which one is better: GBPVR vs Mediaportal - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-01, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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which one is better: GBPVR vs Mediaportal

I am going to get the tuner card Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1800, and think about the use either GBPVR or Mediaportal on XP pro, I will only use the tuner for OTA only, but I have a lot of photo, music and video files. which one is most stable, easy to use. Especially for woman.
my system is 3.2G intel, 1G ram pc-3200 with digital audio output, use build in intel video, 80G c:, 200G d: will connect to a projector TV 1280x768 use vga to DVI link.
thanks.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-03, 12:32 PM
 
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GB-PVR is a better tivo, but media portal is a much much better media center


that doesn't really solve much for you tho
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-03, 04:52 PM
 
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Personally, I would recommend Windows 7 Home Premium as an OTA TV solution. If you don't have a license, they can be purchased for ~$100. If you use GB-PVR or MediaPortal, you may need an annual guide listings subscription. There are some free Zap2it scrapers but they are a little tricky to configure.

I tried both those products when I assembled my HTPC a few years ago. Both were a pain in the ass to configure and MediaPortal was buggy as hell when recording TV or browsing the guide while watching live TV. After a month of playing around with those 2 products (I couldn't try Myth because my ATI 650 PCIe tuner was unsupported) I configured Vista as my main TV solution. I have since upgraded to Windows 7 and for TV, I love it! That being said, I do use XBMC for everything else (I can swap between the two programs using my remote).

Sadly, there is no killer Media Center/TV combo app out there YET. Some are better at one thing or another (IMO nothing beats XBMC for media). W7MC is rock solid and reliable for TV but needs plugins to manage media better (see 'Media Browser').
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-03, 05:12 PM
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And to add to the confusion - I would recommend SageTV as the best PVR/media solution, especially if you want extenders since they have a very good hardware extender.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-03, 09:00 PM
 
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been to sage and back

Win7 with media browser/meta browser is a much better experience than sage (unless you need to mix tuner types, then sage is more powerful)


that being said, you can't really go wrong with any of the above mentioned products

I used Media portal for a year, GB-PVR for 6 months

XP MCE for about 3ish years

SageTV for a year, and now windows7 since about christmasish

all have their strong points, and all do things slightly different
it's just a matter of finding the right flavour for your house


Mythtv if you're feeling adventurous
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-03, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikker View Post
been to sage and back

Win7 with media browser/meta browser is a much better experience than sage (unless you need to mix tuner types, then sage is more powerful)
I would agree except that MS seems to have abandoned extenders. Sage used to be your best option if you want to get HD (other than OTA) into an HTPC in Canada and it still is likely the best solution since this requires using an HD-PVR. I haven't tried the DVBLink solution with Win7 MC but I don't think it is as smooth as using the HD-PVR with Sage as MS/Hauppauge seem to refuse to come up with a solution to directly support the HD-PVR in MC. Note I also have a backup HTPC running Win7 MC but it only has one tuner - a PVR-150 hooked up to an SD cable box with an MCE IR blaster.

Sage also is better at supporting more files types out of the box including MKVs, BluRay rips, DVD rips etc. And Sage has no DRM, unlike Win7 MC. Finally when it comes to Media Center Microsoft seems to have a "screw Canadians" philosophy as they keep making it difficult for us to use MC in numerous ways.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-04, 07:56 AM
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Anyone who hasn't looked at MediaPortal recently should take another look. The latest 1.0 release is a vast improvement over earlier releases for stability and usability on XP. The new 1.1RC1 is another big step forward and it works on Win7. MediaPortal 1.1RC2 is due out soon and should be very close to the 1.1 final release. The $20/yr guide subscription is cheap compared to other software options. Win7 MC is a decent media player but getting it to work with TV in Canada can be a hassle due to lack of support from MS.

At 20 I had a good mind. At 40 I had money. At 60 I've lost my mind and my money. Oh, to be 20 again. --Scary
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-04, 09:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Win7 MC is a decent media player but getting it to work with TV in Canada can be a hassle due to lack of support from MS.
Actually, considering the OP only wanted OTA, W7MC will work right out of the box with no hacks. All that is needed is a Buffalo ZIP Code (14020) and they will get all the local listings.

