XBMC vs MediaPortal - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Similar to the MediaPortal vs WMC7 debate going on now but with XBMC instead. Both apps look the same once you install the MediaStream Skin for MediaPortal. So far I found XBMC to be much easier to install and configure, also it seems to run MUCH faster on my older HTPC. Can anyone give their pros and cons list?

XBMC

Pros = Easier to install
Cons = Honestly I can't think of any yet

MediaPortal

Pros = More options for customizations
Cons = Runs MUCH slower, very steep learning curve

Keep in mind I've only used both of these for a day or two for testing. I'm still downloading different front end software to figure out what is best for my needs.
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post #2 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 08:11 AM
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xbmc cons = no tv tuner, no hardware accel in windows
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post #3 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 08:15 AM
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If you want a MC that does it all (including TV tuning & recording), XBMC is not the way to go. But if you only want it for playing ripped movies/TV shows and actual discs, XBMC can't be beat.
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post #4 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't plan on using it for live tv recording, just watching downloaded/ripped TV Shows and Movies.

Bighick, is the no hardware accel a big deal if your HTPC is brand new high end build?
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post #5 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 08:51 AM
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I was just reading this post over xbmc forums. I guess some third party builds can use external players for hardware acceleration. I haven't tried it yet, so I can't confirm that it works flawlessly.

DSPlayer

For me xbmc is just so much faster it makes all the difference. I might change my mind; however, when I get my TV tuner set up and will want to integrate it into my front end.
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post #6 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 08:52 AM
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if you have a nice quad core cpu, no hardware acceleration shouldn't be a big deal.

My regular pc has a quad core (i can't remember cpu specs, but it is over a year old) and it will play mkv made from 1:1 bluray rips with no problem. cpu is probably about 20-30%. However, add hardware acceleration and the cpu goes down well under 10%.
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post #7 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoho View Post

if you want a mc that does it all (including tv tuning & recording), xbmc is not the way to go. But if you only want it for playing ripped movies/tv shows and actual discs, xbmc can't be beat.

+1
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post #8 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 09:16 AM
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Yes, you can always use an external player to get hardware acceleration. Currently, I'm using the zoom player which works much better then the DSPlayer but you have to pay money for it.
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post #9 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitemage View Post

Yes, you can always use an external player to get hardware acceleration. Currently, I'm using the zoom player which works much better then the DSPlayer but you have to pay money for it.

MPC-HC works well and is free.

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post #10 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 10:15 AM
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I have a fairly new but basic system running a Athlon II x2 215 Regor processor... it handles everything including the "Killa Sample" in software through XBMC. Most 720p MKVs run at around 30% CPU, and the 1080p "Killa Sample" ran at around 80% CPU.

I also have a GeForce 210 for when XBMC does start supporting DXVA Hardware Acceleration. The most recent build has the GUI and underlying base features written in DX instead of OpenGL, which is a big step towards full DXVA support.

XBMC Hardware Acceleration is already up and running in the form of VDPAU or supported NVIDIA chipsets under Linux and XBMC Live.

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post #11 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 12:05 PM
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Interesting thread.
I currently use MediaPortal in my Windows HTPC's just for the fact of hardware acceleration. I use W7MC to view live TV though, so I may check out XBMC.

I use XBMC on my Apple HTPC's as well as my AppleTV's and I really like it.
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post #12 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 12:31 PM
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I'm considering moving over to MP for Media Slayer... looking to catalog my DVD collection and that seems like an easy way to do so without the need for a lot of keyboarding... much more like a Kaleidescape.

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post #13 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 01:09 PM
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the beautiful UI and on board codecs makes xbmc a winner for me. i play a lot of downloaded content and xbmc will handle just about any file format you can throw at it.
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post #14 of 74 Old 01-08-2010, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins View Post

I'm considering moving over to MP for Media Slayer... looking to catalog my DVD collection and that seems like an easy way to do so without the need for a lot of keyboarding

XBMC automatically acquires artwork and metadata with its built-in scrapers. It auto-scrapes new content every time you start the program, so you never have to add anything manually.
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post #15 of 74 Old 02-23-2010, 02:15 PM
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Currently using mediaportal for only vid playback, no TV etc.. But- my win7 beta is about to expire so I'm considering putting a copy of xp/vista back on and going the xbmc route.. Couple of things though that would be must have for me- maybe someone can answer before I go googlin..

