MediaPortal 1.5.0 Pre-Release
Attached to this news you will find the pre-release version of MediaPortal 1.5.0. Pre-releases are provided as a way for the community to test and give feedback on all the exciting things we have lined up for the next release. We allocate about one month for pre-release testing. In that time we only do bug fixes... and then comes the final release!
So what's in store?
In previous releases PowerScheduler was installed during the MediaPortal installation and PowerScheduler++ could be installed as an extension. With MediaPortal 1.5 we've integrated the PowerScheduler++ functionality into MediaPortal. This change should make configuration easier (Plug&Play) and provides lots of new features like scheduled system reboot, configurable away mode and more options for remote clients.
Improved IPTV Support
Today most of us receive our TV via terrestrial, cable or satellite transmissions. However, the global increase in stability and speed of the internet over the past few years is making it possible for more and more internet service providers to offer television services which you can receive via your internet connection.
MediaPortal has been able to receive so-called IPTV for about 4 years. In order to keep up-to-date with the newest IPTV transmission techniques, we've overhauled our IPTV support to ensure MediaPortal 1.5 is capable of meeting your IPTV needs now and well into the future.
CableCARD™ Tuner Support
If you live in America, are passionate about HTPCs, and haven't heard about CableCARD... chances are you've been living under a rock for the past few years!
For those of us living in other parts of the world who have no idea what a CableCARD is: maybe you're familiar with using CAMs and CI slots to receive encrypted channels from your TV provider? Well, a CableCARD is similar to a CAM.
Up until a couple of years ago if you wanted to use an HTPC to receive encrypted cable TV in America the only option was a complicated and sometimes temperamental IR blaster setup. CableCARD has finally given Americans (and some Canadians) the ability to easily use their HTPC to receive encrypted cable TV.
With MediaPortal 1.5 we've added support for CableCARD tuners... with one caveat.
Some channels or programs may not be receivable due to digital rights management (DRM) restrictions on the content. Exactly which channels are available varies between cable providers. Generally speaking, premium and "subsciption" channels such as HBO, Showtime, PPV and XXX will not be receivable... but other channels like TBS, FX, TNT, USA, ESPN, NFL, MLB, Fox Sports are usually no problem. For people who are savvy with technical jargon, that means you'll be able to receive "copy freely" content.
ViewModeSwitcher Plugin Enhancements
A major update of this plugin to fix some long-standing problems, improve the performance and add continuous Black-Bar detection/removal capability.
ViewModeSwitcher enables automatic changing of the zoom mode/aspect ratio selection and can optionally perform continuous or one-shot 'Black Bar' removal, for both TV and video playback. It provides similar functionality to the Intelligent Frame Correction plugin.
Improved Video & TV Recording Thumbnails
With MediaPortal 1.5 we've added an option to change the time offset for thumbnails. Furthermore, if you use composite thumbnails (e.g. 2x2 tiles) the time between the thumbnail parts will be calculated automatically from the video duration. This means no more useless thumbnails!
Full list of changes
Aside from the main features listed above there are also many other smaller enhancements and bug fixes in this release. A big thanks goes out to all our developers who have carried on working on MediaPortal even in the European summer when there are so many other things they could do with their time.
You can review the complete change log for MP 1.5.0 pre-release at the following link:
Documentation of new features can be found at the following link:
There are no changes in MediaPortal 1.5.0 pre-release that will break compatibility with skins or extensions. Every plugin and skin which worked in MP 1.4.0 will also work in MP 1.5.0 pre-release.
Windows XP support ends - Support for Windows 8.1 preview added
In this release, Windows XP is no longer supported. When you install MediaPortal on Windows XP you will get a warning that the OS is unsupported. However, as far as we know everything still works (and we even put in a couple of XP-specific fixes) so there is no need to panic. Moving forward, in the interest of further improving MediaPortal we will start a long process of cleaning up the code base. This will involve updating the system requirements to the point where maintaining any semblance of Windows XP compatibility will be simply impossible. So, if you are using MediaPortal and Windows XP, this is a good time to think about upgrading to a more modern OS.
Installation, Upgrade, Download and Feedback
When doing a clean installation of 1.5.0 pre-release there is nothing special to worry about.
Upgrading from 1.2.x, 1.3.0 Alpha/Beta/RC/Final or 1.4.0 to 1.5.0 pre-release
All MediaPortal 1.2.x, 1.3.0 Alpha/Beta/RC/Final and 1.4.0 installations can be upgraded to 1.5.0 pre-release, without losing your settings.
If you are running MediaPortal 1.3.x, then it is possible that some of your previously installed plugins will be shown as incompatible after the upgrade to 1.5.0 pre-release! Whether or not a plugin is incompatible depends on the MediaPortal subsystems the plugin uses.
If you are running earlier versions of MediaPortal, it is likely that none of your plugins are compatible with 1.5.0 pre-release.
If a plugin provides skin files for MediaPortal's Default skin, then the author should also check the Skin related changes.
Warning! Due to the new features and changes introduced in 1.4.0, none of the 1.3.x skins are compatible with 1.5.0 pre-release!
Please contact the author of the skin you use for further information and updates.
The easiest way to upgrade your extensions is by launching the MediaPortal Extension Installer, and let it check for updated versions. However this only works for extensions that use our MPEI system. If the author of the extension releases it as a stand alone installer, you must contact them for an updated version.
Upgrading from 1.2.0 Alpha or earlier to 1.5.0 pre-release
All MediaPortal installations starting with 1.1.0 RC1 can be upgraded to 1.5.0 pre-release, without losing your settings.
If you are running MediaPortal 1.2.0 Alpha or earlier, then none of your extensions (plugins and skins) will work after the upgrade to 1.5.0 pre-release! You must update your extensions after the upgrade!
So, please make sure that 1.5.0 pre-release compatible versions of your extensions are available before you start the upgrade!
General note about Upgrades
Manually stop TV-Service!
On some systems our installer is not able to update the TV-Server installation because files are locked or the service can not be stopped.
For upgrades to 1.5.0 pre-release we recommend that you manually stop the TV-Service and make sure, via Windows Task Manager (enable the "all users" option), that the TvService.exe process is really gone before starting to upgrade.
Custom TV-Service properties
If you manually changed the properties of the TV-Service (like restart on error options), then you must redo these changes after the upgrade. The installer is not able to save and restore your custom service properties when it installs the new version of the TV-Service.
If you think you found a bug then please post a detailed report in our 1.5.0 Pre Bug Reports Forum.
Make sure your report includes all the required information. Incomplete reports will be removed to keep the forum clean.
Finally - the download. We hope that you took the time to read this release news entirely because it includes vital information about the major changes.
If you would like to support MediaPortal, we would be happy to receive a small donation!
The Team wishes you a lot of fun with this new release!