The Complete Guide: XBMC - Kodi/Windows Media Center/ServerWMC and More

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The Complete Guide: Kodi (XBMC)/Windows Media Center/ServerWMC and More

Last Updated: July 26, 2015

Table of Contents:

Introduction

Support the Project

Software (Required and Optional)

Required Hardware
Hardware to Record TV (Server)
Hardware to Watch TV (Client)

Installing OpenELEC (which includes XBMC)

Using Kodi (formerly known as XBMC)

Configuring Kodi (formerly known as XBMC)

The first time you watch a video

Windows Media Center Support

Kodi Add-ons

Adding Videos (Movie/TV) that you already have on a network server or a USB Drive

Using the File Manager/Browser

Backup your OpenELEC Install

Advanced Topics
Using SSH
Copying Files to Kodi
Changing Skip Backward Times
Enabling Skip Forward/Backward and Exit Buttons on MCE Remotes
Making Left/Right/Up/Down/Buttons Consistent in Live TV
Allowing Kodi to recognize TV shows that are ripped from a DVD
Changing Font Sizes (for smaller TVs)
Streaming Media (Cameras/Radio Stations/etc)
Raspberry Pi Issues
Copying XML Files if using a theme other than Confluence
Reducing Fan Noise on Intel NUC
Running Windows Media Center in a Virtual Machine

Troubleshooting
Corrupted Video Database (“Movies” and “TV Shows” either missing or duplicated)
Corrupted PVR Database
Corrupted Thumbnails
Video pauses during Live TV/Active Recordings
Kodi and ServerWMC Logfiles
New recordings will not play
Video pauses during Live TV/Active Recordings
Commmand line options

If you have any questions or comments, please don't reply here. Just post a new message in the forum.

If you find this guide helpful, please click the +/- in the bottom left hand corner of any of my messages to let me know. Thanks.



Introduction

This guide will explain how to set up a personal video recording (“PVR”) system using a computer running Windows 7 and Windows Media Center to record live TV from an over the air antenna and then watch those programs on ordinary televisions using a smaller computer running Kodi (formerly known as XBMC) connected to your TV. The guide is written from a North American perspective. If you live elsewhere in the world, you will probably need to make some deviations from this guide, especially with respect to the recommended TV Tuner.

Important: Please note the “Last Updated” date that appears at the top of this document. Open Source Software is often updated and sometimes evolves quickly. You may find that options referred to in this guide have changed locations, been renamed, or eliminated altogether, especially if you use a newer version.



Support the Project:

If you find ServerWMC/pvr.WMC useful, please considering donating whatever you think is reasonable.

You can donate to ServerWMC/pvr.WMC by clicking the donate button at the top of this page:

http://bit.ly/ServerWMC

You can donate to Kodi (formerly known as XBMC) here:

https://kodi.tv/contribute/donate/

You can donate to OpenELEC here:

http://openelec.tv/donate



Software (Required and Optional)

1. Kodi: Kodi is a computer program that you can use to watch videos, music files, and photos on your television. Kodi is optimized for use on television sets using a remote control, but it can also be used with a keyboard on a computer. Using this guide, you’ll set-up Kodi to watch Live and Recorded TV on smaller computers that are connected to each TV in your home, while another computer running Windows 7 and Windows Media Center acts as a server that records TV shows and streams live TV.

When this guide was written, the current version of Kodi is version 14.2 (Helix). Prior to version 14, Kodi was known as XBMC. The last major version of XBMC was 13.2 (Gotham), and before that 12.3 (Frodo). Kodi includes the ability to install different themes (called skins) which will change the look and feel of the program.

The default theme (skin) on Kodi is called “Confluence”.

There are many ways to install Kodi. You can manually install Kodi onto an existing Windows or Linux machine. If you wish to do the install that way, you can download the latest version of Kodi from here:

http://kodi.tv/download/

However, for the purpose of this guide, we will set-up a dedicated machine that will be connected to a TV and which will run only Kodi.

There are also several ways to install Kodi onto a computer for this purpose, including distributions such as OpenELEC, KodiBuntu, and OSMC (formerly known as RaspBMC).

OpenELEC is a distribution that includes a very basic Linux kernel and Kodi. Once you have installed OpenELEC on a computer, that computer becomes a Kodi appliance that will run Kodi immediately after it is turned on. OpenELEC includes versions that will run on most personal computers and on the Raspberry Pi, which is a very small, low powered computer that sells for about $75.

You can download OpenELEC here:

http://openelec.tv/get-openelec

The current version of OpenELEC is 5.0.8. It includes Kodi 14.2 (Helix). Prior major versions of OpenELEC were 4.2.1, which included XBMC 13.2 (Gotham) and 3.2.4, which included XBMC 12.2 (Frodo).

KodiBuntu is a distribution that includes a full install of Ubuntu (a version of Linux) and Kodi. It runs on most PCs. You can download Kodibuntu here:

http://kodi.tv/download/

OSMC is a distribution that includes the Raspberry Pi operating system and boots directly into Kodi. It runs only on Raspberry Pi. You can download OSMC here:

https://osmc.tv/download/

These instructions assume that you choose OpenELEC. If you choose another distribution or choose to install Kodi on a Windows machine, these instructions will still serve as a good getting-started guide, but you should expect to find some areas where these instructions don’t work.

2. Windows 7 Home Premium or Ultimate: Windows 7 is a computer operating system written and distributed by Microsoft Corporation. The Home Premium and Ultimate versions both include a free program called Windows Media Center which can be used to watch and record TV using a supported TV Tuner. You can buy Windows 7 Home Premium from Amazon.com. You can also use Windows 8, but you must purchase Windows Media Center from the Microsoft App Store for $10.00. Windows Media Center is NOT available with Windows 10.

When this guide was written, the current version of Windows 7 was Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Media Refresh (SP1-U). If you wish to do a fresh install, you can download an ISO file, which can be used to create an installer DVD, from here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-recovery

If you already own a computer running Windows 7 and wish to do a fresh install, you can use the product key on the sticker on that computer to activate a fresh install. However, you may also have to obtain drivers from your computer manufacturer’s web-site to ensure that all of the components in the computer work correctly.

3. The Windows Media Center Add-on for Kodi: The Windows Media Center Add-on for Kodi is a free computer program that is created and maintained by krustyreturns and Scarecrow420, who can both be reached using the Kodi forums.

The Plug-In includes two parts: (1) A server program which you will install on your Windows computer called ServerWMC and (2) a client program which will be installed on each Kodi machine as an “add-on” called pvr.wmc. You can download the Server program and the client/PVR add-on using this link:

http://bit.ly/ServerWMC

Both ServerWMC and pvr.wmc are updated routinely, so be sure to register to be updated when a new version is released. Create an account at forum.kodi.tv. Then visit the following two pages and click “subscribe to this thread” in the bottom left hand corner:

ServerWMC updates:

http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=179958

pvr.wmc updates:

http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=179960

The current version of ServerWMC is 1199. The current version of pvr.wmc is 0.x.99. Replace the “x” with 3 if you are running Kodi 14.x (Helix), 2 if you are running XBMC 13.x (Gotham), and 1 if you are running XBMC 12.x (Frodo). Note that the Helix plugins are listed first on the download page.

4. Nettime: Nettime is a tool that will keep the time set correctly on your Windows 7 Machine. While Windows 7 has a built-in tool for that purpose, it does not seem to work properly if you leave Windows 7 running without regular user intervention. Having the time set right is important to ensure that recordings start and stop when they should. You can download it from here:

http://www.timesynctool.com/

5. Putty: Putty is a free SSH client that runs on Windows. It will allow you to connect to a linux-based Kodi computer remotely and perform various tasks that are contained in these instructions. One of the best features about Putty is that you can highlight text that you see on Putty’s screen using the mouse and it will be immediately copied onto the Windows clipboard. And if you right click while Putty is in focus, anything on the Windows clipboard will be pasted into Putty wherever the cursor is located. You’ll find that feature very useful when you need to SSH into your machine and execute commands or create files as suggested in this guide.

You can download Putty from here:

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtat...nload.html

6. MCEBuddy (Optional): MCEBuddy is software that will monitor any folder that you choose for new recorded TV programs and then automatically process the files that appear there according to your instructions. It can be configured to simply move and rename files from the standard naming conventions used by Windows Media Center to the naming convention used by Kodi without any conversions. In a more complex configuration, MCEBuddy can be configured to convert the files from .wtv to .mp4 (which are about ¼ the size of a wtv file), either remove the commercials or create a .edl file that Kodi can use to skip over the commercials during playback, and then move and rename the files. I haven’t completed my testing of MCEBuddy, and so this Guide does not yet include detailed instructions for configuring it.

7. Remote Access Software: If you plan to run your Windows Media Center as a "headless server" (with no monitor, no keyboard, and no mouse), you should consider installing some kind of remote access software. Teamviewer (http://www.teamviewer.com) currently offers a free option that you may find useful. You may also want to consider a VNC option such as RealVNC or TightVNC.

