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MediaPortal TV Recording Question


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Zer0

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 03:33 AM

So I have a question about this. Could be a retarded question but I can't find an easy answer anywhere.

Spent the whole weekend trying to get Mediaportal and TV server setup. Once set the TV-Server PC would go in the cupboard and a little mac mini or something under the TV is the idea.

I finally have it all working with my STB and guide listings and the whole lot and it works from clients in my other room for watching live TV, changing channels etc.

So the question is:

If I go to the guide and hit record on a show that is on later that night the program is highlighted red in the guide as it is going to record. I do this from my client PC running mediaportal on my TV. I then turn off that PC as I am going to bed and leave the server running TV-Server in the cupboard turned on.

Does the show record? It seems from what I have seen that recordings will only happen if the PC that scheduled them is turned on AND running mediaportal client interface? This just seems stupid. What is the point of having a backend server?

Also things I schedule to record on 1 client PC do not get highlighted in the guide as scheduled to record on another client PC from what I can see?

I know in VMC I just go to the guide hit record on the program and I can exit VMC and the program will still record even if the VMC user interface is not open.

Have I done something wrong or missed something here? Would welcome some feedback from those a bit more experienced with MP to save me wasting another week trawling through forums looking for scraps of documentation.

Oh and MediaPortal guys really REALLY need to write a proper setup/quickstart guide for those using STB's with IRBlasters. Took me days to find out that I needed to download another IR Suite program and then use that to get a blaster plugin that works for TV-Server!

#2 Bagal

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 07:06 AM

It should work as you described, set the show to record from the client and the server will do the recording, irrelevant of whether the client is running or not.

The simplest way to check is to load the TvServer configuration and have a look at the 'TV Schedules', what you set to record should be listed there, if not then something's wrong.
You should also be seeing the recording in the guide on the other client.

I would suggest first of all that you check the TvServer log files (if you don't know where they are, just load the TvServer config and click the button at the top left called 'Open log directory') and check to see if there were any errors at the time you made the recording request.
I would also try scheduling a recording on the server itself to make sure it's all working fine before moving on to the clients.

As for the blaster, yes you're right some docs would be useful, the built in ServerBlaster plugin only works with Windows XP as Microsoft changed the architecture of the MCE blaster for Vista which stopped it from working, since there was an alternative with the IR Server Suite, fixing ServerBlaster wasn't a priority.

#3 Zer0

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:02 PM

Wow thanks for the detailed post. I have been testing locally with client/server on the same machine as well as from my other PC in another room. The problem is whenever testing the TV is out of action and the wife is not happy! So I had to swap my old boot drive with Vista media center back in the other day. Will check out your suggestions on the weekend though and see how they go.

Going back to Vista Media Center after playing with Mediaportal for a day was quite interesting though. Some things I noticed:

1) The more info button bringing up the little menu with zoom options is really handy and something that is missing from Media Portal.

2) When I bring up the Mediaportal controls/display at the bottom of the screen during playback, plackback freezes and the picture goes black briefly and then comes back. This is annoying and not smooth and integrated like VMC.

3) The TV guide in Media portal lets you go back before the current time. This is kind of annoying as all those shows are over already. Maybe I am just used to Vista but I like just skipping back/back/back through the guide after browsing forwards to get back to NOW time.

4) Using StreamedMP as the default skin is fugly, but when on the main menu it seems to flicker a lot when scrolling around and seems to change itself between the basic and other view sometimes? It is quite annoying as it is not "smooth and clean" like when scrolling around in Vista.

I also have 1 more question. I noticed that TV server uses .ts container files for recording. What format does it put in here and how does it determine the format? For example I have a HVR-1300 from hauppauge which has a hardware mpeg2 encoder. I presume that media portal uses encoded stream from the device and just drops it into the file and doesn't encode it again to something else? Also just ordered a HD-PVR which does hardware h264 encoding so same question applies...

#4 charlesc3

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 10:47 PM

...uses .ts container files for recording. What format does it put in here .

The .ts file would normally just be the off-air transport stream, as recorded. This bit wouldn't be 'special' to any recording software (like Media Portal).
It could be either a single program, as set by what you wanted to record, or it could be the FULL transport stream, with the SD, HD programs etc. in there.


The contents of the .ts file with a single program is essentially MPEG-2, but it is the transport stream.

As opposed to the PS Program Stream MPEG-2 that is what is on a DVD.

Once you have run a ts file through an editor like VideoReDo, it becomes a PS file. The TS format is better suited to the potential problems of over-the-air broadcasts.

#5 Zer0

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 10:52 PM

Yep I get what a transport stream is but keep in mind I am not using DVB-T where it can just grab the audio/video transport streams and drop them into a container. I am using the composite line in to my tuner card from my set top box. But I guess the behaviour should be the same. The tuner encodes this in hardware as mpeg2/whatever audio stream and that just gets dropped into the .ts file. Makes sense I just wanted to make sure that it wasn't trying to encode it again in software rather than just grabbing the output of the card.

Can't wait to get the hd-pvr hooked up and get HD Cable into the media pc properly. Will be a nice change.

#6 charlesc3

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 11:13 PM

I am using the composite line in to my tuner card from my set top box.

Oh, I didn't pick that, sorry.

Guess it's between you and Media Portal as to what it does then. My comments were re DVB-T.

#7 etheesdad

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 12:45 AM

1) The more info button bringing up the little menu with zoom options is really handy and something that is missing from Media Portal.

2) When I bring up the Mediaportal controls/display at the bottom of the screen during playback, plackback freezes and the picture goes black briefly and then comes back. This is annoying and not smooth and integrated like VMC.

3) The TV guide in Media portal lets you go back before the current time. This is kind of annoying as all those shows are over already. Maybe I am just used to Vista but I like just skipping back/back/back through the guide after browsing forwards to get back to NOW time.

4) Using StreamedMP as the default skin is fugly, but when on the main menu it seems to flicker a lot when scrolling around and seems to change itself between the basic and other view sometimes? It is quite annoying as it is not "smooth and clean" like when scrolling around in Vista.


1. Hitting "s" during full screen playback gives you the zoom options

2. Dont know. Ive built 5 HTPC's with MP as the software and have never seen that problem.

3. Depends on the skin you use

4. Flicker in skins is generally related to video hardware. On-board chipsets sometimes produce this problem. There's information in the Forum about how to address it. Clearly, one of the advantages of MP is that you dont have to stick with any appearance you dont like, ie StreamedMP. Thats why its skinned(?)

#8 grief67

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 02:22 AM

YI am using the composite line in to my tuner card from my set top box. .


Another hi jacker.....

OK. Maybe I can find help here... I am also using MP1.0.2 on a single seat, but with the TV Server and Media Portal..

I have tried to get the Composite line to work with my Compro T750F card to enable capture from my VHS player. I have managed to get the sound but no picture.... What options/Setup should I have to get Composite working? CVBS2 ? VHS? and plab/plab etc?

I've not managed to get this to work yet...

HEATH