1. Proper output of hd (flac) audio from br rips over hdmi -> mpcm
2. Video acceleration on an ati 4550 - it seems I've heard/read that this can be achieved with dsplayer- need to do some research -- if this is doable- can it accel both vc-1 and 264?
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post #16 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hagfish View Post

Currently using mediaportal for only vid playback, no TV etc.. But- my win7 beta is about to expire so I'm considering putting a copy of xp/vista back on and going the xbmc route.. Couple of things though that would be must have for me- maybe someone can answer before I go googlin..

1. Proper output of hd (flac) audio from br rips over hdmi -> mpcm
2. Video acceleration on an ati 4550 - it seems I've heard/read that this can be achieved with dsplayer- need to do some research -- if this is doable- can it accel both vc-1 and 264?

1) 5.1 only. 7.1 craps out.
2) Some have succeeded with dsplayer and some have failed. It's really still beta.

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post #17 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Flowerday View Post

1) 5.1 only. 7.1 craps out.
2) Some have succeeded with dsplayer and some have failed. It's really still beta.

Thanks for the feedback.. My setup is 5.1 so shouldn't be an issue? Is the flac stuff builtin or do you still have to do madflac/reclock, all that stuff? Was hopin for something quick and easy but it looks like until they package all this new stuff in it would be another experimentation lab.. Prob makes just as much sense to reinstall os and try and remember all my mediaportal/os/flac/ffdshow settings.

Dear popbox, hurry up and get here...
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post #18 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 10:18 AM
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MP 1.1.0 RC1 was released over the weekend... you may be getting in at a good time, new features, better integration and (although you may not need it) Win7 compatability!
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post #19 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hagfish View Post

Thanks for the feedback.. My setup is 5.1 so shouldn't be an issue? Is the flac stuff builtin or do you still have to do madflac/reclock, all that stuff? Was hopin for something quick and easy but it looks like until they package all this new stuff in it would be another experimentation lab.. Prob makes just as much sense to reinstall os and try and remember all my mediaportal/os/flac/ffdshow settings.

Dear popbox, hurry up and get here...

It's still an issue, if the Flac stream in your mkv files is 7.1 it won't play at all even if your system is 7.1 or 5.1. The flac decoder is built in.

I've experimented with XBMC, I like the speed, but found it a little unstable and the 7.1 issue was a deal breaker for me.

I'll take a look again with the next release which should have DXVA2 support built in.

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post #20 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Flowerday View Post

It's still an issue, if the Flac stream in your mkv files is 7.1 it won't play at all even if your system is 7.1 or 5.1. The flac decoder is built in.

This hasn't been an issue for me. I even just double-checked - my MKV of 'Pan's Labyrinth' contains the 7.1 track in FLAC and plays flawlessly through XBMC on my 5.1 system. I have others as well that have not been an issue in the past (Saw VI, 3:10 To Yuma come to mind).
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post #21 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post

MP 1.1.0 RC1 was released over the weekend... you may be getting in at a good time, new features, better integration and (although you may not need it) Win7 compatability!

Do you mean getting "back" in w/ a new version? You're talking about media portal right? That's what I've been using for the last year or so. You saying it's a good time because with the new version there will be less to remember and set up? i.e. flac, dxva, etc?
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post #22 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 12:56 PM
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MediaPortal has many possibilities, plugins, skins and so on. So there will be always need for configuration. But for me, this is advantage. You can find documentation on MP web site and every plugin/skin has its own instructions. But you can install MP and use its default settings and it should work.

My suggestion: Install clean Win7, shark007 codecs, and then MediaPortal and everything should work out of the box. You can then play with its settings, change skins, install plugins later and learn how to configure everything. You will be satisfied for sure
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post #23 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 01:19 PM
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Thanks again for the suggestions.. Yea, I know MP will get me where I need to be its just hard to remember everything I did over the last year to get it where it was.. So, knowing that I'm going to have to wipe this machine and start over, I'm just looking for the quickest way to get back to whats' important which is vid playback with "bit-perfect" flac and dxva.. If that is indeed MediaPortal- I'll go that route again, but very open to other suggestions for "quick n easy" as again, the goal is to get back to watchin flix with minimum setup..
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post #24 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 01:30 PM
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Been using MediaPortal because XBMC has lacked hardware acceleration. Going to try XBMC with the custom DSPlayer some day.

Is XBMC really "MUCH FASTER" than MediaPortal 1.1.0 as stated by the OP?

MovingPictures & TvSeries plugins and the XFactor skin make MediaPortal a beautiful HTPC front-end. Does XBMC look as nice?
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post #25 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daMaster View Post

Been using MediaPortal because XBMC has lacked hardware acceleration. Going to try XBMC with the custom DSPlayer some day.