8. Disk Monitoring Software: Acronis Drive Monitor is free software for Windows that will monitor your hard drive and can email you if your drive is showing signs of failure. This can be useful since Windows Media Center keeps all of your Recorded TV on a single hard drive.



Required Hardware

Hardware to Record TV (Server)

1. Computer: Most personal computers sold in the last ten years for the purpose of running Windows will work. Just about any HP, Acer, or Gateway machine should work just fine. Recording Live TV from a tuner using Windows Media Center requires very little processing power so a fast machine is not necessary. You can probably even use one of the Intel NUCs that I recommend in the next section for use at a TV for the purpose of running Windows Media Center.

2. TV Tuner and Antenna: If you plan to record TV from a TV antenna, you’ll need to purchase a TV Tuner and an off-air antenna. Windows Media Center supports up to four TV Tuners. If you purchase a two tuner device, you can purchase a second device and use both at the same time. You can user more tuners if you use a program like TunerSalad (which overcomes Windows Media Center’s four tuner limit). There are a variety of options available for TV Tuners:

A. SiliconDust HDHomeRun Connect High Definition Digital TV Tuner HDHR4-2US is a two tuner off-air HDTV Tuner for North America. Unlike most other options, it connects to your computer network instead of installing inside your computer. That means that you can have the server in one location, and the Tuner in another location (closer to your TV antenna). You can purchase two of these units to provide a total of four tuners for Windows Media Center.

If you use the HDHomeRun Dual, you’ll need the Windows drivers for the Tuner. The Tuner will come with a driver disk, but it may be better to download the latest version from the manufacturer. You can download them from here:

http://www.silicondust.com/support/hdhomerun/downloads/

You can find installation instructions here:

http://www.silicondust.com/support/hdhom...tructions/

and here:

http://www.silicondust.com/support/hdhom...ions/wmc7/

B. Other Tuners: There are several other well known manufacturers of TV Tuners, including Ceton and Hauppauge. Ceton’s infinitTV6 records from cable TV using a CableCard and has 6 tuners (and software to overcome Media Center’s four tuner limit). SiliconDust has a similar version that has 3 tuners. Hauppauge mainly makes TV Tuner cards you can install inside your computer, such as the WinTV-HVR-2250, which is a two tuner card.

C. TV Antenna: There are a variety of options available to purchase a TV Antenna. My favorite source for TV Antennas in the U.S. is

http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/. The site includes links to tools that will help you pick the right antenna and a variety of choices for antennas.

3. Video Capture Card and Infrared Blaster (optional): If you plan to record TV from a cable-box or satellite dish, you'll need a Media Center Compatible Infrared Blaster, which Media Center will use to change channels on your cable/satellite box, and video capture card to record the TV signal. I haven't tested these options, but the following should work:

A. IR Blaster with Remote:

1. Azend Group MediaGate HA-IR01SV Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate Media Center Remote Control, 1 Channel IR (Silver)
2. Hauppauage Model 01069 - http://www.hauppauge.com/site/webstore2/...-mckit.asp
3. Rosewill RHRC-11001

B. Video Capture Card: Hauppauge Colossus PCI Express Internal HD-PVR

Hardware to Watch TV (Client)

Any computer with an HDMI port can be connected to your TV or to your surround sound receiver. These are the two options that I’ve tested:

1. Intel Next Unit of Computing (about $250 total)

Computer: Intel Next Unit of Computing – Model DCCP847DYE
Memory: Crucial 4GB Single DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL11 SODIMM 204-Pin 1.35V/1.5V Notebook Memory Module CT51264BF160B
Power Cord: C2G / Cables to Go - 27400 - 6ft 3-Slot Notebook Power Cord
Hard Drive (Either of these will work):

a. SanDisk Cruzer Ultra Fit CZ43 32GB USB Flash Drive
b. MyDigitalSSD SC2 Super Cache 2 50mm SATA III 6G mSATA SSD Solid State Drive (32GB with FNet HybriDisk)

Note: I much prefer this option over the next one. The Intel NUC is a computer that is about the size of a hockey puck. It has 3 USB Ports and 2 HDMI Ports (you’ll use this to connect your TV). The model # listed was the cheapest one available at the time that I wrote this (About $150).

Installing the memory, power cord and hard drive in these machines is very easy. The Intel NUC computer comes with a very nice instruction manual, and you can easily find Youtube videos that will show you exactly how to do it.

As time passes, newer versions may become available, and as the older models become more scarce, they may become more expensive. If you find that this unit is priced more than $150, you may wish to check and see if a newer model has been released that is cheaper. There is now a newer version available, Model DN2820FYKH0, that has a processor that is twice as fast, includes Wifi and an IR Receiver, and is slightly cheaper. It is reported to use a processor with a known bug (N2820) and is reportedly being discontinued.

2. Raspberry Pi Option (about $75.00 total)

Computer: Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
Case: As desired
Power Supply: Any Micro-USB Power supply that delivers 1A at 5 Volts
Hard Drive: 8GB SD Card

Note: The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is a very small, inexpensive, low power computer. Everything you need can be purchased as a kit on Amazon. If you plan to use the Raspberry Pi to watch MPEG2 video (TV or DVD), you'll also need to purchase an MPEG2 License. See the advanced topics section towards the end of this guide for more information.

3. Optional Items for client setup

A. Remote Control and IR Receiver: One of the following:

1. Ortek Windows 7 Vista XP Media Center MCE PC Remote Control and Infrared Receiver for Home, Premium and Ultimate Edition. This consists of a USB Infrared Receiver that plugs into your Kodi machine and a remote control. I use the remote to program my Universal Remote Control (see next item) and then put the remote in a drawer. Although this device was designed and is intended for use on computers running Windows Media Center, it also works on a Kodi machine. You’ll need to do a bit of experimenting to learn what each button does. Note that the Guide button acts as a context/right click button.

Note: You can find a list of Kodi Keyboard controls and their functions here:

Keyboard_controls (wiki)

2. FLIRC: Flirc is a USB Device that can translate any IR remote control button to any key on a standard keyboard. For example, you can use the included software to program FLIRC so that when you press the up button on an old DVD player remote, it will press the up arrow on a keyboard. It is more expensive than the other options I noted above.

B. Universal Remote Control: All of my favorites have been discontinued.

C. Wireless 2.4Ghz Keyboard: Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad: This is a full-size keyboard that does not use IR. It is great for initial configuration of your Windows 7 Server and each Kodi box, but I believe that it is too large for ordinary use. You can also use any USB keyboard when setting up Kodi.

D. HDMI Cable: You will connect your computer running Kodi to your TV using an HDMI Cable. This cable will send both the audio and the video to your TV. Monoprice.com has cheap HDMI cables.

E. Wifi: Wifi is often not fast enough for reliable streaming, but if you want to try it, you might try one of the following:

1. Ubiquiti Networks AirGateway and POE-24-12W: The AirGateway ($19) can provide Wifi access to any device with an Ethernet jack. I use this routinely for my network and it works great. It can also be configured as an access point and even as a router. You also have to buy a POE-24-12W to power it ($9).

2. Edimax EW-7811Un 150 Mbps Wireless 11n Nano Size USB Adapter with EZmax Setup Wizard: This USB device is apparently highly recommended for use with the Raspberry Pi and may also work with the Intel NUC. I have not tested it.

3. Intel Network 7260.HMWG WiFi Wireless-AC 7260 H/T Dual Band 2x2 AC+Bluetooth HMC: This apparently can provide Wifi to the Intel NUC and is installed inside the NUC. I have not tested it.

F. Light DIMS: If you plan to use any of these devices in a bedroom, you might want to buy a pack of these handy stickers that will reduce the intensity of the lights on your devices.

http://www.lightdims.com/

G. Latest BIOS (Intel NUC Option Only): If you use the Intel NUC, you should update to the latest BIOS, which you can find here:

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/Default.aspx?lang=eng

Make the following selections on the web-site:

Product Family: Desktop Boards
Product Line: Intel NUC Boards and Kits
Product Name: Your model #

Click Find.

Operating System: OS Independent
Download Type: BIOS

Select the latest BIOS Update (at the top of the listing).

Download the .BIO file. Place it on a USB Stick. Plug the USB Stick into the Intel NUC. While booting press F7 to update the BIOS using the .BIO file.

Reboot into BIOS by holding F2 while booting. Load defaults by pressing F9, and then save and exit by pressing F10.



Installing OpenELEC (which includes Kodi)

Begin by installing OpenElec on the small computer that you will connect to your television set. Download OpenELEC for your machine from here:

http://openelec.tv/get-openelec/download

For Kodi Helix (14.2) on the Intel NUC, choose the Generic Build and download "[Stable] OpenELEC 5.0.8 (x86_64) Diskimage"

For the Raspberry Pi hardware option, download the Raspberry Pi build.

