"MediaPortal is a stellar example of how free, open source software can harness the power of the masses and deliver a powerful and productive application that offers the user a wide variety of choice...Offering the more flexible and customisable solution, MP is a seriously viable alternative to its Microsoft counterpart, and head-to-head I’d chose it..." - The Digital Lifestyle, March 09, 2009
Unlike many other Media Center programs, MediaPortal was designed especially for Microsoft Windows. Thus, the performance and playback quality is unsurpassed. No additional hardware or commercial software is required.
You can play any file that you can play in Windows. In Windows 7, codecs are included, and supported by MP out of the box. So you do not need to install anything to play all your files.
Hardware and Network
MediaPortal works on many different configurations. You don't need a fancy, expensive system. You can just connect your TV and sound system to your existing PC and be up and running in no time. Simply configure MediaPortal to display on your TV screen.
Use your mouse, a touch screen, keyboard or remote. Display either fullscreen or in windowed mode. It's your choice.
If you prefer, you can set up a separate Home Theatre PC (HTPC) to run MediaPortal, and even connect it to your existing network.
Or, you can configure an advanced network with MediaPortal on the server and as many 'client' PCs as you like. Network architecture is fully supported, so you can stream radio, music, video and live or recorded TV throughout your home.
Most common remotes are supported natively and you can easily configure them however you like. Or, configure MediaPortal to recognize your own remote. You can decide which keys you want to use for which actions.
IR Server Suite (IRSS) expands support to 28 more remotes, from iMON to Wii and MacMini. With IRSS you can create layers for your remote so one key can perform many functions. If you want to press the 'Green Button" and start MP, then use the built in Tray Launcher application. Or, use Translator to create macros for control of other devices, like your Blu-Ray player.
MediaPortal provides a variety of options to allow you to customize the interface yourself.
There are two Home Screens: Home and Basic Home. Both can be customized, but BasicHome allows even more flexibility in style and layout and is often used by community skins to support submenus, weather forecasts, RSS feeds and more all on the Home Screen.
Menus and Context Menus are available throughout MediaPortal to allow you to select and even configure options for the window you are viewing.
TV and PVR Support
MediaPortal offers you the most powerful TV Engine and PVR (Personal Video Recorder) available today. You can do everything a TiVO can do, and more, but for free.
There is no limit to the number of TV Cards you can use. A vast array of TV Cards are supported, including analog cards. With a single DVB/ATSC card you can watch and record more than one channel. Cards supporting BDA driver architecture require no configuration.
Over 30 languages are supported by MediaPortal. You don't need to install a separate version or a plugin, just select your language and away you go!
Plugins & Skins
MediaPortal was designed to be extended. There are hundreds of amazing plugins available to do almost anything you can imagine.
Skins are more than just themes. They not only change the look and feel of MediaPortal, but often the way you interact with it. There are dozens of skins available, you are sure to find one that suits your taste.
Plugins and Skins are fully and smoothly integrated into MediaPortal. They can be installed and updated using a common Extensions Installer, and configured using the standard interface.
Installation is very easy with our installer (Deploy Tool). It will check your system and prompt you if any required components are missing or need updating.
Configure all main features, plugins, and skins in a single, easy to use interface. The same interface is used to configure the TV Server and it's plugins. User files, log files and updates to plugins and skins have links for easy access right on the Configuration screen.
Diagnostics are built into MediaPortal - Watchdog will automatically capture log files whenever an error occurs. You can even choose the level of error reporting you wish.
The Debug-Mode shortcut, on the Windows Start Menu, automates the entire procedure, clearing previous logs, starting up MediaPortal collecting logs in debug mode when you exit and storing them in a zip file on your desktop for you to submit in the Forums.