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XBMC Setup

©Copyright 2011 by assassin @ assassinHTPCblog. All rights reserved. This guide and its contents are copyrighted by assassin @ assassinHTPCblog.

This may be used for personal use by the purchaser only; users are forbidden to reproduce, republish, redistribute or resell and material from this guide without the permission of assassin @ assassinHTPCblog.

Introduction to the XBMC Tutorials

In these set of guides I will show you additional software that I recommend to install on your HTPC. This is a stable and reproducible way of operating your HTPC which will pay for the cost of this guide many times over in hours saved and increased enjoyment of your setup because it will not only work — but work well.

This guide represents my knowledge having built and “tweaked” dozens of HTPCs over the last 5+ years. This guide alone will save you literally dozens of hours trying to get everything setup “correctly”. As this guide represents hundreds of hours of research and experience I hope that its contents will stay privileged to only those who pay for it. Doing this will ensure that I continue to spend time and resources updating these guides which of course will be made available to the paid subscribers who have made it possible.

XBMC Setup

Table of Guides (with quicklinks):


Guide 1: Introduction to XBMC and Installation

This is the beginning of a new series of guides that will introduce and discuss setup options and using XBMC.  XBMC is an open source platform and is another great option for an interface or “frontend” for your HTPC. There are different pros and cons to using XBMC, PlexHT, JRiver, or MediaBrowser (with WMC or their upcoming MBTheater). In the end the choice is largely dependent on how you use your HTPC and which you think looks and feels better. The great thing about comparing MediaBrowser in WMC to XBMC is that the playback engine is different enough that they can both be installed and used on your HTPC with minimal interference between one another and you can decide which of the two better fits how you use a HTPC.

If you want whole home “copy-once cable TV” support, then you will more likely want WMC and media extenders to extend your recordings around the house. Aside from copy-once content, XBMC can be a great all in one solution. If you aren’t sure whether your cable company offers copy-free or copy-once channels in your lineup, then brace yourself. The information isn’t readily available, but I’ll be adding a guide soon to the miscellaneous section (and will update here with a link) where I’ll attempt to keep you updated with everything I’ve found in regards to copy-protection on cable tv. A general rule of thumb has been that Comcast and Verizon are the only big providers to offer copy-free cable channels in their paid lineup (even though almost all include local and local HD as copy-free) and NO cable provider offers the premium movie channels like HBO, Cinemax, etc as copy-free. If those channels are important to you then XBMCs integrated PVR will not suffice. However, if you use WMC with Media Browser but wished it had better music support, subtitle support and more plug-in support then XBMC might be another option and is worth the time to setup and use with these guides.  XBMC also can be installed on Linux, OSX, Android, Raspberry Pi, iOS (jailbroken including Apple TV), and others. In these guides I am going to focus on the Windows 7 installation of this software. In my opinion XBMC isn’t as straightforward to setup and use so I hope that these guides make it easier to use this excellent piece of software.

XBMC does have an internal “scraper” that can retrieve metadata automatically for your movies and TV shows. However I still prefer using MediaCenterMaster as I think it gives you better control over your metadata. If you want to learn how I setup and use MediaCenterMaster take a look at my guide in the WMC and Media Browser section.

Note: If you want to be able to bitstream HD Audio (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD) and have a HD Audio capable receiver and HD Audio capable HTPC then take a look at a few of the different options below which show you different installation methods of XBMC that will enable HD Audio bitstreaming.

XBMC comes with built-in, multi-platform, open-source HD Audio bitstreaming which they internally call the “AudioEngine.” There were other methods to enable this along the way to this feature development (AudioEngine was merged into their stable release starting with version 12 – Frodo). Older versions of this guide included all of the alternative methods along with the preferred method, but the old options were relocated here and aren’t really suggested. The old “Option 2” was actually just an early “patched” release of XBMC and was fully deprecated by the stable release of XBMC v12. Option 3 was an older way of using a special build of XBMC called “DSPlayer,” however a new developer has taken over DSPlayer and the Option 3 guide is in need of update (after which I will remove this note). Option 4 used MPC-HC as an external player to enable HD audio, and if you prefer using MPC-HC as an external player then the Option 4 guide is good to use.

Installing XBMC

First let’s download XBMC.  If you have installed a previous version you can install the newest version over your old installation and almost all of your settings will be intact (I did have to manually reload a few movies to get the artwork to populate). To download the latest build go to this link and download the file that matches your platform (Windows).

