Forum Posting Tips

The following best practice tips can make participating in the forums a more pleasurable and productive experience for everyone:
 

Context-sensitive forum post titles 
Good titles are just as important in forum posting as they are in email. Many people believe that the easiest way to get support is to scream "HELP" in all caps in a subject line. However, the MediaPortal forums and issues are very active.

Many MediaPortal members check the new posts page and scan the titles. They prioritize how they may use their limited time by offering support where they feel they can provide direct assistance. So a post like "Getting error X watching live TV" or "Help with Home Theatre PC (HTPC) design" is more likely to attract someone who can assist with your problem.

Ignore flames and rude tones 
MediaPortal is a large international community. Since many members are not native English speakers, realize that a brusque tone may be a result of language differences and should not be immediately interpreted as rude. Regardless, if you feel like another user has flamed you, the best response is to ignore the offense and continue working toward discussing productive solutions.

 

Detailed specifics 
Often, before someone may be able to assist you, they will need to know the MediaPortal version number, the hosting environment, the specific error generated, and other information. Vague support requests just end up requiring a volley of question and answer, lengthening the time it takes to resolve an issue.

You get more bees with honey than with vinegar 
While it is very easy to become frustrated when grappling with a problem, remember that MediaPortal community members donate their time in offering support. People are more likely to respond to posts which ask nicely for assistance over those that demand it or complain. Politeness can make a difference.

With volunteer support, not everyone gets a response
If your post has gone unanswered, perhaps no one who has read your post has the solution to your problem. You might also consider whether the title for the post is specific enough.

If you feel support response could be better in our user forums, please donate some of your time to answering support questions. In a volunteer effort, the only way to improve support is for everyone to participate.

Documentation: Share Your Knowledge

The MediaPortal documentation is a collaborative project, where anyone can contribute straight from their webbrowser. No downloads or installs are needed.

Iif you are a valid MediaPortal forum user you can contribute to the Wiki. You must have entered at least five forum posts and have been a user for at least ten days. You may login to the wiki using the same user name and password you use for our website and forum.

What to contribute?

Are you an expert in a feature?  Have you discovered a unique way to use MediaPortal?  Why not write a step by step tutorial with nice screenshots to share your knowledge with others?

Any good answers you find, or write, in the user forums should be added to the Wiki. First Search to see if it alredy exists, and to find the best location to add it.  

How to contribute?

For help on contributing to our Wiki and following our documentation standards, please read our:

You may also check our ToDo Lists to find any pages that need work:

If you find any incomplete or out of date pages, you may add a comment to the wiki page, or  post a link to the relevant page(s) in our Wiki Feedback Forum.

 

Home Theater Solutions

What is the biggest problem for someone, who is building their first Home Theatre Solution? Which hardware should I buy? You can help new users by contributing to:

Then show off the results in our

Glossary

Many new users are unfamiliar with the terminology used in MediaPortal, and media centers in general.

You may help by expanding, clarifying or adding definitions of terms to our Glossary, which are lnked throughout the wiki whenever these terms are used.

Notifications of Changes

Whenever you contribute to a page, or simply find it useful, you many use the Notifications feature to receive emails of any changes made to the page.

Wiki sandbox

Click the 'My Page' wiki menu item to open your own wiki user page. There you may add new pages and experiment with the wiki features, or even develop drafts to later move to the main wiki.

 

Documentation: Use the Wiki!

Start with the Manual - everyone says it, hardly anyone one does it!

Our Wiki really should be your first stop. It provides all the assistance you require to install and configure MediaPortal to meet your needs.

Even if you are building your first HTPC, our Wiki has valuable information and reference material to assist you, contributed by our expert users over the years.

Wiki Manual

If you are looking for support information, consult the Wiki Index.  It provides essential data on installing, configuring and using MediaPortal.

Numerous User Guides provide more detailed 'how to' information plus tips and tricks for setting up particular features. 

 Wiki Home

If you are setting up your first HTPC, be sure to check out the hardware selection guides and reviews.

You may also find Country Specific information to tailor MediaPortal for your country or region, such as TV Tuning Details, Channel Logos, Electronic Program Guide (EPG) data for your TV Guide, sources of local weather images and more.

 Notification of changes

Whenever you find a wiki page or section useful, you many use the Notifications feature at the top right of the page:

Notifications

to receive emails of any changes made to the page.

Your personal user page

Select 'My Page' from the Wiki menu and click on the My Page tab to enter some interesting content about yourself, your skils and how you use MediaPortal.

 

Search the Wiki

Our new MediaPortal Wiki uses MindTouch, which incorporates Lucene, a powerful and flexible search engine.

