Sign up here and you can log into the forum!

movie sheet how to

Everything (else) to do with Movie Sheets and homebrew firmware on the WDTV(s), including how the %*#^ do I get them working?

movie sheet how to   

Postby fits79 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:48 am

How the movie sheets work on wd tv live in simple words.

A lot of thanks
User avatar
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:39 am

Re: movie sheet how to   

Postby Buhric » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:49 pm

"If the custom firmware (v0.4.5.0 and up) is based on an official Firmware that is HIGHER than v1.02.21, WDTVExt no longer works,
so you Need to disable the WDTVExt and Enable LINKSHEETS in the web interface
Take a look here for more information on MovieSheets

linksheets" script will on only on version up to v0.4.2

It is no longer needed on v0.4.2.1 and up

Hi everyone,

I'll try to explain from A to Z how I managed to make my Movie Sheets work
Hopefully this will also help you
Just keep in mind that this is the way I made it work for ME... and what I found out by looking at the scripts

1. The Basics
First, you need to have v0.4.1.9-6 of B-Rad's Firmware... Normal or EXT3 should work (dont know about Minimal)
Add the Following Line to your "S00custom-options" (or "/conf/S00user-script") file
Code: Select all
#Enable Movie Sheets
config_tool -c SHOW_FILESIZE_SETTING=0
config_tool -c MSHEETMODE=sheet
config_tool -c VIDMSHEET=ON
config_tool -c GENMSHEET=ON
config_tool -c LISTMSHEET=ON

MSHEETMODE can be = to sheet, wall or std
This enables sheet mode (Folder icons on the bottom), Wall mode (icons on the left of screen) or standard mode

You can also telnet into your WDTVLive (use putty or the WebFrontEnd) and run each line once
These commands do not need to be run every time the WDTVLive is rebooted.
They just set some parameters in your "/conf/config" file

2. My understanding of the way it all works
The way B-Rad's firmware populates the sheets is, when you plug a USB drive or when a drive is mounted,
either using xmount (/conf/net.mounts) or access a Shared drive via "Network Shares", a script is run.
That script name is "linksheets" located in the "/usr/bin/" folder of the WDTVLive.
The script scans the new drive for any movie sheets. It basically looks for a certain name and then
depending on the naming convention used it will symlink the sheet file to the appropriate movie or folder.
Threes quite a few naming conventions for the sheets, but I believe the one I used is the most simple one.
Just add "_sheet.jpg" to the end of a filename.

The place where "linksheets" stores the symlink information is in the "/msheets/" folder in the WDTVLive.
This makes a great place to troubleshoot why your sheets are not displayed. Just look inside that folder
(either using telnet or, preferably, a FTP software like Filezilla or CuteFTP) and search for the object
you wanted the sheet to appear for...
Look for " Batman.avi" in the "/msheets/" folder, and see to what file it linked to.. it should give you the
full path to the file.

If you want, you can specify an other folder for where the sheets symlink gets stored
just add the following line in the "S00custom-options" (or "/conf/S00user-script") file
Code: Select all
config_tool -c MSHEETDIR=/fullpathtodir

fullpathtodir is the full path to the folder you want the to store the sheets that gets scanned
you line should look something like this:
Code: Select all
config_tool -c MSHEETDIR=/tmp/media/usb/USB1/3484-3301/MSheets

This will not work with FAT32. I only tested with EXT3 partitions
If you are using the EXT3 boot version of B-Rad's firmware, you could create a new folder in it
and specify it as a destination folder for MSHEETDIR.

3. Creating you Movie Sheets
Contrary to popular knowledge, file / folder structure does not matter when creating Sheets.
the actual File Name used DOES.

The easiest way to name your sheets is append "_sheet.jpg" at the end of the file name you want a sheet for
you have a folder named "Avatar" and you want a sheet to show up when you have hovering on the folder
then create a Sheet and name it "Avatar_sheet.jpg" and you can save that file inside the "Avatar" folder for now

If you want to create a sheet of a movie file named "Batman.avi" then create a sheet
named "Batman.avi_sheet.jpg" and save it at the same folder level has the Movie file is.

There's quite a few tools out there to help you create a sheet. I personally use ThumbGen's application
combined with Dribbler1's templates.

3a. Different sheets on different WDTV at the same time
If you have multiple WDTV, you can have different sheets for the same movies show up in each WDTV.
theres 2 ways you can accomplish this:

1. Save all the sheets for a WDTV on a specific folder (a network share, or on a USB key attached to the WDTV) so each WDTV has
it's own folder for its sheets.
If you are using a network share, you will need to run the linksheets command manually
If you copy the sheets to a localy plugged USB drive on the WDTV, just power cycle the WDTV so that the linksheets script runs
and updates your sheets.

