Sage My Movies For SageTV 7 – Walkthrough

by Damian on July 30, 2010 · 4 comments

in Reviews

I have been fortunate enough to help beta test Sage My Movies (SMM) for the last few months. Unfortunately being a beta tester keeps me from spilling too many details. Well, now that Sage My Movies has been released into the wild, I can finally go into more detail about this great Plug In. SMM is one of the key items that I discussed here which will get me closer to one day possibly becoming a SageTV convert. Enough pleasantries, let’s get down and dirty :-)

Requirements:

Installation:

I will assume you already have SageTV 7 and MyMovies installed. For using MyMovies each movie in your collection must be in its own folder. My setup is as follows:

  • SageTV 7 installed on my WHS
  • SageTV 7 Client installed on my HTPC (I also tested using the SageTV HD200 media extender)
  • MyMovies for Windows Home Server installed on my WHS, and Collection Management is installed on my HTPC (if you are using an HTPC MyMovies/Collection Management MUST be installed on that HTPC. Also, MyMovies must be installed as a server where the SageTV server is running.)

1. Open SageTV 7. Go to Setup -> SageTV Plugins -> All Available Plugins. If you are using a Server/Client (or extender) setup, you will need to install the Server and Client Plugin. You should be able to do both from the Client/Extender. However, I encountered an error when I tried installing the Server Plugin from my HTPC, so I just rdp’d directly into my WHS and installed the Server Plugin from there.

2. Go to “UI Mod” and scroll down until you see SageMyMovies by PluckyHD

3. Click on the SageMyMovies Plugin and an Options box should pop up. If using a Server/Client setup, choose “Install Server Plugin”. Otherwise you can just the Install Plugin option.

4. After installing the Client Plugin (if applicable) SageTV 7 will need to restart. After restarted, go to Setup -> SageTV Plugins -> Installed Server Plugins. You should now see SageMyMovies showing as “Disabled” under “UI Mod”.

5. Click on the SageMyMovies Plugin, and now choose Install Client Plugin. The installation process shouldn’t take more then a few seconds. Once the installation is complete SageTV should restart one more time.

6. When you are back at the SageTV 7 Menu and go to Videos you should now see a My Movies menu item. Expanding the My Movies menu you should now be presented with the various SMM options.

7. When you first install SMM and trying to access, a pop up box should appear which is just a notification that SMM is caching all the images

If you click on “Show Details” you can see the progress of the caching. This should only occur when you first set up and is a relatively quick process (obviously the size of your video library will determine how long it takes)

8. (OPTIONAL) If you want to replace the Videos menu item with MyMovies it is pretty easy. Right click anywhere on the Main Menu (or Press the Options button on the remote). Set “Replace Videos tab with MyMovies” to Enabled. You can also click “Edit MyMovies Views to Show/Hide” to edit what menu items appear.

Below is what the Main Menu looks like with Videos replaced by MyMovies.

Options, Options, Options:

One of the great things about SMM is the amount of options available to allow the user to truly customize their experience. I thought I would highlight a few of the many options available.

Trailers/Intros:

This is probably one of my favorite features of MyMovies. If you have a list of local trailers, you can set MyMovies to play a random selecti0n of trailers before your movie starts. You can also do the same for a custom intro. If you want the total Theater experience, this is a must. This is one of several tools out there that can be used to download trailers online.

In the Option Menu scroll down to “Trailers/Intros”.  For this example I set up Trailers, so simply tick off “TrailersEnabled”. Next go to “TrailersFolder” and navigate to the folder where all your trailers are stored. Finally, navigate to “TrailersCount”. Here you will specify how many trailers you want to play before the movie starts. A list is kept of what has been played on that client and they are played randomly (non repeating) until all videos in the folder have been played then the list is cleared and started over.

Screenshot of trailer playing. You can see from the info that it is 1 of 3 (so 2 trailers t o play followed by the main movie)

View:

While in a view you can easily switch to another view without having to go back to the main menu

Theme:

There are a few themes available to choose from such as WhiteIce, BluSkue, and BackInBlack

Settings:

You can make some simple adjustments  such as shutting on/off backgrounds, adjusting rows, etc..

Information:

A handy view that will show some of the basic setting information

Folders:

There is a feature where you can create “virtual folders”, similar to the concept Media Browser uses. I have had some issues setting up and am working with PluckyHD to resolve, so once resolved I will post back here with the necessary information.

Various Screenshots:

Wall View

Sideways View

Poster View

List View

Coverflow View

Genre View


Tips/Tricks:

  • If something doesn’t load correctly when installing, try stopping the SageTV service and restarting
  • The only specific feature of MyMovies that requires points is backdrops. You need 500 points for 720p backdrops and 1,000 points for 1080p backdrops. If you do not have the points necessary you can use another metadata program such as MetaBrowser, Media Center Master, or YAMMM to obtain.
  • When trying to figure out where your mymovies share is stored, here is where you can locate (thanks HelenWeathers for summarizing):
    • For XP it’s at:c:\documents and settings\all users\application data\My Movies\FileStorage
    • For WHS it’s at: \\<server>\Shares\My Movies\FileStorage
    • For Vista/Win7 it’s at: C:\ProgramData\My Movies\FileStorage
  • There may be an instance where you install SMM but when you go to your views everything is blank. If just stopping and restarting the service doesn’t fix the issue, a good check is to look at the SMM database. It is located under the \FileStorage\SageTV\DataFiles folder and is called “mymoviestest.data”. My DATA file is usually around 14,000 KB, but I have noticed that when I have had issues this file shows much smaller (usually around 1 KB). When I was beta testing the fix would be to stop the service, detele this file, and then restart the service. When you go back into SageTV the DATA file should be rebuilt. I believe in the Options section of SMM there is a “Database” item which should allow you to do the same thing without having to go through Windows Explorer (although I have not actually tried with this method)

Final Thoughts:

Phew, that turned out to be a lot more information then I was planning on writing! I had nothing to do with developing SMM but having had the opportunity to discuss with PluckyHD for nearly 6 months I am excited to see if finally released to the public. I am sure they may be a few bumps in the road is this is the first public release, but I think SMM gets SageTV much closer to being a serious competitor in the HTPC space (especially if the SageTV folks finally get working on a next get HD300!!!).

For further information on SMM, make sure you check out the Wiki and also the support thread.





Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found Mediasmartserver.net, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for Mediasmartserver.net you can find me over at my blog at http://www.adigitalhomeblog.com or follow me on twitter


{ 4 comments }

MrHappy September 3, 2010 at 11:57 am

I am confused. If you just have extenders and a WHS, you need to install MyMovies for WHS but do you need or where do you install MyMovies Collection Management?

Damian September 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm

On any PC is where you would install Collection Management

Carlton Bale September 28, 2010 at 10:33 am

For WHS + extenders, also note that there is no client + server plugin to install. You simply install the one and only plugin from the extender plugins interface. (This actually installs the server-side plugin, which is all that is required for extenders.)

To find the MyMovies view the first time, go to Videos item on the main menu a press the right arrow button on the remote to bring up alternative views.

I had an issue where cover art would not display for any movie. I found it was a MyMovies export bug. I switched to Plastic style covers and back to Default style covers (in Collection Management -> Tools -> Options -> Media Center Interface -> Cover styles) to re-export the covers and that solved my problem.

Damian September 28, 2010 at 10:44 am

Thanks for sharing. I haven’t had any issues with covers showing, so that is odd. Also, on the HD200/HD300 if cover loading is slow make sure you shut off Poster fading, that made a big difference for me on the HD300

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