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XBMC and MySQL – All rooms in sync!

XBMC and MySQL – All rooms in sync!
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One of the really nice features of XBMC is that it has the means to provide additional information on TV-Series, Movies and/or Music.

XBMC does not only work with the background info or synopsis of a movie or TV Series/Episode, it also remembers which ones you have seen, and even where in a movie you stopped – so that at a later time you can resume where you left of.

There is one little bummer to this though … the XBMC in my living-room is not sharing this the XBMC in my bedroom – and this is where MySQL comes in play.

Tips & Tricks for Sick Beard, SABnzbd and Couch Potato

Tips & Tricks for Sick Beard, SABnzbd and Couch Potato
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Sick Beard and Couch Potato specially when combined with SABnzbd, are simply awesome …!  

Installing and using Sick Beard or Couch Potato is not that complicated either, but a few question arise when using them.

What is the proper format to name special episodes or combined episodes, how do I fix that left-overs after a download get cleaned up, what are TBN and NFO files and how can I view them, what do I do with Couch Potato when it gets stuck, and there are a few browser plugins that you should consider using.

QNAP, Sick Beard & SABnzbd – Download TV Series automatically

QNAP, Sick Beard & SABnzbd – Download TV Series automatically
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Super Charge your XBMC(KODI)/HTPC Setup with fully automated download of TV Episodes …

QNAP (I use the QNAP TS-869 Pro) has some very flexible NAS devices, with expandable functionality by means of so called QPKG install packages. But QPKG’s are not only created by QNAP, quite a few volunteers seeking specific new functions for their beloved QNAP NAS create QPKG’s as well.

One of these functions is adding Sick Beard and SABnzbd which adds the option to automatically retrieve TV Series episodes that become available in Newsgroups. It does not only retrieve the files, but it also finds new episodes, relevant meta data, etc …

Restore AppleTV OS after erasing disk (Network method)

Restore AppleTV OS after erasing disk (Network method)
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So you erased the internal disk of your AppleTV and want to restore AppleTV OS?

It happened to me; playing with a 1st generation AppleTV, installing (and thus wiping) a AppleTV suitable Ubuntu version. Only to find out that I goofed up and had to go back to the original OS to change some video settings. Yes I was playing with CrystalBuntu and OpenElec … (highly recommend both!)

Now it appeared that restoring back to the original AppleTV OS wasn’t all that simple – since I literally wiped the entire disk – until I bumped into v1.1 of StmLabs’ Windows Installer UI.

UPDATE: There is an easier method available in this article “Restore AppleTV OS after erasing disk (Offline Method)“.

Rename your TV Series Files

Rename your TV Series Files
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For those of you who use their computer for watching TV-Series, the following problem must sound familiar:

Filenames are inconsistent, odd characters in the filenames, missing titles, weird numbering, etc… Finding the correct names and renaming them all manually can be quite labor intense.

Thats is one of the reasons why I wrote: “Name My TV Series”.
It’s available for free for Windows, Linux, and MacOS X.

The main information source it uses is TheTVDB.com which offers the data for free. The only thing they ask, is that, if you’re up for it, you help in maintaining the database with TV Series information.

Note: Name My TV Series can now also be found on AlternativeTo.net, AddictiveTips.com and the Lazarus Application Gallery …

Raspberry Pi OpenELEC – Using a HD44780 display

Raspberry Pi OpenELEC – Using a HD44780 display
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You might be familiar with XBMC, one of the best Media Center like systems/applications out there. You also might know about the $35 computer called Raspberry Pi, and that some folks managed to got XBMC to run on this little guy; RaspBMC and my favorite: OpenELEC.

Well, in this article I’ll show you how I got an LCD display (Hitachi HD44780 based) combined with LCD2USB for use with the Raspberry Pi running OpenELEC XBMC.

RaspBMC user might find this article useful as well.
If you want to use a HD44780 based display without LCD2USB then you might want to read this post that uses the GPIO port directly. The lcdproc manual pages show more details on how to configure lcdproc to use the HD44780.

Note: These instructions should be very similar for other OpenELEC systems (Generic, ATV, Fusion, ION, etc).

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