Depending upon which version you download, the file will either come in a .gz or a .tar format. These are archive formats similar to .zip, but you'll need a separate program to open them. You can use 7-Zip to un-tar them.

http://www.7-zip.org/

OpenELEC 5.0.8 is available either in a standard version that includes the files to install it on a USB Drive/SD Card or a disk image version, which is labelled with the word [Diskimage] at the beginning. If you choose the disk image version, you need a disk image software to install it, such as Win32DiskImager, which you can download here:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/

If you download the disk image version, then use 7-zip to convert the .img.gz file to a .img file. Then run Win32DiskImager to transfer the .img file to a USB Drive (for the Intel NUC) or to an 8GB SD Card (for the Raspberry Pi).

For the Raspberry Pi, the SD Card is your drive and operating system. Insert the SD Card into the Raspbery Pi,hook it up to your TV, power, and remote control, and turn it on.

For the Intel NUC, the USB Drive is an installer. Insert the USB Drive into the Intel NUC,hook it up to your TV, power, and a keyboard, and turn it on. Install Kodi from the initial USB Drive to a second USB Drive (or an internal hard drive if you have one). Once the install is done, remove the USB Drive you used for the installer and reboot and you're done.If you download the standard version that has the installer, follow the instructions from here:

http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php?title=Installation

While installing OpenElec, you’ll be asked if you want to enable SSH and Samba during install. Be sure to select these options, or they won’t be available later.

You'll secure SSH later by disabling password based access from within Kodi.



Using Kodi

When you turn on a computer running OpenELEC, it boots up into Kodi. When you start, you’ll be using the default skin/theme which is called Confluence. You will see options to access System (settings), Programs, Videos, Photos, Music, Weather, and a few other items, which you can choose using the left/right and OK buttons on your remote. In the bottom left hand corner, you’ll see options to view your favorites and to power-off or reboot the machine.

When using a Windows Media Center remote control like the one that I recommended, the up/down/left/right/ok and exit buttons work just as you would expect them to in most Kodi screens. However, in XBMC Frodo, when you’re in the File Manager or Browser, the left/right buttons are used to move from the folder list to the OK/Cancel buttons, even though they are below the folder list. In Kodi Helix and XBMC Gotham, the OK/Cancel buttons have sensibly been moved to the left of the folder list.

When watching videos, the up/down buttons skip forward and backward 10 minutes or move through chapters if you’re watching something that has marked chapters. The left and right buttons skip forward and backward 30 seconds. If you type a number and then hit the left or right buttons, the show will advance that number of minutes and seconds. In XBMC Frodo, the exit button skips backward 7 seconds. In Kodi Helix and XBMC Gotham, no button will do the 7 second backward skip, but I'll show you how to fix that later.

The Guide button on most remotes serves as a right click/context menu button. Typically, the context menu will allow you to select an item as a favorite, rescan your sources for new files, and make other changes to the selected files.

Pressing “Menu” on your remote control will usually take you back to the main Kodi screen. However, if you are watching a video, the Menu button will show you icons at the bottom that can be used to pause, rewind, and fast forward. In the bottom right hand corner, you’ll see some icons that can be used to change video and audio settings. If you push the up arrow, the focus will shift to an “X” in the upper right hand corner. If you select that X, your video will continue playing, but you’ll be able to now press “Menu” and get back to the main menu while your video continues to play in the background. To return to the video, press “Exit” or click on “Fullscreen” (which appears above the main menu).



Configuring Kodi

These are the settings that I routinely change from the default:

System/System Info/Network- Show the IP address of the unit

Make a note of this IP address, as you’ll need it if you want to SSH into your machine.

Helix/Gotham only: System/Settings/System/Settings Level (bottom)- Click repeatedly until you're in Expert mode
Helix/Gotham Only: System/Settings/Weather/Service for Weather Information/Get More/Yahoo! Weather/Install

System/Settings/System/Video Output/Resolution: Set to match your TV, in most cases 1920x1080p. However, if you have a smaller TV and you would like to reduce the operating noise of the Kodi machine, you may wish to set this to 1280x720p.

When you change the two items above, you'll be given a chance to accept or reject the changes.

System/Settings/System/Video Output/Video Calibration: This setting is how you tell Kodi where your screen starts and ends. You’ll start by adjusting the upper left hand corner, which will be designated with a blue marker. Use the up, down, left, and right arrows to move the blue marker until it outlines the upper left hand corner of your TV screen. When it is positioned properly, hit enter. I usually set them so that they are barely visible at the edge of the screen. Repeat the process for the bottom, right hand corner. When it is positioned properly, hit enter. Repeat the process for the location of close captions and the aspect ratio. ESC to exit.

System/Settings/System/Audio Output/Audio Output: **Expiriment until you hear audio
System/Settings/System/Audio Output/Number of channels: **As desired

System/Settings/System/Audio Output/Enable passthrough: **Check this if you feed your signal through a surround receiver and then select which types of surround your system supports in the fields underneath. If you feed your signal directly to a TV, you should probably uncheck this option.

System/Settings/System/Audio Output/Passthrough output device: Should probably match Audio Output (above)

Note: If you have no audio when watching videos, try changing Audio output device and Passthrough output device in this section.

System/Settings/Appearance/Skin/Settings/Home window/Show Weather: Check
System/Settings/Appearance/Skin/Settings/Home window/Hide - Programs: Check

System/Settings/Appearance/Skin/Navigation Sounds: Off
System/Settings/Appearance/Skin/Show RSS news feeds: Uncheck

System/Settings/Appearance/International/Timezone Country: United States
System/Settings/Appearance/International/Timezone: America/**As desired for your location

System/Settings/Appearance/File lists/Allow file renaming and deletion: Not checked
System/Settings/Appearance/File lists/Show hidden files and directories: Checked

System/Settings/Video/Library/Group movies in sets: Checked
System/Settings/Video/Library/Update Library on startup: Unchecked

System/Settings/Video/File Lists/Default Select Action: Choose

System/Settings/Video/DVD/Attempt to Skip Introduction before DVD Menu: Checked

If you have trouble playing DVDs, try unchecking the above option.

Settings/Weather/General/-Settings/Enabled: Checked

Be sure to click OK when done.

Exit out back to main menu and then return before continuing

System/Settings/Weather/General/-Settings/Location 1: **As desired

Be sure to click OK when done.

System/Settings/Services/General/Device Name: **As desired (generally choose a location name, like FamilyRoom). Make this unique for each machine on your network**

System/Settings/Services/General/UPNP/Share Video … through UPNP: Disabled

System/Settings/Services/Webserver/Allow control of Kodi via http: Checked
System/Settings/Services/Webserver/Username: **As desired (default is kodi)
System/Settings/Services/Webserver/Password: **As desired (default is kodi)

Note: by enabling this, you can use a web browser to access the Kodi machine using it's IP address and start and control playback.

System/Settings/Services/General/Remote Control/Allow Programs...: Disabled
System/Settings/Services/General/Zeroconf/Announce..: Disabled
System/Settings/Services/General/AirPlay:Allow Kodi...: Disabled

System/Settings/Services/SMB Client/Workgroup: **As desired (usually you want to match the workgroup used by Windows machines on your network.

System/Settings/System/Input Devices/Peripherals/CEC Adapter/Enabled: UN-CHECKED

Note: Uncheck this unless you intend to use the TV Remote to control Kodi. Checking this enables HDMI Control, which can be notoriously buggy. If you enable this and you experience problems, you may wish to disable it.

Be sure to click OK After you disable.

System/Settings/System/Power Saving/Put display to sleep when idle: **As desired

System/Settings/System/Power Saving/Shutdown function timer: **As desired
System/Settings/System/Power Saving/Shutdown function: Shutdown:

Note: If you enable suspend instead of shutdown, when you come back from suspend, you may find that the Recordings list is inaccurate for until Kodi pulls an update from ServerWMC, which happens every 5 minutes.

The "Shutdown function" selection also affects what happens when you push the power button on the computer and and what happens when the shutdown function timer is activated.

System/OpenELEC/System/System Name: **as desired (no spaces allowed). Make this unique for each machine on your network.

System/OpenELEC/Services/Samba/Enable Samba: unchecked
System/OpenELEC/Services/Samba/Use Samba Password Authentication: Checked (if you checked the above)
System/OpenELEC/Services/SSH/Disable SSH Password: Checked (until you want SSH access).
System/OpenELEC/Services/Enable Avahi: unchecked
System/OpenELEC/Services/Enable Bluetooth: unchecked

Note: SSH login is root. ssh password is openelec
Username and password cannot be changed, so only enable SSH Password as needed!



