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The Video Database settings allow you almost complete control over your Video Database. 

You can control what data is downloaded for your movies from IMDB and what images display, including whether you wish to download and use fanart or not.  You can even edit your Video database.

To configure Video Database settings, press the + sign beside Videos in the Navigation Panel and select Video Database.


When you first open the Video Database you will see the Settings tab. There are several things to do on this screen.

Select IMDB Databases

Here you may select the database(s) you wish to use for finding movie information.

First, press the Update grabber scripts button to retrieve all the latest grabber script files from MediaPortal's servers. These are continually being updated and new ones provided for your region even between releases of MediaPortal. This option allows you to always use the latest scripts.

Next, select the database with your preferred language and click Add. If you added multiple databases, you may use the Up and Down buttons to set database priority. Move your preferred database to the top, followed by databases that may contain info on movies not found in the top database.
If you don’t select any database, EN: IMDB with AKA (IMDB) will be used by default.

To remove an added database, select its line and press the Delete button.

Available databases:

  • DE: IMDB grabber with OFDB (German)
  • DE: IMDB grabber with OFDB V1.3x (German) - Special edition with new features only for MP 1.3.x
  • EN: IMDB V1.2.x (English) - Special edition with new features only for MP 1.2.x
  • EN: IMDB V1.3.x (English) - Special edition with new features only for MP 1.3.x
  • EN: IMDB with AKA (English)
  • ES: FilmAffinity (Spanish)
  • FR: Allocine v1a MP13x (French)
  • FR: TMDB MP1.3.x (French)
  • IT: MYMOVIESIT grabber (Italian)
  • RU: (Russian)

Auto Matching Movies

Automatically select the nearest match

If you check this option, MediaPortal will try to auto match your movies from the grabber search results. If you do not select this option then a Movie conflicts screen will be displayed when there is more than one match for a movie. Then you need to manually select the correct movie from the search results. Even with Automatically select the nearest match enabled, there are sometimes several movies with the same name made the same year. At the end of auto matching, you will receive the same Movie Conflicts screen with the titles that could not be auto matched.
One of the ways to reduce movie conflicts or to avoid failed searches is to name your video files like: MovieName (YEAR) or ttxxxxxxx  ie. Taken (2008).avi or tt0936501.avi.

Alternatively, if you know the IMDb tt number of the movie, you may enter that in the TItle/Search box and press Find to search for the exact movie you want.

Fanart Handling

Use Fanart

This option will try to download fanart for your movies which can be displayed as a background when using Videos views. The display depends on the skin you use. To use this option you need to download and configure the Fanart Handler extension for MediaPortal. The skin you use must support the Fanart Handler extension. See the Fanart Handler Wiki for more information.Fanart downloading also works within MediaPortal if you use or the Info/More button on your remote for IMDb lookup. See Using Videos for further information. Set number of downloaded fanart per movie (max 5) to use the cycling fanart feature from Fanart Handler plugin. The fanart will cycle in the background when a video is selected in MediaPortal. Default value: 1

Use in share view

Default value: Checked. To prevent download and saving fanart for share view, uncheck this option. Fanart can still be displayed in share view if  the video file name and title are the same. However, if not, enabling this option will download your fanart twice - once by movie name and once by folder name.

Fanart is stored in the \MediaPortal\thumbs\Skin FanArt\Scraper\movies folder.

Alternative Sort Order

Use "Sort title" for sorting in GUI title views

Sort title is alternative movie title which can be used for sorting movies in MediaPortal for movie sequels which titles, sorted alphabetically, are not in order (for example the Alien movies). When checking this option, MediaPortal will use the user defined sort title instead of movie title for sortin. Sort title can be changed in the Movie Editor in Configuration.

Using internal nfo scraper

Use internal nfo scraper only

Check this option if you want to prevent MediaPortal from using an internet based scraper. Movie scraping will be based on a


file related to the video file. If the video file does not have a corresponding


file, MediaPortal's internet scraper will be used in GUI. Editing and saving movie data in the Movie Editor will create a new .nfo file (overwriting the old one).

See Using nfo files for details about nfo file format and file naming rules for nfo files and images (posters, fanart) using different folder/file/group paths.

Do not use database (GUI behavior for nfo files)

Do not use database

This option will prevent any interaction (import/refresh) with the video database for unscanned video .nfo files in GUI with (IMDB) option in share view. Use if you want to see video info for video files but you don't want to use MediaPortal's video database to store the data. Movie info screen will show movie data from .nfo file but actors feature and all refresh movie options will not work. In database views those video files without database entries will not be visible.

