Team MediaPortal has released MediaPortal 1.5.0 FINAL, a major update to its open-source media center for Windows PCs. Version 1.5.0 sees the functionality of the PowerScheduler++ plugin incorporated directly into MediaPortal, and comes with the promise of improved support for TV broadcasts delivered over the internet.
The update also adds support for US CableCardTM tuners and Windows 8.1, but drops official support for XP.
By incorporating PowerScheduler++ features into Media Portal, the media center now gains improved functionality for those wishing to use it in a remote configuration, with support for scheduled system reboot, configurable away mode and extra options for remote clients now all available “out of the box”.
Support for IPTV has been improved by overhauling it at a basic level to make Media Portal better equipped not only to deal with the latest changes in IPTV, but also to handle future improvements too.
CableCardTM support allows US users to access encrypted cable TV transmissions through compatible tuners connected directly to their HTPC. Support comes with one major caveat: some DRM restrictions will prevent certain channels or programmes from playing.
Version 1.5.0 also comes with an enhanced ViewModeSwitcher PlugIn, which allows the screen to automatically change the zoom mode and aspect ratio depending on the video being played. The update fixes some frustrating issues and improves performance as well as providing continuous Black Bar detection and removal.
Another featured improvement sees users gain the ability to change the time offset for TV recording and video thumbnails, while composite thumbnails now calculate the time between each part automatically according to the video duration.
MediaPortal 1.5.0 is available now as a free, open-source download for PCs running Windows XP or later. Although official support for XP is dropped with this new release, it will install and run perfectly (there are even a couple of XP-specific fixes included as a parting gift from the developers). Support for the forthcoming Windows 8.1 has been added in its place.