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GHDpro 2007-09-23 13:23

MediaPortal & soft-subs
If you are not familiar with it: MediaPortal is a nice replacement for the Media Center software that comes included with Windows MCE and Windows Vista (afaik). Since it's open-source, it has better support for open-source video formats. While I bought a PC with Windows MCE for the Media Center application, I quickly switched to MediaPortal as MC kept crashing on files other than AVI (MKV, MP4 etc) on me.

Anyway, up until now I had enabled soft-subtitles by enabling "Auto load VSFilter" in the Haali Media Splitter (included with CCCP) settings. Unfortunately since version 0.2.3 RC2 this no longer worked, so I quickly downgraded again. However I figured more people would be using MP for anime and have this problem, so I dug futher.

Here is how to enable selectable soft-subtitles in MediaPortal

1) Install CCCP. But most of you probably have it already anyway.

2) Install latest (reasonbly stable) version of MediaPortal. I use 0.2.3 RC2
Note that you don't need Windows MCE or Vista. XP Home/Pro will work too! Drivers for the MCE remote only come with MCE & Vista though, so you'll need to get another kind of remote (which isn't required, but recommended)

3) In the MediaPortal Configuration, do:

a) Enable subtitles and set language to English in Movies (main) -> Subtitles tab:

b) Select Movies -> Movies Post Processing, then add DirectVobSub (auto-loading version) by double-clicking on it in the list and ticking the box.

c) Then select the filter and click Filter properties and in the General tab make sure it is set to Always load under Loading.

4) Don't forget to set all other settings in MediaPortal, like enabling your remote if you have one, and specifying your movie folders in the similarly named section.

And finally... just sit back and relax your fansubs. Subtitles should automatically load when you play files with soft-subtitles in MediaPortal.

Use the Yellow buton (on MCE remote) or Context menu (open with "F9" key) to choose between different subtitles and/or turning subtitles off. You can also switch audio channels with the "A" key or Green button, but of course most fansubs have only one audio track anyway.

If you have a LCD TV with VGA or DVI input, this is (IMHO) the best way to watch anime on your TV.

In case you need more convincing, here are some screens of MediaPortal in action:
(MediaPortal is running windowed in these screens, but of course you normally run it full screen, also the skin is completely customizable in case you don't like the default MC imitation skin)
Select a file to play with your MCE (or other) remote (or keyboard)...
Context menu. Hmm... I just noticed it has support for MKV chapters too!
(Audio option is missing as this file, like most fansubs, only has one audio track anyway)
Which subtitle do you want? (A bit pointless in this case, but what if the subs were in multiple languages)
And now for THE feature I like the MOST (apart from the videos playing properly unlike MediaCenter): MediaPortal can remember where you left off! Not shown in the first screen above is that episodes you've already watched are displayed in a darker shade. So it's easy to watch a bunch of episodes without having to figure out which one you viewed last.

I should note that this "remember last time" option stops working if you move the video to another folder, hence why all HnG episodes are in white instead of a darker shade: I usually watch first (from my BT download folder) and then organize them (into the HnG folder).

Anyway... I hope I converted a few more people to MediaPortal with this tutorial :)

guest 2007-09-23 14:12


Originally Posted by GHDpro (Post 1161785)
2) Install latest (reasonbly stable) version of MediaPortal. I use 0.2.3 RC2
Note that you don't need Windows MCE. XP will work too! Drivers for the MCE remote only come with MCE though, so you'll need to get another kind of remote (which isn't required, but recommended)

I am not sure what you mean here. I have a remote control for MCE. Do I need to get another remote for MediaPortal?

GHDpro 2007-09-23 14:46

Well... when I tried to connect my MCE remote to my sister's PC (with XP home) I couldn't get it to work, because XP Home didn't recognize it. The drivers appear to be included with MCE only. Of course if you can somehow get the MCE remote to work on XP Home/Pro, then you can ignore that bit of my guide.

guest 2007-09-23 16:41

It may be just me. I was happy that there is something that allows me to play my video files with the MCE remote on monitor. I tried this but... first of all, once it is on fullscreen mode, I can't minimize it again. If I do, I don't see the picture. I only hear the sound. There is still this icon on task bar but clicking it isn't working. I mean the screen looks desktop, not the movie but you can hear the sound. Also, there is no control bar on full screen mode. I didn't select that option when I set it up but the control buttons just don't show up on full screen mode.

