Just in time for the holidays, we release the Beta Version of our new major release, MediaPortal 1.3.0!
A lot has changed since the release of MediaPortal 1.2.3. Too much to fit everything into one news. So we will focus on what has changed since the 1.3.0 Alpha release. If you want to find out what was added in the 1.3.0 Alpha release, head over to it's release news, or view all the changes in our wiki: What's New > 1.3.x
This Beta release adds several great new features as well as bug fixes tested by the community. The purpose is to allow you to test them so we can identify and fix any remaining problems before the final release of 1.3.0.
Please be aware that this is Beta Software - so expect it to have some problems and quirks. Make sure that you read the instructions at the end of this news regarding installation, upgrade and extension compatibility.
Now let's get to the changes!
Highlights of this release:
MediaPortal 1.3.0 Beta comes preloaded with three different skins to offer all users the perfect skin for their hardware:
- Titan - a new, enhanced skin designed for users with a 16:9 display and a native resolution of 1080p
- DefaultWide - a clean, beautiful skin designed for users with 16:9 display and a native resolution of 720p
- Default - a mirror of our DefaultWide skin for users with a 4:3 display and various native resolutions.
Our Default/Wide skins are designed for good performance even on systems that meet only the minimal hardware requirements.
As you can read in 'The Titan is coming' news, the highly anticipated "Titan" HD skin becomes the new face of MediaPortal! It is our first preinstalled skin supporting native 1080p resolution! We wish to thank Joostzilla and ncoH for their stunning work with this skin and their generosity in allowing us to provide it as part of MediaPortal.
ncoH did not stop there! In addition to the new skin selection option, the installer also offers you the choice to install 'Titan Extended'. This is a MediaPortal Extension which adds support for many community plugins, as well as a 'Titan Skin Updater' plugin.
Titan Skin Updater enables us to easily provide you with updates to the Titan skin - including bug fixes and support for new plugins - over the coming weeks and months.
Currently Titan Extended supports the following plugins:
- OnlineVideos, MovingPictures, MP-TvSeries, My Films, Fanart Handler, Latest Media Handler,Trakt, InfoService (for news feeds on Basic Home) and the Extensions plugin (to install, update and even configure plugins within MediaPortal).
These plugins can be installed via our MediaPortal Extensions Manager, the Extensions plugin within MediaPortal, or from the Downloads Repository on our website
There are a LOT of plugins available for MediaPortal (183 listed our Downloads Repository), many of which already support 1.3.0. So we are asking for your help to add support for these in Titan. You can use the new Titan Skin forum we created to collect feedback to share your skin files, or ask for help to get your plugin supported.
Long before Joostzilla and ncoH approached us to offer the Titan skin, catavolt, tgx and our Design Group, set out to dramatically enhance the "Default" (4x3) and "DefaultWide" (720p) skins based on your feedback. You may continue to choose and use our Default skins, and enjoy the many new features and awesome new design, while Titan reaches maturity.
If you find problems or have suggestions for further enhancements then please share these with us in the "Default skin feedback" forum.
Note: the new Default (4x3) skin requires changes for most plugins. Please be patient and wait for a new release if you use the 4x3 skin.
"Settings" inside MediaPortal
Configuring MediaPortal is a lot easier in 1.3.0 Beta!
Now you can configure almost all MediaPortal settings without leaving MediaPortal. Deda has dramatically enhanced the "Settings" section inside MediaPortal as you can see in our latest news: 'While you are waiting for 1.3.0 beta...'
Windows 8 Support
1.3.0 Beta adds preliminary support for Microsoft's new Windows 8 Operating System. When installing MediaPortal, you will receive a notification that your Operating System is not officially supported, but you can continue with the installation and use MediaPortal as well as the TV-Server. If you encounter issues, please create a bug report.
Our goal is to officially support Windows 8 in 1.3.0 final.
Note: There is no special support for the "Modern UI". If you are using Windows 7 there is no need to upgrade to Windows 8 just for MediaPortal.
Text file support in Videos
In addition to the amazing improvements to Videos in 1.3.0 Alpha, Deda has added support for text files in 1.3.0 Beta.
For scraping accuracy every video file can be accompanied by a simple text file which contains only the IMDBId number (e.g. tt1234567). If a scraper, such as IMDB, supports search by IMDBid, MediaPortal will use the IMDBId for accurate scraping.
More Skin Features
In addition to the Skin Themes and many other new skin features added in 1.3.0 Alpha, ajp8164 has provided support for even more features in 1.3.0 Beta. One example is Skin Functions, which allow skinners to provide even more custom options for you. We have a lot to look forward to when skins start implementing these new features. In fact, some of these features are already being used in our new Default and Titan skins!
TV Guide Genres and Colors
Based on your feedback, 1.3.0 Beta now allows you to configure genre names in TV-Server setup so they work for all clients too! You may still configure genre colors in TV Client setup differently for each client. You may even enable or disable the colored buttons or borders and the the display of the genre map in the new TV Settings within MediaPortal.
Sadly Last.fm has discontinued free access to their API, and as a result the Last.fm plugin is not available in 1.3.0 Beta. If possible we will re-enable it for 1.3.0 final, but it will be accessible to Last.fm subscribers only.
The AudioScrobbler plugin - to scrobble related tracks, from Last.fm, or or Love/Ban them - is still working.
Find out More
To learn more about the new features (for both 1.3.0 Alpha and Beta) and how to use them, see the What's New > 1.3.x section in our Wiki.
Lots and lots of bugs fixed as you can see in our Changelogs listed below.
Full list of changes
You can review the complete change log for 1.3.0 Beta by using the following links:
Compiled List of Skin and Plugin related changes
Community Skinners and Developers should have a look at the following pages to find out about the changes which will effect their extensions.
Some of these changes are mandatory to become 1.3.0 Beta compatible:
Installation, Upgrade, Download and Feedback
When doing a clean installation of 1.3.0 Beta there is nothing special to worry about.
Upgrading from 1.2.x, or 1.3.0 Alpha to 1.3.0 Beta
All MediaPortal 1.2.x and 1.3.0 Alpha installations can be upgraded to 1.3.0 Beta, without losing your settings.
If you are running MediaPortal 1.2.x, then it is possible that some of your already installed plugins will be shown as incompatible after the upgrade to 1.3.0 Beta! Whether or not a plugin is incompatible depends on the MediaPortal subsystems the plugin uses.
If you are running MediaPortal 1.3.0 Alpha, then all your plugins are compatible with 1.3.0 Beta.
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, none of the 1.2.x nor 1.3.0 Alpha skins are compatible with 1.3.0 Beta!
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 1.3.0 Beta
All MediaPortal installations starting with 1.1.0 RC1 can be upgraded to 1.3.0 Beta, 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 1.3.0 Beta! You must update your extensions after the upgrade!
So, please make sure that 1.3.0 Beta 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 its files are locked or the service can not be stopped.
For upgrades to 1.3.0 Beta we recommend 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 1.3.0 Beta 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, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!