The first time you watch a video

The first time you watch a video, do the following:

1. Change the deinterlace mode: Click Menu on your remote and then select the Video Settings icon (bottom right of the screen), change deinterlace video to "Auto." Change deinterlace method to “Auto". Change Zoom amount to ensure that video fills the entire screen. Then set as default for all videos.

Note: If watching TV appears jerky, you may wish to change deinterlace method to “Bob". If you make that change, be sure to click set as default for all videos again.

2. Disable Subtitles: Click Menu on your remote and then select the Audio Settings icon (bottom right of screen), Uncheck "enable subtitles" and then “set as default” for all videos to remove the time stamp that is shown when playing home movies.



Windows Media Center Support

To watch TV shows from Windows Media Center on your Kodi box, you must install the server program (“ServerWMC”) on a computer that is running Windows Media Center (i.e., Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows XP/8 with the Media Center option). You must also install the “PVR Add-on” client on the Kodi Machine.

Download the latest version of ServerWMC and the PVR Add-on client from:

http://bit.ly/ServerWMC

With respect to the PVR Add-on Client, you’ll want the following versions:

For Kodi installed using OpenELEC on a computer:
linux (x64): pvr.wmc-linux-x86-64-0.3.xx.zip

For Kodi on a Raspberry Pi:
XBian/OpenElec(arm): pvr.wmc-linux-arm-0.3.xx.zip

Note: If you’re using XBMC 12.2 Frodo or 13.x Gotham, download the 0.1.xx versions and not the 0.2.xx versions.

Server Configuration

Start by setting up the computer that you will use as a server to record live TV:

1. Install Windows 7 Home Premium on a computer.

2. Configure Windows to use a static IP address and make a note of that IP address for later. You can either do this in your router’s DHCP table, or in Windows. To do it in Windows:

Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > View Network Status and Tasks > Change Adaptor Settings

Right Click on your LAN Connection

Click Networking Tab > Click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) > Click on Properties

Click “Use the following IP address”
IP Address: Select an IP address on your network that will not be duplicated by your router’s DHCP Server
Subnet Mask: use 255.255.255.0 unless you have a reason not to.
Default Gateway: Enter your router’s IP address

Preferred DNS Server: 8.8.8.8
Alternate DNS Server: 8.8.4.4

Click OK. Click Close.

3. Install the TV Tuner drivers (depends upon which TV Tuner you use).

4. Install Nettime to keep the time right. This will help ensure that timers start and stop at the right time.

5. Configure Windows Media Center (Run Windows Media Center configuration, change storage location, increase space available for storage to maximum, set-up timers).

Note: Windows Media Center allows you to add other network locations to monitor for saved recordings. If you add another location, such as a file server on your network, remember that capitalization matters and that it is better to use IP addresses instead of names. So, if your other location is

\\Server\Video\Mediacenter

and your Server's IP address is 192.168.1.75, you should instead use:

\\192.168.1.75\Video\Mediacenter

and should not use:

\\192.168.1.75\video\mediacenter

6. Create a new standard user account on the Windows PC with a password. This account will be used by Kodi to access Recorded TV files over your network.

Start > Control Panel > Add of Remove User Accounts

Create a New Account. Type a User Name. Click Standard User. Click Create Account.
Click on the Account. Click on Create a Password. Enter the password twice and click Create Password.

7. When you configured Windows Media Center, you selected a drive to store Recorded TV on. Usually, you’ll want to select a secondary drive with lots of storage space to hold Recorded TV. On most drives other than C:, the Recorded TV Folder will be in the root directory, i.e. F:/Recorded TV.

Using Windows Explorer, find the Recorded TV Folder and right click on it. Select Properties. Click on the “Sharing Tab.” Click the “Share” button. Click the down arrow and select the user you created in step #6 above. Click Add. Under “Permission Level” to the right of the user, click “Read” and change it to “Read/Write.”

Now click the “Share” button at the bottom right hand corner of the window.

Now change the share name from "Recorded TV" to "rtv". ** (Need to update instructions on how to do this).

8. To ensure that Windows will automatically login to the admin account upon bootup and start ServerWMC:

Start > Run > netplwiz

First, Click on the admin account (not the standard account you created in step #6). Second, uncheck “Users must enter a user name and password.” Third, click OK, enter the administrator password (leave blank if there isn’t one). Click OK. This will allow the machine to login automatically when it boots up.

9. Install ServerWMC.

10. Configure ServerWMC as follows:

General/Start when Windows Starts: Checked
General/Minimize to System Tray: As you desire
General/Close box minimizes to system tray: Unchecked

Folders: Enter the network path to this folder: Change computer name to the IP address of your Windows computer and verify that share name is correct. Click

Save

Folders: Click “Use Credentials for non-windows Kodi clients” and then enter the username/password you created in step 6. Click Save

Alternatively, you can leave this box unchecked and set-up the credentials in Kodi’s file manager by adding the Windows Media Center shared folder as a source and then clicking on the box to save the credentials. If you choose this route, do the following in Kodi:

System/File Manager/Add source/

Change “none” to:

Code:
smb://192.168.1.50/

(replace 192.168.1.50 with the IP address of your Windows machine)

When the “lock screen” opens, type in the username and password, click “Remember for this path,” and then click “OK.”

You may receive a warning indicating that your Recorded TV folder is not shared publicly, but you can ignore that warning if you’ve followed these instructions correctly.

Live TV/Set the maximum … Live TV Stream: 4 (or as you desire)
Live TV/Enable prime viewing time: Check
Start/End: As desired

Recordings/Remux active recordings: Checked
Recordings/Append episode title to series tile for recordings using: Checked
Recordings/Append episode title to series tile for recordings using: Title - Episode.

Channels/Channel display format ...:{0} ({1})

Kodi PVR Client

On each Kodi machine, install the PVR Client add-on (zip file) you downloaded when you downloaded ServerWMC by doing the following:

System/Settings/Add-ons/Install from zip file

Kodi will then open the Kodi Browser. Use the up and down arrows to select the folder and then the .zip file you want, and then click on it. Kodi will install the add-on.

System/Settings/Add-ons/Enabled Add-ons/PVR Clients/Windows Media Center Client.../Configure

Enter the IP Address of your Windows Media Center computer in the "Server Hostname or IP" field and select "OK".

Next, enable Live TV in Kodi:

Settings/Live TV/Enabled: Checked
Settings/Live TV/Use backend channels numbers: Checked
Settings/Live TV/EPG/Days to Display EPG: 14 days
Settings/Live TV/Recording/Display a notification … timer updates: Uncheck

Settings/Live TV/EPG/Reset EPG Database: Select and click "Yes".

Note: If you make any settings changes that affect the Program Guide, it is always a good idea to execute the above to reset the database, especially if your changes appear to have no effect at first.

One you’ve done this, a new option should appear on the main Kodi screen called “TV" ("Live TV" on older versions of Kodi). Once you’re in that section, clicking the left arrow will open a sidebar that allows you to choose from all of the available options. I recommend you start by doing this:

Live TV/Recordings: Highlight a recording/Right Click/Sort by Date (twice)

11. Configure ServerWMC to provide the SMB address for recordings as requested.

If you use OpenELEC or Kodi with a Linux installation, you will likely find that newly added recordings will not play until you reboot Kodi or Update the Library.

ServerWMC has a debug configuration setting that will overcome this problem. To use this setting, you must be using ServerWMC build 1135, or later.

Open ServerWMC on your Windows computer. Click on the “debug” tab. Click the “Edit Settings File” button.

Windows notepad will open and you will be editing a file called “config.xml”.

Locate and edit the following entry:

<Debug_RequestAllRecordings>false</Debug_RequestAllRecordings>

Change the word “false” to “true”. When you’re done, click “File” at the top of the window and then select “save”. Close Notepad by clicking the “X” in the upper right hand corner.

Then click the “Reload Settings” button on the Debug screen.

Warning: Be careful when editing the config.xml file. If you make a mistake, ServerWMC will crash a few seconds after you click "Reload Settings." If that happens, ServerWMC will rebuild the config.xml file the next time you start it using the default values.

You may wish to backup your config.xml file before you start. You can either copy the file from its default location, or while you're in notepad, hit CTRL-A to select all and then CTRL-C to copy the contents of the .xml file to the Clipboard, and then paste it into a backup file.

You can copy and edit the config.xml file from here:

%programdata%\vdsoftware\serverwmc\config.xml



IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to avoid the bug, you MUST update the video library at least once after you reboot your system. If you do not update the library at least once, the bug may still occur. You can overcome this problem automatically by installing the Auto Update add-on.

Kodi Add-ons

This part of the guide is intended to show you how to enable add-ons and place them in a location where you can find them. My examples are based upon the add-ons I use, but you’re welcome to choose whatever add-ons suit your needs.

Kodi Library Auto Update
This add-on will cause Kodi to regularly update the library in order to determine if new videos have been added.