Install XBMC. Agree to the license agreement. Click “Next”


Now that you have installed XBMC let’s set it up.


Setting Up XBMC

After installation XBMC should open. The default skin is “Confluence” which I will use for setting up and using these guides. Later I will show you how to download and install different skins to change the look and feel of XBMC similar to what you can do in Media Browser.

Unlike Mediabrowser which uses an external “configurator” XBMC is controlled completely from within the software interface. There also is no external “service” running in the background that needs to be set and controlled like there is with Media Browser. Thus, knowing and understanding how XBMC functions from within these menus is critical to controlling XBMC.

First, let’s move over the options until “System” is highlighted. Then hit the down key and highlight “Settings”. Hit enter.

Once inside you can see our options on the left vertical column.

Let’s select “Appearance” first and in the “Skin” submenu turn the scrolling RSS feed to “off”

Next select “International” and enter your location and language

In the “File lists” submenu make the following changes

Now press “ESC” or “Backspace” to return to the general settings page.

TIP: “ESC” and “Backspace” are interchangeable for navigating “back” within XBMC

Scroll down and select “Video”. Make these changes in the Library submenu. If you want your movies to be grouped into a set (for examples the “Godfather” trilogy into one folder with all three movies inside that folder) then enable “Group movies in sets”. I like to see all my movies so I leave this disabled. One other feature to note here is the “Clean Library” section. If you move a movie or a movie incorrectly shows up in multiple areas click “clean library” and XBMC will run a scan and remove the duplicates for you.

Next in the “Playback” submenu use these settings. If you have a discrete (additional) video card or platform which supports DXVA you might want to use DXVA hardware acceleration. I leave this unchecked on my Intel iGPU system as enabling it causes stutter. One additional setting you can try based on your system is “Adjust display refresh rate to match video”. Try this both on and off to see which has a better look and feel based on your setup.

Now we are going to setup weather. It will not appear on the home screen until a weather add-on is installed, and since v12 of XBMC weather add-ons aren’t installed by default. Navigate to “Settings” and then “Add-Ons”. In the add-ons menu select “All Add-Ons” and then “Weather” then choose “Weather Underground”

Select “Install” and after the install is complete, select Weather Underground once again but this time click “Configure”

Now set up your location(s)

Now hit the ESC key a couple times to go back to the overall settings screen

Select “Weather” and then click “Service for Weather for Information.” Here you will choose “Weather Underground

Now hit “ESC” to return to your home screen, and the weather menu entry should now be present. It will look similar to this (with the weather information relevant to your location setup) and remember you can use the “left” arrow on your keyboard or remote to access the pull-out menu which will let you choose between locations, forecasts, and weather maps


Now that we are done with the Weather setup let’s get back into Settings and change the “System” settings

First let’s change the “Video Output” settings. Change the Display Mode to “Full Screen #1”. Next change your Resolution to match the resolution of your HDTV’s display. Also SELECT “use a fullscreen window instead of true fullscreen” (it is grayed out in my picture below but SHOULD be selected for your setup)

In the Audio output settings select how you are outputting your sound, your speaker configuration, whether or not your AV Receiver can accept and decode bitstreamed Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby True-HD, DTS-HD, etc (if yes then select these, if not then unselect them). Also, select your Audio output device which is the device you use to play LPCM or audio decoded by XBMC such as MP3s and FLAC (for many users this will be the AV receiver via HDMI, for example). Finally, choose your passthrough output device (like a Denon AV receiver via HDMI for example) that will ultimately decode your audio including the HD Audio formats listed above. For many users choosing HDMI using WASAPI will be the best setting. All audio choices will show up pre-pended by “DirectSound” or “WASAPI”. For Intel iGPUs the device will likely show up as PCH Intel or HDA Intel

Next let’s go to the main settings screen and choose Add-Ons

Click on “Get Add-ons”

Next click on “All Add-ons”. Now you can see the list of possible add-ons. XBMC has hundreds of add ons that you can try depending on what you want to try.

There are hundreds of add ons that you can try. I will show you an example of how to add on one of these and then I will list a few that I install. Let’s start with a few in “Programs”

Select “Artwork Downloader”

TIP: Whether or not your movie folders already have additional fanart (disc.png, clearlogo.png, clearart.png) you will need to run Artwork Downloader in order for them to recognized in the XBMC database.

