick

Active Member
Note: XBMC doesn't currently support bitstreaming Hi-Def audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD. This was the reason I moved from XBMC to MediaPortal.

I found MediaPortal requires more tweaking to get working how you want e.g. codecs are not builtin like they are in XBMC.
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
The only way to know what is right for you is to try them both. They are free. Don't forget Windows Media Center.

David
 

nbaker

Active Member
I have used all three mentioned front ends and prefer Mediabrowser.

I would say its a very personal choice though and the best way is as already mentioned try them all.

Saying that though if you are definately going to install a TV card or want to bit stream audio you can probably rule out XBMC for now.
 

degeneration

Novice Member
I've used XBMC and mediaportal briefly.

XBMC was the easiest and quickest to set up how I wanted, and most of what I wanted done could be done from inside xbmc.

Mediaportal seemed to have more possibilities over what it could do, but none of the skins I used made it anywhere near as slick as xbmc. The majority of the configuration had to be done on an external configuration program, which to me made the set up a lot more cumbersome. The sheer expanse of configurable items made it also a lot more complicated, and not having the codecs built in meant that when I went to run a couple of my films, they would not play.

I got the impression that mediaportal would take days to configure how you want, whereas xbmc could be done the same day. I use the file launcher described in the XBMC sticky at the top of the forum page, to launch media centre's TV from inside xbmc, so that has effectively given me live TV in xbmc. Not perfect and ideal, but it works fine.

And I also use the file launcher to launch nevermisstv to give me all the on demand channels too.

My 1p worth.
 

icstm

Active Member

jameson_uk

Novice Member
On Win7 the codecs are not an issue as MP will just use the ones that ship with Win7 (and are pretty good).
MP configuration is not as bad as it was but is still too much of a chore. If you can stick with it for an hour you can have it working fine.

MP has the obvious advantage over XBMC of TV. If you don't want TV then it is down to personal choice.

I use MP with the Maya skin but there are some nice ones out there which are on a par with XBMC MEDIAPORTAL - MediaPortal Skins Gallery (particularly in 1.2 beta)

Combine that with TV Series and Moving Pictures (although the new inbuilt video plugin seems pretty good). Yes there configuration is outside of MP but once you have it setup you rarely need to go in again so is only a short term setup thing
 

steve12

Active Member
Have only ever used Mediaportal i don't use my HTPC for viewing TV only use it to watch TV series and Blurays. Using the Maya skin at the moment looks really nice.
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
Which is the simplist of the 2 to get running bit streaming audio through HDMI with DTS-HD MA sound tracks?
 

degeneration

Novice Member
what would your 2p worth have been? :rotfl:

Pretty much the same, but with a lot more padding and unnecessary detail to make you think you were getting your money's worth!!

I've got no doubt that mediaportal could be exactly what I'm after, but for something I just want to get up and running without the time and hassle, I've stuck with xbmc... at the moment.

If at some point I decide that I'm wanting something that xbmc doesn't seem to be able to do, then I'll maybe have another look at mediaportal.


as for it using the codecs from within Win 7, the videos that wouldn't play in mediaportal for me, played fine in win 7 media player, so maybe it defaulted to some other codec? But the sheer expanse of options, made it all to daunting.
 

icstm

Active Member
thanks.
Given that there is a step-by-step guide here to xbmc, I will go with that.
I don't mind taking a more "pure" route to the setup process, which mediaportal seems to need, but I am really just do it for the library porn it creates on all those threads where people post their setups.
I have been happy with the searching within the Ant Movie Catalogue since 2001 (yep 10 years and still using the same app).

Correct me if I am wrong, but can you search these libraries like ANT? eg can I quickly find all movies that Tim Burton directed?
 

icstm

Active Member

icstm

Active Member
cool.
Been playing with 7MC, only as I was tagging faces in WLPG (seems better than Picasa at that).
So now need to get serious and install XBMC!
 

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