System/Settings/Add-ons/Get Add-ons/All Add-ons/Program Add-Ons/Kodi Library Auto Update/Install

Note: if nothing appears after All Add-ons, then highlight "Kodi Add-on repository," right click (or press c or Guide), and select "Force Refresh" and "Check for Updates"

After installation, find the add-on and configure it:

System/Settings/Add-ons/Enabled Add-ons/Program Add-ons/Kodi Library Auto Update/Configure

General/Startup Delay: 5 minutes
Video/Update Video Library: Enable
Video/Amount of Time Between Updates (Hours): 1
Cleaning/Clean Libraries: Enable
Cleaning/Verify Sources Before Clean: Enable

PBS
This add-on lets you watch a variety of PBS shows from their web site.

System/Settings/Add-ons/Get Add-ons/All Add-ons/Video Add-Ons/PBS/Install

YouTube
This add-on lets you access YouTube.

System/Settings/Add-ons/Get Add-ons/All Add-ons/Video Add-Ons/YouTube

Add Add-ons to Video Menu

System/Settings/Appearance/Skin/Skin – Settings/Home Window Options/Add-on Shortcuts/Home Page Videos Submenu/Add-on 3: PBS

System/Settings/Appearance/Skin/Skin – Settings/Home Window Options/Add-on Shortcuts/Home Page Videos Submenu/Add-on 4: YouTube

Music Add-Ons

System/Settings/Add-ons/Get Add-ons/All Add-ons/Music Add-Ons:
ListenLiveEU
NPR
Sky.fm

Add Music Add-Ons to Music Menu

System/Settings/Appearance/Skin/Skin – Settings/Home Window Options/Add-on Shortcuts/Home Page Music Submenu/Add-on 1: NPR

System/Settings/Appearance/Skin/Skin – Settings/Home Window Options/Add-on Shortcuts/Home Page Music Submenu/Add-on 2: Sky.fm

System/Settings/Appearance/Skin/Skin – Settings/Home Window Options/Add-on Shortcuts/Home Page Music Submenu/Add-on 3: ListenLiveEU



(Guide continues in the next post)

If you have any questions or comments, please don't reply here. Just post a new message in the forum.

If you find this guide helpful, please click the +/- in the bottom left hand corner of any of my messages to let me know. Thanks.
(This post was last modified: 2015-07-29 08:07 by advocate99.)
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Adding Videos (Movie/TV) that you already have on a network server or a USB Drive

If you have your own library of Movies or TV Shows that you own, you can tell Kodi where to find them, and it will download descriptions and artwork for each. Once Kodi has recognized a Movie or a TV Show, Kodi will add a new option to the main menu entitled “Movies” and/or “TV Shows” which will display all of the Movies or TV Shows that Kodi recognized along with details about the program.

Naming Files

Kodi can only find a Movie or TV Show if you name it properly. Begin by naming your library using the following rules:

Movies

Movies should be named with the name of the movie and optionally the year released. For example:

Casino Royale (1967).mp4
Casino Royale (2006).mp4
My Cousin Vinny.mp4

Movies in DVD Format can be placed in a folder that is named using the same format, but without the .mp4.

If you are unsure of the precise name or year, search for the movie at:

themoviedb.org

TV Shows

TV Shows should be in folders that are named with the name of the show and optionally the year released. For example:

Friends
Cold Feet (1997)

The files containing each episode should be in the folder bearing the show’s name and should be named with any name you want. The filename should include the Series and Episode Number formatted as SxxExx:

Name of TV Show.S01E01.mp4
Name of TV Show.S06E04.mp4
S01E01 - Name of TV Show.mp4

If you have a single file containing multiple episodes, just repeat Exx in the name:

Name of TV Show.S01E01E02E03.mp4

If you aren’t sure what to name a show, search for it at:

thetvdb.com

For special episodes listed in thetvdb.com that are not connected to a seris, use Series 00 and the Episode number listed in thetvdb.com. For example:

/Saturday Night Live/SNL 40th Anniversary Special.S00E90.mp4

Note: By default, Kodi will not recognize TV shows that are in DVD format. However, I provide instructions on how to fix that in the Advanced section of this Guide.

Adding Video Sources to Kodi

To add a new group of videos, make the following selections in Kodi:

Videos/Files/Add Videos/

This will open a new window with the following options:

Enter the paths … for the media locations: Either type in the path for your source where you see the <None>, or use the Browse button to find it.

If you click the Browse button, the Kodi Browser will open. Use the up and down arrows to select the folder you want, and then click on it. Note that the Browser will only show you the folder names and will not show you any files located inside the folders. Once you have selected and clicked on the folder you want to add as a source, use the left/right arrow buttons to move from the folder list to the confirmation buttons (OK/Cancel). Once you click “OK”, Kodi will take you back to the “Enter paths … for the media location” and will have filled in the "path … for media locations" based upon the selections you made in the Browser.

Here are some examples:

Windows Network Share (CIFS/SMB):

smb://192.168.1.50/TVShows/

NFS Share:

nfs://192.168.1.50/TVShows/

USB Drive:

**TBD

When setting up network shares, always use IP addresses and not Windows network names. Also, capitalization counts! If the Browser puts a Windows network share name into a path, replace it with the IP address before you move on. Otherwise, you may have problems accessing those files in the future. So, for example, if the Browser leaves you looking at:

smb://MediaCenter-PC/TVShows/

then you should change it to:

smb://192.168.1.50/TVShows/

(assuming that the IP address of MediaCenter-PC is 192.168.1.50)

Enter a name for this media source: Give the share a name that you’ll recognize

Click OK

This directory contains: Pick either None, Movies, TV Shows, or Music. Use “None” for home movies and video. If you select other than “None,” Kodi will then search an internet database to find matching titles and will download art and a description for the item.

If any Movies are found, a new main heading will appear in Kodi entitled “Movies” and the movies that were found will be listed. If any TV Shows are found, a new main heading will appear in Kodi entitled “TV Shows” and the shows that were found will be listed along with the downloaded art and descriptions.

Note: If you add or remove any movies from these locations, those changes will not be reflected in Kodi until you update the library. You can do that by viewing a list of Movies, TV Shows, or Videos and right clicking (or clicking Guide on your remote) and then selecting "Update library." Also, earlier in this guide, we configured a Kodi add-on to automatically update the library on a regular basis.

Verifying that files were located:

To check and see if every movie has been properly recognized, using Kodi go to Videos -> Files -> NameYouGaveTheMediaSource

Then scroll through each listed video and see if the artwork appears and see if the filename is listed (the ending will show, i.e. .mp4) or if a Movie name is listed (without the file type at the end).

If a filename is listed (with the .mp4) or there is no artwork, the movie was not recognized and you need to rename it as described above and then right click and select “Update Library” or “Refresh.”

If a Movie is recognized but is wrong, highlight the show, click “Info” on your remote, and then select “Refresh,” and you may be given a list of all matching shows.

Forcing Kodi to recognize Movies or TV Shows:

If Kodi is unable to recognize a video, you can force Kodi to recognize the video by creating a .nfo file with the same name as the video and putting it into the same folder as the video. The .nfo file is a text file that contains information that Kodi will use to add the video to the Movie or TV list.

Movies

For example, if you have a Movie called:

There are no more tents.mp4

You would create a file called

There are no more tents.nfo

If you have a DVD type video, you would create a .nfo file called:

VIDEO_TS.nfo

The .nfo file should contain at least the following:

Code:
<movie>
        <title>Title to appear in the Movie/TV List</title>
        <sorttitle>Title to appear in the Movie/TV List</sorttitle>
</movie>

Note: You can find more options to include in an .nfo file here: NFO_files (wiki)
If the movie is listed in imdb, you can include the url to the imdb page as the last line in the .nfo file and Kodi will pull the data from the imdb page, i.e.,

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117887/

TV Shows

If you have a Television show, you should create two .nfo files, one for the show as a whole and another for each episode in the show. For data relating to the show, create a file called:

tvshow.nfo

Code:
<tvshow>
    <title>House</title>
    <showtitle>House</showtitle>
    <plot>Plot Here.</plot>
</tvshow>

For data relating to a particular episode, create a file with the same file name as the episode, but ending in .nfo

House.S01E01.nfo

Code:
<episodedetails>
        <title>My TV Episode</title>
        <season>2</season>
        <episode>1</episode>
        <plot>he best episode in the world</plot>
        <thumb>http://thetvdb.com/banners/episodes/164981/2528821.jpg</thumb>
</episodedetails>



Using the File Manager/Browser

Kodi includes a file manager that you can use to copy, rename, and delete files. You access it as follows:

System/File Manager

The options available on the right-click/context menu will vary depending upon where you have navigated on the screen you are on and on the other screen. For example, if the right hand side of the file manager is in a folder, and you right click on a file on the left hand side of the file manager, you may be presented with an option to copy that file. However, if the right hand side of the file manager is at the very first screen (showing you the available sources), and you right click a file on the left side of the screen, you may not see the “copy” option.

