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Table of Contents

Overview

A step-by-step guide to setup the TV-Server: tune and group your TV and Radio Channels and Groups; setup Recording and Time-shifting folders.

Goal

After completing this tutorial you will have configured all the main TV-Server settings to scan and organize your TV and Radio Channels, setup time-shifting and recording folders and options.  Then you will be ready to setup the client software either on the same PC and/or on each client connected to your TV-Server.

TV-Server Setup

To setup the TV-Server you must use the TV-Server Configuration Tool. Only some TV-Client settings can be selected or changed using Settings within MediaPortal.

Starting Setup

!TV Setup^TVServerConfigShortcut.png!Double click on the TV Server Configuration shortcut located on your desktop (this will load the tool used for setting up the server-side software), or use the Windows Start Menu Shortcut

When starting the configuration for the first time (i.e. brand new install, new OS, or after a full products clean up) you are asked for the database password which you chose during the installation (default is MediaPortal - case sensitive). Enter it and click Yes in the next popup to start the TV service

Introduction

Most of the menus within the TV-Server Configuration are self explanatory, but a little bit of introduction is needed to the second menu in the list: TV Servers. This menu is where all your tuners are configured and where you scan your channels. 

If you expand the menu TV Servers by clicking on the + symbol you will find a single sub menu which is named the same as the network name of your particular PC (referred to as 'Your Server' in this guide to avoid confusion). Click on the + symbol again to display all the tuners you have installed in your PC. This guide refers to these as:

  • DVB-C/C2_Tuner_N - for a cable tuner
  • DVB-T/T2_Tuner_N - for a terrestrial tuner
  • DVB-S/S2_Tuner_N - for a satellite tuner

where N is number of tuners of the particular type you have fitted.

Depending on your tuner drivers, you may see more tuners than you actually have, e.g. if the driver supports different types of DVB tuners.  If you see tuners here that you don't have (e.g. DVB-S when you have DVB-C), just untick the corresponding boxes to prevent confusion.

If you are using a Common Interface (CI) Conditional Access module (CAM) to access coded channels, select each tuner which uses a CAM, click the edit button and tick the box to enable the CAM under CAM Setup in the Edit card properties dialog box which appears.  This is usually sufficient, but check the other options in the dialog to see if any apply.  For further details see Configuration > TV-Server Configuration >TV_Servers.

Note: The reason why 'Your Server' is listed is because the original design for MP was intended to allow multiple servers to work together. However this was never successfully achieved and so this menu layout is a legacy of this intent. It will be possible to do this with MP2 in the future though!

Tuner Priorities

MP will completely manage all of your tuners and allow you to prioritize the way that you use them. This prioritization can be adapted to your individual preferences. You may prioritize the tuner that changes channel the quickest, or you may only have one tuner that will play HD (in which case you might want to set this as the lowest priority so it is always free for HD recordings). If you don't have any strong views or requirements, then just use the default settings.

If you make changes to your tuner priority then the TV Service needs to restart. Therefore you should make sure that no clients or recordings are active before making changes.

To change your tuner priorities click on TV Servers > Your Server. Click once on the tuner to change, then use the Up/Down buttons to move it up and down the list.

Note: Priority 1 is the LOWEST priority
  Related Analog scanning is not covered explicitly in this guide but follows the same basic principles. See Scan Analog for details.   For IPTV See Scan DVB-IP.

Scanning Channels

This section is broken into sections, firstly for DVB-S/S2 scanning, secondly for DVB-T/T2 scanning and lastly for DVB-C/C2 scanning. 

Note: MP will allow more than one tuner of any type to run a channel scan at the same, so you do not have to wait for one tuner to finish scanning before you start with the next scan.

DVB-S/S2

The DVB-S/S2 tuning section allows tuning with diseqc, however this guide does not currently address this functional capability.

Important Note: UK DVB-S/S2 transmissions do not allow detection of channels that are off air at the time of scanning. Therefore, to get a full complement of channels you will generally need to run a scan during the daytime (for CBBC & CITV etc), and then another scan after 19:00 hrs (for BBC3 & BBC4 etc). 