Movie Info before Play

Use this option if you want to see movie information before playback starts. Override this setting by using the Play button.

Update internal grabbers 

The Internal grabber's purpose is to fetch covers, fanart, actors info and their movies from the Internet. Because of constant changes of grabbed/scraped web pages, grabbers can fail and fetching process can result in wrong or no data at all. If you experience problems like this you should update the internal grabber from Configuration or from My Videos.


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.


The Editor tab provides a basic editor for your local video database. You can manually add a new entry or modify an existing entry.


Start by selecting a movie from the Title drop down box. This will take you to the specific information about the selected title.

Add a New Movie Manually

To add a new movie, click the drop down box and go to the bottom of the list and select New... or simply press the New button*.*

Save Your Edits and Additions


Whenever you make changes in the database editor, the Save button must be clicked before moving to any other heading, tab or configuration option, otherwise your changes will not be saved.

Delete a Title


Clicking the Delete button will remove the selected title ONLY from your local movie database. It will not delete the files from your hard drive. This needs to be done manually if required.

Lookup a Movie Title on IMDb

  New database fields in MediaPortal 1.3

  • Studio
  • Language
  • Country
  • Sort title
    You must update grabber scripts and choose the IMDB_MP 1.3x or IMDB with OFDB grabber on the Settings tab to fetch data for many of the new fields.

After entering a movie name in the Title section next to the Lookup button, clicking it will make the editor scan the IMDb website for a match for this title. If found, all the other fields will be updated with this information.

You can also check the sub-option checkbox Lookup by tt number for 100% accuracy. "tt" is the IMDb movie ID and will help you avoid movie conflicts and manual selection from searched movie results (this requires a grabber which uses the IMDb website for movie lookups or a grabber which supports the “tt” number).


Here you can see movie summary and user review which will be displayed on the Videos Info screen in shares view ( on selected video) or directly while browsing your videos in database view.


This configuration window displays the files that are currently linked against a title of the movie.

In this screenshot the title Avatar, is a DVD backup and the file it points to is E:\DummyMovies\Avatar (2009)\VIDEO_TS\VIDEO_TS.IFO. You do not have to put every file for a DVD backup into the list, just the VIDEO_TS.IFO file. For other types of movie files that span across multiple files, every file must be added.

Video files stacking

Video files stacking is an automatic feature of MediaPortal to handle multiple video files for one video title. In short, if you have more than a one file for one movie, MediaPortal will use only the first file for searching video info and the rest of the files will be added to the file list for scanned title. Of course, there are some rules that tell MediaPortal there are more files for one video. We call them stack endings rules and they are:

CDx, DVDx, PartX, DiscX, DiskX, [X-Y] where X or Y is the numbers from 0 to 99.

Filenames for one video with stack endings should look like this for example:

  • Avatar (2009) CD1.avi or Avatar (2009) DVD1.avi, Avatar (2009) [1-2].avi
  • Avatar (2009) CD2.avi or Avatar (2009) DVD2.avi, Avatar (2009) [2-2].avi

Stackable files should be in the same directory otherwise stacking feature will fail.






DVD backups can't be used with stack endings so if you would like to join two or more DVD backup folders for one title you can name your DVD folders similar to the example above, but MediaPortal will process only the first one. After scanning, you need to manually add VIDEO_TS.IFO files from other backup folders to the file list, i.e.:

  • Avatar (2009) DVD1\VIDEO_TS_(DVD video files)_ (VIDEO_TS.IFO will be in the file list from this folder)
  • Avatar (2009) DVD2\VIDEO_TS_(DVD video files)_ (VIDEO_TS.IFO file from this folder needs to be added manually for Avatar title in movie list)
  • Avatar (2009) DVD3\VIDEO_TS_(DVD video files)_ (VIDEO_TS.IFO file from this folder needs to be added manually for Avatar title in movie list)





Add Movie Files to the Title


The Add button simply opens a file browser window where you can select the file or files you wish to add to the list.
Don't forget to save if you have made changes in this section by using the Save button.

Remove Movie Files from the Title


Select the file name to remove from the list and the click Remove.


Select the title of the movie you wish to edit from the Title drop down box. On the right hand side of the screen is a list of actors that have been assigned to the movie.

How to Create an Actor

If the actor you wish to add to the movie is not listed in the right column, then type the name, role and IMDb ID of the actor in the text box above the Add and Remove Buttons. When finished typing, click Add.   Tip Actor IMDb ID is not mandatory but will be of great use later in the MediaPortal GUI for handling actors.

How to Remove an Actor


If you wish to remove an actor's name from your local movie database altogether, select the actor's name from the right column and click Remove.
Don't forget to save if you have made changes in this section by using the Save button.

