Using Skins in MediaPortal.
For an overview, see Skins: a visual extravaganza on our website.
In MediaPortal, a skin is more than just a theme. In fact some skins provide different themes as part of the skin. Skins not only offer different aesthetics, pleasing different tastes, but some even rearrange elements of the user interface.
As of v 1.3.0 MediaPortal offers the new Titan skin for HD (1920x1080) screens:
Titan Extended offers additional features, such as the Titan Skin Updater, as well as support for additional plugins, and can be installed with MediaPortal 1.3.0 or later.
The Default skin, installed with MediaPortal, ( Default (4x3) or DefaultWide (16x9)) has also been redesigned for v 1.3.0.
It uses a minimum of advanced skin features so the performance is excellent even on older PCs. Thus, you may choose to use an older PC as a client PC attached to the TV-Server to stream TV and radio throughout your home.
There are many skins available for MediaPortal, for different screen sizes, styles and offering more features if you prefer them. See our Skins Gallery for a preview. One is sure to suit your taste. Often these skins are based on Default//wide skin, and you will find several variations using different colors, graphics and styles.
See the Skins Downloads Repository for all the skins currently available for MediaPortal. Be sure to check the version of MediaPortal to ensure you select a skin for your current installed version.
Every plugin is required to provide both Default and Defaultwide skin files, so you can always use any plugin with the Default/wide skin.
Screen (Display) Resolution
Skins are designed for specific screen or display resolutions.
- Titan (16x9) is designed for 1920x1080 (HD) screens
- Defaultwide (16x9) is designed for 1280x720 screens. Some skins use 1366x768 resolution.
- Default (4:3) is designed for 720x576 screens, the default PAL/SECAM resolution and the currently popular 1280x1024 screen resolution. However, this is not a 'true' 4:3 resolution, although all such screens are marketed as 4:3 screens!
MediaPortal will normally scale your skin to your screen automatically and display perfectly even on 1920x1080p high definition (HD) TVs. However, some countries, especially those in North Amercia, use the 'true' 4:3 screen resolution of 800x600 for example. Such users may experience minor graphic changes on 'true' 4:3 TVs using overscan, but this is rare these days as most modern TVs provide features for overscan adjustment.
You can adjust your screen image within MediaPortal by using Settings > Screen Setup > UI Calibration and Screen Calibatrion . However many graphics card drivers also provide easy ways to adjust and size your screen resolution.
It's a complicated subject! If you have any difficulties with skin resolution, contact the skin developer. For further information see Wikipedia: Display Resolution
If you wish to try one of the many excellent skins designed for MediaPortal, there are several places to browse and find them:
- Skins Gallery - provides a nice overview of all our popular skins
- Skins Downloads section of our downloads repository, where you can even search for skins that support your installed version of MediaPortal and find the latest skins
- Skins Installer - the MediaPortal Extensions Installer or MPEI, lets you browse, install, uninstall, update view screenshots and even configure skins that use our standard installer
- Extensions > Skins - for documentation on each skin
- Skins Forum - to see all the latest skins in development, and for skin support.
Installing or Updating Skins
The easiest way to install skins is by using our MediaPortal Extensions Installler (MPEI)
If you reinstall a skin, especially manually, you may need to delete the previous cache\skin folder to see the new graphics and/or fonts. If you use our MediaPortal Extension Installler (MPEI) to install the skin, the skin installer will normally do this for you.
Select a Skin
Once you have installed a skin, select the skin you wish to use in MediaPortal. See: Configuration > GUI.
You may also select or switch skins within MediaPortal using Skin Settings
Press enter on the currently selected skin and you can choose from a list of skins you have installed:
See Configuration > GUI or GUI Settings , to configure other GUI settings to tailor the skin and user interface according to your preference.
Skin graphics and font files (as well as other graphics files) are packed and cached in your [userdata]\cache folder. See Graphics
When you change skins, or even skin themes, MediaPortal re-caches the graphics files for you. See: Recaching
Modifying Skin Fonts, Graphics or Screen Resolution
If you change, add or remove any skin graphics, or if you alter your fonts (even Windows fonts or DPI settings) or screen resolution, re-caching is required for the changes to take effect in MediaPortal.
New Skin Features
If you wish to keep track of all the latest skin features added to MediaPortal, see Skin Related Changes. Then choose a skin that supports the new features you wish to use.
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