Click on enable/install

Now hit the backspace key and see your enabled add ons

Now select “Enabled Add-Ons” and you can see the add-ons you have enabled in each category

Inside your “Program” menu you can see the add on that you just enabled (I have a few additional enabled as well)

Artwork Downloader is a necessity for a full fanart experience with XBMC. You can modify most add-on settings by choosing them from your “Enabled Add-Ons” menu. Lets choose “Artwork Downloader” and “Configure”

These are the various settings I use. Under General, I prefer to disable “Run in background” as the download takes quite some time for my library and I like to see when it’s finished

Next you can choose to limit your fanart download to a number or unlimited. I’d recommend lowering the rating down, and if you take a look at the website you will see that there aren’t many ratings issued (which is why I leave it so low)

For the Movies, TV Shows, and Music Videos settings sections, I enable all options. You can choose as many of them as you’d like, but I’d recommend at least selecting DiscArt, ClearLogo, and ClearArt since they can really make your media collection look great (also MediaCenterMaster can download them for you)

Finally, the Advanced tab is important to understand. Here are the settings I use

I don’t recommend you choose “overwrite existing files” but I do recommend you select “Use local files.” If you don’t select this option, your XBMC database will be filled with links but with it selected the script will download each of the images for you. With this option selected, it will also look in your movie folders for artwork prior to downloading from the site. Finally, if you ever think something is wrong with the add-on, this is where you should come to enable debug logging (though this shouldn’t be enabled by default)

We have now setup XBMC and are ready to add some movies.

TIP: Want even more comprehensive metadata and artwork possibilities? Use MediaCenterMaster as described in my other guides and let it run in the background. It will download and install more comprehensive metadata and artwork and store it locally (meaning in the same folder as your movie or tv show) automatically!


Adding Movies to XBMC

In my opinion one of the most confusing parts of setting up XBMC is how to add movies. Unlike Media Browser, XBMC basically has a single “Movie” folder that all of your movies will be listed in.  To do this you need to navigate to the Main Screen “Videos” and then “Files”

Note: I use the same nomenclature for XBMC as I do for MediaBrowser and it works extremely well. Take a look at how I instruct you to name your movies and tv shows located here

Next click on “Add Videos…”

At the “Add Video Source” click “Browse” to begin browsing for you media files that you want to add

Locate where your movies are stored on your network or hard drive. Mine is located in Z: (FlexRAID) on this test machine. Once the folder is open (which adds everything inside the folder) click “OK”

Enter a name here for what you want to call this added source. If you want to add multiple directories from across your network or hard drive to be added to your “Movies” folder then select “Add” which will allow you to add additional directories to be included in the “Movies” folder. Unfortunately setting up Genres (HD Movies, Kids Movies, Comedy, etc) is not as simple as in Media Browser but I hope to address this in later guides.

This screen tells XBMC what kind of media is in the directory you just added (Movies, TV, Music, etc) and what scraper(s) you want to use to obtain the metadata. Remember that additional scrapers can be added in the Add Ons menu. Set the “separate folders that match movies title” option to reflect how you have your media organized.

I have told XBMC that the directory contains “Movies” and that I want to use “The MovieDB” as the source for my scraper information. If you click on “Get More…” under the scraper menu it will take you to the Add Ons menu where you can add additional sources if you want. Now you can see your media folder.

More than likely you will have to tell XBMC to start updating your library. To do this press the “c” button on your keyboard. From there click on “Update Library”

XBMC will now start updating your library

If you make a mistake or want to remove a directory go back to “Videos” and “Files” from the main screen. Highlight the directory and right click on it or press “c” to bring up this menu which will allow you to remove the directory.

Now when you go back to the main XBMC screen you will see “Movies” and some of your recently added movie thumbnails. Click on “Movies” to enter your movie folder

The first time you enter your movies folder you may be greeted with this screen. Click “Yes”

The movies may again update

This is the first look at our added movies and the metadata

To change the way it is displayed press the up arrow which will bring up this submenu

Scroll through “View” to find a style that you like (there will be even more view options which we will discuss when we apply our first skin in a later guide)


Adding TV Shows to XBMC

Now that we have added movies to XBMC let’s add our TV shows. First let’s go back to the main screen and choose “Videos” and “Files”

Click on “Add Videos” like you did with the movies

Located where your TV are saved on your network or hard drive and select “OK” when the correct folder is opened

Label this “TV Shows”. Add any additional sources that you may have by selecting “Add” and then “Browse”

Tell XBMC that these are “TV Shows” and choose your scraper. Remember that you can choose “Get More…” and add on additional scrapers if you want.

