XBMC Setup & Support thread- Part 3!

Grangey.

Distinguished Member
This thread is a continuation of the part 2 thread for setup and support queries for XBMC originally found here:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/home...-support-thread-updated-version-11-eden.htmll

WIP- I there is more information to come but the core is here

Hi all,

Wow... another thread past 1,000 posts! I think these really shows just how successfully (rightfully so) XBMC has become and the knowledge of our users on this forum continues to flourish through this this thead. As always I would like to thank all of those providing support and advise in this thread who I would like make sure are recognised in their efforts in this thread, and I would kindly ask that when you have been helped by a member here.... use the "Thank" button :thumbsup: it doesnt cost you anything after all!
_________

Back to the subject.

With more and more people taking the dive into HTPCs, its a very common question as to which front end is best and what for. XBMC is one of the most popular choices on this forum, but some people appear to fear that XBMC is complicated to setup and get working right.

So the purpose of this thread is to show you how to setup XBMC and hopefully give you all the confidence to give it a go by seeing just how simple and easy it is to configure, and to offer support for any xbmc questions you may have.

So what is XBMC?

XBMC (in full Xbox Media Centre- although no longer supporting Xboxs and never supported on the 360) is an all in one self contained media centre that allows you to manage all your media quickly and easily without having to piggyback of anything else, and is also one of the most cosmetically pleasing front ends around.

What can it do that others cant?
Well for this question you're best off reviewing robbos comparions sticky, however what I can now gladly report is as of the latest patched Eden version, XBMC CAN NOW NATIVLEY BITSTREAM HD AUDIO WITH NO TWEEKING NEEDED AT ALL- As far as I know, currently XBMC is the only front end to offer this feature in such a painless way and definatley means that from an "all in one playback front end" XBMC should tick all the boxes....

What cant it do?

Technically speaking XBMCs main limitation and the reason you may look elsewhere is its lack of native live tv/PVR support in its stable releases- dont look away yet though. So whilst it is perfectly capable of playing back files recorded from such PVR software, the native releases do not have any user interface for such features. I've put a basic workout for this below which incorperates using Windows Media Centres live tv features for a simple solution...

However, one of the many benefits of being Open Source means that developers can have a good play around and do what they want with it.... this as result means there are whats known as "Nightly" builds of XBMC which DO incorperate PVR support. Now, I must point out here that as these are "nightly" builds and therefore technically "beta" in their nature these may not be quite as stable as native released, but Im assured by users that actually the latest builds are very very stable. As I dont have a DVB card in my HTPC theres not too much more I can say on this, but for more information on these builds I recommend you go here- HOW-TO:Watch TV in XBMC - XBMC and http://forum.xbmc.org/forumdisplay.php?fid=136

The following setup guide will cover everything found in native builds so will not cover the PVR setup/configuration (feel free to create the steps and PM them to me though for incorperation).

Will I need to install anything extra to watch all of my media, be it blurays, dvds, etc?

In a nutshell, No. XBMC comes with all codecs for all different mainsteam media formats, and can play anything from dvds, blurays, isos, mkvs, etc nativly without the need to install any 3rd party applications what so ever or screw up your operating system.

The only limitation to this is bluray discs directly from the drive and this is no different for other front end availible, due to encryption on a bluray disc (which is normally removed when you backup) you will need what is known as an "On-the-fly decryper" which basically allows your PC to trick the disc that it is in a normal bluray player. There are a few different options for this, but keeping it free I would recommend DVDFabs free decrypter- I wont link it here but youl find it on their website.

What about metadata and all that fancy artwork, surely thats tricky to manage??

No, this is one of the many things that is managed within the application and is very simple to setup and is mostly automatic.

Do I have to pay anything for it?

No, XBMC is Open Source which means it is made through a collaboration of developers coming together and sharing information. Unlike some media managers, XBMC gives you every bit of functionality absolutely free but if you decide to use it on going and can appreciate all the work developers have clearly put in, visit XBMC and make a donation :)

Does it support remote controls?

