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Table of Contents

1. Overview

A step-by-step guide to setup the TV and Radio part of MediaPortal 2:

Tune and group your TV and Radio Channels and Groups, setup Recording and Time-shifting folders.

If you are not familiar with the MediaPortal 2 termini like "Media Sources" just take it as it is now. Those terms will most likely be explained later in the guides.

2. Goal

After completing this tutorial you will have configured all the main TV settings to scan and organize your TV and Radio Channels, setup time-shifting and recording folders and options.  Then you will be ready to use the MediaPortal 2 client software for TV on each client connected to your Media Portal 2 Server.

3. TV-Engine Setup

To setup the TV-Engine you must use the "MediaPortal 2 TV- Configuration" tool. You can find a shortcut to this in the Start menu

and on your desktop.

3.1 Starting Setup

Double click on the "MediaPortal 2 TV- Configuration" shortcut located on your desktop, or use the Windows Start Menu Shortcut

Once you've started the tool you will see this screen:

Most of the menus within the TV- 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
  • ATSC_Tuner_N - for an ATSC tuner

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

Aside your "real hardware" tuners you also will see two other "tuners" that did not use any extra hardware. "RadioWebStream" and "MediaPortal IPTV Source Filter" With the first you are able to add webradio streams like "average" radio stations to your Media Portal 2 server and with the second you can do the same with Web- TV streams.

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. 

Note: The reason why 'Your Server' is listed is because the original design for MediaPortal 2 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.

3.2 Tuner Priorities

MediaPortal 2 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 MediaPortal 2 Server 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

3.3 Scanning Channels

This part is broken into sections for ATSC scanning, DVB-S/S2 scanning, DVB-T/T2 scanning and for DVB-C/C2 scanning. 

Note: MediaPortal 2 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.

3.3.1 ATSC

To scan for your ATSC channels you need to select the Tuning mode (Digital terrestrial or so) and probably (depends on your signal type) the QAM tuning frequencies 

When you press on "Scan for channels" the scan will start.

During the scan there are lots of information shown. Once the scan is finished MediaPortal 2 will tell you, how much channels are found.

If you got a subscription card from your provider and want to receive encrypted channels you need to enable the CAM. 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. You also can enable the EPG grabbing here, but most ATSC stations did not deliver EPG "on Air" so most likely you need an other EPG source.

3.3.2 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).

Click on the menu TV Servers > Your Server > DVB-S/S2_Tuner_1 and put a tick in the #1 option. Next is to update the satellite lists. Also it's highly recommended you don't need to do this but without the refresh you most likely won't get all (new) channels properly.

To scan for channels do the following steps:

  1. Change the Satellite drop-down list to your desired Satellite (e.g. 28.2°E Astra for UK Freesat or 19.2°E Astra for central Europe)
  2. 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.
  3. If the card you are tuning is a DVB-S2 card, then put a tick in the Enable DVB-S2 Channel Tuning/Scanning option. If you miss this you will not be able to receive any HDTV channels.
  4. Put a tick in the Enable Channel Movement Detection option. This is optional and can also be unticked if you don't need it or getting issues with this feature.
  5. Click on the Scan for Channels button to start the scan
  6. 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

3.3.3 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

3.3.4 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.

3.4 Channel Mapping

If you have more than one tuner of the same kind (e.g. two DVB-S2 tuners) you can do a channel scan for every tuner. But you also can "map" the channels scanned with the first tuner to the other tuner(s) of the same kind. This will save a lot of time. For this you need to click on the menu TV Channels. Then activate the menu entry "TV Mapping". Here you will find a dropdown list with all your available tuners. 

Choose a tuner you don't have done a channel scan with and you will get a list similar to this:

Select all channels in the "Available Channels" list and then click on the ">>" button. Now all those channels are mapped to this tuner and can be received here too, without the need to run a complete channel scan.

3.5 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.

3.5.1 Combining Channels 

If 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.

3.5.2 Favorites Channel Groups

Now that you have your multiple providers sorted, you can setup one or more Favorites Channel Groups to display only the channels you want in your TV guide (rather than 900 odd channels!). 

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

  1. Click on the menu *TV Channels *to view all your channels
  2. Click on "Add" in the "Channel groups" region and enter a name for the new group you just created. You can repeat this step as often as you like. In this example we've created two groups, "Favorites" and "Kids".  
  3. Right click on the first channel in the list that you wish to copy into one of your Favorites groups.
  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)
  5. Repeat this step for every channel you wish to have in (one of) your favorite group(s). To several channels at once, click the first channel of the series then SHIFT-click the last to select several at once. Then right click any of the selected channels and add to the group as in step 4. 