Is XBMC really "MUCH FASTER" than MediaPortal 1.1.0 as stated by the OP?

MovingPictures & TvSeries plugins and the XFactor skin make MediaPortal a beautiful HTPC front-end. Does XBMC look as nice?

To me, nothing looks nearly as nice and polished as XBMC (Rapier skin, Transparancy, & even the default Confluence). But that is all a matter of personal preference.

As far as speed, I tried MediaPortal, WMC (with Media Browser) and XBMC and none of them touched XBMC speed-wise. Every action is essentially instantaneous, at least with my setup. That wasn't the case with the other two.
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post #26 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by daMaster View Post

MovingPictures & TvSeries plugins and the XFactor skin make MediaPortal a beautiful HTPC front-end. Does XBMC look as nice?

Mediaportal is based on an older version of XBMC. The plugins and skins you're using are essentially copies of XBMC skins, converted to work with Mediaportal's less robust skinning interface. XBMC will always have more skin options, look better, and respond faster than mediaportal. Since they're both free, why settle for second best?
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post #27 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by candre23 View Post

Mediaportal is based on an older version of XBMC. The plugins and skins you're using are essentially copies of XBMC skins, converted to work with Mediaportal's less robust skinning interface. XBMC will always have more skin options, look better, and respond faster than mediaportal. Since they're both free, why settle for second best?

I'm well aware of the roots of MediaPortal: I used to use XBMP and XBMC on the original XBox and saw the evolution of it. When I moved to the HTPC world I wanted something that supported live TV and hardware acceleration, and only MediaPortal fit the bill at the time.

I'm no longer doing live TV so maybe I'll give XBMC a spin. I wouldn't call MediaPortal second best compared to XBMC. They're both for different user bases. MediaPortal is much more configurable than XBMC, and there are so many plugins available. The fact that it's widely open source also makes it attractive to software developers, such as myself.
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post #28 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 07:08 PM
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Long time MP user, switched to XBMC when Camelot came out - couldnt be happier!

Reasons:
1. I find the metadata scanning works better than Moving Pictures plugin on MP - tends to find movies more accurately (I got sick of continually entering data manually)

2. I could never get the auto refresh rate changer in MP to work with my Samsung 1080 32" tv. No matter what settings I tried, the output caused judder. I found the refresh rate changer in XBMC worked perfectly - Im VERY happy with this aspect in particular, after spending literally a year trying to get MP doing refresh correctly.

These days I use MP for all my TV recording (love the 12-line guide and the Comskip feature) and the OnlineVideos plugin, which I really like, but I use XBMC for all my 'channel b1t-t0rrent' viewing. (the forum actually asterisks it out if you write the full word of B__T______ in letters!!)

I tried MP RC a few days ago, but still have the refresh rate issue with it. Will keep an eye out for 1.1 final and have another go when its released.

For now,though, Im very happy with XBMC/MP combo.
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post #29 of 74 Old 02-24-2010, 07:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etheesdad View Post

Long time MP user, switched to XBMC when Camelot came out - couldnt be happier!

Reasons:
1. I find the metadata scanning works better than Moving Pictures plugin on MP - tends to find movies more accurately (I got sick of continually entering data manually)

2. I could never get the auto refresh rate changer in MP to work with my Samsung 1080 32" tv. No matter what settings I tried, the output caused judder. I found the refresh rate changer in XBMC worked perfectly - Im VERY happy with this aspect in particular, after spending literally a year trying to get MP doing refresh correctly.

These days I use MP for all my TV recording (love the 12-line guide and the Comskip feature) and the OnlineVideos plugin, which I really like, but I use XBMC for all my 'channel b1t-t0rrent' viewing. (the forum actually asterisks it out if you write the full word of B__T______ in letters!!)

I tried MP RC a few days ago, but still have the refresh rate issue with it. Will keep an eye out for 1.1 final and have another go when its released.

For now,though, Im very happy with XBMC/MP combo.

I found that the best way to use scrapper is to add the year at the end of the name of the folder like: Salt of the Earth (1954)

And a trick for scrapper that use imdb (like the one in XBMC) for those titles that it never seem to get right, just rename the folder by the imdb ID number like tt0120408

This work everytime for me.
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post #30 of 74 Old 03-09-2010, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salajm View Post

My suggestion: Install clean Win7, shark007 codecs, and then MediaPortal and everything should work out of the box. You can then play with its settings, change skins, install plugins later and learn how to configure everything. You will be satisfied for sure

I believe I will wipe and try this tonight.. Is there any reason not to go w/ Win 7 64 bit? Will MP/codecs/ati drivers all play nicely w/ 64?
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