MPPC Configuration - HTPC running MediaPortal
Last update: 29.03.2009
Configuration and Setup
Here I try to describe the steps to set up a HTPC using MediaPortal. I call it MPPC for MediaPortal PC. My current MPPC is using that configuration. My MPPC is used in a living room environment which requires some other steps as you would do on a workstation.
Also there are no tips for choosing hardware: there are enough guides out there which help on that topic. Look here for some ideas:
Ensure that your hard and software meets the MediaPortal Requirements.
1. Windows Installation
- Install Windows XP with SP3
- Install .NET Framework 2 or later
- Install Mediaplayer 11.0
- Do a WindowsUpdate to get the latest patches/fixes
- Install your device drivers (Via4in1, NForce, Graphics, Sound - depends on your system)
At this stage I suggest to do a backup of your Installation. I use Acronis True Image for this task.
MediaPortal will automatically check some of these requirements before installation.
2. Windows Configuration
- Deactivate Windows Styles
- Deactivate Windows Sounds
- Use "regedit" to create a new DWORD "DisableStatusMessages" with value 1 in
This will give you a black screen when booting windows.
- Deactivate the desktop cleanup wizard (annoying thing)
- Deactivate not needed services in the service manager (SP2 already does part of that). Some candidates for that: Help and Support Center, IPSec Service.
Be sure you know what your doing!
- Configure autologin for your user (Use TweakUI for XP when your account is password protected)
- Choose the native display resolution in your video card driver setup.
- TV out (Composite or S-Video): For PAL (european TV) use 720 x 576 and 60Hz . If you have a display using NTSC this would be 648 x 486
- VGA/DVI/HDMI: read the manual to find the correct resolution. Many LCD TV displays use 1360x768, some will look better with 1024x768.
- Make sure that your windows desktop/any program looks as sharp as possible!
At this point I did a second image with Acronis True Image.
3. Software Installation
- CD Bremse to make my DVD/CD drive spin slowly -> www.cdbremse.de
- c't usbagent -> Download von ftp.heise.de
This enables autorun function for usb mass storage devices similar to that of CDs.
- NVIDIA Purevideo, only for the codecs it brings. Supposed to be one of the best codecs for MPEG2 playback. This may be obsolete with new versions of Media Portal bringing integrated MPEG support.
- ffdshow -> ffdshow.sourceforge.net, most of the other codecs I need
- CDXA for SVCD support, see here for details
- DAEMON Tools from www.daemon-tools.cc
- Girder for remote control capabilities
- and finally MediaPortal itself
- I had good results with turning VSync ON in the video card driver configuration and VMR Exclusive Mode ON in Mediaportal