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Old 08-01-2014, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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XBMC or MediaPortal

A dealbreaker with JRiver Media Center for me is apparent lack of FM tuner support(at least i can't find any info either in documentation or in the program)...So therfore, for a completely inept person, which is easier to setup and run...XBMC or MediaPortal??????
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:44 PM
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What are your requirements?
  • PVR? Cable or OTA
  • Local clients? All x86 or arm?
  • Remote transcoding?
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok,...Lessee
Play and record from TV(OTA)/FM tuner(s) cards (have DISH,locked into for two years..won't be a factor in the HTPC.), Play DVDs, Blu Ray and HD-DVD discs locally(have the correct drive), play music and video files locally and on network(pretty much audio is all WMA or MP3, vids are a mix of AVI, MPG and MKV)....(looking to add something like a Soundgraph Imon Ultrabay as that i am going to be running analog out to a power amp and the Ultrabay has that handy-dandy volume knob on it so i don't have to turn on tv when playing music) so possibly having some compatibility for a VFD/LCD display would be nice. Transcoding would be on machine that would be the server machine and and media stored on HDD, Windows 8.1 enterprise with 8 core AMD (aka-WOPR..connected to two Sans Digital HDD banks), local playing would be on a FM2/Vista Ult OS machine....possibity of some DLNA capability would be interesting...
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:27 PM
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Good luck with getting all of this crammed into one box with only one player...

The XBMC route will require a back-end TV server (MythTV for example)...

Mediaportal? I have no idea what it looks like these days... so can't really comment...

Since you're using Windows anyway, I'm almost inclined to say you're much better off with WMC...
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:04 AM
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Setup wmc for ota (free guide data) then install serverwmc which works fine as an xbmc back end whether or not it's on a separate machine

Not sure about the FM tuning just yet

I'd suggest xbmc at that point

Also you should really consider yatse with xbmc and a dedicated nexus 7 as a music remote. Much cheaper and easier setup than a htpc with a built-in screen. Should work nicely whether or not the TV is on

Upnp server/receiver built in. Also receives air play audio

For transcoding you can install plex. My current setup has plex installed for the sole purpose of transcoding to my tablet, phone, and rMBP when away from home over Verizon LTE
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:53 AM
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MediaPortal works very good for TV and Recording TV whether OTA, Cable or CableCard. It also plays DVD, BluRay and an extensive number of files (e.g. .mkv, .m4v, .avi,...) Never tried FM or music but it's FREE so what's the worry! It works really well with a WMC remote. Give it a download and see!
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:01 PM
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Mediaportal is great but I'd head towards XBMC.

And of course there's always Mediabrowser. But if you are stuck between those two I'd give the nod to XBMC.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Installed and trying to set up MediaPortal...so far no success in accessing tv/radio tuner and music after settings.........Is it possible that my version of windows could be incompatible?? Using 8.1 Enterprise..
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there a way to fine tune radio frequencies? Tuning US FM station with even frequencies; eg, 98.8...100.6.. should be 100.7..98.9...

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Originally Posted by vcrpro3 View Post
Installed and trying to set up MediaPortal...so far no success in accessing tv/radio tuner and music after settings.........Is it possible that my version of windows could be incompatible?? Using 8.1 Enterprise..
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Trying out XBMC now...no real luck with getting tv or radio and videos to work....took a while to get music sorta working....thinkinking of possibly seeing if someone would be willing to teamviewer in to help out....
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by vcrpro3 View Post
Trying out XBMC now...no real luck with getting tv or radio and videos to work....took a while to get music sorta working....thinkinking of possibly seeing if someone would be willing to teamviewer in to help out....
Yea... you won't get TV out of XBMC... you need to install a separate TV server back end first, then inside XBMC you will install the appropriate plugin client for your TV server...

TV server could be DVBViewer, MythTV, Tvheadend... etc...
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Been trying to get the various tv backends to work........keep getting message that connection lost or can't be established....
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Originally Posted by balky View Post
Yea... you won't get TV out of XBMC... you need to install a separate TV server back end first, then inside XBMC you will install the appropriate plugin client for your TV server...

TV server could be DVBViewer, MythTV, Tvheadend... etc...
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:32 PM
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Can you tell me where you are with your OTA setup (disregarding XBMC at first)?

Which tuner are you using ? HDHomerun ?

Are you able to view guide data and playback channels in WMC ?