Yes, I wide verity from Imon, normal MCE's, to Harmonys. It is also controllable via apps available for the likes of the iphone.

Sounds great, but let me guess, its only for Windows right?

Wrong, XBMC supports most platforms from Windows, Macs, Linux, even ipad and the iphone!

Ok Ok, but let me guess, I'll have to have some really specifc and technical file structure for my files?

Im glad you asked, in a nutshell No.

Unlike many many other front ends, file renaming and structuring is incredibly flexible on XBMC and it will read and understand most logical setups.

I keep my folder structures simple, I will simple have drive:\Format (blurays/dvds)\movie files (Ie D:\Blurays\Dark Knight

But thats not to say you cant have D:\Dark Knight, or whatever other random combination you can think of. XBMC can understand films based on their folder name or the file name within the folder, and because of its excellent scrapers, you DONT have to have complex file names like Dark.Knight.2010.1080p.LifeStoryHere.UhhWhatAWasteOfTime - It will know all of the key points of a but actually looking at it- so it will see and know if it has DTS, or DTSHD soundtracks, whether its 720p, 1080p, etc etc.

This logical approach is just the same for music. My music files are a mess, I have a Music folder- and within that I have direct mp3s sat there, but also folders by artist and within that individual albums- XBMC can see all of them no problem at all.

The only slight change you may experience is TV Show layout/naming if youve come from another front end, but again my understanding of the layout here is also logical and there are a few ways you can do it. File naming is important here though.

I personally use Folder\TV Show Name\Season\ season files (which need to be named showname.S01.E01 (S01 meaning Seaon 1, E01 for Episode)), I believe though you could easily just have TV Shows\TV Show Name\Files.

e.g of of mine is F:\TV Shows\Lost\Season 1\Lost.S01.E01 - and in XBMC I would simply add the "TV Shows" folder.

More on TV show structures Here showing the many options.

Ok I'm intreeged, where to I start?

First, go to Downloads | XBMC and select your platform (windows, mac, etc) and download

Got it! Now what?

See the guide below :thumbsup:
 
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Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Ok, so you've downloaded xbmc and installed it. Time to boot it up for the first time then!

As you will see, you will be welcomed by the following screen:

screenshot000.png


So, lets get setting up!

Ok, so lets get setting up your video libraries, which handily in XBMC Eden (11) is done simultaneously (a change from the last version).

So, when greated with the above view, I want you to click "Files".. you will then be greated by the following screen

screenshot001.png


This is where we tell XBMC where you're storing all your video media. So select Add Source

*************MISSING SCREENSHOT*****

So, this is where you will setup where your movies are, your tv series are, etc etc. So the first library youl want to create is your movie library, so I want you to add all the destinations where you have stored your movies.

Once you have done that, you will be greated by the following screen

screenshot002.png


This is where you are telling XBMC what time of media is stored in these folders so it can take care of all the work for you.

screenshot002.png


So scroll through the list until you find the appropriate category, in this case, Movies

screenshot003.png


You will see be default the scraper for Movies is a service called "The Movie DB"....

Whats a scraper?

A Scraper is whats "Scrapes" or "reads" your files and matches its information against the online database, and then pulls through all the relevant information, from fanart, to synopsis on the film, and everything in between. There are a number of different "scapers" offered from different places, but we'll touch on that later on.

Now have a look at the settings below, and decide what is right for you. I personally enable the "use folder names for lookups" as when ripping my films its the top level file that is named after the movie, not the direct .ts/.m2ts/.mkv/.iso file etc etc so if youre in the same boat as me enable this, if not though and your movies are actually named by the actual file itself either dont enable this. or enter "scan recursively" which basically means it will scan deeper into the folder and look up by file names specifically- this relys on you only having one media file though and is really best suited for tv episodes rather than movies.

Now while you're on this screen, its worth checking out the "Settings" tab in the bottom left

15240058.png


This basically allows you to define certain things around the Scraper being used.


87832278.png


You can see above the options that "themoviedb" offers for users to configure, so set what resolution you wish stream from online on request, and whether you wish to enable fan art (of course you do!)

