Yes, you read right. Attached to this news you will find the pre-release test version for MediaPortal 1.4.0. From the pre-release test version to the final version we are only doing bug-fixes. This means that in only about 2 months we will release 1.4.0 final!
You will be able to upgrade from the MP 1.4.0 pre-release test version to the MP 1.4.0 final version easily!
But how is this possible? No more annual (Christmas) final Releases?
The team has successfully transitioned to a new release process. We're calling the process a "train model".
The idea is to enable us to deliver the features you want faster by working to a more fixed schedule. That means no need to wait for our traditional Christmas releases. "Christmas" will come more often from now on!
Have a look here if you want to know more.
So what's in store?
You might think that because of the short development timeframe, the 1.4.0 release will be just a few small tweaks here and there. But thanks to the fantastic help from the community in Area 51, we think you'll be surprised!
HDMI half/fullscreen fix:
HDMI is THE connection these days. In 1.4.0 we have finally managed to fix the issue that plagued so many people in our community. MediaPortal no longer resizes into a small window when you use HDMI to connect your HTPC with a TV or AV receiver!
MediaPortal starts faster:
MediaPortal can take a fair amount of time to start. This release introduces a few changes which should reduce that startup time a bit.
Standby (S3) hibernation (S4) handling reworked:
MediaPortal's compatibility with Windows power saving features has been improved. Hopefully this will allow you to save some money from your power bill.
Compensate for Windows DPI settings different than 100%
Windows has a feature that enables you to increase the size of text (to make it easier to read). This version of MediaPortal works better than previous versions when that feature is enabled.
Video and TV-recordings thumbnails creation
Our thumbnail creator for videofiles has been worked on to make it more reliable.
We are also now able to create thumbnails for TV recordings on multiseat systems!
Picture thumbnail creation
MediaPortal 1.4.0 pre-release creates picture thumbnails more than 10x faster than MediaPortal 1.3.0.
The music player implementation has also been given an overhaul. WASAPI support has been added and the existing ASIO support has been cleaned up.
MediaPortal Audio Renderer
Based on your feedback, the MPAR which was first introduced in MediaPortal 1.3.0 has been refined and improved even further.
We know you love the native Blu-Ray support that was introduced in MediaPortal 1.3.0. We've made further improvements in this release.
The TV-Server has received numerous small fixes and enhancements such as the option to also import and export your tuner settings.
New logging framework
The new log4net logging has elements that can be configured, specifically the log file size and log rotation.
Full list of changes
You can review the complete change log for 1.4.0 by using the following links:
When introducing new features and reworking areas of MediaPortal, we try very hard to make sure that compatibility to previous versions of plugins and skins is maintained. However, sometimes this is not possible. In 1.4.0 we have a few changes which will render sins and some extensions incompatible.
Due to the changes introduced in 1.4.0, none of the old skins are compatible. However the changes are not that massive or numerous.
Skin Designers can find out about what needs to be changed in the 1.3.0 to 1.4.0 section of the Wiki.
Due to the changes introduced in 1.4.0, you will find some plugins reported as incompatible after the upgrade. Many plugin developers have already released 1.4.0 compatible versions.
But before you start testing the 1.4.0 pre-release, make sure that the plugins you are using are available in a compatible version.
Developers can find out what needs to be changed to become 1.4.0 compatible in the related wiki section.
WindowsXP support is about to end
A little over 4 years ago, Microsoft ended the mainstream support for Windows XP, and the extended support for developers and businesses is to end in less than a year.
Windows XP has served many of us well during the last 12 years. Most have already moved on to Windows 7 or even Windows 8 which both bring a lot of features and optimizations that especially HTPCs benefit from.
Since quite some time we are in a state where nearly no active team member has access to a Windows XP system for development or testing, which makes maintaining Windows XP support quite a challenge.
But the much bigger concern starts to be that ensuring Windows XP compatibility results in turning down reworks and new features our community would highly benefit from.
The reason for this is that these features and reworks require functions that are only available in later Windows versions, and the required extra work to maintain Windows XP compatibility would result in a lot of additional and duplicate code, making the changes very complex and error prone.
So we decided that in the interest of delivering our community the best Media Center on the Windows platform, the time has come to say "thank you, and goodbye" to Windows XP.
MediaPortal 1.4.0 will be the last version which supports Windows XP. Starting with 1.5.0 we will do some large scale cleanups in our code and start to include new features which will require that you run MediaPortal on Windows Vista or later.
Installation, Upgrade, Download and Feedback
When doing a clean installation of 1.4.0 pre-release there is nothing special to worry about.
Upgrading from 1.2.x, or 1.3.0 Alpha/Beta/RC/Final to 1.4.0 pre-release
All MediaPortal 1.2.x and 1.3.0 Alpha/Beta/RC/Final installations can be upgraded to 1.4.0 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 1.4.0 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 1.4.0 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, none of the 1.3.x skins are compatible with 1.4.0 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 1.4.0 pre-release
All MediaPortal installations starting with 1.1.0 RC1 can be upgraded to 1.4.0 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 1.4.0 pre-release! You must update your extensions after the upgrade!
So, please make sure that 1.4.0 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 its files are locked or the service can not be stopped.
For upgrades to 1.4.0 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 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!