HTPC software you tried and what made you stick with MP? (1 Viewer)


Portal Member
June 27, 2005
London, UK
Just curious really, and it might throw up some interesting features that people liked and could be considered for future versions of MP. :wink:

I've worked through dozens of apps in the last few years. (Please note these are only my personal experiences) Noteworthy ones include:

A great fronend in a time before we had many 'complete' apps.

Which i ran full time in the living room for about 2 years - after a couple of initial teething problems it turned out to be quite stable and pretty much never missed a recording. Eventually the clunky interface and lack of dual tuner support got the better of me. Very snappy operation and the now/next feature was well implimented. Good community and great plugins.

Good:Great UK combined hardware/software package. Rock solid, great webinterface and LAN streaming built in, also one of the few apps to fully support DVB teletext and interactive.

Bad:Didn't play DVD's and lack of intelligent recording (timer based only) was a pain.

Good: Very crisp and easy to use interface - big fots that look great on the telly and lightning fast operation. Recording service works seperately from the main program so even if the front end crashes or program is not active it will still record. The on screen mini-epg OSD is inspired (the MP guys should look at this - such a great idea). And liked the way it displays recording now/next on the home page.

Bad:Kept recording audio out of sync and randomly throwing away channels from the epg. Not too many features 'out of the box' and some of the plugins are a little ropey.

MCE 2005
Good:Very snazzy and easy to configure. Easy to use. Probably the best 'complete' package.

Bad:Would randomly loose ALL channel information and lack of expandability/configuration options meant there was nothing much for me to play with :(

Media Portal
Good:Incredible feature set and fantastics plugins. Enough options to keep me tweaking for years! Great development and best support I have come across. Other than SS, this is the only app that has all the features and has never done 'stupid' things like throwing away channels/recordings, epg data etc. Great support for External Displays.

Bad: Small skin fonts are unreadable on the telly. The interface isn't quite as intuitive as it might be. The 'timeout' feature where the ZAPOsd automatically changes channels annoys the hell out of me!

I'm sticking with MP because it has all the things (and more) that I like and I can live with the things I don't. The development is strong and exciting and the community is great.....Oh, and it's free! I can't wait to see where MP will be in a couple of years.

Keep up the good work- for me this is the best app out there!


Actually, for the time being, until the feature-set matures a bit I'm sticking with SAGEtv, but it's latest version 3.0 is still in beta and they didn't provide a whole lot of nifty new features with it... and those that were good in the new release are mostly broken. But overall I think it's about the most stable, feature-rich app out there. They just tend to p!$$ me off on a regular basis with their seeming lack of caring about the community that supports them. There's been a promise of an API for tweaking and tuning the program for ages, but only a priviledged few actually posess it and it seems now that they probably aren't going to release it at all for the masses to use. And of course it uses that nasty, evil Java thing too. <shudders>.

The one main feature I'm missing in MP is an intelligent recording function like sage's feature of the same name, or tivo's suggestions. Another issue that has made me look the other way slightly is the lack of support for multiple recording locations. I *really* don't want to have to reconfigure my entire system to create a single virtual drive for MP to record to when Sage happily accepts any number of recording locations and then even load balances between them for me.

But I'm keeping a real close eye on MP and have downloaded the latest source to look at implementing a few features of my own if things don't move as fast as I'd like... And I can definitely see MP in my future some time... It's just a matter of when.


I started with SageTV and I have since installed and configured MP and must say I like it better. I'll just mention my SageTV experiences and you figure out why I made the move!

My SageTV experience
Multiple tuners, networked streaming, client and recorder options, good #of tv tuner integrated, nice active forum with very helpful users

1. Navigation of UI is terrible and hard to map to single step remote functions easily
2. Supports skins, but custom skin development is not open to public Hence, custom skins rely on a single developer to fix bugs and yes! there are tons of bugs. I did not find a single satisfactory skin EVEN close to MP's mce skin
3. Long product release cycles. They said 3.0 in spring, but just released public beta this summer.
4. Takes forever to change a channel
5. Setup screens are brutal, even 3.0. I prefer a regular Windows setup screen like MP and a more sexy UI for the media center screens separate.
6. Not very open to plugins. It has some, but they are no where near MCE and MP, which have very nice open frameworks for plugins.

Most of the GOOD listed above is already in MP. Also, I love Open Source. I am a Java architect and our current project is 90% OS! So, I trust in MP team to provide any missing links between SageTV and MP fast.


Portal Pro
January 24, 2005
Stavanger, Norway
I started with the first MCE relase, and used it for about one year before I upgraded to MCE2004, and then to MCE2005. The app has a outstanding GUI but thats all for me.
After that I started to use Meedio for some months, but I dident like that app at all.
So I tryed MP, an I was hooked :D Lots of functions, great GUI, ok stability for a beta, and so on...
I have no reasons to start using other programs!

But what makes MP the greatest is the community. Lots of nice and helpful peoples. Not the usual "search" and "google" posts.
And the devs are in top class. Not only for good coding, but also for helping, listening and comunicating with the rest of us :D

Keep up the good work!


Portal Member
May 30, 2005
Tried most software mention I have all movies/music stored on other pc's so i need software which is easy to configure or at least somwthing which is good enough to bear with

Best one Ive come across is called SesamTV Media

pretty much all good

good telly

took 5 mins before letting me choose any option after first running software
configureing adding network paths, fiddly

again good TV eps. the mini guide
pretty good all-round

Configuration bit fiddly again
TV navigation not as good as MP
Music No Visulization

but MP is still the best even with it's minor bugs, I do like this software and pretty soon it will be the best one available


I actually have gone back to MCE 2005 to be honest. I couldn't get my dual dvicos working for the life of me, and Xvids would continously and unstobbly skip. I am no HTPC slouch (been at it for years and build htem commercially)

I love Mediaportal, but I needed stability. Plus AC3 audio now works within MCE, ALso have bladerunner Pro which injects guide data through actual MCE interface automagically. Plenty to play with wqith comics, movie guide etc So I am not complaining to be honest.

PLus I have seen the xbox 360's interactivity with an mce computer and it is seemless and gorgeous

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom