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MediaPortal Blue3Wide Skin Home-Screen.jpg
MediaPortal Blue3Wide Skin Home screen
Original author(s) Team MediaPortal
Developer(s) Team MediaPortal
Initial release 2004 (2004)
Stable release 1.2.1 / 26 September 2011; 56 days ago (2011-09-26)
Preview release 1.2.0 Beta / 29 April 2011; 6 months ago (2011-04-29)
Development status Active
Written in C# programming language
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Platform x86, x86-64
Available in Multi Language
Type Media center
License GNU General Public License

MediaPortal is an open-source media center software project, often considered an alternative to Windows Media Center[1][2] . It provides a 10-foot user interface for performing typical PVR/TiVo functionality, including playing, pausing, and recording live TV; playing DVDs, videos, and music; viewing pictures; and other functions[3]. Plugins allow it to perform additional tasks, such as watching online video, listening to music from online services such as, and launching other applications such as games. It interfaces with the hardware commonly found in HTPCs, such as TV tuners, infrared receivers, and LCD displays.

The MediaPortal[4] source code was initially forked from XBMC Media Center, though it has been almost completely re-written since then[5]. MediaPortal runs only under Microsoft Windows, unlike most other open-source media center programs such as MythTV and XBMC, which are usually cross-platform.[6]



Graphical User Interfaces


MediaPortal can be controlled by any input device, that is supported by the Windows Operating System.


TV Screen with StreamedMP Skin
Mini EPG Screen with StreamedMP Skin

MediaPortal uses its own TV-Server to allow to set up one central server with one or more TV cards. All TV related tasks are handled by the server and streamed over the network to one or more clients. Clients can then install the MediaPortal Client software and use the TV-Server to watch live or recorded TV, schedule recordings, view and search EPG data over the network. Since version 1.0.1, the client plugin of the TV-Server has replaced the default built-in TV Engine.

Even without a network (i.e. a singleseat installation), the TV-Server treats the PC as both the server and the client.

The TV-Server supports watching and recording TV at the same time with only one DVB/ATSC TV Card, on the same transponder. Broadcast Driver Architecture is used to support as many TV cards as possible. The major brands of cards, like digital-everywhere, Hauppauge, Pinnacle, TechnoTrend and TechniSat, including analog cards, provide BDA drivers for their cards.

Video/DVD player

The video player of MediaPortal is a DirectShow Player, so any codec/filter can be used. MediaPortal uses the codec of MPC-HT by default, but the codec can be changed to all installed ones, such like FFDShow, PowerDVD, CoreAVC, Nvidia PureVideo etc. MediaPortal also support video post-processing, with any installed codec. Due to the DirectShow player implementation, MediaPortal can play all media files that can be played on Windows.

Music player

The default internal music player uses the BASS Engine[10] with the BASS audio library. The alternative player is the internal DirectShow player. With the BASS Engine MediaPortal supports visualizations from Windows Media Visualizations, Winamp Visualizations including Milkdrop, Sonic and Soundspectrum G-Force.

Picture player/organizer

Digital pictures/photos can be browsed, managed and played as slideshows with background music or radio. The picture player uses different transitions or the Ken Burns Effect between each picture. Exif data are used to rotate the pictures automatically, but the rotation can be done manually too. Zooming of pictures is also possible.

Online videos

OnlineVideos plugin with Avalon HD Skin

OnlineVideos[11] is a plugin for MediaPortal to integrate seamless online video support into MediaPortal. OnlineVideos supports almost 200 sites[12]/channels in a variety of languages and genres such like YouTube, iTunes Movie Trailers, Discovery Channel etc.


MP-TVSeries plugin with Mustayaluca Skin

MP-TVSeries[13][14] is a popular TV Series plug-in for MediaPortal. It focuses on managing the user's TV Series library. The MP-TVSeries plugin will scan the hard drive (including network and removable drives) for video files, it then analyzes them by their path structures to determine if they are TV Shows. If the file(s) are recognized then the plugin will go online and retrieve information about them. You can then browse, manage and play your episodes from inside MediaPortal in a nice graphical layout.

