Setting up XBMC on HTPC

dar124

[H]ard|Gawd
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I'm in the process of setting up a HTPC with XBMC. I just did a fresh install of W7 64bit and am going thru the process of installing the Windows updates, etc. I've been reading thru the XBMC Frodo guide from this guide.

I have a couple of questions as I'm getting ready to install XBMC. On all my other PC's I have installed the WHS2011 Launchpad software. Should I install this on the HTPC?? I'm thinking that it will be good to have for managing the HTPC (Windows updates, power on times I run LightsOut on the server and various other administration tasks). I will mostly use this HTPC for streaming media from my WHS server, but I would like to occasionally use it for light internet browsing, etc. Is there an easy way to switch from the XBMC interface back to the HTPC's desktop to be able to occasionally use it more like a regular computer??

Thanks in advance. I'm sure there will be more questions as I go thru the install, but hopefully this will let me get started on the XBMC install.
 
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valve1138

[H]F Junkie
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Yeah, I'd install it.

Just press the \ key to take XBMC out of fullscreen so you can use the computer.
 

dar124

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Thanks valve, I just installed the WHS software and XBMC. Everything went good and I added my movies without any major issues. But I'm a bit confused after adding (attempting to add) my TV series.

To get the movies installed I went to Videos, then the Files tab and then Add Videos. I clicked on Browse and then the Windows Network (SMB) option. From there I chose my Fileserver, Videos and then Movies folder (Fileserver\Videos\Movies). I then got the option to name the folder and pick a management program for the folder. It scanned the movies and all seemed well. So I repeated the same steps for my downloaded TV series (except choosing (Fileserver\Videos\Series). There is now a TV Show option in XBMC, but only 2 shows are listed in there (and neither of them are shows I have on my server??). I seem to be able to access the shows that I linked to from my server by going to Videos, Files and then I can select from Movies or Series. If I select Series, the series & various seasons that I have are in there, but there isnt any info listed about them on the library view like there is for the movies. Not sure if there is a different way to add TV shows, or maybe I need to use another/better management program for them?? Not sure exactly what the issues is.

Let me know if all that above makes sense, I tried to type it while walking thru the options with XBMC open on a 2nd screen. I could add pics of the screens if necessary.
 

SiNGeD

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It seems you followed the right process but you need to make sure you change the set content option from movies to tv shows when adding a new source so it knows what content is in the directory. Once you change this setting you will be able to define what scraper is used to parse the directory which will populate in the TV Shows menu on the home screen. See STEP 6 in this link for details:

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Adding_video_sources
 
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dar124

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Yep, I had the content set to TV shows when I added the TV shows. But they're still not showing up or at least showing up correctly. It's odd, they seem to be in there, but dont seem to be in the right place?? I've attached some pics of the screens. Hopefully there is a quick setting or two that I can change to get them set up correctly.


These are the screens that I see as I'm adding my TV shows.

1.jpg


2.jpg




And now there is a "Series" listed under Videos, Files.

3.jpg



So I can see TV Shows and my TV Shows / Series are listed, but it seems like maybe the "scraper" didnt work??


5.jpg


This is the same way my movies show up, but the TV Shows dont have any info about the show listed. It also seems odd to me that to get this view I need to go to Videos - Title, instead of going to the TV Shows tab from the main screen??

4.jpg




When I actually go to the TV Shows and title tab on the main screen, it shows X and 108 episodes?? And clicking on that X series it looks like those are all of my series episodes are in there. The one that is highlighted is one of my Sanford and Son episodes. Also thinking that maybe the "Content Scanning Options" arent set correctly?? But not sure how else to set them??


9.jpg


10.jpg
 

dar124

[H]ard|Gawd
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Your TV shows are not being found correctly because you most likely have not followed the recommend XBMC TV show naming conventions.
Find it here.http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Naming_video_files/TV_shows

Also you may want to look into a metadata manager program, like Media Center Master. It will make things much easier.

Lothar MK.


Ok, I'll look into updating the TV shows naming conventions. I understand why there needs to be a standard naming convention, and I recently tried to change/update how I've been naming my files for the past few years so they'd work in XBMC. But I apparently didnt get it exactly right.

I currently have the TV shows named:
fileserver\videos\series\breaking bad (2008 - 2013)\breaking bad - season 1\breaking bad s01 e01

If I'm reading the info on the link correctly I should update it to:
fileserver\videos\series\breaking bad (2008 - 2013)\season1\breaking bad s01e01
 

dar124

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Yep, FileBot seems to be what I need to be able rename these files. It definitely makes it easier than doing it one file at a time!!! So I'm now in the process of "cleaning up" my files a bit and will then add them back into XBMC. Hopefully they'll all show up :D

As I'm going thru some of my files I came across another issue/question.