If you now click on one of the Favorites tabs, you will see that it is populated by the channels you just copied there. In this example there are three channels in the "Kids" group.

You can order the channels as you like by using either "Order by Name", "Order by Number" or the "Up"/"Down" Arrows. In the GUI the channels are shown ordered as you do here.

Finally, when MediaPortal 2 displays your channels it will always show the first channel group as default. Therefore, if you want MediaPortal 2 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 right of the group Channels that can not be moved and is not displayed in GUI.

Since there are multiple methods of assigning EPG (Electronic Program Guide) data to your channels, this is covered in Advanced Configuration

Read more on TV Guide Setup (EPG)... 

3.6 Organizing Radio Channels

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

3.7 Recording Folders and Settings

At first there are a few general recordings settings.

Depending on your TV stations it can be useful to alter the "Pre- and post recording" settings to different values (minutes). Normally the rest could stay as it is.

With the next tab you can set custom path and file- names for your recordings. This can be different for "one time only" recordings and for recurring (Series) recordings.

Even if you are familiar with MediaPortal 1 setup you may find something new here. As MediaPortal 2 has in-build support for movies and series you can configure the TV engine in a way that all your movies and series recordings are added automatically to the movies and series sections of MediaPortal 2. For this you need to use custom values and define different sub- folders for series and one time recordings in the custom naming scheme. All available tags are listed below. Aside this you can use normal chars and \ for defining folders. Here is an example for movies (one time recordings) naming scheme:

All your one time recordings are stored in a sub- folder named "Movies" now. You can name the folder to whatever name you like. The name itself is not important. It only has to be different to the series sub- folder. In the "Sample" line above you can see how your recordings will be named now.

And the naming for your series recordings may look like this:

Depending on your EPG data source you may or may not have season and episodes numbers available. This is independent of MediaPortal 2 and only a feature of your EPG source. All your series recordings are stored in a sub- folder named "Series" now. As for movies you can name the folder to whatever name you like.

 If you don't want this feature simply do not use this sub- folders (means leave out the "\Series" and "\Movies" part in the description. Then all your recordings are only added to the "recordings" media source, that will be displayed in the TV section under "Recordings" 

3.8 Setting the recordings folder(s)

You can alter the default path to store your recordings. Indeed it is very useful to do this, if you have more than one drive in your MediaPortal 2 Server PC. The default path is on C: drive. As this is the system drive it could be critical if the drive gets filled too much by your recordings. Aside this, the system drive very often is used by Windows, so it could disturb the storage of your recordings.

First choose the tuner card you want to set the recordings folder. MediaPortal 2 can save your recordings into different folders for every tuner you may have. But you also can use the same folder for all of your tuners. For this you can use the "Same recording folder for all cards" button after you have set- up the folder for your first tuner. 

Hint: If you want to be able to delete recordings from all clients not only the client on the same system as the server, then you should use UNC path (sample: //Server/Recordings/) instead of drive letters for the recordings folders. This way any client has write access and is able to delete no longer needed recordings from inside the GUI. You probably need to add a share to your WIndows system and grant propper access there, before you can use UNC path as recording folder. UNC path is faster somehow in this case so you don't have any drawbacks here excerpt for the little bit more configuration work.

3.9 Hint to former WMC users

If you move your existing wtv and/or dvr-ms recordings into (one of ) the recordings folder, MediaPortal 2 will import and use them as if they are "native" MediaPortal 2 recordings. This is not possible with encrypted wtv files.

3.10 Time-shift Folders

Time-shift is a technique to have the possibility to pause and rewind "Live- TV". This is build into the TV engine and don't need any configuration by the user, excerpt for the place to store the temporal time-shift files. Time- shifting can be critical regarding timings, so best is to not use the system drive (means the physical disk, to which Windows is installed). If your MediaPortal 2 Server has enough RAM build in best is to use a "RAM- Disk" for time-shifting as a RAM Disk is the fastest possible drive and it is (opposite to a SSD) very reliable on reading and writing. As the time-shift files are temporal only it did not matter that a RAM Disk is cleared on every restart. 

To change the location where MediaPortal 2 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.

Now you are done with the basic TV Engine configuration.

Click OK to save your TV Engine Configuration settings and exit the configuration GUI.

4. What's Next?

Maybe you are looking for a way to add Channel Logos to your set-up. MediaPortal 2 contains a plugin that searches for channel logos, downloads and configures them to be used automatically without any user interaction or configuration. This may take a while so on the first run it can be possible that some (or all) channel logos are missing. So be patient. 

Now that you have completed your basic TV Engine Setup, you are ready to configure your EPG.

Read more on TV Guide Setup (EPG)...



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