After that we can get into XBMC, unless you aren't using windows at all - in which case I need to modify my backend recommendation
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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On the particular PC i'm using now which i want to be the server; Windows 8.1 Enterprise 64 bit(no WMC in this OS). 8 core cpu. tuner in this one is a Diamond/ATI TV Wonder 650 dual USB(i have Arcsoft TotalMedia 3.5 installed also-tv and fm work correctly in that). In MediaPortal, the tuner scans and picks up tv and fm signals, though in fm, the stations are ending in even numbers instead of the north america odd numbering system,eg; 100.6 or 100.8 intead of 100.7. When in the main program, when trying to play live tv or radio, i get an error saying the server is not confiured or cannot be activated. I keep going back to the tv server settings, and it is disabled after trying to re-enable multiple times....In the PC (FM2 quad core and Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit) that i want to be the client, i have an Hauppauge HVR1600 and a pcie ati dual 650 card. Tried them in this setup and same problems. In that pc i have Hauppauge's tv tuner prograam and cyberlink power cinema istalled and all three tuners work in those programs and in WMC(though was not able to get guide data in WMC).......I am wondering if it might be some sort of problems with the version of windows i am running.
More info; Win 8.1 intalled on a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 mobo, Win 7 Ult is on a Asrock FM2A85X Extreme 6 mobo...Thanks for your help with this
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Can you tell me where you are with your OTA setup (disregarding XBMC at first)?

Which tuner are you using ? HDHomerun ?

Are you able to view guide data and playback channels in WMC ?

After that we can get into XBMC, unless you aren't using windows at all - in which case I need to modify my backend recommendation

Last edited by vcrpro3; 08-05-2014 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vcrpro3 View Post
On the particular PC i'm using now which i want to be the server; Windows 8.1 Enterprise 64 bit(no WMC in this OS). 8 core cpu. tuner in this one is a Diamond/ATI TV Wonder 650 dual USB(i have Arcsoft TotalMedia 3.5 installed also-tv and fm work correctly in that). In MediaPortal, the tuner scans and picks up tv and fm signals, though in fm, the stations are ending in even numbers instead of the north america odd numbering system,eg; 100.6 or 100.8 intead of 100.7. When in the main program, when trying to play live tv or radio, i get an error saying the server is not confiured or cannot be activated. I keep going back to the tv server settings, and it is disabled after trying to re-enable multiple times....In the PC (FM2 quad core and Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit) that i want to be the client, i have an Hauppauge HVR1600 and a pcie ati dual 650 card. Tried them in this setup and same problems. In that pc i have Hauppauge's tv tuner prograam and cyberlink power cinema istalled and all three tuners work in those programs and in WMC(though was not able to get guide data in WMC).......I am wondering if it might be some sort of problems with the version of windows i am running.
More info; Win 8.1 intalled on a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 mobo, Win 7 Ult is on a Asrock FM2A85X Extreme 6 mobo...Thanks for your help with this
Ok, I guess the rule of help is that it will always require more information

First, are your OTA antennas showing any signal strength for any channels in WMC? I realize you can only have WMC on the box you intend to be the client, but first you'll need to verify that you have the right signal strength to view anything. Usually tuners require a little more signal for pc than a TV, but most of the time if you have too poor of a signal to view any channels then you probably have something connected improperly, bad rg6, or need to move your antenna

Whichever antennas going to the ati dual 650 and hvr1600 need to be scanned in separately in wmc tv setup. There is a signal strength option in setup that lets you verify the reception of each channel that is scanned in.

Beyond that, I realize you want to use an enterprise version of windows for your server (though I'm not entirely sure why) but for your "tv server" needs it's nice to avoid paying $25/yr to schedulesdirect (imo of course) if you have a wmc capable box in the house. Do you plan on having more than just the one client? If not, you can have WMC and wmcserver setup on the client alone. You can't run wmcserver on the server if it isn't running WMC, so you are looking for PVR backends like argus, npvr, or tvheadend within xbmc for those cases. The first two working best with $25/yr schedulesdirect subscription as previously mentioned