  1. Click on the menu TV Servers > Your Server > DVB-S/S2_Tuner_1
  2. Put a tick in the #1 option
  3. Change the Satellite drop-down list to 28.2°E Astra (this is the UK Freesat satellite - if not using this satellite then select your desired one)
  4. If you have more than one type of TV source (other tuner or IPTV), put a tick in the Create Groups For: Digital Satellite option.
  5. If the card you are tuning is a DVB-S2 card, then put a tick in the Enable DVB-S2 Channel Tuning/Scanning option.
  6. Put a tick in the Enable Channel Movement Detection option
  7. Click on the Update Satellite List button (this will download the latest tuning details for your chosen satellite)
  8. Click on the Scan for Channels button to start the scan
  9. When the scan is complete, the progress bar will show 100% and MP will report a list of the new/updated TV and radio channels detected during the scan
  10. Repeat the above process as necessary for each of your DVB-S/S2 tuners

DVB-T/T2

  1. Click on the menu TV Servers > Your Server > DVB-T/T2_Tuner_1
  2. Using the drop-down list, select your country
  3. Using the drop-down list, select your region (if you live in the UK and don't know your region, then enter your postcode into this website and find your local transmitter).
  4. If you have more than one type of TV source (other tuner or IPTV), put a tick in the Create Digital Terrestrial Group option
  5. Put a tick in the Enable Channel Movement Detection option
  6. Click on the Scan for Channels button
  7. When the scan is complete, the progress bar will show 100% and MP will report a list of the new/updated TV and radio channels detected during the scan
  8. Repeat the above process as necessary for each of your DVB-T/T2 tuners

DVB-C/C2

  1. Click on the menu TV Servers > Your Server > DVB-C/C2_Tuner_1
  2. Using the drop-down list, select your country
  3. Using the drop-down list, select your scan parameters or cable provider.
  4. If you have more than one type of TV source (other tuner or IPTV), put a tick in the Create Digital Cable Group option
  5. Put a tick in the Enable Channel Movement Detection option
  6. Click on the Scan for Channels button
  7. When the scan is complete, the progress bar will show 100% and MP will report a list of the new/updated TV and radio channels detected during the scan
  8. Repeat the above process as necessary for each of your DVB-C/C2 tuners

Organizing TV Channels

Now that your tuning is complete, you can click on the menu TV Channels and you will see a screen with a number of tabs along the top (e.g. Channels, All Channels, Digital Cable, Digital Satellite, Digital Terrestrial - depending on which tuners you have installed, and which group creation options you selected before scanning).

Each channel has a red or green symbol next to it. Green means that it is free-to-air, and red means that it is encrypted.

Combining Channels 

f you have multiple TV tuners of the same type, using the same provider (i.e. more than one DVB-S/S2 tuner tuned to 28.2E), the channels are automatically combined for you. 

However,If you have multiple TV tuners of different types, you may end up with a large number of common or duplicate channels. For example, in the UK both Freesat (DVB-S/S2) and Freeview (DVB-T/T2) offer the same channels.

Before you start arranging your TV channels, you should group these common channels into a single combined channel. By doing this, you will only see a single instance of each channel in your EPG (which will look much better). Once you have done this, MP will use the Tuner Priorities you set above to select which tuner to use when requested.

It is easier to combine the channels on the tuner which has the fewest channels with the tuner that has more.  For example, In the UK, there are far fewer channels on DVB-T/T2 than on DVB-S/S2, so it is much easier to combine channels by going through each DVB-T/T2 channel in turn and finding its matching DVB-S/S2 counterpart than vice versa. Follow these steps to combine your channels:

  1. Click on the menu TV Channels > Combinations
  2. Use the drop-down Card: list to select one of your DVB-T/T2 tuners (you should be shown a list of channels available from your DVB-T/T2 tuner on the left hand window)
  3. Starting from the top of the list, click on a channel on the left hand window. MP will then scan the DVB-S/S2 channel list for a matching channel name and provide the results in the right hand window (note: the channel naming convention from different suppliers may vary (i.e. BBC THREE vs. BBC3), therefore the channel matching may not also be perfect and some searching may be required)
  4. When you have identified the matching channel, click on the corresponding Rank number on the right hand window to highlight the matching channel
  5. Click on the Combine button
  6. Repeat the above process for all the channels you wish to combine.