As you can see further above, I have opted to use the imdb scraper for my movies as I have personally found this more acurate.

Once youre happy with the settings youve applied, click OK and you should then be greeted by the following prompt:

screenshot004.png


Yes, you do want to refresh the information :), you'll then see in the top right it start to do abit of work and pull through some information.

In the mean time you should be left with a screen that now looks like this

screenshot005.png


You can see in my case I called the folder "blu rays" not movies, that was a mistake in my case as being anal its not just blurays in that folder its all my movies, so how to I change anything of the above now?

So with floder highlighted in the list that you want to make changes to, hit the "C" button on your keyboard, this will bring up the "Context Menu".

Whats the context menu?

Very simply its a menu that is relevant for the particular context you have highlighted, and you will find uses for it moving forward.

Ok so you've hit "C", and you can now see the context menu, all the options here are pretty self explanatory, you can edit the source which is where you can add additional directories to that folder, you can change the content (or change scraper), and a range of other things.
 
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Grangey.

Distinguished Member
So, XBMC is now happily working away and gathering all the information, fan arts, thumbnails, trailer links, descriptions, and everything else for all your movies. Yes... it really was that simple!

Once its done it should start to look a little something like this;

screenshot025.png


(note to change view modes you must scroll to the left of the screen)

Adding TV Shows

Its worth noting here that the ideal folder structure for tv shows should really be Drive:\TVshowname\Season 1\season one files

Heres another change brought in XBMC Eden which makes it painlessly easy!

So whilst we're in the same screen, we're now going to add another source- this time for your stored TV shows. So just like before, select the directory

screenshot007.png


and of course set the content to TV by choosing the appropriate scraper.


....Yep, thats it! Thats your TV shows done as well!

screenshot026.png


So XBMC will now be working away grabbing all the information it needs on TV shows and Movies you have- if you have an average internet connection, this really shouldnt take long!

Anyway, now these are set up, lets take a look shall we. So press the "..." or just hit escape to return to your home screen, and you will see you now have more options below videos- one for Movies, another for TV

screenshot009.png


There you have it- you now have a library for you Movies and TV shows!


Grangey, wow its looking good already! BUT some of my films have been incorrectly scraped or hasnt got any information.. How do I update individual files?

Ah thats easy enough too.

So, go to the movie which has been incorectly scraped, and press C to enter the context menu, and hit "Movie Information"

screenshot021.png


Then, scroll across to and select "Refresh"

screenshot022.png


This will then scrape that individual file and present you with the options

screenshot023.png


Scroll through the options and select the right film and it will update everything for you. Simple!

If its not displayed in the list, just hit "Manual" in the bottom left and you can re-enter the name to search.

The end result should be the right movie information showing :)

screenshot024.png
 
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Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Music​

Whilst we're setting up libraries, lets setup your music too.

This is very similar to the process we did with Movies, but slightly different aswell.

So, navigate to the "Music" part of the main menu and go to files,

screenshot011.png


Once again, add source, and once again youl be presented with a familiar screen where it asks you where to find your music.

....And once again just like movies you should be asked to set content and it will display the scraper.

Click OK once youve done that, and youl be presented with the completed folders in that category

This is where it differs slightly from Movies.

This time, access the context menu again with "Music" (or whatever you called it) highlighted by pressing "C". You will now need to select "Scan Item to Library"

screenshot034.png


Xbmc will now furiously work at getting as much information on your music as it can!

You'll see the menu once again change to give you different ways of accessing your music

screenshot035.png


The one last thing you will want to do, is go in to any of these- then scroll to the very left of the screen with your mouse. Here you need to "activate library mode" to get all the lovely ways to display and arrange your music available

screenshot036.png


Your view should then change to this when you've done it

screenshot037.png


I will admit that because of the various different way information is stored on music files, most programs do struggle to return great results unless your music tastes are phenomenally commercial and you have named each file rigorously, none the less it does a great job with what it has available!