I have a video file that is a bunch of old family movies that were converted to an .avi file. Right now it's located at: fileserver\videos\movies\family movies\family movie.avi

I'd like to keep it in a "family movies" folder because I think eventually there will be a handful of movies like this. What would be the best way to name the file so that it shows up along with my other movies?? Will there be an issue because it is in a folder and none of my other movies are in folders?? I'm thinking that maybe I should treat it like a TV Show and move it over into the Series folder with the shows.
 

|Tch0rT|

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As I'm going thru some of my files I came across another issue/question.

I have a video file that is a bunch of old family movies that were converted to an .avi file. Right now it's located at: fileserver\videos\movies\family movies\family movie.avi

I'd like to keep it in a "family movies" folder because I think eventually there will be a handful of movies like this. What would be the best way to name the file so that it shows up along with my other movies?? Will there be an issue because it is in a folder and none of my other movies are in folders?? I'm thinking that maybe I should treat it like a TV Show and move it over into the Series folder with the shows.

I don't think files like that will show up in the library view if it can't scrape info for it. I think there's a way to add a custom section to link right to the folder for your family movies on the home screen, look at the skins setup menu. I watch a lot of documentaries and I don't need those to be scraped so I have a subsection of unscraped videos and I just use Videos and go to Files for those.
 

NoTrigger

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Yep, FileBot seems to be what I need to be able rename these files. It definitely makes it easier than doing it one file at a time!!! So I'm now in the process of "cleaning up" my files a bit and will then add them back into XBMC. Hopefully they'll all show up :D

If you don't mind sacrificing a little space, keeping the metadata inside the movie/tv folders is ideal. I recommend deleting the database of XBMC and running Media Center Master to get all the Metadata downloaded to the folders of the video files.

As long as your naming scheme is correct it will download all the metadata and have a confirmation window pop-up when there were movies with the same name on IMDB.com. You can also force a specific Movie/TV show through IMDB tags

Once you have the metadata downloaded, just start XBMC back up and treat it like you're setting up XBMC for the first time. The folder location will show up that you set previous, but you will need to set the source in the video files section (If it's a Movie or TV show) and it will pick up the local files automatically.

I'd like to keep it in a "family movies" folder because I think eventually there will be a handful of movies like this. What would be the best way to name the file so that it shows up along with my other movies??
You can manually enter the metadata for the movies through Media Center Master or Media Companion so XBMC picks it up with the rest of the movies.

Will there be an issue because it is in a folder and none of my other movies are in folders??
You really should keep all the movies in separate folders if you decide to download the metadata so it doesn't get mixed up.

Of course I don't see this question until I answer all the other questions lol.

Here's an example of how I have my folders setup:

- Movies Folder:
  • A Bronx Tale (1993)
    A Bronx Tale (1993).mkv​
  • Despicable Me (2010)
    Despicable me (2010).mkv​

-TV Shows:
  • American Horror Story
    Season 1​
    American Horror story - S01E01 - Pilot.mkv​
    Season 2​
    American Horror Story - S02E01 - Welcome to Briarcliff.mkv​
    Season 3​
    American Horror Story - S03E01 - Bitchcraft.mkv​

I'm thinking that maybe I should treat it like a TV Show and move it over into the Series folder with the shows.
The easiest way is to treat the movies as a 'Boxset'. If you download Media Companion there is a table in there that lets you create boxsets to group videos together. The Boxset name will be listed in the Movies section of XBMC.
 

dar124

[H]ard|Gawd
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Ok, thanks for the response NoTrigger.

I should have some time tomorrow to look into Media Center Master a bit more. I'll definitely look to put each of the movie files into a folder of the same name. Space shouldn't be too much of an issue for storing the metadata since all of the files are on my server. But just out of curiosity, if I didn't use MCM and just let XBMC download the metadata (which I'm assuming it does when scrapes to get all the content info) would it all be stored locally on the HTPC??
 

AirPower4ever

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Yes, XBMC will scrape and put all those posters, artwork, thumbs, etc. on the local. If you have more HTPC's with XBMC then you need to repeat the process to each of them.

There is a way to "sync" them all, but it is pain. Plex does it for you, much better for anybody to use.