Actor Details

In this screen you can edit downloaded actors details.


When you are finished editing, press Save changes to update the actor info in the database.

The Refresh actor button will download the selected movie actor’s details for you. This will also overwrite any manually made changes.

The Refresh all button will update details for all actors for the current selected movie. This will also overwrite your manual changes.
  Tip Use the Refresh actor button to download the selected actor's[ movie list|2 Video Database#Actor Movies] details.

Actor Movies

This screen will give you an overview of movies and roles for a selected actor.


 Click on the movie link to visit the IMDb website for the displayed movie or actor page. Movies in bold text are those you have in your collection.


On this tab you can assign or unassign genres to each movie.

Select the title of the movie you wish to edit from the Title drop down box. The left side column displays the available list of genres and the right side displays the genres assigned to the selected movie.
Don't forget to save if you have made changes in this section by using the Save button.

Assign a Genre to a Movie

Select the genre you wish to assign to a selected movie and click  >>. This will move the genre name to the right side column.

Remove a Genre from a Movie

Select the genre you wish to remove from the right side column and click <<. This will move the genre name to the left side column.

Modifying the Available Genres List

The left side column displays a list of all genres that are not assigned to the selected movie. If the genre you require is not in either column, it can be added to the list by entering the genre name in the text box and clicking Add. If there is a genre that you do not want in the Available Genres list, select it and click Remove to remove it from the local database.

Genre Thumb

You may add an image for the selected genre which will be used in Genres view in the MediaPortal GUI.

User Groups

This option gives you the possibility to group movies into one single group to be viewed in User Groups view (similar view as Title view but your grouped movies will be on top in group folder).

Add new user group

To add a new group, fill the text box above the Add and Remove buttons and then press the Add button.

Assign user group to a movie

Select a group from the Available Groups box and click the >> button to link a movie to a group.
  Tip One movie can be linked to more than one group.

Group thumb

Add a thumb for the selected group (one in the Available Groups box) which will be displayed in  User Groups  view as a thumb for that group.If no thumb is defined, MediaPortal will use a random movie cover from one of the other movies inside the group as thumb.

User Groups Misc

User group description

You can add your own description text for every group which will be visible when the group is selected in User Group view in My Videos.

User Groups Rules

Here you can define special rules for user groups which will automate linking of movies to user group. This rule can be executed here in configuration and will also be used later in movies scan process.

How Does Groups work?

It is based on user defined SQL script which will be triggered during movie scan or executed manually, and will try to link movies to a group according to rules defined in the SQL script.

Building Group Rule (SQL syntax)

  1. Select a user group from the Group drop down menu.
  2. Select one of the defined types in the Type drop down menu:
    1. Media info (to filter by movie video file specifications ie: SD/HD, codec, channels...)
    2. Movie info (to filter by movie title, director or some other database fields related to a movie)
    3. Actor (to filter by actor name)
    4. Folder (to filter by folder)
  3. Select Field. According to selected type, here you can choose some predefined filters (ie.: for MovieInfo type you can choose Movie title or Director)
  4. Select Operand - logic operator for the selected field:
    1. Equals (=)
    2. NotEquals (<>)
    3. Contains
    4. StartsWith
    5. EndsWith
  5. Select predefined value. You can also manually enter a value if the predefined values are not what you want.
  6. Click Generate rule syntax. A SQL syntax will be generated.
  7. Click Check rule to validate the rule.
  8. Click Run and save rule and you new rule will be executed on all movies in your collection. If some of the movies falls into your new rule, they will be automatically assign to the group.


You want to create a group for your Harry Potter movies.

  1. Create a group called Harry Potter movies
  2. Select the group in the Group drop down menu
  3. Select type Movie info
  4. Select field strTitle
  5. Select operand Contains and add the value Harry Potter to the edit box
  6. Click Generate rule syntax
  7. Click Check rule
  8. Click Run and save rule

If you don't have all Harry Potter movies and add a missing one later, it will automatically be assigned to the Harry Potter group.

Cover art

This section allows you to view and change the current cover art image and its location which is stored in the database for the selected title.

  Tip There is no need to save upon any changes.

Search for Cover Art on Selected Title

Search cover

Clicking this button will search for cover art from the selected Cover sources on the selected Title (IMDb “tt” number will be used for searching if available). The left column will display a list of available images and selecting one will then display the image on the right side window. If there is an image called Folder.jpg in the root folder for the title, it will also display when clicking Search cover.

Specify a Cover Art Image to Use


If you have already downloaded cover art for your movie, you can use the Browse... button to select it.