2. if you want different modes, like WALL mode in a WDTV and SHEET mode on the other, you can save the sheets like this:
Batman.avi_sheet.wall.jpg --> WALL mode sheet for file Batman.avi
Batman.avi_sheet.sheet.jpg --> SHEET mode sheet for file Batman.avi
Batman.avi_sheet.std.jpg --> STD mode sheet for file Batman.avi
Avatar_sheet.wall.jpg --> WALL mode sheet for folder Avatar
Avatar_sheet.sheet.jpg --> SHEET mode sheet for folder Avatar
Avatar_sheet.std.jpg --> STD mode sheet for folder Avatar

4. Getting the Sheet to actually show up
This is the trickiest part. It depends on how you actually access your Movies
the most 3 common ways are: via a USB drive, using the "Network Shares" menu, or by xmounting a shared drive.

The easiest way is when movies are in a USB drive. When you plug in the drive the "linksheets" script is run on
the drive, and it will symlink the sheets found with the movies if you used the "filename.ext" + "_sheet.jpg"
naming format, your sheets can be stored anywhere on the USB drive.

If you are accessing your movie by xmounting a shared folder, in other words, you have a "net.mounts" file
then making the sheets work is also fairly simple. Again the "linksheets" script is ran automaticaly when
a xmount is performed from boot up (when it processes the "net.mounts" file).
So once again, just have the sheets anywhere in the xmounted shared drive.

If you access your Movies using the "Network Shares" menu of the WDTVLive, there’s 2 thinks you need to know.
First, there’s a bug in the original firmware; when you access Video from "Network Shares" all the
media in the folder is shown... This means that if you have JPG and AVI in the same folder,
The WDTVLive will list everything. starting with the JPG and then the AVI... so it will look like the Sheets
are not working becasue you are actualy over a .JPG file, and not the Actual movie file.
So make sure to scroll all the way to the end and sure you have the .AVI selected

Second, the "linksheets" script is supposed to run when you first access a "Network Shares", but this is not always true,
I found that out the hard way. The best way to see if it worked, is by FTPing to your WDTVLive and look inside
the "/msheets/" folder. If there’s any file/folder there, then the drive was scanned, and the Sheets should work.
But if it still does not, do the Following:

From the WDTVLive Menu, play a movie in your "Network Shares", let it run a few sec, then stop it
exit all the way back to the initial menu of the WDTVLive
Again from FTP, delete EVERYTHING in the "/msheets/" folder.
Telnet to the WDTVLive, using putty or the WebFrontEnd telnet utility
and run the following command
Code: Select all
linksheets <FullPathToSheets> 5

<FullPathToSheets> should be something like "/tmp/ComputerName/SharedFolder"
ComputerName name of the device that is sharing the folder, has it shows in the WDTVLive menu after selecting "Network Shares"
SharedFolder name of the shared folder, has it shows in the WDTVLive menu after selecting "Network Shares"

While the "linksheets" script is running, the power led will blink... wait until it stops before continuing
From FTP, confirm that files where symlinked by looking in the "/msheets/" folder, if they are there,
Try and access the "Network Shares" again and select a file was showing in the "/msheets/" folder

To avoid all this messing around in Telnet and FTP, an other way to make Sheets work on a "Network Shares"
is to xmount that share using "net.mounts" even if you do not have a USB connected to the WDTVLive it will still
mount that drive and run the "linksheets" script on it. The only difference is that you will not be accessing the
mounted drive, but the "Network Shares" and since the sheets are symlinked they will still show up.

I also found 1 thing (possible bug ?) if you xmount a shared folder, without specifying a username / password
and then try to access that Shared drive through "Network Shares" the mounted drive will get unmounted.
So make sure you specify a username / password when you xmount the drive in "net.mounts"

In case you want to use the xmount way of doing this, here’s how to proceed.
With NotePad, create a file named "net.mounts" on your computer. Make sure the name is
"net.mounts" and NOT "net.mounts.txt"
put the following line in it:
Code: Select all
xmount "//IPOfComputer/SharedFolder" "ShareName" cifs "user=username,pass=password"

IPOfComputer is the IP address of the Computer that is sharing the Movie Folder
SharedFolder is the Name of the shared Folder on the computer
ShareName is the Name that you want this share to show up as, once mounted
username only used if your Shared folder required authentication, i.e.: can be your Windows UserNAme
password only used if your Shared folder required authentication, i.e.: can be your Windows password

So the complete line could look something like this:
Code: Select all
xmount "//" "Movies From My Computer" cifs "user=Buhric,pass=MyPassword"

Add 1 line per Shared drive you want, and the ShareName must be unique
For more option with "net.mounts" please take a look at the file that is included with B-Rad's firmware