There is no particular need to run the tv server backend on your actual server, it will just use a drive attached to whichever machine you dedicate as a backend for live-tv buffer and recording storage
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
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On either of the computers, i get tv and radio reception using the aforementioned WinTV 7, PowerCinema and Arcsoft TotalMedia 3.5. As far as using Windows 8.1 Enterprise, i got it fully licensed free (if i had my druthers, would still be running XP) My goal on the 8.1 OS is to have an working universal media center as that WMC is a separately purchased add-on and is not compatible with the Enterprise OS. With the second computer the goal for it is to replace a Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite EVA9150 that can play some audio and video formats over the network, and act as a av receiver that can play DVD, Blu Ray DVD-A and HD DVD discs.... am running the audio out in analog to two Marantz power amps-one 5 channel and one 2 channel via a Asus Xonar HDAV1.3 soundcard. On the main, 8.1 OS system, i have two Sans Digital 5 bay towerraid boxes with 20TB worth of drive holding my video and audio...yeah..i know i'm crazy...
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:27 AM
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Ok, the only thing is that none of those tv / radio options are backends for mediaportal or xbmc to my knowledge

If you are going to head down the xbmc route, I'd recommend housing the tuners in the client box and just use it as both the backend and frontend for your pvr portion. You can use the enterprise box for server duties and downloaders with mysql to manage your xbmc library (easiest to go ahead and run xbmc on the server for this along with mysql)

Then get live tv going in wmc and run serverwmc on the client box

Can you tell me what happens with live tv setup in wmc on the client machine?
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:28 AM
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Another thing I didn't mention but I think of as a huge perk to XBMC (not sure that it's possible in mediaportal but maybe) is the ability to switch audio outputs (both wasapi and directsound) within the gui, no mouse or sound control panels necessary
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vcrpro3 View Post
Ok,...Lessee
Play and record from TV(OTA)/FM tuner(s) cards (have DISH,locked into for two years..won't be a factor in the HTPC.), Play DVDs, Blu Ray and HD-DVD discs locally(have the correct drive), play music and video files locally and on network(pretty much audio is all WMA or MP3, vids are a mix of AVI, MPG and MKV)....(looking to add something like a Soundgraph Imon Ultrabay as that i am going to be running analog out to a power amp and the Ultrabay has that handy-dandy volume knob on it so i don't have to turn on tv when playing music) so possibly having some compatibility for a VFD/LCD display would be nice. Transcoding would be on machine that would be the server machine and and media stored on HDD, Windows 8.1 enterprise with 8 core AMD (aka-WOPR..connected to two Sans Digital HDD banks), local playing would be on a FM2/Vista Ult OS machine....possibity of some DLNA capability would be interesting...
For TV go with mediaportal. Local music is also better with mediaportal as XBMC still does not have gapless playback.
Assuming you are OK running on top of Windows. (With XBMC you can run on a specialized OS called OpenELEC.)
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:16 AM - Thread Starter
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WMC sees both ATSC tuners, the FM tuner is only on the HVR-1600. Only if i start to record a tv program can i then switch to watching another tv channel within WMC. Even though they are not part of a all-in-one player, PowerCinema and TotalMedia have options to watch two different channels, via picture in picture...If WMC can do that, i have yet to figure out how...A new question has popped up; the server software for the Netgear EVA9150 does not work in any version of windows 8.1(many owners of this device have reported this), since it is a DLNA,UPnP device, i wonder if any other server software is out there that can stream to it???

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Ok, the only thing is that none of those tv / radio options are backends for mediaportal or xbmc to my knowledge

If you are going to head down the xbmc route, I'd recommend housing the tuners in the client box and just use it as both the backend and frontend for your pvr portion. You can use the enterprise box for server duties and downloaders with mysql to manage your xbmc library (easiest to go ahead and run xbmc on the server for this along with mysql)

Then get live tv going in wmc and run serverwmc on the client box

Can you tell me what happens with live tv setup in wmc on the client machine?
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I realize that they are not 'backends' for portal and xb, but the fact that the tuners work with them validates the hardware. So far, still being frustrated by mediaportal..cannot get it to recognize or retain attempts to add music folders or paths and tv server keeps giving error message (can get 'radio' to work though so again, hardware is functional.......)......will drink more coffee and play with it a little more...will uninstall if no further success....

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WMC sees both ATSC tuners, the FM tuner is only on the HVR-1600. Only if i start to record a tv program can i then switch to watching another tv channel within WMC. Even though they are not part of a all-in-one player, PowerCinema and TotalMedia have options to watch two different channels, via picture in picture...If WMC can do that, i have yet to figure out how...A new question has popped up; the server software for the Netgear EVA9150 does not work in any version of windows 8.1(many owners of this device have reported this), since it is a DLNA,UPnP device, i wonder if any other server software is out there that can stream to it???