But thats it, your music library is now set up!

screenshot005-1.png


Skins

So, we now have your movies, your tv, and your music being managed by XBMC.. looks alright doesnt it!

But...

Who ever settles for alright eh?

The default skin called confluence is great, but it serves the purpose to be simple and efficient as a default skin, but you will only get to really appreciate XBMC in its full glory when you have played around with more skins!

Yet again, this is another stupendously simple task youl be glad to know!

Simply head to "System" in the main menu, then Appearance.

You will then see it says "Skin- Confluence".

Click on this and you will be presented with the below

screenshot032.png


Click "Get more" and you will be presented with a range of Skins available from the main XBMC directory, these by default will normally be the most stable and popular skins but none the less for the full list of skins please go to XBMC Skins section

screenshot033.png


Skins will also have different features available depending on how theyve been developed, a comparison of features can be seen Here

My personal favourite is AEON Nox due to is sleek looks, and the fact it does everything I can dream even though it technially isnt made for mouse's (is setup for full keyboard control)... but the skins vary massively in look and feel so do have a good poke around the xbmc skin forums for various screenshots.

So, select the skin you wish to download and on its completion you will be asked if you wish to apply the skin... and if you do, it shall happen.

Ladies and Gentlemen I present you: Aeon Nox as an example

screenshot000-1.png


screenshot001-1.png
 
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Grangey.

Distinguished Member
screenshot002-1.png


FROM HERE STILL TO BE UPDATED WITH EDEN INFORMATION

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Few more screenshots:

screenshot049.png


screenshot051.png


screenshot053.png


You get the idea. With these skins, go have a good look around the settings under Appearance, and Skin options as a lot of them do give you a good variety of options

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ok, so we've set up your library's, we've got it looking shhweeet, what more could you want?

Wow, loving this! But do you know what, I really want to get my HD Audio working, you mentioned its possible, how? / Really liking the look of this, but do you know what I love some of the players I already have on machine and I'd love to still use them with xbmc, possible?

Yes, this is possible with the support of external applications.

External applications? like what?

Anything that would normally give you HD audio! So examples

Arcsoft Total Media Centre (Paid option but great program)

FFDShow (free, but will need some tweeking)- note, more information comming on this soon as I will need some assistance from the likes of Wolvers to ensure correct instructions are given.

Really liking the look of this, but do you know what I love some of the players I already have on machine and I'd love to still use them with xbmc, possible?

Yep, again possible through setting up XBMC to launch an External Player.

Sounds complicated!!

On face value, it appears it is, but it really isnt so I'll try and break it down very simply for you.

WINDOWS ONLY I am unfamiliar with whats involved for different platforms.

What we will be doing here is creating what is known as an XML file (by using wordpad-so dont worry you wont need to be some sort of coding genuis!), which will basically tell XBMC how to behave when playing back media.

Im scared! You're not making it sound any easier!!

Just give it a go, you can always undo it!

So step 1:

Grasp the concept of what we are doing here.

We are creating a file with a/some "rules" for XBMC to meet. In normal writing, what we are about to tell XBMC is "lauch all my media in the normal way, EXCEPT for mkvs/ for files that have "720p" in there name/ for isos/ for m2ts files etc- whatevers applicable, and when I select this media- open it with the this program instead."

Simple enough right?

So lets get going (for reference please see here: External players - XBMC but read my instructions first to avoid any confusion). The most important part of this firstly is please remember you are NOT placing this file in PROGRAM FILES (ie C:\Program Files) or the main install place of XBMC (ie C:\XBMC or wherever you have chosen).

So, step 2:
Open up NotePad

next, copy this exact text and paste it into the blank page.

Code:
<playercorefactory>
 <players>
   <player name="Name your player here" type="ExternalPlayer" audio="false" video="true">
     <filename>enter exact location of the file here, see example below</filename>
     <args>"{1}" /fullscreen /close</args>
     <hidexbmc>false</hidexbmc>
     <hideconsole>false</hideconsole>
     <warpcursor>none</warpcursor>
   </player>
 </players>
 <rules action="prepend">
   <rule filetypes="what file type?ie bdmv, mkv, iso" filename=".*What is in the file path.*" player="Whatever path you put above"/>
 </rules>
</playercorefactory>
Only replace the direct text you can tell Ive changed, i have not added any unneeded astrix or anything, everything in there is needed.

