MediaPortal Review

Opensource PVR/Media Center MediaPortal is a great piece of opensource (yes, free) software that allows you to almost completely run your entire home entertainment system from that old computer collecting dust in your closet. You can record and pause live TV, schedule future recordings (it actually provides you with a great number of options to record once, record weekly, etc), and organize all of your media.

You can easily go from watching live TV to listening to your favorite MP3s with one remote. The flexibility and price of this software do, however, seem to come with a price. After installing, we found it entirely too difficult to get a working program guide for the software to use. Luckily, the development community surrounding this software seems to have a built up a decent wiki with a number guides to help new users get started. The real question that remains in my mind, though: is it worth it? The upcoming release of the new Tivo comes with a price tag of nearly $400! If you don’t want top of the line, though, you can pick up a current model for around $100 bucks – definitely reasonable for what is quickly becoming an entertainment room necessity. MediaPortal