Last edited by vcrpro3; 08-07-2014 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, drank more coffee-finally p!$$ed off at medialportal....uninstalled mediaportal;no amout of futzing around could get it to work properly...(liked the 'Titan' interface though)...Installed XBMC....well boy howdy! got it most of the way working, TV with NPvr as the backend, frontend whatever....Question; when going in to live tv, the is a tab for radio. Is this FM or web radio? If it is for FM radio, how would i get the analog tuner to work, did not see a selection in NPvr. Is there another addon that can access the analog section of the tuner??? Thanks in advance...

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I realize that they are not 'backends' for portal and xb, but the fact that the tuners work with them validates the hardware. So far, still being frustrated by mediaportal..cannot get it to recognize or retain attempts to add music folders or paths and tv server keeps giving error message (can get 'radio' to work though so again, hardware is functional.......)......will drink more coffee and play with it a little more...will uninstall if no further success....
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:47 PM
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Really don't know anything about FM to be honest. Npvr forums may help

There are separate sections for TV channels and radio channels in xbmc though

Also if you didn't already try, check out the xbmc margro builds for faster TV channel zapping
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Old 08-08-2014, 01:08 PM
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Since you KNOW WMC has issue with your Enterprise version of Win 8.1 I'd suspect ALL installations into that funky MS OS. Focusing on the Win 7 PC with the HVR-1600 MediaPortal should install like a breeze. There are a couple of downloads the installation requires you to do but it should go well. Since I listen to FM via my AVR I don't need a FM tuner in my PC although their wiki says tuning is the same as for TV -- have you looked in the TUNER CARD setup for the Hauppauge, where you select card parameters if there's anything about the frequency? Could be a country code thing... United States...

Are you using the LAV filters MP allows you to download? Did you configure the LAV Audio filter to work with your high-end audio card? Personally I use the LAV Audio as analog (default) in my bedroom and select PASSTHROUGH in my Theatre using my AVR. Doing a new MediaPortal install gives you MySQL for a database and it also opens a hole in your firewall for the client to see the server. Try reinstalling MP and pay attention to that.

You DO have to map the TV Channels you scan to a card or they'll not show up in the Client. You also have to assign the TV client a server to watch. Sure, it can be tricky but it's a robust application! Try it again...
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Old 08-08-2014, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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The Enterprise windows is something i would have preferred not to have, but when you're talking FREE LICENSED, can't argue and anyhow Microsoft states that WMC is not even available for the Enterprise edition...Any how the 8.1 Enterprise machine has all my programs for video and audio ripping, transcoding, burning...etc. The 7 Ult machine will have XBMC (even though it has working WMC-which i am not a great fan of anyway) with its tuners on it locally but will still need to be able to access my home net work as that the two Sans Digital HDD banks with my video and audio files will remain connected to WOPR(the 8 core Enterprise machine), WOPR will retain a local tv tuner also as that, most of the time i am on it....

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Since you KNOW WMC has issue with your Enterprise version of Win 8.1 I'd suspect ALL installations into that funky MS OS. Focusing on the Win 7 PC with the HVR-1600 MediaPortal should install like a breeze. There are a couple of downloads the installation requires you to do but it should go well. Since I listen to FM via my AVR I don't need a FM tuner in my PC although their wiki says tuning is the same as for TV -- have you looked in the TUNER CARD setup for the Hauppauge, where you select card parameters if there's anything about the frequency? Could be a country code thing... United States...

Are you using the LAV filters MP allows you to download? Did you configure the LAV Audio filter to work with your high-end audio card? Personally I use the LAV Audio as analog (default) in my bedroom and select PASSTHROUGH in my Theatre using my AVR. Doing a new MediaPortal install gives you MySQL for a database and it also opens a hole in your firewall for the client to see the server. Try reinstalling MP and pay attention to that.

You DO have to map the TV Channels you scan to a card or they'll not show up in the Client. You also have to assign the TV client a server to watch. Sure, it can be tricky but it's a robust application! Try it again...
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I am going to be using the Win 7 mach as a AV preamp so having FM radio is desirable. When i get it set up in my entertainment center again, i'll check out the fm functionality of the cards on both XBMC and Mediaportal. The tuner that i am using, an ATI USB 650 dual, is not fully compatible with XBMC as that it is only seeing the ATSC tuner, not the analog. I suspect it may be the same in Mediaportal....