The information and fan art it retrieves is coming from which allows any user to add and update information. The extension will automatically update any information when new episodes/files are added.

Extension development


The skin files are written in XAML.


The development of own extensions can be done in different programming languages. The main used language is C#, but any language can be used that can handle DLL files.


Minimum hardware requirements

The minimum hardware requirements listed here are for standard definition resolution playback and recording with MPEG-2 video compression using a single TV-tuner. Note that multiple tuners, or MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) playback carries higher system requirements, see the separate HDTV minimum hardware requirements section below.

  • 1.4 GHz Intel Pentium III (or equivalent) processor
  • 256 MB (256 MiB) of System RAM
  • DirectX 9.0 hardware-accelerated GPU with at least 64MB of video memory
    • Graphics chips which support this and are compatible with MediaPortal:
      • ATI Radeon series 9600 (or above)
      • NVIDIA GeForce 6600 (or above), GeForce FX 5200 (or above) and nForce 6100 series (or above)
      • Intel Extreme Graphics 2 (integrated i865G)
      • Matrox Parhelia
      • SiS Xabre series
  • 200 MB free harddisk-drive space for the MediaPortal software
  • 12 GB or more free harddisk-drive space for Hardware Encoding or Digital TV based TV cards for timeshifting purposes

HDTV minimum hardware requirements

HDTV (720p/1080i/1080p) playback/recording, and also recording from multiple tuners, and playback of MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) video, carries higher system requirements.

  • 2.8 GHz Intel Pentium 4 (or equivalent) processor
  • 512 MB of System RAM
  • DirectX 9.0 hardware-accelerated GPU with at least 128MB of video memory
    • Graphics chips which support this and are compatible with MediaPortal:
      • ATI Radeon series 9600 (or above)
      • NVIDIA GeForce 6600 (or above), GeForce FX 5200 (or above) and nForce 6100 series (or above)
      • Intel Extreme Graphics 2 (integrated i865G)
      • Matrox Parhelia
      • SiS Xabre series
      • XGI Volari V Series and XP Series
  • 200 MB free harddisk-drive space for the MediaPortal software
  • 12 GB or more free harddisk-drive space for Hardware Encoding or Digital TV based TV cards for timeshifting purposes

Operating system and software requirements

Supported operating systems

  • Windows XP 32-bit Edition with Service Pack 3 or later
  • Windows Media Center Edition 2005 with Update Rollup 2 or later
  • Windows Vista 32 and 64-bit with Service Pack 2 or later
  • Windows 7 32 and 64-bit

Software prerequisites

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
  • DirectX 9.0c
  • Windows Media Player 11(Only required on XP SP3, Windows Vista comes with WMP11 and Windows 7 comes with WMP12 already)

See also


  1. ^ Lanxon, Nate (19 November 2007). "Open-source software rated: Ten alternatives you need". CNET UK. 
  2. ^ "Mediaportal V Media Center? Which to choose?". The Digital Lifestyle. 9 March 2009. 
  3. ^ Broida, Rick (December 20, 2006). "Download of the Day: MediaPortal (Windows)". Lifehacker.!223194/download-of-the-day-mediaportal-windows. 
  4. ^ May, Ken (20 Aug 2011). "MediaPortal hits the Radio Waves". 
  5. ^ "MediaPortal Leaves Beta - 1.0 Arrives". GeekTonic. 23 December 2008. 
  6. ^ "10 most prominent FLOSS projects compared". Telematics Freedom Foundation. 2008-09-18. 
  7. ^ "aMPdroid remote controls your MediaPortal". 
  8. ^ "An open-source MediaPortal remote control app". 
  9. ^ Cooke, Alan (1 Jan 2009). "Take MediaPortal On The Road - iPiMP". 
  10. ^ "BASS showcase". 
  11. ^ "MediaPortal OnlineVideos Plugin". 
  12. ^ "OnlineVideos Sites overview". offbyone. 
  13. ^ "MP-TVSeries: plug-in for organizing TV shows in MediaPortal". 
  14. ^ "Organize Your TV Shows With Mediaportal". 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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