MediaPortal is a PVR/media application that handled TV recording as well as media management like Windows Media Center. It is a free open source program that can be found here.
I initially thought it would be very simple to install the TV Server portion of the applicaiton on my WHS in order to handle the recording and streaming, but unfortunately WHS is not supported by MediaPortal and there are a few hoops to jump through in order to get this to work.
I downloaded the latest version of MediaPlayer and when trying to install it said that WHS (recognized as Windows Server 2003 SP2) was not supported, but lets you continue with the installation anyway. I selected ‘advanced installation’ so that I can just install the ‘Dedicated TV-Server (master)’ component and not the MediaPortal client application. During the installation it says you need to install Windows Media Player 11, since WMP 11 is not supported by WHS you will need to follow the directions below in order to successfully install it.
To install Media Player 11:
- Download wmp11-windowsxp-x86-enu.exe
- Open this file in an extraction program such as WinZip or 7-Zip (I used 7-Zip)
- Extract the wmfdist11.exe and wmp11.exe and place them in separate folders on the C: drive of your WHS (not on a share). (this step was adapted from instructions I was following elsewhere – I’m not certain of the separate folders requirement, but I did it anyway)
- From the WHS admin desktop, right-click the wmfdist11.exe file and click properties.
- Go to the Compatibility tab and ticket the “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” box, and select Windows XP from the drop down.
- Click OK, and run the wmfdisk11.exe. Choose not to restart at the end.
- Repeat 4-7 for the wmp11.exe
Source: Jay Schlackman
After this is complete, run through the MediaPortal installer, if you have any issues check the ones that I ran into (below) for my solutions. Once installation is complete, launch the “TV-Server Configuration” and now you can follow the official guide for setting up a MediaPortal TV-Server or various other guide that you can find online.
I will post back with my thoughts on MediaPortal after I have some time to play around with it.
Issues along the way
Failed to startup tvserviceSystem.Net.Sockets.SocketException
At the end of the installation or when I try to launch the TV-Server configuration, I got the following lengthy error message (my PC’s IP address is blacked out). I tried a number of suggestions that I found online but to no avail. After a number of hours troubleshooting this issue, I decided to revert to version 1.0.1 which can be found on their SourceForge page and everything worked fine.
Your platform is not supported by MediaPortal
Whenever you try to launch the application you will get an error message saying that the platform is not supported, but you can ignore this message.
mySQL – set password error: 1
Since I ran into some issues getting Media Portal installed on WHS I ended up going through the install/uninstall process a number of times. While doing this I ran into an error message when installing MySQL that said “mySQL – set password error: 1” and quit the installation. In order to fix this you must uninstall MySQL from the Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs and the navigate to the C:\Program Files\MySQL directory and delete it. After this, reboot your PC and try the installation again and it should work just fine. If you are still having issues, in the advanced installation you can choose too install Microsoft SQL Express 2005 as your database instead of MySQL to circumvent this message.
WHS v2 Vail
From what I have read MediaPortal should install without much hassle on the newer version of WHS codename Vail. The beta is out for WHSv2, but I do not have the extra hardware to run those tests at this time. Some evidence can be found at WeGotServed.