"Since I listen to FM via my AVR I don't need a FM tuner in my PC although their wiki says tuning is the same as for TV -- have you looked in the TUNER CARD setup for the Hauppauge, where you select card parameters if there's anything about the frequency? Could be a country code thing... United States..."
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:10 PM
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When you say ATI USB 650 dual do you mean this? I have a white-colored version from Fry's that works great but I'd very often have issues keeping the USB port active... sometimes I'd have to power-down the ATi 650 USB Combo, other times disconnect and reconnect the USB cable before it would be recognized by the PC. Given the difficulties I selected the 1600 as my highest priority analog tuner (as I have several other ATSC tuners). I had issue finding the driver for it... it shows up as a name in Device Manager (and MediaPortal), not a 650.

I don't feel I've convinced you to try MediaPortal again... and when I say this, it's ONLY as a test bed. Once you figure what's working, signal strength, tunability, and configuration settings you can try to install this on your server machine. Until then you can test out the basics on whichever system is better suited -- right now the Win 7 based machine fits the bill.

BTW, MediaPortal will be able to see your HDD banks simply by adding them as drives in the Video Folders (which you can select network drives).
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Yep, that's the one i've got. I'll try media portal again, but just not on this machine...Another point against mediaportal was that i could not get its tv server to work with XBMC, much less in itself...again could be this version of 8.1 though i have been told otherwise by my friend that supplied me with the OS and he does know much more than myself....Funny thing though about this particular ATI tuner, have not been able to install its own software, Catalyst Media Center, properly on this machine...but the tuner has worked better than ever on this set up(TV and FM with TotalMedia 3.5 and ATSC TV on XBMC....).....

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Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post
When you say ATI USB 650 dual do you mean this? I have a white-colored version from Fry's that works great but I'd very often have issues keeping the USB port active... sometimes I'd have to power-down the ATi 650 USB Combo, other times disconnect and reconnect the USB cable before it would be recognized by the PC. Given the difficulties I selected the 1600 as my highest priority analog tuner (as I have several other ATSC tuners). I had issue finding the driver for it... it shows up as a name in Device Manager (and MediaPortal), not a 650.

I don't feel I've convinced you to try MediaPortal again... and when I say this, it's ONLY as a test bed. Once you figure what's working, signal strength, tunability, and configuration settings you can try to install this on your server machine. Until then you can test out the basics on whichever system is better suited -- right now the Win 7 based machine fits the bill.

BTW, MediaPortal will be able to see your HDD banks simply by adding them as drives in the Video Folders (which you can select network drives).
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention, XBMC so far has worked wonderfully with my thrift store WMC remote. I am planning though to try to get my android tablet to work as my entertainment controller....gonna have to do a lot of learning...
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:09 AM
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I had looked into and really liked the looks of mediaportal myself when I wanted something better than WMC+MB2. It was a non-starter for me since the cablecard support was limited to w7-32bit which I didn't have handy at the time, and xbmc was a little bit farther along. Funny enough, the margro builds I recommended of xbmc (for faster channel changing) are from Marcel Groothius, who is a mediaportal dev that worked with some others like fernetmenta to modify the ffmpeg demuxer's ability to handle a growing-in-size ts file much quicker than it does in the standard code

They have a lot to offer and are certainly worth a look, their pvr integration looks a little tighter and the overall configuration looks pretty easy

That being said, the wmcserver route leverages so much benefit to XBMC because of the massive compatibility MS built into WMC

Other things I like that I am not sure (honestly, not trying to troll) whether you will find in mediaportal are
-Yatse (use smartphone/tablet as keyboard, remote, trigger playback of youtube videos and send photos to xbmc, even send wol magic packets to your sleeping xbmc boxes, browse an image cache of your entire library to trigger playback, and pause/notify you of phone calls / texts /etc )
-Web client (point your browser to internal IP and control your frontend from any browser, really nice in a pinch -- just used it myself since it was easier then reaching for the remote )
-Automatic refresh rate switching sync'd to display with either audio clock or video clock (drop/dupe or resample)
-Upcoming retroplayer
-Many nice, cheap options for expanding your number of htpcs (firetv, openelec, etc)
-Bitperfect hdmi audio
-On the fly subtitle options within on-screen gui
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