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For some reason I was reading some of my NFO files (created by Media Companion) and I noticed that under actors, the newer files have a http link to a thumbnail image, like this

 <actor>
<id>0601553</id>
<name>Mandy Moore</name>
<role>Lisa</role>
<thumb>https://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/[email protected]@._V1._SY400_SX300_.jpg</thumb>
<order>1</order>
</actor>

Older NFO files just have 

<thumb>
</thumb>

The link seems to point to the exact same image that is in my .actors folder. What I don't know is if it still downloads the image, or is this a new method meant to save space or something?
If it's better, I could see having MC redo all of the files. If it's all the same, I can ignore it.

What I also wonder is how Kodi treats the actor files. I have all my movies, and ancillary files on a central NAS, but am using a number of FireTVs to access the collection. Does Kodi bring over all of the actor files and store them locally on each device, or does it access them a few at a time as needed? I'm asking because I already have about 1700 actors taking up around 43MB and I wonder at what point might it over tax the FireTVs.
@majorheadache

Can't speak for the media manager you are using, but nothing has changed in Kodi. Maybe Media Companion has updated?

See correct nfo listing for actors... https://kodi.wiki/view/NFO_files/Movies#Movie_nfo_Tags

Kodi will always look for local images first. If it can't find local then it checks the link and downloads from online sources. It is no surprise that the link shows the exact same image as in your library... the image in your library had to come from somewhere.

The actors files, like all artwork, is kept with the movie. Kodi will cache all artwork on each local machine. Not possible to cache all artwork to a central location.
Makes sense. Do you know if it caches ALL of the artwork as a matter of course upon starting, or does it just pull what is requested as needed? If it's all, are there any practical guidelines for FireTV limits? I suppose it would depend on what other apps you installed. I'm noticing some units take a really long time to quit Kodi, while some are still fairly fast.
(2018-07-03, 02:00)majorheadache Wrote: [ -> ]Do you know if it caches ALL of the artwork as a matter of course upon starting,
It caches on first scan or scrape of the tv show. Not sure what version you are using, but for v17 you need add-ons to load Extended artwork. Kodi will cache Poster and Fanart. Artwork Beef will load the rest for Kodi to cache. Artwork (wiki) pages in the wiki might answer some other of your questions. See My Signature for link.

(2018-07-03, 02:00)majorheadache Wrote: [ -> ]m noticing some units take a really long time to quit Kodi
That is most likely add-ons installed taking longer to quit. Best to ask that question in the Android forum.