Refresh All Cover Art for Your Entire Movie Collection

Refresh all

Just press this magic button and wait a little for it to finish. Cover source will be taken from the selected Cover source checkboxes and you can use all three. First cover found in one source will be taken and the next movie will proceed. No multiple cover downloading for one movie.

Search for Cover Art if an IMDb tt Number is Not Available and Movie Scan Fails to Find Cover Art

In this case a hidden text box will be displayed so you can enter a search string or you can use a local downloaded cover image via the Browse... button.

Where is My Cover Art Saved?

You can find all your cover art images in the MediaPortal configuration folder: [userdata]\thumbs\Videos\Title

The cover art is saved in two images:

  • Small thumb: MovieTitle*{dbID}**.*jpg
  • Large thumb: MovieTitle*{dbID}*L.jpg

Note:  dbID is the MediaPortal Video Database ID number of the movie. You can see it in the Editor > Title tab.


This section allows you to view and change the current fanart image and its location, which is stored in the database for the selected title.


Fanart can be used as a b ackground for the selected movie in various Video database views as well as Shares view. Use Fanart option in Settings tab must be checked for this to work. With the left (<<) and right (>>) buttons you can view fanart images. The number of displayed fanart images depends on how many Fanarts to download per movie set on the Settings tab.

You can change every image manually by clicking the Search Fanart button and selecting an image from the list or by using the Browse... button and assign your local image (in the screenshot above, the fanart image #3 will be changed).

The IMDB “tt” number will be used to search for fanart from TMDB.

Specify a Local Fanart Image to Use


You can assign a local fanart image file if you like.

Search for Fanart on the Selected Title

Search Fanart

Clicking this button will download fanart from TMDB and give you the opportunity to manually select your preferred fanart for the selected movie.

Refresh all Fanart for Your Entire Movie Collection

Refresh all

This button will try to download and set a randomly selected fanart image for all movies in your collection. The IMDB “tt” number is used for this option. If the “tt” number isn’t available, no fanart will be downloaded for that movie.

Search for Fanart if IMDb “tt” Number is not Available and Fanart Was Not Found during Scan

If no fanart was found during the scan, a hidden text box will be displayed so you can enter a search string or use a local downloaded fanart image via the Browse... button.

Where are My Fanart Images Saved?

You can find all your fanart in the MediaPortal configuration folder in: [userdata]\thumbs\Skin Fanart\Scraper\Movies. There can be a minimum of one and maximum of ten fanart files per movie (ten fanart files will be created if the video filename differs from movie title on the Share and Database Views). This folder will not exist if the Fanart Handler extension is not installed. Thus no fanart will be downloaded and saved.


Cover Tools

Use the Tools tab if upgrading from an older MediaPortal version. When clicking Upgrade, your old movie covers will be renamed to the new naming rule for MediaPortal 1.2.0 and above so you don’t need to re-scan new covers. Your old covers will not be visible in MediaPortal until you upgrade by using the Upgrade button.
If, for any reason, you want to switch to the old version of MediaPortal (1.1.x and lower) and you have upgraded your covers, simply use the *Downgrade*button and your covers will return to their initial state.

Actor tools

The Clear button will help you to remove some strange actor names like




. This can happen while grabbing actor details and the IMDb web page doesn’t respond. With this button you can easy clear those mistakes and re-download actors again per movie or for all movies in the Actor details tab.

Import/ Export nfo files

The primary goal of this option is to backup your movie details information in case of a database disaster, switching hard disks or simply before reinstalling MediaPortal or Windows from scratch.

To export your data just click Export. All movies data including covers, fanart and actors data (only name and role) will be exported to the movie's video file location. Movie description file will be named the same as the video file with the extension


. All images will be in separate files and their names depends on the video file name and how many fanart images you have per movie.

To import your .nfo files and images click Import, select a folder ( make sure you have already defined that folder in folder setup ). You can also select disk or root folder which contains your movies subfolders or shared folders so you can import all in one move. Just remember to define them before.

.nfo files with images can also be imported in the MediaPortal GUI, using the folders (share) view context menu with the option Scan using nfo files.

If Use internal nfo scraper only[ option|2 Video Database#Using internal nfo scraper] is checked, everything related to movies scan/refresh will be based on .nfo files.





Fanart Download



Folder Name for Titles



Update Movie Data



Strip Title Prefixes



Review Tab in Editor



Actor Details/Movies



Cover Art file names



Fanart Tab in Editor



Tools Tab in Editor



Videos Configuration


1.3.0 alpha



1.3.0 beta

NFO file usergroup (movie set) additional support



NFO importer logic





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