Select “Yes” to refresh your library

Now let’s go back to the main screen. Locate “TV Shows” and select it

These are our shows that XBMC added. You can change the view style as before

This is how the folder looks once it is selected showing you the folders (seasons) that are listed inside

 When you hit “I” on your keyboard it brings up the information about the file. But what if we want this to happen automatically? I will show you how to change that next.


Changing the Information Screen in XBMC

By default XBMC is setup to play the movie automatically when the file is selected. You can view information about a file/movie/show any time by pressing the “I” key on your keyboard. Personally I like to see information about the file/movie/show before playing the file. We can change this in XBMC.

First let’s go to “Settings” and then “Video”

Choose “File lists” and then change the “Default select action” from “Play” to “Show Information”

Now go back to one of your video folders (a TV show in this example) and select a file

Now when I select the first file instead of playing the information for that file appears.

Press Play and the file begins to play.


Playback and General Controls

This guide will briefly discuss playback in XBMC and also show you some pretty cool keyboard commands.

First let’s pick a movie to play in XBMC by selecting “Play”

Now press “OK” or “Enter” on your remote (Enter on your keyboard or move your mouse to the bottom of the screen) and the controls will appear. The controls that I will focus on are “Audio”, “Video” and “OSD”. Some skins (I will discuss skins in the next few guides) display the current time as well as the time that the movie will end which I think is a pretty interesting feature.

When you click on “Audio” the audio options appear. Here you can change the volume, boost the volume with “Volume Amplification”, change the offset if needed, change the audio stream, the output type (for most of you this will be HDMI), and subtitle controls. Also to note that if you change any of these settings and want this to be your default from this point forward for all your videos select “Set As Default For All Movies” once your new settings are completed.

I don’t particularly like or need subtitles in most of my movies so I prefer to have them defaulted as “Off”. Let’s make that change and then set it as default.

Now let’s take a look at the Video options. Here you can change your deinterlace settings, scaling, view mode (I will show you a shortcut for these in a minute), and other video settings. I recommend setting deinterlace to “Auto” especially if you are going to use the PVR function (which will incorporate the same video options you choose here if you “set as default”). Your “View mode” should be set to “Normal”. You can think of this option as the “zoom” options for a TV or DVD player. You can choose from original size, custom, stretch, normal, and others. Normal will enlarge your video (maintaining aspect ratio) until one edge reaches to the end of your defined resolution.

One thing that I really like is that during playback if you hit the “I” key (for “I”nformation) this overlay is displayed which is a very nice summary of the movie that is playing.

If you press “O” (that’s the letter “O” and not the number zero) you can see the CPU and other video diagnostic information

Another keyboard shortcut I like is that while the movie is playing you can hit “Z” for “Z”oom and toggle between the zoom options. Here are a few examples

Finally one of the other keyboard shortcuts that I find very helpful is in the general movie menu you can press “C” which brings up this control menu which is handy to manually update your library

Other things I find helpful are “Delete” will actually allow you to delete a movie from your XBMC library (you will be prompted to confirm first), “End” will exit you out of XBMC from the main screen, and “Mark as watched” which will allow you to put the watched label on specific titles in your library (pressing “W” will do this as well)


Installing Your First Skin: Aeon MQ5

The standard look of XBMC is nice but in my opinion this particular skin is one of the best of any of the skins or themes on the planet. Its slick, powerful and fairly easy to create a custom look.

For the most part, skins that were previously available in the popular “passion repo” were either moved to the main repo or abandoned. To get MQ5 (which is available in the main repo) go to “Settings” and “Appearance”

Under the “Skin” tab, move to the right and select “Skin: Confluence”

Now your screen should look like the picture below, but you won’t have as many skins enabled. Just move to the right and select “Get more”

Now select the skin you want to install, let’s choose Aeon MQ5

Select “Install”

Wait a few seconds… for the download to complete and then XBMC will ask if you want to switch to this skin. Select Yes

The skin has now changed. You are now running the new skin you selected

When you exit out of settings you can view your new skin, so let’s go to the main screen and look at your new skin. Here I’ll show a few of the default screens

Now lets cover how to modify the home menu. Navigate to the “Settings” entry of the home menu, and press the “down arrow” on your remote or keyboard

TIP: This and most skins in XBMC are better navigated with either your keyboard’s arrow keys or remote arrows rather than a mouse or touchscreen — don’t fight the design, just use arrows

As you can see, the first item in the System’s submenu is “Customize Main Menu”. Select this when you want to change the main menu options

As you can see, disabling or enabling additional main menu entries is as simple as toggling the “Show” option under that menu entry (on the left-most vertical column). The options for each menu are highly customizable. You can replace any standard menu with various options, or use the numerous “Empty” options. You can set a specific Genre of your movie library, or video playlist, or add-on and specify the backdrop(s) all in one easily accessible place.

