TVSeries Plug-in

Please Read

This guide was originally written using Monochrome 1.7 and TVSeries v2.0 Plug-in. Your HTPC also requires an internet connection all the while you use this plug-in.

You also should have a working Media Portal setup. That means reading Phil's guide, and being happy with how it all works.

June 2008 Updates: I updated to the latest SVN version of Media Portal RC1 and Monochrome 2 and had no problems with any of my data for TVseries or IMDB info stored for reference (I did still backup everything through the installer..)

The only difference I have noticed from updating to version 1.9+ is that I get a better LIST view in Videos than before (it shows the long list of films, and shows large pic and IMDB on the right.) - Although the large filmstrip icons looks supurb - you can only get 5 or 6 on the screen at once, and it does not wrap when you flick through (ie when you reach 'z' it does not go to 'a' once more , while LIST view does).

Also, when using Fan art in the TVSeries Plug-in, I have seen no difference when using version 1.7, 1.9 or 2.0, although one of them may have introduced the TV icons ability.

Monochrome version 2+ TV installation instructions

Open the Monochrome 2+ installation rar file.
Open the folder MP-TVSeries
Open the folder Using Fan Art
Copy the xml file into your C:\Program Files\Team Media Portal\mediaPortal\Skin\Monochrome folder.

Configuration Steps

Download and install the MPI file, following the instructions. Then run the Media Portal configuration, and enable the plug-in, adding the plug-in where you require the plug-in to show within the Media Portal Menu.

I use the TVSeries part of my HTPC probably more than I watch films, so I personally want it on the home menu for the easiest access, and as it is such a good plug-in, a criminal shame to bury it in the generic Plug-ins section.

1. As shown below, right click on the MP-TVSeries icon, select Enabled, and tick either Listed in Home or Listed in My Plug-ins.

2. Select Configuration, where you will be presented with the Details screen, which will be empty of information. Now select the Import Settings tab.

3. The next step is to configure the path to your media. Under the Import Paths heading on the left hand side, make sure the Path on the right is configured to point at your own DVD ripped TV series episodes.

4. Select the Parsing test heading. This will automatically parse any TV Shows you have listed within the folder previously indicated. This should pick up all your shows, and show the Filename, Parsed Series, Season ID and Episode No all correctly.

5. Now select Start Import, and you will be asked to confirm series that may be spelt incorrectly, or those which could have multiple variations on the same name.

6. Once the parsing has finished (this can take a while depending on how many shows are within your folder) select the Details tab and you will see your shows listed as the example below. You may change the Banner art by selecting a different image from the drop down menu (above the banner art itself.)

7. Under the MediaPortal Display Control tab, you have all of your customisable settings. Allowing you to show spoiler synopsis of episodes, or include information on episodes you dont have. For episode info you will see the check box hide summary of episodes not watched. Untick that and you will get the synopsis per episode.

You should now be all done! To confirm, exit from the configuration of Media Portal, and enter Media Portal itself. If you have set up the plug-in to appear on the home screen, you should see it straight away (as MY TVSeries) or enter My Plug-ins and select it from there.

As you are most likely updating your TVShows, please read this page to show you how to do so.

You should see a screen simalar to that below (with your all the TV shows you have parsed, obviously.)

Pressing enter on one of the banner arts will take you to a screen like that below, showing art, your episodes listed, and the info per episode.

Now sit back and congratulate yourself on a job well done....unless of course you want to use Fan art instead....

Fan Art

I had seen the fan art on some of the people showing off their TVSeries screenshots, but hadn't realised how stunning it looks until its on the big screen. It makes a world of difference from the previous setup, especially when that already looked supurb in the first place.

Configuration

This configuration is based on the fact that you have followed all the steps above, and have the TVSeries plug-in installed, and your shows working and being displayed something like the screenshots I have posted above, and are running Windows Vista as an OS.

1. Create the folder C:\ProgramData\Team Media Portal\MediaPortal\thumbs\fan art\

2. Visit this website, and either pick up a torrent pack, or if you have an afternoon of nothing, which I handily had, browse through and cherry pick what you need. Download them to the folder you have just created, and make sure you do not rename the files, as this relates to its tvdb reference. They should look like this:

3. The next step is a tricky one, as is uses a different xml file to rearrange the settings for the TVSeries plug-in. Go back to the folder of the skin you used (if you have not used Monochrome 1.7, I cannot guarentee the file will be in the same place) and look for the folder entitled Using Fan art.

Select the TVSeries.xml file from within that folder and copy it into the Monochrome folder, overwriting the older file.

Please note: In the version 2 installer of Monochrome, you are given an option to chose the TV Fan Art as you click through the installer, so this step is not required.


That should be it all done....

Notes

If you have more than one fanart for one series, it will take the first one - see the FAQ for more info.

You do not need to alter any paths within the TVSeries plugin, even though there is a path that you can change to point it at the art (I think the XML file must reference it somewhere, although when I looked, I saw nothing )

Examples

Heroes

Lost

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles

Smallville

The Simpsons

Other information

As I use the Monochrome skin, its mostly black with white writing, so in the Terminator example above (go on, you know you want another look) the text in the bottom corner that indicates season etc is missing as its white wring on a white background. This may or may not bother you, but I suppose if it di, you can edit the art to put a black border in that position if you wish.

The art I have chosen for Medium also suffers from being on a light background. It also lacks the Medium logo as well (the logo shown coincidently is a TV still picked up by the TVSeries plugin), and again misses the TV info being white on white. I kept it as its a stunning picture, and I may have to try and use my poor Fireworks skills to add the logo and black box in later.

Medium

The other thing to look for is that some of the art has shadow boxes that obviously relate to either a different view within MP, or another MCE app altogether, and you get an image like the one below. The 24 image is not too bad, but on other shows, its very distracting, and so I change them where I can.

Continue to Page 2 for instructions to add TVLogos, and Page 3 has more info and the FAQ.

My HTPC web pages were hobbled together by me.