HOW-TO:Set up a TV show library

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See Adding videos to the library for a recent (XBMC v11, Eden) guide on setting up the video library.

This page or section has not been updated in a long time, no longer applies, refers to features that have been replaced/removed, and/or may not be reliable.

This page is only kept for historical reasons, or in case someone wants to try updating it.

XBMC may be confusing initially. This guide is for those new to XBMC or those who are having problems. The goal of this guide is to have an insanely easy guide to set up XBMC with a working database which fetches TV show information starting from nothing.


1 1) Setting up the TV show Directory on your Computer

1.1 The Directory

  • make a brand new directory ( for example, C:\TV)

1.2 The Subdirectories

  • for every TV show you have, make a New folder for it.
  • Example: "Family Guy" or "30 Rock" or "The Office (US)"
  • This may be painstaking. DO IT ANYWAY. you must... if you want to ensure this will work.
  • So now we have a directory looking like "C:\TV\30 Rock" or "C:\TV\The Office (US)". Awesome.
  • Even better would be to put the episodes in seperate season folders, several skins require that to show all artwork.
  • Example: "C:\TV\30 Rock\Season 1\"

1.2.1 'Special Cases' for Subdirectories

  • Your TV show is in a folder that doesn't match the TV Show title.
  • For example I have my Star Trek episodes in a folder called "ST"
  • This is still okay. But you will need to make a tvshow.nfo for it, so the scraper will know that in the ST folder you really mean Star Trek

1.3 Putting files into each appropriate TV Show folder

  • Now you can go ahead and put each episode into its appropriate folder.
  • Proper formatting of the name is important. You must make sure you follow the formatting which XBMC detects. look at TV Shows (Video Library) for more info

2 2) Setting up the TV Show folder in XBMC

So now we want XBMC to recognize the TV shows we have. We want it to also grab show information like ratings, actors, episode summaries and so on.

2.1 Adding A video source

  • Depending on the version of XBMC you have and the skin this may differ somewhat, but the overall idea is the same
  • In the main menu if you have a TV shows option, choose that. If you do not then simply go to the movies option and choose that.
  • Now initially XBMC does not have a source to look for TV show content, so we need to set that.
  • You need to go to the Add Source option while you are in the Movies or TV Shows menus.
  • XBMC opens up a menu asking you to browse for a source, so in my case I will tell it to go to C://TV
  • You can enter a name for the source, or just keep it to the default TV. It doesn't really matter.

2.2 Setting the content type

  • Now you can go ahead and click on the Set Content Button. This is where we tell XBMC that this is a TV show folder, opposed to it being a music folder or a movies folder.
  • There should be a way to choose "TV Shows" so go ahead and click the arrow until you get to that option.
  • You now have radio buttons with the option to choose which website the scraper gets all the TV show info from.
  • People usually choose because its more of a 'for us by us thing' and the people who run the site acknowledge and allow XBMC to scrape the site. Whereas other websites officially dont really like this and might change their website to disallow this. This is partly why sometimes scrapes for other websites go down.
  • Before you click ok make sure Run Automated Scan is clicked.
  • Click OK. and then OK again to close the Add Source Menu.

2.3 It's Working

With All luck everything should be working now. You should see a little pop up box saying it is scanning for content. Even if you do the process wrong you may see that content box, but there is a difference when you do it wrong and do it right. when you do it wrong it wont take long and the pop up box is only for a few moments. If you do it right It will find each tv show then find each episode and download the information, so it takes a little longer and it shows that it is actually downloading information.

3 Showing the view in Library Mode

I intend to work on this later.

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