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Table of Contents


How to setup your Movies database using Videos in MediaPortal.


After completing this tutorial you will have a database of your movies with movie covers/posters and fanart if you choose, plus information about the movie, and actors details and filmography if you wish.


You should have already completed the initial setup for Videos as outlined in the previous Quick Setup guide for each client. In particular, Video Folders setup ensures that MediaPortal knows where your movie videos are stored. In this tutorial you will learn how to tell MediaPortal which folders and files you wish to scan and add to your movies database.

Setup Methods

You can setup your movie database either by using the MediaPortal Configuration tool or by using Settings within the MediaPortal GUI. However, some advanced settings can only be set using the Configuration Tool.

This setup guide will focus primarily on using the Configuration Tool to setup your database. 

Using the Configuration Tool

OK. Now that we've got the preamble out of the way, let's begin!

To access the Movie Database configuration screens first launch MediaPortal Configuration. Look at the tree structure on the left hand side and click the


sign next to Videos. This will expand the videos section to reveal several sub-sections. The section we're interested in here is Video Database. Select this option by clicking on it and you will be presented with the configuration screen shown in Fig 1. (below).


Fig 1.

As you can see the Video Database configuration section has three tabs along the top (Settings, Scan and Editor). The Settings tab is where most of the initial configuration is done (as you would expect) so lets take a look at the various options that are available.

The first thing you'll probably notice is the table at the top of the screen. This table lists the online databases (or web sites) that will be used to find information about your movies which will then be added to your database. As you can see, the table is currently empty so the first thing we need to do is add a data source to it.

This is actually very easy to do. If you look further down the screen you'll see a section entitled Available databases. Just click the Update grabber scripts button (see Fig 2. below). This will ensure that your online database grabber scripts are fully up-to-date before you begin.


Fig 2.


Once the update is completed you will be asked if you would like to delete any unsupported grabbers (see Fig 3.). It is recommended that you select Yes.

Fig 3.


Next click the Update internal grabbers button (see Fig 4.). 

Fig 4.


This performs a similar action to clicking on the Update grabber scripts button but relates specifically to the scrapping of actor information from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Let's not go into why these functions are separate at this stage as it's not important. Once completed you should see the following message (Fig 5.).

Fig 5.


Click OK and we're ready for the next step!

Now it's time to select the database we're going to use as the source for our movie information. First, click the down arrow next to the Add button to reveal your choices (see Fig 6. below).

Fig 6.


As you can see there are a few choices depending on your preferred language. For the purposes of this guide we're going to use the English IMDb scrapper for MediaPortal 1.3

EN: IMDB V1.3x [IMDB_MP13x]

. Click this option and then click the Add button (see Fig 7.).


Fig 7.

Create the Movies Database

Once you have selected your Settings, you are ready to scan your folders and create your movies database. Select the Scan tab:

Select Folder(s) to Scan for Movie Titles

Scan Movies Folders Window

This area allows you to select which folders will be included in a scan if initiated. If there is no check mark in the Scan column it will not be scanned. You can also configure dedicated movie folders, if it's not defined on folders set-up, by checking Every movie in its own folder.

  Tip Movies already saved in the local movie database by a previous scan will not be removed if the Scan checkbox is de-selected.

Skip Movies already Scanned

Skip Files Already in Database

Selecting this option will help speed up the internet IMDb scanning process as movies already in the local movie database will excluded from the search.

Refresh existing files only (new files will be skipped)

Selecting this option re-scans your existing movie collection without importing new video files (you can use it as your movie collection refresh if you want to update movie information). This option depends on the IMDB tt number for 100% accuracy and will work with any grabber which uses the IMDb website. Movies without the tt number will be skipped.

  Tip It is not possible to select both Skip Files Already in Database and Refresh existing files only (new files will be skipped) at the same time. Checking one will deselect the other.

Strip Movie Title Prefixes

Strip title prefix (i.e. "The Matrix" -> "Matrix, The")

If you want to see your movies in database view but want to avoid sorting with prefixes (i.e. The, Les, Die), use this option. It works exactly the same as the similar option in the Music configuration section.

Prefer video file name for movie search

Every movie in its own folder

The sub option Prefer video filename for movie search can be used if your video filenames use the IMDb movie ID pattern ie. tt1234567 (the pattern needs all 7 numbers and a tt prefix for a 100% match). The grabber will use this name to search for movies with 100% accuracy if the IMDb script is used, but the movie name will be taken from the folder name. This option does NOT work for movies with DVD folder structure (i.e. DVD backups).

Actors list fetch size

Default: Short. Set actors list size (Short or Long). Short list will fetch maximum 15 actors from the main IMDb movie page while Long list will fetch all available actors for movie. Actors information will not fetched, only name and role. Actors details can be fetched in Actors details tab or directly in MediaPortal's GUI. Also, this option and internal actors fetch routine will have effect only if movie information data contains IMDb movie id (tt1234567).

  Where are my actor images saved? You can find all your actor's images in [userdata][thumbs|Folders and Files#Program Data Folder Names]\Videos\Actors.

Scan the Folders

Update Database From Selected Shares

Select this button to search the IMDb website for information on your movie collection: actor details, DVD covers and fanart, and save them to the local movie database and local disk.

Clear the Database

 Reset database

Clicking this button will remove all entries in the local movie database as well as downloaded fanart. You can prevent fanart deletion if you select No when asked. This option will not delete your video files.

Further Info and Customization

See also using NFO files and Using text files (to improve scraping accuracy).

For more advanced setup options, such as User Groups (movie sets) and using the Editor, see Configuration > Video Database.

Use Video Settings in MediaPortal

You can setup your Movie database within the MediaPortal interface. The same basic settings and options outlined above apply.

Go to Settings > Video in MediaPortal (you can also access the Video Settings from the Main Menu in Videos in most skins).

Once you have selected your Video Folders settings, you can scan and add new movies any time by using the Scan menu option in Videos (see Using Videos).

Select the Database option from the Videos Settings menu:


  1. Select the Folders (as defined in Video Folders Settings) that contain the video files you wish to scan and add to your videos/movies database.
  2. Select the Scan options you prefer (see details above under Using Configuration Tool).
  3. Select the default grabber script you wish - i.e. the 'source' of data you will grab from the internet.
  4. Scan selected folders to create your database.


  1. Choose one or more folders under Folders - you may need to use the up/down arrows to scroll through all the folders available. The folders that display are those you selected in Video Folders Settings.
  2. Press OK/Enter to select a folder to Scan. Pressing OK/Enter again on the same folder will remove "Scan" label and folder will not be scanned.

Note: MediaPortal will remember the  folders selected for Scan so you don't need to repeat the selection. 

Scan movie folders

Once you have selected your scan folders and options you are ready to scan and create your database. 

  1. Update Grabber scripts - ensure you have the latest versions as many websites change their layout frequently
  2. Set Default Grabber script - choose the grabber/scraper you wish to use for scanning and updating your movies - this determines the source of the data that will be added to your video database.
  3. Scan selected folders - search the website based on your grabber script (e.g. IMDb) for information on your movie collection,:actors, DVD covers and fanart, and save them to your movie database.
  4. Reset database - remove all entries in the local movie database as well as downloaded Fanart. You can prevent Fanart deletion if you select No when asked. This will not delete your video files.

What's Next

 Note: The Videos database is not networked.  Although you can store your movies and artwork centrally and use network shares/paths, you must setup your movies database separately on each client PC where you wish to browse and watch your movies.




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