Favorites Channel Group

Now that you have your multiple providers sorted, you can setup a Favorites Channel Group to display only the channels you want in your TV guide (rather thanl 900 odd channels!). Follow the instructions below to set up a Favorites group of channels. However, the group name can be whatever you like (and you can set up more than one group if you wish, e.g. Sports, Music, News and Entertainment)

The following instructions assume that you have both DVB-S/S2 and DVB-T/T2 tuners installed on your system, but if you only have one type of tuner the basic instructions still apply.

  1. Click on the menu *TV Channels *to view all your channels
  2. Click on the Digital Terrestrial tab to show the Digital Terrestrial channel group (this is the list of channels for your DVB-T/T2 tuners).
  3. Right click on the first channel in the list that you wish to copy into your Favorites group
  4. Left click on the mouse pointer menu item Copy to group (note: hovering the mouse over Copy to group will show you the list of available groups, but since you want to create a new group make sure you click on the Copy to group) option itself)
  5. A data entry box will be shown, in which you need to type in the name of your new group and click OK (in our example this will be favorites (without the quotes))
  6. You will now have created a new group, however this group will not show as a tab along the top of the menu until you refresh the GUI. To do this, you need to click on any other menu, and then reselect the menu TV Channels
  7. If you now click on the Favorites tab, you will see that it is populated by just one channel (the one you just copied there).
  8. Move back to the Digital Terrestrial tab and then whilst holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard, select all of the channels you want to copy to your Favorites group (best to do this in batches of 10 or so channels at a time) and then right click on one of the highlighted channels, then hover the mouse over Copy to group and then click on the Favorites group.
  9. Repeat this until you have got all the desired channels copied into your Favorites group
  10. The next step is to click on the Digital Satellite group tab and select any of the channels that you have not already copied from the Digital Terrestrial group, into your Favorites group (remembering that you have already combined any duplicate channels (See the Combining Common Channels From Different Service Providers section above), so you should only aim to have one of any channel in your Favorites group
  11. Now that you have all your preferred channels copied into your Favorites group, you can sort the channel order to put them in sensible order within the Favorites group itself. To do this, click on the Favorites group tab, and then select each channel in-turn and click on the up or down arrow (or drag and drop the channel into the correct place using the mouse)
  12. Finally, when MP displays your EPG it will always show the first channel group as default. Therefore, if you want MP to always default to your Favorites group, you need to move it to be the first group in the list. To do this, left click and hold on the Favorites tab and then drag it until it appears between the groups Channels and All Channels (you should now have the tabs in the following sequence: Channels, Favorites, All Channels, Digital Satellite, Digital Terrestrial)

Since there are multiple methods of assigning EPG data to your channels, this is covered in Advanced Configuration >  [ |3 TV EPG Setup (Electronic Program Guide)]TV Guide Setup - EPG

Organizing Radio Channels

You can organize your radio channels exactly as you organize your TV channels - see the Organizing TV Channels section above.

Recording Folders

As discussed earlier in the guide, ideally want to set up your system so that your TV recordings are stored on a partition other than the one where your operating system is stored so your system does not grind to a halt if you fill up the hard drive.

Here is how to configure a common folder (other than the default installation value) for recordings from all of your tuners:

To change your recording destination:

  1. Select the menu Recording and then select the Folders tab.
  2. Click on the Browse button, select your chosen destination and click OK.
  3. Now click on the Same recording folder for all cards button.

MP will also allow you to store the recordings from each of your tuners in different locations.  See Configuration > TV-Server Configuration > Recording for more details.

By default, the time-shift folder is set to your C drive, so that should not need changing, unless:

  1. You are using an SSD and don't want to write to it all the time.
  2. You have extra memory configured as a RAM drive, which is an excellent place for a time-shift buffer.

For a detailed explanation of all of the available recording options, see Configuration > TV-Server Configuration > Recording.

Time-shift Folders

To change the location where MediaPortal stores the time-shift data (e.g because you don't want it read/writing to an SSD all the time):

  1. Select the menu Timeshifting
  2. Select the Folders tab
  3. Click on the Browse button, select your chosen destination and click OK.
  4. Now click on the *Same recording folder for all card*s button.
  5. Click OK to save your TV Server Configuration settings and exit the configuration GUI.

Further Info

For more info on all the Server settings, see Configuration > TV Server and

What's Next

Now that you have completed your Server Setup, you are ready to configure your Client Setup.

Related

   

 

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