Working code, to launch Bluray ripped in original file structure type to launch in TMT

Code:
<playercorefactory>
 <players>
   <player name="TMT" type="ExternalPlayer" audio="false" video="true">
     <filename>C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcSoft\TotalMedia Theatre 3\uMCEDVDPlayer.exe</filename>
     <args>"{1}" /fullscreen /close</args>
     <hidexbmc>false</hidexbmc>
     <hideconsole>false</hideconsole>
     <warpcursor>none</warpcursor>
   </player>
 </players>
 <rules action="prepend">
   <rule filetypes="bdmv" filename=".*BDMV.*" player="TMT"/>
 </rules>
</playercorefactory>

Ok so youve got the text in there, now if you know you have folder hiding disabled, continue to the next sep, if youre not sure, please go to Control Panel, Folder Options, Click View, and ensure you have "Show all Files and folders" enabled.

Step 3:

In wordpad, click File, and Save As.

In "Save as type" drop down box, change this to "All Files".

Now name the file playercorefactory.xml (INCLUDE THE .XML extension in the name).

Now, go to C:\Users\Your Username Here\AppData\Roaming\XBMC\UserData\ and save the file here (inside the userdata folder, not one of the folders within this folder).

Thats it!

Your XBMC should now follow the instructions, so in the case in my playercorefactory by default will launch any file with "bdmv" in the path or ".bdmv" as the extention, straight into TMT.

You can setup multiple rules within this file, so you can say for blurays launch in TMT, for DVDs launch in MPC Player, for mkvs lauch in something else, etc etc. I would highly recommend you read the wiki I posted above though to learn more about this, but in a nutshell, under the <players> section, you would add more information for the other players and add more rules.

What if I dont want it to launch automatically based on file types

Not a problem, just remove the "rules" from the XML, this means XBMC will be aware of these external players, but will wait to be told when to launch them.

Ok so if I do it that way, how do I tell it when to launch which files?

Once you have made the xml as above instructed without any rules, when browsing your movies and decide which one you want to watch, enter the context menu by hitting "C", you show now be presented with a "Play Using.." field, open this, and it will list the players you have setup. Simple as that!
 
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Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Games

Thats right folks, you can also get all of your games- be them natively PC, or emulated, launched from within XBMC and get fancy pants artwork for them too!

So first things first, what do you need. First of all, you need to download Angelcry's Advanced Launcher add on for XBMC, this is available Here

Got it? Good, lets go on shall we...

Now first of all, the full User Guide for setting this up is available Here but in the spirit of the thread I will continue with my own how to although his is just as good if not better but anyway, stick with mine for now unless you get confused, then go to his.

So, youve downloaded the zip file. First thing is first, I will be doing this how to as a simultanious How to add PC games and emulators simultaniously, so whilst im demoing how to add pc games, the process is the same for emulators and i will outline this as I go on.

Now for PC Games, you will first need to create a file anywhere you want, with shortcuts for all of your PC games in, this is crucial for this to work and have them in the way of my how to (ie to have games as a main option on the menu). So, create shortcuts for all of your PC games and put them in a folder together.

Done? Good. While youre at it, create two more folders (or one) where you wish for the thumbnails and fanart to be saved for your games. If you want them in the same folder as your shortcuts/ emulated games then dont worry about this.

So now, lets get cracking, open up xbmc, go to settings, and add ons. Then at the bottom of the first list, click "Install from Zip file". Simple right? So navigate to where you have saved the zip file, select it, and install it.

Done? Good, now, whilst still in the addons menu, scroll to "Get add ons" and enter, you will then see Angelcrys repository. Select it, hit "advanced launcher", and install that bad boy.

