or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Home Theater Computers › How best to integrate Media Center DVR and MediaPortal
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How best to integrate Media Center DVR and MediaPortal

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've been using an HTPC a long long time. I had MediaPortal running for nearly 5 years on XP quite successfully. As I'm canceling cable I have purchased an Hauppage 2250 dual tuner and a GT430 video card for that same rig. In MediaPortal w/ LAV decoders (mostly) it is just fantastic.

So I added TV Server but was not pleased with the overall experience. I have it working (no small feat) but its just not what I'm looking for.

What I want is MCE DVR with MediaPortal for everything else.

Does anyone do this and if so how?

I think I could write batch files and use the remote w/ unused keys to swap between the 2 apps. I would have to close each app for each switch, but that is not a deal breaker as it is very quick.

Here is my perfect scenario:
  1. W7 boots into MediaPortal.
  2. I plan to use TV Series to autopopulate recorded TV so I'd stay in MP to watch recorded TV.
  3. But I want to schedule a new program or just watch some TV - I press a button on my Harmony Remote and launch MCE
  4. When I'm done I return to MP w/ another button

Any help is greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 10
What was it about the MediaPortal TV Server that you didn't like?

There is one massive advantage with the MediaPortal TV Server over that of MCE and that is the fact that it will record ALL channels on a single frequency using a single tuner (MCE can only record one channel with a single tuner). I am not sure how your DVB frequencies are configured where you live, but here in the UK I can record lots of channels with a single tuner - which is excellent!

You might be able to achieve what you want by simply using the green button on your remote control. If you use MediaPortal as normal and allow it to auto-start with Windows startup, but do not apply the fix to make MP run when the remote green button is pressed (take the tick out of the option on this page of the config GUI: http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_M...d_Party_Checks), when you PC boots then MP will run as normal. If you then hit your green button then WMC will load. You can then set your recording up and then exit WMC and it should return to MP where you left it (I think - I have never tried it though). Importantly you will need to disable (or uninstall) MediaPortal TV Server otherwise it might stop WMC TV Service running correctly.

Personally I think you can easily achieve what you want by using the MediaPortal TV Server and I am sure I can help you achieve this. Have you tried the new MediaPortal guide which gives a tutorial on how to configure MP TV Server? http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1410346

Robbo100
post #3 of 10
I'd love to try out MP but it doesn't seem to support US CableCARD Tuners which for an open source product in a "there's a fee for that" country it will be tough to ever see it because you have to give CableLabs $15000 or something for a license.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I prefer the Windows Media Center DVR because it is far simpler and just works. I can configure MPTV but I don't want to. I have been doing this a long time and am very patient. It is not time I want to spend.

I haven't had the issue where MCE can only record one channel. I'm in the USA and clearQAM (or OTA HD) look great. Both tuners work perfectly in MCE.

So I'm looking at using shortcuts that enable/disable the services in the 3rd party checks mapped to softkeys on my harmony remote.

Do you know what policy MP uses to disable MCE? The scheduled recordings still work even with those services disabled.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon_R View Post

So I'm looking at using shortcuts that enable/disable the services in the 3rd party checks mapped to softkeys on my harmony remote.

Do you know what policy MP uses to disable MCE? The scheduled recordings still work even with those services disabled.

I don't think you should enable/disable them using your remote, just perminantly disable the setting that allows MediaPortal to take-over the remote green button, so that it still works to call up WMC.

Robbo100
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I created 2 batch files (I did have to disable UAC, tho I'm not worried about that). I used a utility tskill to locate and kill specific processes as well as some undocumented (other than in the source) switches for mptray from here:

I assume i'll be using MultiShortcut for MP to start the batch file StartMCE.bat but I haven't gotten that far yet.

Here I kill mptray properly and kill mediaportal, add the registry key to allow MCE to start and start MCE w/ no startup animation on the guide page.

StartMCE.bat
  • "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Team MediaPortal\\MediaPortal\\mptray.exe" /kill
  • tskill mediaportal
  • reg add HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Policies\\Microsoft\\WindowsMediaCenter /v MediaCenter /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
  • c:\\windows\\ehome\\ehshell.exe /nostartupanimation /homepage:VideoGuide.xml /PushStartPage:True

Once in MCE I have added a shortcut using the Media Center Launcher Configurator. The main difference is it actually kills Media Center and disables its restart. This gives green button control back to MP.

StartMP.bat
  • tskill ehtray
  • tskill ehshell
  • tskill mptray
  • reg add HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Policies\\Microsoft\\WindowsMediaCenter /v MediaCenter /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
  • "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Team MediaPortal\\MediaPortal\\mptray.exe" /kill
  • "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Team MediaPortal\\MediaPortal\\mptray.exe" /register
  • "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Team MediaPortal\\MediaPortal\\MediaPortal.exe"

This is just a morning of dodging work to tinker but this is at least 75% of the way toward integration. Also, I'll be using app shortcuts vs specific keys on the remote as previously thought. The step to kill and then register mptray then restart is a workaround as I found mptray was hanging. I keep editing this as I tweak the StartMP script.

*EDIT*
I think adding /shell fixes it. More testing required.

*EDIT2* - nope, /shell does something else. I think /register starts it and /register with /shell = hang
post #7 of 10
I am not convinced that killing these processes is a particularly good solution! It might cause you problems with the databases and corrupting files.

What was wrong with suggestion I gave you where you are running MP all the time (but don't have the TV Server installed), and you just press the remote control green button to load MCE, programme your recordings, and then press the green button again to exit MCE back to MP (which remains running in the background)?
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Funny you mention database corruption - that's a good point.

I'm an oracle db conversion analyst and I pay the bills with noncorrupt dbs.

I want to retain native green button functionality in both MCE and MP. This is mostly for WAF and my inlaws who like TV more than I and are free babysitters.

Thanks for your suggestions though - they very well could be more elegant.

I've added MultiShortcut to MP (a tad hacky) and now I can switch between MP/MCE and retain Green Button control in the respective program. So that's nice.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks to robbo100 I've taken things in a new direction.

In MP I use multishortcut which hides MP while MCE runs.

StartMCE.bat
  • "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Team MediaPortal\\MediaPortal\\mptray.exe" /unregister
  • reg add HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Policies\\Microsoft\\WindowsMediaCenter /v MediaCenter /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
  • c:\\windows\\ehome\\ehshell.exe /homepage:VideoGuide.xml /PushStartPage:True

This unregisters mptray (so it doesn't take over green button in MCE), allows MCE to start w/ registry setting, and opens MCE in Guide. I left the start animation on because it gives the guide more time to load.

When I'm done in MCE I then select the MediaPortal button which loads the following:

StartMP.bat
  • reg add HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Policies\\Microsoft\\WindowsMediaCenter /v MediaCenter /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
  • "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Team MediaPortal\\MediaPortal\\mptray.exe" /register
  • tskill ehtray
  • tskill ehshell


This makes it so MCE won't start, re-registers mptray, kills the MCE Tray and MCE interface. Since MP is just hidden thanks to MultiShortcut, MP returns instantly.

There are some transitions to desktop I could smooth out using screen blanking or icon hiding, but this is the core functionality I was looking for.
post #10 of 10
Great news. I am glad you got there and that my suggestion was useful in some way!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Home Theater Computers
AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Home Theater Computers › How best to integrate Media Center DVR and MediaPortal