Basic Questions from a New User
#1
Hello everyone. I've just started using XBMC on my Windows Vista based PC and I think it's great. However, I have a few basic questions that I hope you don't mind me asking.

1. After adding TV shows to XBMC and pulling down metadata from TVDB using XBMC's scrapers, thumbnails appear when browsing the episodes. These appear rather low quality when compared to other bits of fan art that XBMC retrieves from the internet. Is there anything I can do to improve the quality? The screenshot below demonstrates the thumbnails I am referring to.

Image

2. I have a cheap, no brand IR remote control. Is there anyway I can somehow use this with XBMC? It would sure beat a keyboard.

Image

3. What are all the applications such as Ember Media Manager, Media Info Plus and Media Companion for? Don't they do the same thing as the XBMC scrapers?

Thanks very much for reading and I look forward to reading your answers.

Regards.
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#2
1) The build in xbmc scrapers aren't bad, but they often doen't have high quality pictures,.. I'll take a rain check on this later

2) If it can rc6 there'll be no problem.. but without knowing anything.. just try.. install drivers and read the remote control tips in the tips/tricks forum.

3) EMM, MIP and Media Companion are scrapers. In fact the'll do the same thing as the xbmc scrapers.. but they'll do it much better. I'm using EMM and i love it. You can easily choose another movie if the scraper detects not the right movie. You can download Fanart and Covers in High Quality (whats your problem atm). It can scape your movies in various languages,... have a look at emm..
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#3
to set the record straight;

1) the builtin scrapers use exactly the same backends as the yafne's

3) choose another movie in xbmc? check. download fanart and covers in xbmc? check. various languages in xbmc? definitely check. no external tool comes close.
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#4
getfirefox Wrote:Hello everyone. I've just started using XBMC on my Windows Vista based PC and I think it's great. However, I have a few basic questions that I hope you don't mind me asking.

1. After adding TV shows to XBMC and pulling down metadata from TVDB using XBMC's scrapers, thumbnails appear when browsing the episodes. These appear rather low quality when compared to other bits of fan art that XBMC retrieves from the internet. Is there anything I can do to improve the quality? The screenshot below demonstrates the thumbnails I am referring to.

Image

2. I have a cheap, no brand IR remote control. Is there anyway I can somehow use this with XBMC? It would sure beat a keyboard.

Image

3. What are all the applications such as Ember Media Manager, Media Info Plus and Media Companion for? Don't they do the same thing as the XBMC scrapers?

Thanks very much for reading and I look forward to reading your answers.

Regards.

The images to which you're referring are the movie / TV show stills / episode thumbs. Generally, these are not of the highest quality - you're quite correct.
There a number of reasons for this:

a) The original source material (the tv show) is usually only Tv quality in the first place, and so screen grabs from there are also quite poor.

b) The thumbs are are literally supposed to be quite small... but SOME skins like AEON are displaying them zoomed (larger than intended).

c) The users who upload the thumbs / shots to thetvdb.com use a lot of jpeg compression reducing the quality even further.


However, you CAN create your own images.... read the online manual on 'thumbnails'. If you can get higher quality stills, or if you want to use some other artwork, you can do this very easily.

Incidentally, 80% of fanart and season thumbs (the dvd case covers) are pretty good quality... it's just the episode thumbs that aren't. That said 20% aren't great... because ultimately they are created by end users, some of whom clearly aren't fussy about quality, or it's an obscure movie / tv show and it's difficult to get hires artwork for it.

Hope this helps you understand some of the reasons.

Whatever you think thought, please don't think it's an XBMC issue... it definitely isn't, it's just the the quality of art being scraped!
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#5
spiff Wrote:3) choose another movie in xbmc? check. various languages in xbmc? definitely check. no external tool comes close.
Plus multiple platform support!
Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.
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#6
getfirefox Wrote:3. What are all the applications such as Ember Media Manager, Media Info Plus and Media Companion for? Don't they do the same thing as the XBMC scrapers?

Thanks very much for reading and I look forward to reading your answers.

Regards.

The other apps are designed to 'manage' your media in ways that XBMC isn't designed (nor should it) to do.

For instance, those tools can restructure your folders, rename your files, auto generate multiple screenshots of movies, see which movies has missing artwork (in an instant) etc. They are designed to 'supplement' XBMC. They are most definitely not required.
XBMC can do everything you need if you keep your media pretty organised (and even does well when it's not!)...

But these external tools just offer a little something extra for power users or disorganised folks!
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#7
These programs will be of most benefit if you run multiple instances of XBMC around your house and pull all of the media from one central server. In this case, .tbn .nfo files and such are saved along side your media, and it allows all your XBMC's to look the same and have the same info easily.
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#8
I noticed something else...

As said before Movie/TV stills aren't the highest quality, plus that view you have there is 4:3 while the thumb itself is probably 16:9, giving you that stretched look.
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