Done? Good, now, go to "enabled add ons", go to program add ons, then advanced launcher. This is where you can configure the plugin. Now the first screen you are greated with, asks you where you wish your default location for thumbnails and fanart to be stored. So now going down the options list, you will see this is where you setup the scrapers used to get the information. There are numerous scraper sources so if there are any you are familiar with go for it, if not, just select whichever one you feel like and see how it gets on. I personally use Google for my fanart and thumbs as the results turn up just like a google image search so i get good control over what i get back. Then enable the feature to "import during scan" as this should in theory automatically get them for you- although it doesnt quite work for me. Anyway, youl see the settings are all straight forward so set it up as you please.

Ok now the good stuff. First, navigate to Programs in the home screen then "program add ons". Advanced launcher should now be in the list at the top, select it, and into the app you shall go...

So first, you are presented with this screen, pretty self explanatory really. What type of launcher would you like to add? This is where you can add programs to your wildest dream which are nativly windows- firefox, spotify, whatever, and to do this, just use the standalone option and follow the prompts.

We however will be using the File Launcher option to get this properly into your XBMC.

screenshot077.png


So youve selected file launcher, you are then asked to select the launcher file. Now pay attention;
-If youre adding emulated games, you will select your emulator here
-If you are adding PC games, select C:\Windows\explorer.exe

screenshot080.png


Next it will ask you where the files are you wish to launch (PC gamers- this is where it was important you created a shortcut to all your pc games in one folder).
-If you're adding emulated games, select where these games are found
-If you're adding PC games, select the folder which has all of your shortcuts in

screenshot082.png


Next, it will ask you for any arguments.
Emulator adders- Im not sure on this one for you, read the guide, i believe "%rom%" should be correct
PC Game adders this should have "%rom%" in, leave this as is

Next, it will ask you what extensions to launch with this emulator-
Emulator adders- enter the extension(s) of the games you wish your selected emulator to launch
PC Game adders- enter .lnk (thats .LNK in lower case)- this is telling the app to launch the shortcuts for you.

Next it will ask the title of the launcher-
As this is in a file formation, name it what you want, so if youl be having SNES games in the directory, call it SNES games. If PC Games, call it PC, or just Games. Whatever you want. This is what the folder will be called.

Finally, it will ask you wish platforms the files you have added are relevant form:
Emulator adders- select from the huge list- atri, snes, whatever is appropriate. this helps the scrapers.
PC Gamers- select IBM PC Compatible.

screenshot083.png



You should now see your desired folder

screenshot084.png


now this should automatically add the games into the folder, if it doesnt, enter the context menu, click Add Items, then hit scan. This should then add all the games. If it doesnt, somethings gone wrong.

So, you have your games, within a folder, looks pretty crap though right? (this is where I tell you the automatic scraping doesnt seem to work for me, if its worked for you, then the next part is for reference only).

screenshot089.png


Lets get it looking pretty

This is the potentially painful bit, as its abit time heavy at points depending on how many games you have.

With the game highlighted, enter the trusty context menu, and hit edit item

Youl then be greated with the following screen

screenshot091.png


Doesnt need much explanation I dont think... but to give you an idea what to expect, when adding the info, thumbnail, or fanart, you will be presented with the following 3 options;

screenshot092.png


So just tell it what you want to do, get from online, select from locally, or put a link in.

If youve selected to get online, it will ask you the title of the game again, and search appropriately and give you the options it finds. If it doesnt find any, change your scraper for a better one (I cant recommend which though).

So going through these you should eventually get to a stage where each games has fanart, thumbnail, and info on the game- not when searching info it will ask you to confirm which platform the game was for- which i find a nice touch.

screenshot097.png


and then the more you do the better it looks (my screenshot above is from my laptop, not the htpc which actually has my games on which is far far nicer).

So, we're close! Lets get this integrated into your main front end (optional).

