Media Portal has been around for a few years now, put together by a group of passionate volunteers. Media Portal is an open-source(free) home theatre software solution, allowing you to play music, movies and pictures all from its tidy and easy to navigate interface.
The team has come a long way since the early days of coding this program. There are now many more features, support for many more TV tuner cards, as well as being much more stable. In my case, the Media Portal software allowed me to do more with my TV tuner card than the manufacturer supplied drivers and software.
Media Portal is similar to Windows Media Center (WMC), but the coders are striving to make it better and more desirable than WMC. Media Portal has much more to offer than WMC, as it can be customised to suite your needs, allowing you to change the entire appearance to suit your lifestyle. You can also install plug-ins giving you any number of extra features not already part of the Media Portal package itself such as weather reports and stock information. Did I mention, it is free.
A few of the features Media Portal offers are:
- Fully skinable interface so you can change the appearance.
- Watch TV, Movies, Pictures
- Listen to CD’s, MP3’s and many other types of audio.
- With a TV tuner card in your computer, you can watch TV with time-shifting(pause live TV) and schedule recording of TV shows. You can even watch shows while another is recording in the background
- Load TV guides
- Play games
- Search the web
- Install plug-ins to do all sorts of fun stuff
Inspect My Gadget highly recommends that you get yourself a copy of Media Portal and give it a try. If you connect your television and stereo to your PC, you will be able to take full advantage of this fine piece of software.
Media Portal is updated frequently and is available from team-mediaportal.com.