Now lets take a look at the “Skin Settings” for MQ5.

You have the Main Menu Appearance options

Then there are Main Menu Widget options. While some skins have highly customizable widgets for the main menu (Aeon Nox), the most customization you can get for the MQ5 widgets are toggling them on/off and choosing how many items show up in them

I’m not showing the Furniture option, as the default is preferable in most cases. Also, it only moves the “horizontal menu” location as well as the time and weather information. The next setting allows you to customize your movie cases

The most often used part of MQ5’s skin settings (for me) is “Themes” where you can easily change the backdrops for your entire skin. Several come preloaded as well in the “extrapack” (my preference is the darkness theme)

One really nice feature of MQ5 is the ability to customize all backdrops with a theme folder. Go to the bottom of the themes menu, and select “My Theme”. Instructions will popup, and after you select it a new option will show up below . . .

The new option below is “Path”. You will need to create a folder somewhere and put each of your different custom themes in there. You will need to put 21 folders “nested” into each of your custom theme folders with a picture in each. The folders you’ll need are addons, aplaylist, autumn, concerts, disc, favourites, games, livetv, movies, music, mymenu, pictures, programs, settings, shutdown, spring, summer, tvshows, vnodes, vplaylist, and winter. If you create several custom themes and you feel like changing between them, just go to your “Path” option and change to whichever theme you want. As always, you can choose the “extrapack” themes with the toggles above

Also, if for some reason changing between themes ends up without any backdrops, go to the top and select “Get or update extrapack”

Finally here’s a look at each submenu for Movies, Settings, and Shutdown. Notice that “Update Library” and “Clean Library” can be accessed directly from the main “Movies” submenu. Remember just press “down” to access these submenus

Next let’s change the way things look once we are inside one of our folder. Here is the “Movies” folder for example. To enter this menu open your “Movies” section from the main screen and press the up key.

Here you can see the various submenus. Under “Media Info” you can change some of the specific ways XBMC displays your data.

Under the “Art” submenu you can change the way xbmc uses your artwork. This is what I use as my default setting.

Under “Collection” you can select the way that XBMC displays or organizes your collection. Let’s click on “[DE]ACTIVATE VIEWS] now as there are some important settings to change.

XBMC’s default is to have all the different viewtypes disabled as possible options or ways to view your media. I like to have them all enabled. In this screenshot you can see that I have enabled “Showcase” and “Multiplex”. Do this for all of the viewtypes that are listed.

Now when you go back to the “Collection” submenu you can use the “Changing View” area to change the way your collection is viewed in XBMC.

Here is one example

Now that we have these settings completed let’s have a look at this great looking skin. Notice that there are a few more options to choose and all of these can be controlled, removed or otherwise altered from the Settings section

The following shots are from the older MQ 3 which is an equally impressive skin. Feel free to try all the different XBMC skins to find one that fits your style and taste.

The default view

By pressing “Up” on your keyboard or remote you can bring up the submenu to change settings including the view. There are other options there as well that you can change but I will focus on the “View: List” submenu. When you highlight this and press “Enter” it will change the view.

These are a few of my favorites


Creating and Displaying Genre Movie Folders

One option that I like to have with my HTPC is the ability to create folders for different genres. For instance I like separate my Kids movies from the Adult movies and my HD movies from my non-HD movies.

First, let’s start at the mainscreen and highlight “Movies”. Press the down button or key to bring up the Movies submenu and select “Playlist”

Now click on “New Smart Playlist”

For the Type choose “Movies”.  Name the playlist as the genre you want to be displayed in XBMC. Click on “New Rule”

Choose “Path” and “Contains” and put the exact same name as your genre folder (see above)

Note: I purposefully group my movies into4 folders: Kids, Kids HD, Movies and Movies HD. That way if I want to have just “Kids” movies, for example, I tell XBMC to only include folders with the word “Kids” in the title. So XBMC will grab the “Kids” and “Kids HD” folders that are inside the parent folder “Videos” which is where I store all 4 of these folders.