Now this i believe is skin dependent, so you will need a skin that under skin options, allows you to customise the main menu. First things first though- still in the advanced launcher section, with the main file highlighted (ie pc games or whatever you have called it), enter the context menu, then select "add to favourites"

Next, come out of advanced launcher and go in to your main settings screen, go to Skin settings, then navigate to the area that allows you to add or hide things from your main menu, in the transparency skin, it looks like this:

screenshot100.png


So, enable a custom one, give it a label, and select "Favorite" and this should open up a list of your favorites- assuming youve follwed my guide to the T and done nothing else, this means you should only have your game(s) folders here. Select the game folder you want to have a shortcut to directly from you homescreen.... and there you go... Its there
 
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Grangey.

Distinguished Member
screenshot101.png


Now, just setup the artwork you want it to display when highlighted through the settings-skin settings-appearance (transparency has the option of mutli-image so can continually change your background using fanart or whatever you want.

But ultimately your end result should look like this :) (taken from my actual htpc this time)

screenshot016-1.png


screenshot015-1.png


Simples :)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Wow, this is looking brilliant! So im now managing my music, movies, games, tv shows, programs, almost everything through it! Brilliant! Its just such a shame I cant watch Live TV through it :(

Well, Im unable to confirm this as neither of my machines have turners, HOWEVER, in theory you can still use XBMC as your means to access live TV- the same way you can use it to launch blurays in TMT etc etc.

So what we're going to do, is get XBMC to launch Media centres built in TV tuner.

So, first what you're going to do is basically the same as above and adding PC games into XBMC.

So, first, create a folder, and call it whatever you want.

Second, do this:

Automatically Start Windows 7 Media Center in Live TV Mode - How-To Geek

Put this shortcut in the folder you have just created.

Then, follow the instructions above for adding PC games- in summary- advanced launcher- create new launcher (available via the context menu in advanced launcher), create file launcher, select ANY executable file, select the folder you have saved nothing but the shortcut mentioned above in, file extension enter lnk, name it etc. the only difference with this, is rather than making the top level folder a favorite (ie above we made PC Games folder favorite), make the application within the folder a favorite (so open "TV" or whatever youve called it, and make the "Media Centre" link the favorite), then, xbmc settings, skin settings, menu, custom 2, name it whatever you want (watch tv, tv, etc etc), select favorite- point it to media centre- select the backdrop you want. Job done!

You should now be able to launch direct into live tv from XBMC, and when you exit it, XBMC should still be there.

screenshot104.png


This theory is exactly the same with whatever tv tuner youre using (again im not familiar with this so for all i know there are other programs outside of 7MC that you could be using for your current live tv etc), or maybe youre using "nevermiss" to get watch on demand stuff, the theory is completely the same- all you will need to do is find out (if for 7MC) what you need to enter in the 7MC shortcut to get it to launch directly to the section you want (ie live tv, epg, never miss, etc etc).

Let me know if it works, but I see no reason that it wouldn't :)

Update 24/09/2011: I have also just found this thread [RELEASE] XBMC TV using MediaPortal TVserver (XBMP-TV Script) - XBMC Community Forum

On a non how to note on this subject, there are other means to get TV support through xbmc, however they are still experiemental and not something I can help with. There are some builds of XBMC now with PVR support, more information on this here:

XBMC - Prebuild versions with (experimental) PVR support

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Comming soon:
Add-Ons of interest
XBMC Apps- iPhone & iPad
Video of XBMC in action
May touch upon remotes/ harmony
May touch upon iMon integration
May discuss library sync'ing accross multiple XBMCs (handy if you have multiple HTPCs in the house)
Multiple external player config file examples


If there are any subjects you wish to have put in to this guide please let me know, as Im trying to cover as many as the core areas as possible but ive no doubt I will overlook some areas which will be of interest to some.

Thanks,

Grangey
 
Last edited:

Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Add-Ons

Thats right- one of the many joys of XBMC being Open Source is that people are always developing new additions to enhance your XBMC experience, and there is already an array of Add-Ons that you may find interesting.