As far as extenders go, the Xbox 360 is only getting cheaper. Just a few weeks ago they were selling for $130. The new models are nearly silent and run very cool. Just for fun, I tried the MC Extender feature on Windows 7 and was surprised to see that using the Divx codec, my 360 was able to play MKV's with no transcoding. Since my HTPC and my 360 are in the same room, I would never use the Extender feature but it was fun to give it a try anyway.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-04, 11:26 AM
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@jeneral - How do you know that avengine lives in the GTA? He didn't include a location in his post. A Buffalo zip won't help if he lives in BC.

I agree with you about the Xbox360 - I was tempted to buy one a couple of weeks ago in case I want to use Win7 MC a bit more. That price was very tempting.

Are these latest Xboxes really that quiet? I have a 2 year old Xbox360 Elite and it is quieter than earlier models but not at all silent.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-04, 12:28 PM
 
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Quote:
I haven't tried the DVBLink solution with Win7 MC but I don't think it is as smooth as using the HD-PVR with Sage
it is

once i got dvblink working, i switched back from sage to win7

they're also now working on a network pack for it, so it'll much more resemble the tuner farm we've all wanted for years

as for the 360 as an extender, I use mine occassionally that way and its pretty decent

you definitely can't hear it over the tv at low/moderate volume

its noticeable if you leave it sitting there on, with the TV off, but why would you do that? when it's not in use, it's turned off (and obviously silent)
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-04, 12:28 PM
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I'm partial to gbpvr, mainly 'cause that's what I use.
Have used trial versions of Sage TV and many others. Wasn't impressed at all.
Seemed like ur typical commercial Bloatware.

gbpvr is nice because it's free, and mostly community supported.
So, if there is something you don't like about it, or having an issue with, you
can post questions/suggestions to developers/human beings which actually
have a chance of being implemented. Certainly your questions will be answered...
Unlike commercial bloatware.
You can customize it almost any way ya want with many available community supported plugins.

Initially I developed a method of gathering guide info from OTA Broadcasts directly.
But realizing canadian stations were never gonna include it in their PSIP data, I recently
switched to a free Zap2It Scraper for OTA EPG...
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-04, 12:34 PM
 
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Out of the 2 choices I'd go with MediaPortal combined with StreamedMP the final look is very impressive, have to say though that I have never tried GBPVR.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-04, 01:44 PM
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I looked at GVPR and it seems pretty decent. It's big selling point over MediaPortal (MP) is that it supports UPnP but MP doesn't. UPnP is nice because the TV client can be use with a number of standalone TV servers, including MythTV and several commercial packages. MP only works with the MP TV server. MP will support UPnP in a future release but that is some time away. The main reason I abandoned GPVR is due a hardware conflict but that should not usually be an issue.

At 20 I had a good mind. At 40 I had money. At 60 I've lost my mind and my money. Oh, to be 20 again. --Scary
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-04, 05:27 PM
 
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Quote:
@jeneral - How do you know that avengine lives in the GTA? He didn't include a location in his post. A Buffalo zip won't help if he lives in BC.
Oops. My bad. I guess I ass-u-me whenever someone decides to go OTA-only that they're in the GTA area. Thanks for the correction!

Quote:
Are these latest Xboxes really that quiet? I have a 2 year old Xbox360 Elite and it is quieter than earlier models but not at all silent.
I had a Xenon 360 (1st Gen) that died on me last year. That sucker ran super hot and even 'idling' would draw 160w. I picked up a replacement Jasper for $149 last September and was surprised how cool and quiet the unit is (~94w idle). You can faintly hear some fans running. Even after gaming for a few hours the unit is still pretty quiet and when shutting it off, the case is so much cooler than my original. You most likely have a Falcon 360. It's an improvement over the original but the GPU is 90nm and gives off more heat. Since the fans are temperature controlled, your fans probably spin a little faster.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 2010-04-04, 10:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaryBob View Post
The $20/yr guide subscription is cheap compared to other software options.
A free option would be to use MC2XML (XMLTV) which is usable by both GBPVR and MediaPortal. I've been using it for about a year now and never had an issue.

As for the original question, I would say to try both and then choose. GBPVR was extremely stable when I was using it (~2 years ago) but lacked a nice UI. My current standalone HTPC I use is now running MediaPortal with 2 pluggins (MovingPictures & MPTVSeries) with a HVR-1600 for OTA (Analog & Digital). If it didnt require a TV Tuner, I would probably be using XBMC on that PC...
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