Why 'Everything else is just a media center"


Retired Team Member
  • Premium Supporter
  • April 23, 2004
    Country flag

    ive been part of this community since 2004 and even before then when MP's found (frodo) was foriously working on the original xbmc and xbmp before that!
    its great to see all the functionality MP has and ESPECIALLY the plugin support which is simply incredible by using this media centre
    online videos including youtube with full functionality
    tv recordings, EPG, timeshifting, pausing live tv etc
    TV and movie cataloging
    and these wonderful forums always buzzing with help and more features to come

    ive tried so many media centre apps but nothing comes close to the all-in-one-edness that MP gives us .. and for free no less!

    i certainly aint goin anywhere else


    Portal Pro
    March 5, 2012
    I've read through all the post on this thread and there are a lot of "advanced" users!

    Why I use MP:
    1) MP is free.
    2) MP runs on Windows.
    3) MP actually works.
    4) MP is extensible. (So features are not limited to what the original design team thought of, this is to me what makes it a "portal")

    I started to use it because I could just install it on one of my old Windows XP boxes, and after adding the correct plugins, had access to all my series and movies by means of simple keyboard commands and as a bonus it keeps track of what I have watched. I work in front of a PC all day, so with MP I could free myself from the office chair and keyboard.

    I don't use it to watch TV because in South Africa the free-to-air channels are boring and full of ads, and paid Satellite is expensive and still you have to follow their viewing schedule.


    MP Donator
  • Premium Supporter
  • March 18, 2012
    Jacksonville, FL
    I am going to explain the history of how I made it to MediaPortal and why I appreciate it so much. Just so you know.. it may be a long one. If you get bored, feel free to skip to the next post ;)

    A little history:

    My quest for a HTPC started years ago by finding a 27" LCD tv on the side of the road. I hooked it up to my PC at thought, wow, this is awesome.. now if only I could use it for TV. Well, then I went out and got a RadioShack powered antenna and an AverMedia ATSC capture card. I started looking around for the software I wanted to use. I landed on BeyondTV at the time, which I purchased and used for years. It was OK, but then my desire to expand to things other than just live TV became too strong so I started using MCE in conjunction with BeyondTV. This *worked* but was kinda annoying to use since I had to use two separate applications. Then I wanted a nice way to organize movies and TV shows. I found "My Movies" for MCE, which again was decent except for TV series.

    At this point, I was using BeyondTV, Hulu, MCE with MyMovies, and Netflix. This was nice, except the following annoyances:
    • A lot of DVDs have enhanced region code checking. Since these are legit DVDs that was backed up to the PC for convenience sake, I was already annoyed by having to manually "repair" countless DVDs of this crap.
    • Storing videos in VIDEO_TS format was incredibly wasteful.. I want the main title, not gigs of useless extras that I *may* watch once and then never again. If I want to watch extras, I can get up and put the disc in for that.
    • Too much work needed to maintain my movie and TV series library manually in MyMovies
    • Too many separate applications needed to make the system work
    • MCE cannot be easily customized. There are ways to rig it and hack it, but nothing that is intuitive or reliable.
    • I loved the idea of my shows being organized by Series > Season > Episode, this included covers, fan art, synopsis, watched status, etc. I hate having to get up after every couple episodes and switching discs. Well roughly 4 of 5 TV series disks didn't work well with MyMovies/MCE. Either it would go straight to the menu instead of the episode when playing an episode, or it would play the wrong episode, or just give me errors and not play at all. Turns out that this is a bug in MCE itself - shocker.
    • Music in MCE was just lacking in numerous ways, so I didn't even have it pointed to my music library
    • MCE doesn't support a client/server TV environment so I had no choice but to use BeyondTV
    • BeyondTV is no longer being supported (and hasn't for years)
    • BeyondTV, MyMovies, and MCE are all commercial applications
    • Many more reasons....
    Moving on before I bore everyone to death. I first started looking for a way to make MCE stream TV to other clients - no luck. In this process I stumbled on MediaPortal. First impression was awesome. I am not a shallow person at all, but I will admit to just being amazed by the MP website from the start. When I saw how much effort was put into the website alone, I became excited to take the application for a spin. I downloaded MP 1.2.2 and installed it. I was amazed by how easy it was to install. I then started to configure.. took a couple days to get over the initial curve of learning the settings, but was well worth the effort. I then started looking for plugins. At this point, I have settled with the following setup:
    • MediaPortal 1.2.2
    • ForTheRecord BETA 6
    • MP-TVSeries
    • Moving Pictures
    • OnlineVideos
    This combination is perfect what what I wanted to do. ForTheRecord is only used for the web interface, the FTR android mobile app, and the advanced scheduling rules. I still use the MP TV Server.