The “guide” button on the remote is often used as a right-click/context menu.

When you use the "Add Source" option in the file manager, you will be presented with a window to add sources that works exactly the same as the section used for adding video sources, and which is documented in the section above.



Backup your OpenELEC Install

OpenELEC includes a backup facility that will allow you to easily backup your settings and restore them later. To start a backup, do the following in Kodi:

System/OpenELEC/System/Create System and Kodi Backup

To restore from a backup, do the following in Kodi:

System/OpenELEC/System/Restore Backup

Backups are stored in

Code:
/storage/backups

and can be copied from that location to a USB key for safekeeping using the File Manager in Kodi.

In Kodi, select:

System/File Manager

Click “Add source”, Click “Browse”, Click Root Filesystem, Click “storage,” click “backup”, Click Left button, Select “OK”,” Select “OK” again.

Enter the backup source on the left hand side. Insert your USB Key and select it on the right hand side. Now right click/context/guide while highlighting the backup file you want to copy and select “copy”.

You can reduce the size of the backup files by deleting the thumbnails directory and the texturesxx.db file before doing the backup (see instructions below).



Advanced Topics

The following advanced topics will explain how to make changes that are often desirable, but which you cannot change from Kodi's User Interface. Most of them involve creating a special configuration file on your Kodi machine.



Using SSH

The best way to SSH into your machine from a Windows machine is using a free program called Putty, which you can download here:

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtat...nload.html

Putty allows you to easily copy and paste. Copy something while in Windows, and then go into Putty and right click. Whatever you have on the Windows clipboard will be pasted into Putty wherever your cursor is currently located. If you highlight text in Putty, it will be copied onto the Windows clipboard.



Copying Files to Kodi

These instructions will show you how to SSH into your Linux-based Kodi machine and then create the necessary configuration files.

If you’re using a Window-based machine (or you don't want to mess with SSH), you can just create the files using Notepad and put them in the correct folder. You can find the folders for Windows installations in the Kodi wiki.



Changing Skip Backward Times

By default, Kodi allows you to skip forward and backwards in 10 minutes and 30 second increments. Kodi also allows you to skip backwards in 7 second increments. I prefer a 10 second option. You can change these by modifying your advancedsettings.xml file.

Connect to the machine using SSH:

Code:
cd /storage/.kodi/userdata
nano advancedsettings.xml

Code:
<advancedsettings>
<video>
  <smallstepbackseconds>10</smallstepbackseconds>  <!-- Length of the small skip back (normally the BACK button) when playing a video -->
  <usetimeseeking>true</usetimeseeking>  <!-- Whether to use time based or percentage based seeking. -->
  <timeseekforward>30</timeseekforward>  <!-- Time to seek forward in seconds when doing a short seek.  Defaults to 30. -->
  <timeseekbackward>-30</timeseekbackward>  <!-- Time to seek backward in seconds when doing a short seek.  Defaults to -30. -->
  <timeseekforwardbig>600</timeseekforwardbig>  <!-- Time to seek forward in seconds when doing a long seek.  Defaults to 600 (10 minutes). -->
  <timeseekbackwardbig>-600</timeseekbackwardbig>  <!-- Time to seek forward in seconds when doing a long seek.  Defaults to -600 (10 minutes). -->
</video>
</advancedsettings>

Save and exit by pressing CTRL-X, Y.

reboot to make them effective, by typing:

Code:
reboot

NOTE: Starting with Kodi 15, Kodi is adopting a whole new mechanism for skipping forward and backwards. I haven't yet messed around with this method, but you can read more about it here:

Skip_steps (wiki)



Enabling Skip Forward/Backward and Exit Buttons on MCE Remotes

For the Windows Media Center remote, the Skip Forward and Skip Backward buttons are mapped to Next in Playlist and Previous in Playlist. And when watching videos in fullscreen mode, the Exit button skips backwards 7 seconds.

Many MCE users would prefer that the Skip Forward and Skip Backward buttons be used to Skip forward 30 seconds and skip backwards 7 seconds (see instructions above on how to change 7 seconds to something longer), and that the Exit/Cancel button be used to return to the prior menu.

. To change this, SSH into the machine and do the following:

Code:
nano /storage/.kodi/userdata/keymaps/remote.xml

Type in the following:

Code:
<keymap>
  <global>
    <remote>
      <skipplus>StepForward</skipplus>
      <skipminus>SmallStepBack</skipminus>
    </remote>
  </global>
  <tvguide>
    <remote>
      <skipplus>SkipNext</skipplus>
      <skipminus>SkipPrevious</skipminus>
    </remote>
  </tvguide>
  <FullscreenVideo>
    <remote>
      <back>Back</back>
    </remote>
  </FullscreenVideo>
  <Visualisation>
    <remote>
      <back>Back</back>
    </remote>
  </Visualisation>
</keymap>

CTRL-X, Y, ENTER to save and exit.

Then reboot by typing:

Code:
reboot

For OpenELEC, the default keyboard.xml and remote.xml files are located in:

Code:
/usr/share/kodi/system/keymaps/



Making Left/Right/Up/Down/Buttons Consistent in Live TV

By default, the (1)Left/(2)Right/(3)Up/(4)Down buttons on the MCE Remote will (1)SkipBack30Seconds, (2)SkipForward30Seconds, (3)SkipForward10minutes, and (4) SkipBack10Minutes.

However, when you are watching Live TV, Kodi changes these buttons so that they effect channel changes. Up/Down changes channels and Left/Right changes channel categories. Since MCE Remotes already have a channel button, we may wish to change it so that these buttons work the same in LiveTV as they do when watching other Videos. To do so:

Code:
nano /storage/.kodi/userdata/keymaps/remote.xml

Type in the following (but see the note below):

Code:
<keymap>
  <FullscreenLiveTV>
    <remote>
      <left>StepBack</left>
      <right>StepForward</right>
      <up>BigStepForward</up>
      <down>BigStepBack</down>
    </remote>
  </FullscreenLiveTV>
</keymap>

CTRL-X, Y, ENTER to save and exit.

Then reboot by typing:

Code:
reboot

Note: If you have already created a remote.xml file (for example when you set up the skip forward/back buttons in the instructions above), then delete the </keymap> code at the end of the current file and delete the <keymap> at the beginning of the text above. The remote.xml file should only have a single <keymap> at the beginning of the file and a single </keymap> at the end of the file.

If you want to keep the up/down channel category functionality, just delete the up and down lines from the file. Using these large up and down jumps in Live TV seems to crash Kodi anyway, so I deleted it on mine.

For more information on customizing keys for a remote, see:

http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php?title=...Remap_Keys



Allowing Kodi to recognize TV shows that are ripped from a DVD

By default, Kodi will not recognize TV shows that are ripped from a DVD. You can fix this by modifying your advancedsettings.xml file.

Connect to the machine using SSH:

Code:
cd /storage/.kodi/userdata
nano advancedsettings.xml

Code:
<advancedsettings>
<tvshowmatching action="append">
     <regexp>[Ss]([0-9]+)[ ._-]*[Ee]([0-9]+)([^\\/]*)(?:(?:[\\/]VIDEO_TS)?[\\/]VIDEO_TS\.IFO)$</regexp>
</tvshowmatching>
</advancedsettings>

Save and exit by pressing CTRL-X, Y.

Note: You can also create this file on a Windows machine and then copy the file over using Windows networking.

reboot to make them effective, by typing:

Code:
reboot

Note: Name your files and folders as follows:

Main Folder: (TV Show Name)
Sub-Folders: TV Show Name SxxExxExxExxExx

Then put the VIDEO_TS folder inside the sub-folder.

For example:

/Modern Family/Modern Family S01E01E02E03E04E05/VIDEO_TS
/Modern Family/Modern Family S01E06E07E08E09E10/VIDEO_TS
/Modern Family/Modern Family S02E01E02E03E04E5/VIDEO_TS



Changing Font Sizes (for smaller TVs)

Note: the information below is historical. The Confluence skin now has an option to use larger fonts that solve this problem.

If you find the default font sizes too small, you can increase them. These instructions assume that you are using the default skin (theme), which is called “Confluence.”

The Confluence skin files are located here:

/usr/share/kodi/addons/skin.confluence/720p

Unfortunately, with OpenElec the /usr/share/kodi folder is read only and so you cannot modify the default Confluence skin. There is a work-around, however. You can create a duplicate skin folder with a slightly different name, change the font size in the duplicate, and then select the duplicate as your default skin.

Start by enabling SSH. In Kodi,

Settings/OpenELEC/Services/SSH/Disable SSH Password: Checked

Login to the Kodi machine via SSH using Putty or another SSH Client.

Copy the default confluence file to a new folder that is not read only by typing:

Code:
cp -r /usr/share/kodi/addons/skin.confluence /storage/.kodi/addons/skin.confluence.big

Then you need to edit the addon ID so it looks different then the original confluence, do this by opening the addon.xml and adjusting the value.