Next enter the name you want to call this playlist

If you have another folder for the Cartoon Genre that you are creating (like Anime for example) simply add another rule with same setting (“Path” and “Contains”) and add your second folder. You can change any of the rules you want. One change you absolutely have to make is to switch it from “ITEMS MUST MATCH” to “ONE OR MORE OF THE RULES”. If you set it as “ALL Rules” you will not see any movies in the playlist.

Once you are finished with this step you should see your new playlist listed

Once you have created all your new playlist(s) let’s verify that they all work. From the main screen again highlight “Movies” and press the down key or arrow. Next click on “playlist”. Now click on the playlist that you just created and verify that all the movies are listed. If not then go back to your list and rules and make sure the settings are correct.

If you need to add a folder select “Edit Smart Playlist” and add a rule with the name of the new folder. If you need to add a new hard drive simply edit the video source to add the path of the new drive and all movies will appear in the appropriate genre folder on the main screen.

Next let’s setup the main screen links to our genre folders so that they are displayed. Go to the main screen and chose “Customizations”


Choose the playlist you want to use

Tell XBMC where you are adding this playlist. I usually add mine to the main screen

XBMC will tell you that this item has been added correctly

Now scroll over until you see “Menu 1”. This is our new playlist — we just have to rename it. Click “rename” and name it whatever you want to have displayed

Here I am calling it the very clever “KIDS”. Once you are done click on “Change Backdrop – One Image” if you want to change the backdrop image for your newly added folder

I am going to use this backdrop for this folder

Here is another example of my “Non-Kids” or “Adult” folder. Here I am telling XBMC to exclude any folders that have “Kids” in the title

Choose your playlist as before (here you can see they are both now listed as options to choose)

And here is the finished product. Here is my “Kids” folder with only “Kids” movies inside…

And here is my “Non Kids” folder which excludes all “Kids” movies…

Depending on how you have your media labeled and organized you can do this for each genre (Comedy, Drama, Action, etc), Format (720p, 1080p, etc) or other category


Listing Movies as Collections

Note: The New XBMC Version (Gotham) has a built in collection management feature. So the information below should only be considered a reference from XBMC versions 12.3 (Frodo) and before”

If you have a collection or “Boxed Set” of movies (such as the Star Wars Trilogy, Godfather Trilogy, Indiana Jones set of movies, etc) then XBMC can either list these individually or as a “Collection”. The default is to view them individually but I will show you how to list them as a Collection. This is completely a personal preference whether or not you want to enable this way of viewing your movies.

Note that XBMC uses The MovieDB and IMDB to determine if your movies are part of a Collection. So you may want to verify that XBMC is using these databases when scraping information about your movies.

For this example notice that the set of Matrix Movies is listed here as three individual movies The Matrix, Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions alongside all the other movies.

Since we want to list these as a Collection let’s go into “Settings” and then select “Video”

Notice that the default setting is to NOT “Group Movies in Sets” as seen below

Since we want to enable sorting our movies into Collections let’s enable this setting. Now exit out of settings and enter your movie folder

Now notice that instead of seeing the three individual Matrix movies you see only a singular movie with “The Matrix Collection” listed as the title. Let’s select this option

Inside this folder you can now see the movies that are a part of this collection. As you add movies that belong to the collection they will automatically show up in this folder

Here is another example of a Collection


At this point you can stop and enjoy your new movie collections. However, if you want to add movie collection posters to each folder then I will show you how to do this as well (you unfortunately have to this part manually for each collection).

First, go to and type in your movie collection. Here I have typed in “Matrix”. On the left I have highlighted the “Collections” tab. Select this

This will show you a list of collections. Select the one that you are interested in using

Next select “Show All” to see all available options (note that at the bottom you also can see options for new backgrounds should you want one as well)

Select the poster that you want by clicking on it

This will open the poster. Right click and save it in a directory that you will remember. I made a “Collections Movie Art” folder and named this file “MatrixPoster”

Next open XBMC and select your Collection. Press “c” on your keypad to bring up the menu to change the art. Select “choose art”

Select to change the poster or fanart (backdrop)

Select “Browse”

Navigate to the appropriate directory and choose the appropriate file

The collection artwork will now be updated automatically

Here is another example of the “Madagascar Collection”

©Copyright 2011 by assassin @ assassinHTPCblog. All rights reserved. This guide and its contents are copyrighted by assassin @ assassinHTPCblog.

This may be used for personal use by the purchaser only; users are forbidden to reproduce, republish, redistribute or resell and material from this guide without the permission of assassin@assassinHTPCblog.