Second, it is really lagging, especially after this exchange between fullscreen and normal mode.

Oh, the MCE remote works with Vista. I just notice that after it is in full screen mode, only the remote can control it.

I don't know. Maybe I am not used to it?

Nicholi 2007-09-23 21:42

Interesting, I think we've had quite a few people on the CCCP forums ask about MediaPortal not working. But after the usual had no useful tips to give them :).

Only slightly bad things about this would be is that VSFilter is always loaded with all videos, and VSFilter is known to magically slowdown processing speed even if there are no subs. Otherwise, hurrah for more workingness. Interesting that you say MC crashed on MKV/MP4... my initial testing showed it should be working at least. Evul microsoft.

GHDpro 2007-09-23 23:08

- Like most video players, you can switch back to windowed mode with Alt+Enter. Alternatively if you move the mouse to the top of the screen, you should see extra buttons too.

- MP might have it's slow moments... but overall I don't notice much slowdown. Playback is fine for me.

- Vista Home Premium (and better) comes with Media Center, so it is not surprising the MCE remote works.

- CCCP & MediaPortal not working: in what way? Couldn't it not be that they simply have conflicting codec (packs) installed?

- "VSFilter is always loaded": well you could try playing with the settings. I found these instructions on the MediaPortal forum, and didn't really experiment whether you need to follow all steps. Perhaps it's possible to skip the last step where you set VSFilter to always load. Also... if your PC is simply fast enough a bit of slowing down in processing shouldn't matter.

Nicholi 2007-09-24 01:02


Originally Posted by GHDpro
- CCCP & MediaPortal not working: in what way? Couldn't it not be that they simply have conflicting codec (packs) installed?

If it was so simple a problem as conflicting filters we would have solved it :). No, thats what I mean after the usual set of questions/answers and common fixes it wasn't something like that. Some problem with how MediaPortal worked with VSFilter, in that it didn't by default. And I guess the answer was not on the MP forums back then....and I was too lazy to go install it and see if it could be made to work by looking into its options :P.

guest 2007-09-24 17:30

I am trying again and it does seem better now. :D It's still slow but it's OK. Still, I don't see the buttons when I watch it in fullscreen mode even when I move the mouse to the top. I am wondering if the setup is wrong. The following is the general set up:
Do you think which one I should change to have the control buttons showed up when I move mouse in full screen mode?

GHDpro 2007-09-24 21:01

Hmm, those settings appear to be nearly identical to what I have selected (except for a few that shouldn't matter).

Maybe the problems you experience are a Vista only thing...?!?

SirJeannot 2007-09-30 09:16

the $1 question: does it support multiple tv tuners at once?

GHDpro 2007-09-30 10:44

Check out:

I'm not using it for TV recording though, so I can't tell how advanced that part of MediaPortal is. But from the features list, it doesn't look like MediaPortal can't do anything MediaCenter can. It might be a little trickier to set up though, depending on what TV tuners & channels (for EPG) you have.

SirJeannot 2007-09-30 12:48

i have a dual digital tuner. but it seems it's supported : "Support for multiple tuners".
that's all i wanted. i'll try it out :)

Khelbenaru 2007-10-11 17:03

Kudos to GHDpro for sharing this information, MediaPortal is great for HTPC use! :D

If anyone is interested, I also discovered that:

- VSFilter doesn't need permanent auto-load, it works anyway.

- you can use a MCE remote with XP home or pro, just download this (even if the OP of this thread says it is an "obsolete" driver, my HP MCE remote would not work without it) and this.

guest 2007-10-11 21:46

I forgot to ask this, does anyone know how to do a clean uninstallation of MediaPortal 0.2.2? I would like to get the latest one but I just can't seem to get rid of old version cmpletely. Every time when I start Media Portal, it still says 0.2.2.

Potatochobit 2007-10-12 04:31

I dont really like MCE, but if you're using mediaportal, then I should give it a go too. the resume feature and AR change does indeed look fun to use.

guest 2008-02-06 23:30

Does anyone know how to make MediaPortal play video one after another in the same folder? I put together a folder with ep 1-13 and would like them to play ep 1 first then continue to ep 2 and so on. But now it just stops at the end of each ep and I have to manually ask it it to play the next file. I hope there is some setting that can change that.

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