Then you will need to save this file in the Root of a USB device that will be plugged in the WDTVLive, and then Power cycle the WDTVLive
so that the shares can be xmounted.
Alternatively, you can save the "net.mounts" file into the "/conf/" folder of the WDTVLive
So that it gets executed at every boot, even without any USB attached

6. Some Interesting stuff
Did you know that on B-Rad's Firmware v0.4.1.9-6 you don't need to have the sheets in the same folder has
the Movie files. Because of the way "linksheets" works, and if you used the
"filename.ext" + "_sheet.jpg" naming convention, then You can Regroup
all the sheets on the same Folder, and make sure that this folder is on the shared folder
Using that naming convention for the sheets cause the following behaviour in "linksheets":
For every file named "*_sheet.jpg[/color" it will symlink it with:
1. the folder it was found in
2. the the name of the file without the "[color=orange]_sheet.jpg
Code: Select all
.\Movies\Avatar\Avatar_sheet.jpg  --> Will be simlinked with
1. Folder Avatar
2. Avatar (folder again)
.\Movies\Batman\Batman.avi_sheet.jpg  --> will be simlinked with
1. Folder Batman
2. file Batman.avi

And if a symlink already exist, it get overwrited by the new one
I don't know if this was a wanted behaviour or not, but this causes that If you only have a Movie sheet, (no specific sheet for folder)
it gets linked with the Folder and the Avi

Also when using xmount and a USB plugged, you can have a sheet for the mounted drive, just give the sheet the following name "ShareName_sheet.jpg"
and put it with the other sheets or on the root of your shared folder.
Same thing with "Network Shares", just create a sheet with the same name as your Shared folder and append "_sheet.jpg" to it.

Possible bug with "linksheets": if you use the "filename.ext" + "_sheet.jpg" naming convention
and create the folder sheet gets scanned before the movie sheet, meaning if sorted alphabetically,
the folder sheet comes up before the movie sheet, the movie sheet symlink will overwrite the folder symlink...
Code: Select all
-1.Avatar  <-- folder

Color Code:
Folders or/and Files Located in the WDTVLive
Script File in the WDTVLive
Menu Item from WDTVLive Interface
Folder or/and Files located on computer

Hope this helps!
Last edited by Buhric on Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Global Moderator
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: movie sheet how to   

Postby SeaParrot » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:00 pm


Great job. Fantastic write-up! Thanks for taking the time to lay it out so well.
This will be very useful to people struggling to get MovieSheets working. Lots of great tips there.

Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:44 pm

Re: movie sheet how to   

Postby NoSubstitute » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:06 pm

great guide, but i'd suggest your edit your post to clarify how you actually access your media files when "xmounting".
Not all users can be expected to know how to xmount or where to find the files. Else, insert a reference to where in the wiki that info can be found.
There is No Substitute!
Beta Tester
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:56 pm
Location: Malmö, Sweden

Re: movie sheet how to   

Postby Buhric » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:57 am


I also updated it with more explanations for xmount
Global Moderator
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: movie sheet how to   

Postby Angel_de » Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:09 am

The way i understood it ... moviesheets have changed with brad's newest firmware (1.02.21_B-RAD.CC_EXT3-BOOT_LIVE- and later)

Is this correct? .. Or is the moviesheet manual still valid for the newest firmware ?
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:38 pm

Re: movie sheet how to   

Postby Buhric » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:55 am


Well I din't install the latest betas from B-Rad,
BUt reading the post he made... it does look like he modified the "linksheets" script

Now, instead of scanning the full drive for the sheets at mount time,
it scan a folder at when you access that folder.
This makes to boot time of the WDTVLive a lot faster for users that have a lot of movies.
But all Moviesheets will need to be in the same folder as the movie, and all Folder Sheet also at the same level of the folder.
Global Moderator
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: movie sheet how to   

Postby » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:58 am

i haven't done this yet. it is planned very soon. When i do that though i will still leave you the option of central moviesheet repository location ;)
PM's are for private matters only, please post public matters on the forum to help others who might have the same issue.
User avatar
Posts: 3003
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:35 am
Location: New York

Re: movie sheet how to   

Postby Buhric » Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:12 am

Thanks B-Rad...

I was actualyy looking at the forums again to see where exactly i read that... could'nt find it anymore.

So for now, v0.4.1.9-9.3 still has the same MovieSheets behaviours than ?
Global Moderator
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: movie sheet how to   

Postby Socram » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:23 am

I'm curious if the naming convention mentioned by Buhric holds true for every version of the WDTV. My Gen2 doesn't react to the "..._sheet.jpg"-scheme.
It only displays moviesheets for folders with a "wd-tv.jpg" (or similar, not at home atm) inside. This leads to the problem that I can't seem to connect a concrete movie file (i.e. xyz.mkv) to a moviesheet.
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:23 am


Return to Movie Sheet Support & Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest