Media Center Programs

Dec 07 2009

News - Boxee Beta Unveiling tonight!

You have probably been hearing the buzz on the upcoming Boxee beta, and the time is almost here! They will be launching it tonight, live at their event in Williamsburg. If you're far away like me, you can tune in live to the stream tonight. I know I'm not the only one getting excited for it!

{joomsay link= [Boxee Blog]}If you can’t make it in person then you’ll be able to watch a live broadcast here on the blog (in the player above), or on Boxee by installing the Boxee Beta Unveiling App, powered by Livestream and Cliqset. If you install the app you’ll see that you can chat in real-time with other viewers on Boxee.{/joomsay} 

Nov 12 2009

News - Port your recording schedule from Vista MC (pre-TV Pack) to Windows 7 upgrade

It's too late for me, as I made the plunge a loooong time ago. But if you were waiting to upgrade to Windows7 and happen to really want to migrate your scheduled reocrdings, then you're in luck! Check out this cool little tip from the Media Center team.

{joomsay link= [TheGreenButton]}If you have Windows Vista Media Center WITHOUT the TV Pack 2008 (Fiji) installed, and you want to do a clean install of Windows 7 instead of an upgrade, there is a fairly simple way to port the existing recording scheduled entries to the new installation:{/joomsay} 


Oct 16 2009

News - MythTV 0.22 Release Candidate 1 Arrives

MythTV--the linux-based open source Media Center application that started it all--has released a new Release Candidate version with some nice improvements. It's really a fantastic system if you have the know-how to getting it running, just ask Lothar :-)


{joomsay link= [GeekTonic]}MythTV UI ported to new MythUI library with all new capabilities. Added Automatic Prioritization to the scheduler which uses watching behavior to automatically increase priority of shows that are watched close to their recording timeslot over shows that are delayed for longer periods of time. {/joomsay} 

Oct 16 2009

News - Andy's Temptation

For those that don't know, our friend and contributor Andy (babgvant) is kinda well known for doing some really really cool things with programs he uses, and currently that is SageTV. Well, don't be surprised if this sees the light of day sooner than later. With CableCard being opened up a bit....well...I'll just leave it to the expert to express his vision...


{joomsay link= [Bagvant Blog]}When MS announced that they were bringing DCTs to MediaCenter I was really excited; but of course that didn't work out. Instead of being something that added value to the platform, it turned the PC in a closed box solution. Since the recent CableCard announcement at CEDIA where everyone concerned seems to have come to their senses on DRM and the OEM requirements. With everything that I found objectionable no longer blocking, I have to admit that I'm tempted. {/joomsay} 

Sep 18 2009

News - Students: Get 8 Windows 7 Professional Keys for $19

By now you probably have read or heard about Microsoft's offer to students: Get your copy of Windows 7 for only $30 . Pretty spectacular deal indeed. Well, I came across this post here which has a nice loophole to get you Windows 7 Professional for only $19! Guess it's time to make friends with any college kids you still know.

{joomsay link= [Cybernet News]}You can join the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for a mere $19, and as part of the membership you get access to the full MSDNAA catalog. In that catalog are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 in English, French, Chinese, and Spanish. Each version and language is accompanied by a unique product key that works with any version and language of Windows 7 Professional (ex. a 32-bit French product key can be used on a 64-bit English install). In all that means you get a total of 8 product keys.{/joomsay} 

Sep 01 2009

News - The Media Center Show #221 – My Movies 3.0

OOH, Thursday has come early this week! OK, it's still just Tuesday, but something to help your day pass is Ian has posted The Media Center Show a bit early this week in conjunction of the MyMovies 3.0 announcement. Head on over to listen and learn all about it from Brian himself!

{joomsay link= [The Digital Lifestyle]}An early show this week because My Movies 3.0 is out and the developer Brian Binnerup explains about the new UI written for Vista and Windows 7 Media Center and he talks about the new features. My Movies has for a long time been one of the most popular Media Center application around and the new version looks great.{/joomsay} 

Aug 29 2009

News - GBPVR New Version - 1.4.7 available

Guess this is the day for the releases of media center applications, first Media Portal and now GBPVR announces a new version with a laundry list of behind the scene improvements. Nothing much on the UI side but a very long list. Head on over to their forums for the full rundown and download instructions.


{joomsay link= [GBPVR]}There is not a lot of visual differences in this new version of the application, but there is a lot behind the scene stuff that'll be useful to a lot of people (for example, CI support, Windows 7 compatibility, scanning improvements etc).{/joomsay} 

Aug 29 2009

News - MediaPortal 1.1.0 BETA 1

MediaPortal is a fantastic open source media center application that has been in development for quite some time. In preparation of a new version they have released an initial beta release which has a wealth of features and improvements. Here's the short list:


Major changes in this BETA are:

    * WebEPG is now included as a plugin for TV-Server
    * RTSP Streaming IP can be changed in TV-Server configuration
      (This is useful if the default port is in use by any other application.)
    * New OSD's have been slightly reworked and finished
    * TV-Server configuration has been reworked in some areas to enhance the usability, like new tuningformats and simplified scan dialog
    * Options have been added to TV-Server and MediaPortal Configuration to allow to disable and enable Microsoft MediaCenter Services
      (This is required for TV-Server and Microsoft MCE Remote to work properly.)
    * Various memory leaks have been fixed in MediaPortal
    * Various fixes for the Topbar in MediaPortal
    * Improved Windows 7 compatibillity
    * Solved problems caused by IPv6 in TV-Server (only IPv4 is supported!)
    * Added dvb-s2 support for ProfRed Cards
    * Added CI menu support for Twinhan/Terratec cards
    * Improved TV error handling for better user experience
    * CI menu and messages are automatically enabled now
    * A few more features have been added to the SkinEngine
    * Audio seek with different speeds for BASS player
    * E-AC3 / DD+ audio stream type support for TV

 Read the full list and download at MediaPortal .

Aug 27 2009

News - BeyondTV Plus MediaPortal vs SageTV – Redux Part 1

Great guest writeup over at GeekTonic regarding head to head battle of BeyondTV and SageTV. This user has some serious investments in both applications and it shows in the detail of the writeup. Lots of information to digest but a good read if you've been considering either HTPC software application. And if you're in need of more head to head, check out our review of MythTV to the same SageTV.

GeekTonic Now I felt the time was right for a head to head comparison. I have BeyondTV 4.9.2 working as good as it is capable and Media Portal 1.0 tweaked out to my liking. I was however seeing some signal quality issues with over the air recordings so I wanted a second opinion. For this comparison I did some research first, and followed the Geek Tonic guide for SageMC installation. This article covers my notes and impressions of SageTV vs BeyondTV/Media Portal. It encompasses about 40 hours of direct SageTV tweaking and research. Unfortunately that compares to over a thousand hours of BTV and MP experience, so take this as a familiarity biased comparison, honest as I will try to be.

Aug 25 2009

News - Tutorial: How to Convert from BeyondTV to SageTV

Brent over at GeekTonic has a fabulous guide to switching from BeyondTV to SageTV. Changing HTPC programs is always difficult as you have probably spent countless hours tweaking, configuring and setting everything up to your liking, so these steps should help if this is a migration you have been interested in.

{joomsay link= [GeekTonic]}Run SageTV as-is for a short while to get acquainted. This step is to be sure your guide is working and you can view live TV and recorded TV. I say this just to keep you from installing a bunch of add-ons before you know the basics are working. After you feel things are working the way you want them to, back everything up. Don't skip this step please :) {/joomsay} 

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