New Default Skin, CableCARD™ Support, MP2 News... and more!

A Taste of Things to Come #2


Well howdy, folks! We here at MediaPortal have been getting quite a lot of feedback from everyone, and have found that 3 questions keep being asked:

  1. Why not a new default skin for MP? The old one is a bit outdated and you have some awesome skinners on the team.
  2. Why is getting your non DRM digital cable content into MediaPortal so hard? Specially if you live in the U.S. as Set-Top-Boxes make it even harder.
  3. What is the hype with MP2? Why is better? What is it going to look like?

Okay.. some of those were multiple questions, but I went to school for A,B,C.. not 1, 2, 3! Keeping that in mind, we would like everyone to know that all of these issues are not only actively being corrected, but we are very close to finish righting these wrongs. Allow me to explain...

New Default Skin for MediaPortal 1.3 Beta

MediaPortal's design group has kicked things into a higher gear with an entirely new default skin. The new skin engine features of MP 1.3 has allowed our developers to push the envelope, offering more to our users. We thought it unfair to make the default skin full HD (at 1080p) as we need to consider our 720p users, so the default skin resolution is set to 1280x720. Here is a breakdown of all the new changes:

  •     New blue standard BG (Tgx)
  •     New standard overlay to darken fanart (Tgx)
  •     New structured screen layout for all screens (following a draft of Tgx)
  •     New GFX for buttons (incl. topbar and OSDs), menus, overlays
  •     Full topbar on Classic Home/Plugins
  •     New OSDs
  •     New media logos
  •     New designed NowPlaying infos (nearly all screens, BasicHome, Classic Home/Plugins)
  •     Video Fanart on BasicHome (to be toggled on/off via GUI settings)
  •     Music NowPlaying fanart on BasicHome and Classic Home/Plugins
  •     Theme BGs on BasicHome and Classic Home/Plugins (to be toggled on/off via GUI settings or action menu in BasicHome)
  •     Latest Added Media shown on BasicHome (to be toggled on/off via GUI settings)
  •     Submenus on BasicHome
  •     New font (Roboto) to have a full character set (THX to DieBagger for his info in Titan thread)
  •     New means of displaying watched count and watched percentage for MyVideos giving more space in MyVideos list (THX to i-loop for providing GFX and testing)
  •     Better layout of settings screens
  •     and much more ;)

Now I know what you are thinking: "How can those U.S. freaks eat peanut butter & jelly sandwiches"? And I dont have an answer... it's nasty. But I can tell you that this skin is AWESOME!!! I bet you would like to see some screenshots too, huh? Well allow me to accommodate your wishes:

As you can see it looks completely different and truly brings out the best of MediaPortal. Now lets give these designers a hand!!! They worked real hard. You should have seen the offices here at MediaPortal when they were done... it looked like Jones Town - The Morning After... crumpled bodies on the floor... EVERYWHERE!

Okay... wait!!! This says I am to ACTUALLY write about MP's CableCARD™ support. I thought this was a joke... they can't be serious!!! (More proof that I don't write all the jokes myself) But NO! The devs ARE SERIOUS!

Introducing CableCARD™ support for MediaPortal

Now that many of you are through dry humping the nearest flat surface, let me burst your bubble a little bit. This is a WIP (Work-In-Progress), but the key word here is "Work"; so let me break down what that word means in this context. It does work, just not 100%, and there is a chance that it still might not do what you are wanting. One thing everyone must keep in mind at all times: There is absolutely no way that MediaPortal can acquire a DRM license. Not going to happen. Sure there are, most likely, ways around this, but THAT is not what we do. What our "tuner pro" devs have done is get in contact with some of the manufactures of devices that use CableCARD™s and found ways to make the tuner pass all non-DRM content to MediaPortal.

Allow me to use the US as an example, as I know it best. ESPN, MTV, Discovery, TBS, TNT, Food... yes, yes, yes. ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX... yes, yes, yes. HBO, Show, Cine, Encore... NO, NO, NO! Not even if you subscribe to them. Not even if you OWN those networks. The answer is: NO! Now to be fair, carriers (cable provider) do not have to follow that. They can mark everything DRM if they wish. But not any I know of do. They most all follow that pattern.

If you want to read more, try it out or become and official device tester... click here.

New MP2 Activity

Most of you might have noticed already, a new MP teaser feature the new video backgrounds!


Awesome stuff. But keep an eye out as there is another video coming soon showing features such as PiP, animated fanart, news and much much more. That's right. I said it. News. The MP2 devs have put together an awesome news plugin! I guess there is nothing else to really tell you about MP2...


A NEW RELASE IS COMING SOON! Yup, a new build (MP2 Autumn Build) is right around the corner. Bringing with it all the goodies you have been hearing about.

WHAT did you just say to me? No need to translate. MP2 has Transifex on it's side now! So far we have 30 language teams, 18 have already reached a completion of 80%. We already host a few community plugins, which means the Team MediaPortal language teams are shared between all those projects. Read more here

Well, my friends. I hope you have found this info helpful and hope that this gets you excited about the work we have been doing here.

Next on The Late, Late Show: Craig Ferguson looks to find out why Lyfesaver is so damn weird...

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About The Project

The vision of the MediaPortal project is to create a free open source media centre application, which supports all advanced media centre functions, and is accessible to all Windows users.

In reaching this goal we are working every day to make sure our software is one of the best.


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