For a complete list of sort of "official" add-ons including compatibility please visit Here, for the latest list though and those developed single handedly, please visit the xbmc forum
Recommended Add-Ons List:

TV Catch Up- a source for all "On Demand" TV content accross all channels such as ITV & Channel 5
TV Catch UP XBMC Plugin


BBC iPlayer - Is what it says on the tin, a nice add on which integrates the BBC iPlayer into XBMC

BBC iPlayer

Angelscry Advanced Launcher- a means of adding in programs and emulators into your XBMC library

Now supported nativly from within XBMC Eden but full info here
Advanced Launcher

Cinema Experience- This script allows you to play slides, previews(trailers) and other videos that help give the full cinema feel (Intro's and Outro's) and can also be integrated with the Apple Movie Trailers script

Built in integration already in most major skins but for full information please see
Cinema Experience


Great, soooo how do I install plugins exactly?

More on this soon
 
Last edited:

Grangey.

Distinguished Member
XBMC Applications for smart phones and tablets;

Yes thats right, if it wasnt cool enough already you can also access and control XBMC using your smartphone or tablet!

Recommended iOS Applications

iOS Devices

XBMC Commander - £0.69 iPhone/iPod only / £2.49 iPad

I have yet to use this app but will be shortly- all videos of it though look good. Also has gesture support which XBMC Remote does not which allows you to access far more- such as context menus etc

XBMC Remote £1.99 - Admittedly I'm pretty sure this used to be cheaper at only 69p but as far as apps go I cant really fault this one. When connected to the same wireless network as the pc with XBMC on you can browse and play all your media remotely. There are some weaknesses such as the inability to "add to que" or control/ create playlists, but as far as "touch and go" apps are this does what it says on the tin. This does need some setting up and tweeking but I can only recommend you follow the steps in this video


Android

I do not own any Android devices so any user inputs on these would be appreciated

Official XBMC Remote
 
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Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Thread is now ready to go when the current sticky reaches 1000 posts (wont take long).

I cant believe I've forgotten to do all the updates I said I'd do in this thread! I will do my best to get these completed over the weekend and make sure all the screenshots are rehosted and completely up to date :thumbsup:
 

GoAtmos

Active Member
Great thread,

Quick question, in the process of building my htpc and have decided on a ssd for boot and a 3tb for media. I was wondering what would be the best partition size for my media drive be? I could do a partition for the full 3 tb or do a few smaller partitions but how would this affect performance?

Thanks
 

tredman

Distinguished Member
zunglam said:
Great thread,

Quick question, in the process of building my htpc and have decided on a ssd for boot and a 3tb for media. I was wondering what would be the best partition size for my media drive be? I could do a partition for the full 3 tb or do a few smaller partitions but how would this affect performance?

Thanks

For the purposes of playing back media it won't make any difference really.

Unless you are thinking if using some sort of RAID then I'd just leave it as a straight 3tb
 

GoAtmos

Active Member
Thanks tredman, 3tb it is. I was just thinking that xbmc could take a while to cache or load up all the files if it was all on one large partition.
 

tredman

Distinguished Member
zunglam said:
Thanks tredman, 3tb it is. I was just thinking that xbmc could take a while to cache or load up all the files if it was all on one large partition.

No, it will take a while to scan them first regardless, after that it should be pretty quick anyway (all my media is held across my network and I don't notice any slow down to when they were local)
 

Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Last Question:


Hello all,

I've woken up to a rather frustrating problem with my media centre. I watched a blu ray last night and all was fine, turned it on this morning to put a film on for my daughter and when XBMC booted up it has reverted back to the default confluence skin with none of my media present.

Is there likely to be anything in the user data folder that i can use to switch it back to my Aeon skin that i'd spent a lot of time getting just so. Any advice would be great as you can all imagine this is incredibly frustrating.

Jon

Hi Jon,

That is a strange one and not one I've heard of before so cant help, hopefully someone can point you in the right direction soon
 
Can anyone help with this problem.

When watching a movie in xbmc I use my logitech harmony one to play pause stop etc but when I try turn the volume up or down it starts the movie from the start or fast forwards lol

Any ideas
 

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