    Reasons why MediaPortal isn't just a media center:
    1. Excellent community - helpful, friendly, intelligent
    2. Client/Server TV environment - no need to have a tuner in each computer, or to be forced to work with only 1 DVR
    3. Open Source - I would much rather choose to donate my money to an excellent, open source application than be forced to pay for a moderate commercial application that was written by people who likely don't even use the application.
    4. Highly customizable in every aspect
    5. Active development team who actually gives a crap - unlike many, many other projects.
    6. FAST! - Aside from the initial startup, which really isn't bad at all, navigation inside of MediaPortal is next to nothing in terms of performance.
    7. Capable of easily changing advanced settings - I love the configuration GUI
    8. Highly organized development team and processes
    9. And about 100 other reasons that I'm not thinking of right now.
    In summary, MediaPortal is by far the best "media center-ish" application I have ever used. I have tried MCE, BeyondTV, MythTV, XBMC, and quite a few others and none of them come close. MediaPortal combined with the outstanding plugins that are available is the perfect solution for all things HTPC and media related. And I am always amazed by the new tricks and features that I find the longer I use MediaPortal. Development team - keep up the extraordinary work that you folks are doing!


    ps. I hope I didn't lose too many people in that long post o_O


    MP Donator
  • Premium Supporter
  • January 12, 2009
    Three years of tinkering, swearing, being shouted at and riddiculed, bewilderment and utter utter frustration later, my Box finally, flawlessly, actually bloody works! As advertised. Even the misses can't find a problem with it.


    Thank you to the MP Team and especially, DJBlu and his fantastic, essential plugin (why isn't this plugin in the installer?) Offbyone and his OnlineVideos masterpiece and all the contributors, helpers and lost users who make this so much more than just another Media Center.

    The clincher that really made the difference to the set up was the addition of an SSD which really transformed the whole experience. It was like the difference adding a Hard Drive to my floppy based Amiga made in the 80's.

    Everyone GET ONE NOW!

    The other thing that made the difference was getting a universal remote. One controller. Doh! Why didn't I think of this before.

    I'm sure I'll break it again and soon but the point is I don't have to because it all works. Perfectly.

    Thank you all again.

    Last edited:


    Portal Member
    July 18, 2013
    Aalborg, Denmark
    Before MP I was running MythTV on a MythBuntu installation, but it started to crash and sometimes it didn't record what was set in the schedule, especially my wife's shows - fast and steadily decreasing the Wife Acceptance Factor. So I had to figure something out, and found MP. One of my main requirements for a HTPC with PVR is the possibility to take a recording out from the PVR, not to Youtube it, but to save a great show, without using space on the HTPC.

    It was very time consuming to get a fully working setup on MythBuntu, specially for my HDMI videocard (no sound), so I was looking for a Windows solution. And MP was very fast to install and setup, and sound worked right away.
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    Portal Pro
    June 7, 2010
    Quite simply it has changed the way we watch media in our house, we have it running in several rooms and we quite honestly couldn't live without it.

    I bought a HTPC 4 years ago and MP was pre installed, after messing with it for a while i was hooked.

    Family and friends who see it are always impressed with the way it looks and operates, and they can never believe it is free.

    I am at best an intermediate IT hobbyist and i have found it very frustrating at times to perfect the set up with the right plug ins and skins, and you have to be prepared for the regular upkeep, but personally i enjoy all of that, but the end result is incredible.

    My son tells his schoolfriends about it and he talks about MP as if it is the norm, all his friends ask "what is MediaPortal" to him it is part of our lives now and i couldn't imagine what it was like without it.

    Best parts for me are the flash skins and ease and speed of navigation, and of course the centralization of my media library.

    Long may it continue, and big thanks to the dev's for all the continued hard work.

    Best wishes

    Steve (NZ)
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