Code:
nano /storage/.kodi/addons/skin.confluence.big/addon.xml

you will see something like this

Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<addon
  id="skin.confluence"
  version="2.1.0"
  name="Confluence"

change "skin.confluence" to whatever you name the containing folder as and change the name value as well so it shows up differently from within the Kodi GUI. In our case I would use.

Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<addon
  id="skin.confluence.big"
  version="2.1.0"
  name="Confluence (big)"

Save and exit by pressing CTRL-X, Y.

Now edit the font.xml file:

Code:
cd /storage/.kodi/addons/skin.confluence.big/720p
nano Font.xml

Look through the file. One option is to increase the font size for every font by 5.

Alternatively, you can just change the ones you want. To change the size of the description of the show in the recordings menu and the titles in the EPG, change the <size> parameter from 17 to whatever you want (I chose 21):

Code:
<fontset id="Default" idloc="31390" unicode="true">
        <!-- Normal Fonts -->
                <font>
                        <name>font12</name>
                        <filename>Roboto-Regular.ttf</filename>
                        <size>17</size>
                </font>

To change the size of the description of the show in the recordings menu and the titles in the EPG, change the <size> parameter from 20 to whatever you want (I chose 24):

Code:
<font>
                        <name>font13</name>
                        <filename>Roboto-Regular.ttf</filename>
                        <size>20</size>
                </font>

Note that these entries appear several times in this file, but I only had to change the very first appearance of them to have the desired effect.

When you’re done:

Save and exit by pressing CTRL-X, Y.

Now copy the ServerWMC xml files over to the new directory to ensure that you'll be able to set series timers:

Code:
cp /storage/.kodi/addons/pvr.wmc/resources/skins/skin.confluence/720p/* /storage/.kodi/addons/skin.confluence.big/720p/

and

Code:
cp /usr/share/kodi/addons/pvr.wmc/resources/skins/skin.confluence/720p/* /storage/.kodi/addons/skin.confluence.big/720p/

And then:

Code:
reboot

Then access Kodi, go to the skin area, and select the new Confluence (Big) skin.

Settings/Appearance/Skin: Confluence (Big)



Streaming Media (Cameras/Radio Stations/etc)

If you know the URL of a streaming source (such as a camera, radio station, or live video feed), you can manually add it by creating a file that ends in .strm, and then putting the URL as a single line in that file.

For older Foscam brand cameras, use this URL:

Code:
http://192.168.1.50:80/videostream.cgi?user=USERNAME&pwd=PASSWORD

For newer Foscam brand cameras, use this URL:

Code:
rtsp://USERNAME:PASSWORD@10.1.1.22:80/videoMain

For the Ubiquiti Aircam, use this URL:

Code:
rtsp://192.168.1.50:554/live/ch00_0

For Grandstream Cameras, use this URL:

Code:
rtsp://192.168.1.50:554/0

Notes: Change 192.168.1.50 to the IP address of the camera. Change USERNAME and PASSWORD to the username and password assigned in the cameras configuration.

Place these files into a folder on the Kodi Machine and then make that folder a favorite for ease of access.



Raspberry Pi Issues

Kodi on Raspberry PI – MPEG2 License

If you want to use Kodi to watch MPEG2 Video (DVDs or TV) on a Raspbery Pi, you’ll need to purchase an MPEG2 license from the Raspberry Pi team. Currently, they charge 2.40 British Pounds (about $4.00). To purchase the license, you’ll need to find your serial number and provide it to the Raspberry Pi foundation along with payment. These instructions are for OpenELEC, but the instructions for RaspBMC are probably similar and are definitely available online. SSH into your Raspberry Pi, and issue the following commands:

Code:
cat /proc/cpuinfo

Your serial number will be to the right of the words “Serial”.

Purchase the license here:

http://www.raspberrypi.com/mpeg-2-license-key/

You’ll receive your license key within 72 hours by email. After you receive the license key, input it on OpenELEC. SSH into the machine again, and issue the following commands:

Code:
mount /flash -o remount,rw
nano /flash/config.txt
Change:
Code:
# decode_MPG2=0x00000000

by removing the # and changing “0x00000000” to the license key you received.

Save and exit by pressing CTRL-X, Y.

Note: If you use RaspBMC instead of OpenELEC, you’ll also need to purchase a license, but the instructions to install the license key may be slightly different. You can probably find correct instructions on the RaspBMC web-site.

Speeding up the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a very inexpensive computer and it has a very slow processor. It can play HD video just fine, but some users find the Kodi interface too slow when navigating Kodi. There are three things that you can do to speed up that experience: Overclock the processor and enable “dirty regions.”

Overclocking:

Overclocking forces the processor to run faster than intended. If you run too fast, the processor can overheat and/or the data on the SD Card can become corrupted. Many users have overclocked the Raspberry Pi without any problems. Your mileage may vary. To overclock, SSH into your machine using Putty. From the command prompt, issue the following commands:

Code:
cd /flash
mount -o rw,remount /flash
nano config.txt

Find the overclocking section. The file includes several suggested settings for Overclocking. Determine which settings you want to use. Then remove the # in front of the four sections and set them as desired.

CTRL-X, Y to exit and save.

Then:

Code:
reboot

ServerWMC changes

The Raspberry Pi can sometimes have difficulty playing large files such as those created by Windows Media Center. You can overcome this problem by having ServerWMC remux all recorded TV files. To enable this feature, access your Windows 7 Machine and in ServerWMC, do the following:

Debug Tab > Remux the playback of all WTV Files

Then reboot your Raspberry Pi to make the change effective.

Dirty Regions (Frodo only):

By default, XBMC Frodo redraws the entire display every time anything changes. If you enable “Dirty Regions,” XBMC will only redraw the part of the display that has changed. This will speed up the XBMC UI, but will not make video play any better. This can also cause unusual results if you watch a 4:3 video on a 16:9 display, as the edges will not be redrawn and will continue to show the XBMC user interface. My experience has been that this change is well worth the drawbacks.

1. SSH into machine
2. Change to the correct directory and edit advancedsettings.xml

Code:
cd /storage/.xbmc/userdata
nano advancedsettings.xml

Add the following:

Code:
<advancedsettings>
<gui>
  <algorithmdirtyregions>1</algorithmdirtyregions>
  <nofliptimeout>1000</nofliptimeout>
</gui>
</advancedsettings>

Save and exit by pressing CTRL-X, Y.

Reboot by typing:

Code:
reboot

Note: Kodi Helix and XBMC Gotham does not redraw the entire screen and so the above does not apply if you run Gotham.



Copying XML Files if using a theme other than Confluence

Using the PVR Add-on for Windows Media Center with the default skin (theme) called Confluence, you can browse the program guide and even set and delete timers on your Windows Media Center computer. You can also set both individual and series timers. However, if you select an alternative skin, you may find that you cannot set series timers. If you wish to enable this functionality, you must copy the special xml files that enable this functionality into your skin folder.

The XML Skin Files that you need to copy are located either here:

Code:
/storage/.kodi/addons/pvr.wmc/resources/skins/skin.confluence/720p

or here:

Code:
/usr/share/kodi/addons/pvr.wmc/resources/skins/skin.confluence/720p

You need to copy them to the folder containing your skin files. With OpenELEC, skin files are normally located here:

Code:
/usr/share/kodi/addons/skin.[name]/720p

Note: Replace [name] wherever it appears in this section of the guide with the actual name of the skin.

Unfortunately, with OpenElec the /usr/share/kodi folder is read only and so you cannot copy the files directly. There is a work-around, however. You can create a duplicate skin folder with a slightly different name, add the XML files to the duplicate, and then select the duplicate as your default skin.

Start by enabling SSH: In Kodi,

Settings/OpenELEC/Services/SSH/Disable SSH Password: Checked

Login to the server via SSH using Putty or another SSH Client.

Determine the name of your skin folder:

Code:
cd /usr/share/kodi/addons
ls -l

Look at the listing and determine the name of the folder you want to copy based upon the name of the skin you want to use. Copy the skin folder to a new folder that is not read only by typing:

Code:
cp -r /usr/share/kodi/addons/skin.[name] /storage/.kodi/addons/skin.[name].wmc

Then you need to edit the addon ID so it looks different then the original skin, do this by opening the addon.xml and adjusting the value.

Code:
nano /storage/.kodi/addons/skin.[name].wmc/addon.xml

you will see something like this

Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<addon
  id="skin.[name]"
  version="2.1.0"
  name="[Name]"

change "skin.[name]" to whatever you name the containing folder as and change the [Name] value as well so it shows up differently from within the Kodi GUI. In our case I would use.

Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<addon
  id="skin.[name].wmc"
  version="2.1.0"
  name="[Name] (WMC)"

Save and exit by pressing CTRL-X, Y.