Just enter your search term(s) in the search box.  Wildcard, boolean and phrase searching is fully supported.

Wiki_Search

You may use the drop down box to limit your search to Main Pages (default), sub pages of the current page, or select 'All pages'.

You can search using many advanced search techniques. See  Wiki Help > Search Wiki.

Enter your preferences

Select Tools > My Preferences from the Wiki menu to enter your email address and time zone.

What's New

If you are trying out our latest alpha, beta or RC releases, or just interested in the upcoming features, check out the What's New section of the wiki!

Wiki Errors

If you find any missing or inaccurate data, you can correct it, mark it for update, or  add a comment to the page if you are logged into the wiki.

Report any errors or broken links, or request new wiki features in our Website/Forum/Wiki Feedback forum.

Forum: Get Expert Advice

If you are stuck and need help, the Forum is the best place to browse for answers and ask for help. Thousands of experienced users are ready, able and eager to help you. Our Team members and developers often jump in to help too!

Make sure you register as a forum user and enter all your details in the User Control Panel (User CP), especially your system specifications.

Search

Chances are your question has been asked before and answered already, so make sure to search first and get an answer right away!

Follow these Tips

A meaningful title for your new thread will drastically increase the number of views and therefore increase the chance for a quick and applicable answer.

Learning how to submit a bug report and posting it in the correct sub forum will most definitely be to your advantage.

Most of all, be polite, otherwise the answers will not be those you are expecting. That is just human nature - it is much more inspiring to help a friendly co-user than a rude or angry one!

Submit Logs

If you run into a problem and wish to get support, MediaPortal includes a Start Menu Shortcut for De-Bug mode.  This shortcut will run our diagnostics program for you and produce a zip file of all relevant logs on your desktop.

Even if there are no errors noticeable in the logs, they may contain other useful clues for the trained eye. The exact SVN revision you are using, your operating system, file locations, active plugins, and much more that can shed some light. Thus, you should always submit these logs when requesting support.

Do not copy and paste your logfiles (or large parts of them) in your post.

Use the Correct Sub Forum

Our user Forum and many sub-forums are quite extensive. Posting or searching in the correct sub-forum can help you find the assistance or information you require.

  • General Forums - for newcomer questions, feedback on News/Team Blogs, website, talk about other HTPC software and off topic discussions.

  • MediaPortal 1 - for questions, problems and bug reports for  the current release including the default Blue3 skin.

    Extensions subforum - for support on all MediaPortal extensions. Check out the upcoming skins and plugins in development.  Popular and maintained skins or plugins are highlighted with their own sub forums.

  • Development for patch submissions, bug reports on test releases plugin development questions and improvement suggestions

  • HTPC Hard/Software - for  software such as Operating System issues, codecs, tools; all kinds of hardware; and ongoing or completed HTPC projects.

  • Language specific support - users who speak German, French and Dutch may also post in their native language in the Language Specific Forums.

Support: Need Help?

Whether you are new to MediaPortal or looking to tweak and extend it to meet your needs, chances are you will need some help sometime. There are so many ways to configure and use MediaPortal, the more you learn the more you can do.  There are a number of options to get help, however, the better information you provide, the better help you will get.

Not many software applications give you direct access to the developers like we do, both in our Forums and on IRC.  Please, use their time wisely, we want them to keep busy fixing bugs and adding all the features we have requested.

General Information

If you are a new user, or wish to use a new feature, consult the manual to learn how to install, configure and use MediaPortal correctly.

The Wiki also includes valuable information to assist you in building your HTPC, selecting hardware, localizing MediaPortal for your region, and much more.

Expert Advice

If you cannot find the information you need in our Wiki, sign up for our user forums to get expert advice from thousands of expert users as well as our Team members and developers.

Enter your System Specs

Every new user should create a user profile in the User Control Panel (CP) in our Forums.

Please enter your system specifications and keep them up to date! This is essential information for anyone trying to answer your question(s).  You will not likely get any good support without it.

Talk to the Team
To chat directly with the Team or other users, join #mediaportal on the Freenode IRC network (irc.freenode.net). You can also use our WebIRC.

Troubleshooting

Before you post a request for support, or a bug report, you should:

Review your System Requirements

Make sure that your system (windows, codecs and drivers) is up to date and matches the requirements.

Check for Known Problems/Solutions
Test
  • Disable or uninstall plugins
  • Use the default Blue3[wide] skin
  • Use the Debug Shortcut to collect log files
Start a Support or Bug Report Thread

Note, if you have already entered your system specs they will appear automatically in your post.

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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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The team works very hard to make sure the community is running the best HTPC-software. We give away MediaPortal for free but hosting and software is not for us.

Care to support our work with a few bucks? We'd really appreciate it!