If you get MCM, get the paid version. Pete does a great job on it and is very helpful along with his forum group.

Keep in mind, MCM gets the metadata; that's its primary role along with organizing everything for XBMC.

XBMC will do the visual like posters, thumbs, etc. You need to get certain addons to make the experience fun like having XBMC play the theme songs to each tv show when you are in them looking for an episode to watch.

Just be ready to spend time on XBMC, it is has quirks, example you get a wrong DVD cover for a movie. Removing the movie and then using the cleaning tool in XBMC does not remove the artwork; it is still stored. Easiest way is to just delete the entire artwork folder and start from scratch. Maybe they will fix that in Gotham I hope.

Save your self time and hassle, get MCM and let it do all the work. Been great since getting it 4 years ago.
 

dar124

[H]ard|Gawd
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Ok, so I've now got all my movies in a separate folder with the same name as each movie, and a handful have had their names updated/corrected by XBMC.



Yes, XBMC will scrape and put all those posters, artwork, thumbs, etc. on the local. If you have more HTPC's with XBMC then you need to repeat the process to each of them.

There is a way to "sync" them all, but it is pain. Plex does it for you, much better for anybody to use.

If you get MCM, get the paid version. Pete does a great job on it and is very helpful along with his forum group.

Keep in mind, MCM gets the metadata; that's its primary role along with organizing everything for XBMC.

XBMC will do the visual like posters, thumbs, etc. You need to get certain addons to make the experience fun like having XBMC play the theme songs to each tv show when you are in them looking for an episode to watch.

Just be ready to spend time on XBMC, it is has quirks, example you get a wrong DVD cover for a movie. Removing the movie and then using the cleaning tool in XBMC does not remove the artwork; it is still stored. Easiest way is to just delete the entire artwork folder and start from scratch. Maybe they will fix that in Gotham I hope.

Save your self time and hassle, get MCM and let it do all the work. Been great since getting it 4 years ago.


I only have a 64 GB SSD in my HTPC, so I would definitely rather have all the metadata stored on my WHS server and not on the HTPC. I saw a YouTube video of MCM getting metadata and how it puts the extra files it puts in the movie folder. So if I get the metadata first with MCM then XBMC wont have to download any of it?? If I can avoid saving a bunch of the metadata to the HTPC, then MCM definitely seems like the way to go. There were also some videos and info about MCM automatically downloading additional episodes, renaming, moving and getting metadata for them. I'm thinking that I would use MCM for getting the metadata, but at least now I don't need/want it to do all the downloading, renaming, moving, etc.

So I would assume that when I get a new Movie/TV Show I could just manually rename it (with FileBot), move it to my server and then launch MCM and drag the files over to get metadata for it??
 

AirPower4ever

Limp Gawd
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Messages
131
This is why you need to set up MCM for the bare-minimums. In my set up, MCM does the following;
gets 1 backdrop (jpeg)
Renames the movie or TV show
creates a small system file (around 9kb)
gets 1 folder picture (jpeg)
creates the xml files for the movie or tv show (around 13kb)

The backdrop and folder pics are only used by MCM, they are not used by XBMC. The size can be adjusted based your MCM settings. So excluding the movie or tv show, this totals less than 1MB of data; pretty small. This is what is contained in one movie or tv show folder and mine are on a NAS box.

XBMC will then scrape the DVD cover, TV banners and actor thumbs (optional) locally. My artwork folder locally is about 1GB; I am in the same boat as you as my SSD is 90GB

And yes, drag and drop and MCM does the rest or just set MCM to scan a folder with your movie or tv show and then have MCM send it to where ever you want it. Example, your server. Make folders;
Fileserver\Videos\Movies
" " " \TV Shows (just rename "Series" to "TV Shows", we will fix this)
" " " \To Process

Put your movies and tv shows to be processed in the "To Process" folder. Rename the file to;
for a movie - movie name and year
for a TV show - TV show name and SxxExx (must first create the actual TV show folder by using MCM prior to processing)

Set up MCM to look for anything in the "To Process" folder and then when it does find something, MCM processes it, MCM moves the movies to the movie folder or tv shows to the tv shows folder. MCM can be on one of your HTPC's, just set the settings to do all this on your file server.

PM me or go to the MCM forums and we can help you set it up. XBMC has different areas do to the addons, support is separated, but we can track you by your name. Give us your user name in each place and we'll look for you and we'll help you out. Start with MCM though, once MCM is set up then we can move to XBMC and check your settings for bare minimums.
 
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