Then copy the XML files from the Add-On folder to the new one:

Code:
cp /storage/.kodi/addons/pvr.wmc/resources/skins/skin.confluence/720p/* /storage/.kodi/addons/skin.[NAME].wmc/720p/

or

Code:
cp /usr/share/kodi/addons/pvr.wmc/resources/skins/skin.confluence/720p/* /storage/.kodi/addons/skin.[NAME].wmc/720p/

Reboot the machine via SSH by typing:

Code:
reboot

Now in Kodi, choose the new skin:

Settings/Appearance/Skin: [Name] (WMC)



Reducing Fan Noise on Intel NUC

The Intel NUC is configured by default to keep the internal fan at 40% as a minimum. This can create excessive noise when used in a bedroom. To change this, press F2 while booting the Intel NUC. Click “Advanced Settings”. Click “Cooling”. Make the following changes on the right hand side of the screen:

System Fan Control: Custom
Minimum Temperature: 70
Minimum Duty Cycle: 20
Duty Cycle Increment: 5

Then hit F10 to save and exit.

You can also substantially reduce the fan noise on the machine by changing Kodi to run at 1280x720p instead of 1920x1080p. This will lower the resolution of your video, but if you're using a smaller TV, you may not notice:

System/Settings/System/Video Output/Resolution: 1280x720p.
System/Settings/System/Video Output/Refresh Rate: 59.94



Running Windows Media Center in a Virtual Machine

Instead of installing Windows 7 and Windows Media Center onto a single dedicated computer, you may wish to set-up a server running VMWare's vSphere Hypervisor ("ESXi"). ESXi is a free program from VMware that will allow you to run multiple virtual computer on a single machine. While complete details on setting up ESXi are beyond the scope of this Guide, I include this information to help you get started.

Start by creating an account at vmware.com. Download the ESXi 5.1 .iso file for VMWare vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 from Vmware’s web-site, convert the ISO file to a CD or DVD, boot your machine from the CD/DVD. This will wipe your entire hard drive and convert your computer to an amazing server that can run multiple operating systems at the same time. VMware.com will also provide you with a free registration key that you must type into your server, otherwise it will expire in 60 days.

When you create a Virtual Machine, give it access to all the cores that your computer has (i.e. an i3 will have 2 cores, an i5 will have 4 cores). I have found that 2GB of RAM, 2 cores, and 30GB of hard drive space is more than enough to allow Windows 7 to act as a Media Center. You’ll need to add another drive to your VM for storage of Recorded TV. ESXi has the ability to access multiple driver on one computer and also to mount NFS network shares as drives.

You’ll also need to download the VMWare vSphere Client 5.1 software from VMWare.com, which you’ll install on another computer and then use to remotely install Windows 7 onto the ESXi machine and to then access the Windows 7 Virtual Machine to make changes.



Troubleshooting

Corrupted Video Database (“Movies” and “TV Shows” either missing or duplicated)

If Video database becomes corrupted, you can reset it by doing any one of the following three options:

1. Go to System/File Manager in Kodi. Select “Profile Directory,” and then “Database” and then right click/guide on “MyVideos75.db,” and select Delete.

2. SSH into the machine and do the following:

Code:
cd  /storage/.kodi/userdata/Database
ls
rm MyVideos*
reboot

3. If SAMBA is enabled, you can also use a Windows computer to access it:

\\IPADDRESS\Userdata\Database

Then delete the "MyVideosxx.db" file

After you have done one of the three options, above, reboot the machine by selecting the power button in the bottom left hand corner of the Kodi interface or by typing “reboot” at the command prompt.

After you delete the database, you will then have to edit each source and reset its content to Movies or TV Shows in order to force Kodi to rescan those files.

Corrupted Thumbnails

To force Kodi to re-build all thumbnails, follow the instructions above for a corrupted video database, but instead of deleting the MyVideoxx.db file, delete the

Texturesxx.db file. Then delete the thumbnails directory at /storage/.kodi/userdata/Thumbnails. Then reboot the machine by selecting the power button in the bottom left hand corner of the Kodi interface or by typing “reboot” at the command prompt.

Corrupted Program Guide or PVR Database (Guide Missing Data/Recordings Missing)

If the Program Guide or PVR databases becomes corrupted, you can reset them from within Kodi:

Settings/Live TV/EPG/Reset EPG Database
System/Settings/Live TV/General/Reset the PVR Database

As soon as you delete it, Kodi will reload the PVR data without a reboot.

Kodi and ServerWMC Logfiles

If you encounter problems, you may be able to find useful information in the Kodi Logfiles or in the ServerWMC logfiles.

To access logfiles in a Linux-based Kodi install, SSH into the machine and do the following:

Code:
cd  /storage/.kodi/temp
nano kodi.log

To increase the level of detail in the logfiles, do the following in Kodi:

System/Settings/System/Debugging/Enable Debug logging: Checked.

For more information on Kodi Logfiles, see this link:

Log_file (wiki)

ServerWMC logfiles can be accessed in the ServerWMC application. Click the Debug tab, and then click “Current Log” or “Last run’s log.”

If you want to increase the level of Log detail, click on the “Edit Settings File” and then change the <debug_xxxx> entries from false to true.

New recordings will not play

In some Kodi configurations, you may encounter situations where newly added recordings will not play until you reboot Kodi or Update the Library. ServerWMC has a debug configuration setting that will overcome this problem.

To use this setting, you must be using ServerWMC build 1135, or later.

Open ServerWMC on your Windows computer. Click on the “debug” tab. Click the “Edit Settings File” button.

Windows notepad will open and you will be editing a file called “config.xml”.

Locate and edit the following entry:

<Debug_RequestAllRecordings>false</Debug_RequestAllRecordings>

Change the word “false” to “true”. When you’re done, click “File” at the top of the window and then select “save”. Close Notepad by clicking the “X” in the upper right hand corner.

Then click the “Reload Settings” button on the Debug screen.

Warning: Be careful when editing the config.xml file. If you make a mistake, ServerWMC will crash a few seconds after you click "Reload Settings." If that happens, ServerWMC will rebuild the config.xml file the next time you start it using the default values.

You may wish to backup your config.xml file before you start. You can either copy the file from its default location, or while you're in notepad, hit CTRL-A to select all and then CTRL-C to copy the contents of the .xml file to the Clipboard, and then paste it into a backup file.

You can copy and edit the config.xml file from here:

%programdata%\vdsoftware\serverwmc\config.xml

Video pauses during Live TV/Active Recordings

While Kodi can play a .wtv file, it is not capable of recognizing that a .wtv file is increasing in size while you’re playing it. For that reason, Kodi will encounter difficulties playing Live TV and active recordings from WMC. For example, if you begin playing a .wtv file in Kodi that is 15 minutes long at the time you start playing, that file will only play for 15 minutes, even if the file increases in length to 30 minutes while you’re watching it. ServerWMC overcomes this limitation by converting (remuxing) active recordings and Live TV to a .ts file, which Kodi can continue playing even as it grows in size.

The development team has optimized ServerWMC so that Live TV and Active Recordings will start as soon as possible after you attempt to watch them. As a result of this, the buffer used by ServerWMC is very small. Some users may find that this small buffer size causes Kodi to pause or report that it is buffering during TV Playback.

If you experience instances where Kodi repeatedly pauses or buffers when you are watching Live TV/Active Recordings, you may be able to fix the problem by increasing the size of the buffer used by ServerWMC to remux that content. Doing so may eliminate the pauses and buffering, but it will increase the amount of time you have to wait when starting playback and changing channels.

To use this feature, you must be using ServerWMC version 1.0.0.25, or later.

Open ServerWMC on your Windows computer. Click on the “debug” tab. Click the “Edit Settings File” button. If you don't see that button, hit "s" on your keyboard and it should appear. Windows notepad will open and you will be editing a file called “config.xml”. Locate and edit the following two entries to change the buffer size:

To change the buffer delay for Live TV:

<BufferDelayLiveMS>0</BufferDelayLiveMS>

To change the buffer delay for an Active Recording:

<BufferDelayActiveRecMS>0</BufferDelayActiveRecMS>

Change these entries from 0 to the number of milliseconds by which you want to increase the buffer. Remember that these entries are in milliseconds (1,000ms is 1 second). When you’re done, click “File” at the top of the window and then select “save”. Close Notepad by clicking the “X” in the upper right hand corner.

Then click the “Reload Settings” button on the Debug screen.



Commmand line options

Using SSH, the following commands will turn off, reboot, suspend, and hibernate the machine:

Code:
poweroff
reboot
pm-suspend
pm-hibernate

THE END

If you have any questions or comments, please don't reply here. Just post a new message in the forum.

If you find this guide helpful, please click the +/- in the bottom left hand corner of any of my messages to let me know. Thanks.
(This post was last modified: 2015-07-26 22:34 by advocate99.)
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