Sunday, 22 February 2015

Launching MediaBrowser and Netflix from Mediaportal

Since the MediaBrowser plug-in for Mediaportal has stalled and is now pretty much unusable, I've been spending my weekend looking at ways to get MediaPortal to launch external applications like MediaBrowser Theater and Netflix.

The MultiShortcut plugin for MediaPortal works well for the former - you can set it up as a tile on the MediaPortal home screen that, when clicked, launches MediaBrowser Theater and hides MP, bringing MP back to life when MediaBrowser is shut down.

This gets around the issues with using the MediaBrowser plug-in and seems to work pretty well. MediaBrowser Theater also supports remote control so it feels well integrated.

Netflix, on the other hand is a bit more challenging.

It's a Windows Store App so there's no obvious way to make a shortcut or find an .exe to launch from MultiShorcut. A quick search, however, revealed this easy process to make a shortcut for an App which I was able to use to construct the MultiShortcut exefile and arguments strings required. Here's the resulting settings for my system;

There's still no way that I can find to control the Netflix App with a remote control so it'll be necessary to pick up a keyboard or mouse for that task but this is close to good overall.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Pursuit of Quietness

Since MediaServer8 now lives in my Home Theatre, I'd like to make it as quiet as possible. The current set-up employs 3x Silverstone 120mm fans working as intakes in the base underneath the hard drive cage, (these came with the SST-GD07B Case and are very quiet),  as well as 2x Noctua NF-S12A PWM Case Fans  working as intakes on the side. These are all controlled from a NZXT Sentry Mix 2 Fan Controller.

This is reasonably quiet, but I think it could be better. I ordered some Noctua NF-R8 redux-1200 by mistake, thinking they were 120mm when in fact they were 80mm so I had to get a few more Noctua NF-S12B redux-700 as well.

 I'm very impressed with these Redux line units. Even though they're bare bones (with just the fan and 4x fan screws in the box), the packaging still has a premium feel (with not a bit of clear plastic in sight). And are they quiet!