MediaPortal is a great free media center software that is also one of the best choices if you need to watch TV on your PC. As a media center software, MediaPortal's user interface is clear and simple without any unnecessary complexity. Large texts are easy to read also by older users.
However, the problem is that MediaPortal is designed to run on a dedicated PC, not occasionally on a general purpose home computer. The client-server design of MediaPortal makes it to reserve some PC resources all the time, and even worse, it requires that the TV receiver hardware (e.g. DVB-T USB stick) is connected to the computer at the boot time and continuously after that. This is not something that you like to do e.g. with a small notebook.
Instead of restarting Windows® to make MediaPortal's TV Server to recognize recently connected TV device, the user may manually restart "TV Service" in Computer Management. However, this is not a reasonable option for a regular user who just want to start watching TV right away.
First install MediaPortal on the computer in the "singleseat" mode. Then run MediaPortal Launch Shortcuts Setup to stop the unnecessary services and to update the desktop shortcuts ("MediaPortal" and "TV-Server Configuration").
After this, MediaPortal application and the TV-Server Configuration panel should be started only using the new desktop shortcuts. The TV-Server Configuration will warn you that the MySQL service is not set to start automatically; this warning can be ignored while using this patch.
In case of problems, uninstall this patch using the Windows® Control Panel. Uninstallation removes the created desktop shortcuts and restores the default behavior of the MediaPortal TV-Server and MySQL services.
Note that the user using MediaPortal must have administrative
privileges. Otherwise the background services cannot be started and
stopped on demand. If all MediaPortal users on the computer do not have
administrative rights, this patch cannot be used.
A special workaround is used on Windows Vista® and Windows® 7 to avoid UAC consent prompt when MediaPortal is launched using the created shortcut (although it starts and stops the system services).
This patch should not be used if the TV-Server service is serving other MediaPortal computers over the network or used for scheduled recordings while MediaPortal is closed. Also, because this patch also stops the MySQL database service whenever MediaPortal does not need it, MySQL will not be available for other applications. However, in most cases, the MySQL database engine on your computer is used only for MediaPortal's internal use.