Tag Archives: -TV

Automating TV downloads

Or as I like to think of it… Saving me time (or hell I’m too lazy to do that every day)

The idea is that we have our media box watch for new episodes of out favourite shows and automatically download them, process them and get the meta data, saving us time, hassle, and… well just that.

What we need :

Start with setting up your Astraweb account, click on through and sign up. Basic package is just fine, but if your downloading lots of shows then you might need a bigger one.


Download the windows installer for Sabnzbd and install it, go with defaults if they are OK, if not change em.

Once all installed etc, run Sabnzbd and it will open the default browser at http://localhost:8080 and should look a little like below.


Click the Config button, and then Servers and configure the server and press Test, then save if all looks well.


Click Folders on the Left, and configure those. I use D:\Downloads\* for the temporary location of things, you can put it wherever you like, but I would use somewhere you can remember easily, else it’s inside the install folder for the App (Program Files\*). The main one to remember is where the script folder is, as we will be using that. Also make a note of the Scripts folder, you will need it later.

The only other thing I would recommend, is unticking the Launch browser box on the Switches page, as we are going to set this up to autorun.


OK, for now let’s leave that there, we do need to do some more stuff, but need the other stuff setup first.

Goto the General config page, and make a copy of the API Key, we need it in a bit.

Sick Beard

Right, there’s no installer for Sick Beard, so just unpack it to wherever you want (utils\sickbeard in my case), and run it.

That should then launch the page http://localhost:8081


Copy the contents of the scripts\autoprocesstv to the scripts folder that you configured earlier in Sabnzbd (so d:\downloads\scripts in my case). Rename the “autoProcessTV.cfg.sample” file to “autoProcessTV.cfg”

Pop into Config, untick the Launch Browser box, click the search settings option and fill in the Sabnzbd API key (this is found in the General config tab in Sabnzbd)


Click the Post Processing option, then make sure the TV Download Dir points to the temporary folder that you setup in Sabnzbd (so D:\downloads\complete in my case), untick Keep original files and make sure Rename files is ticked.

We then need to sort metadata, i use the following setup


and now the TV naming, again I use this but feel free to make your own up


UPDATE- Thanks to Simon (BinaryJam.com) for the heads up on this missing section.

Goto config, search providers and make sure Womble and SickBeard are enabled, you can also add http://nzbindex.nl/ and https://nzb.su/ to the list if you would like.


Finish it off and get it working

Right, let’s hook the scripts together now…

Go back to Sabnzbd, and select Config, sorting, and make sure nothing is ticked. Now select the Categories area and in the script click down and select sabToSickBeard.exe (if this option is not available you have not copied the files into the script folder we setup earlier)

This is the bit that does the move/rename magic.

Back over to Sick Beard, click Home, Add Show. If you are like me and already have a catalogue of stuff, then click Add Existing, add the folder and walk through the wizard for it, and all your shows will get imported, and setup (if you changed the naming convention then go through each show after it’s finished and press the rename episodes button on them all)

Otherwise you can search for a show, and add it and it will get scheduled to be downloaded for you.

Last things to do, in SickBeard goto Config, notifications, and setup your twitter info and press the Test button. Save that, and goto the location of SickBeard on disk, and open the config.ini file, and edit the twitter section

use_twitter = 1
twitter_notify_onsnatch = 1
twitter_notify_ondownload = 1
twitter_username = Whatever
twitter_password = Whatever
twitter_prefix = D YourTwitterName : Sick Beard :


Click the little Spanner menu option, and Restart, then click Coming Episodes and see if it looks right.

If your happy everything is working, then add shortcuts to the startup folder of the machine (or via the registry)


That’s about it! not too taxing!

I think that’s it, however feel free to point my mistakes out and I’ll update this to be correct, after all I did do all this at 3am!

Update – For movie lovers, we can do a similar thing with CouchPotato

All we need to do (because we have most of our setup done) is the following.

Download the windows client from the CouchPotato site, unpack it to a folder that’s sensible and run the EXE.

This should fire up the CouchPotato interface in the default browser. Let’s go configure it.

Click the Cog, then General, I’ve set the port to 8082, so it’s in line with what we have already used with the other apps. You can also change the search time here if you want it to search more than once a day. I would also untick the Launch Browser option. Click Save at the bottom.

Next we need to configure the downloader, here we will use Sabnzbd, seems daft to use anything else seems as we are already using it. Make sure Hostname is set, the Apikey is OK, and create a category (movies here) and click save

Set up your Providers, this is similar to the settings we used on SickBeard, I used NZBMatrix, NZBsRus, #alt.binaries.hdtv.x264@EFnet and MysterBin. But if you have accounts with Newzbin etc then use those as well. Click save after setting it up.

Quality allows you to choose what files you want. This is completely upto you, obviously 1080p downloads will use lot’s of space. Click save after your changes.

Renaming next, here we get the post processing done. I’ve got my download folder set to downloads\movies and to then move to my Downloaded movies folder. I’ve just created the movies folder in the same ‘temporary’ area as the TV stuff. Anyhow, make a note of what paths you use as we will need them in a moment. Folder naming is upto you, but the default works just fine in my case (MovieName (year)). Select the clean-up box, and the enable box and click save.


As for the rest of the configuration (notifications etc) you can configure as you see fit.

Off into Sabnzbd then configuration, categories. Create a new category called movies with no scripts set up, all we need is the folder (as we decided upon earlier), then click save.


Pop back onto Couch Potato and add a movie. It should find and pass the download off to Sabnzbd, then after the download and unpack, the file should get moved over to your downloaded movies folder.

The only part I’m now missing in the automation is the metadata for the movies. Obviosuly if you use XBMC or Media Browser then this is not an issue (as it will get it itself if needed). However it’s nice to have it pre downloaded, just in case.

If anyone knows a decent command line metadata processor then let me know. Thanks.

My Own Worst Enemy

82122-1 Just finished watching the last episode (number 9). I have to say WTF were NBC thinking killing the show?

It’s not only one of the best things to come out of American TV in a good long while (let’s be honest Hero’s has run it’s time, and Lost just, well IS) it also had some of the best production, editing and acting from a show that’s come out of the USA.

Now I know that NBC have stated that it’s the ratings that have caused it to be canned, but I’m sure those production values were not cheap, and I bet Slater was far from free.

If that’s the case, then NBC just tell us your short of money, and that you might bring it back at a later point. Let’s just hope that Slater is up for it when NBC come crawling back.

Zattoo TV

I bumped into the Zattoo player recently. After a little playing around I’ve decided that it’s quite a good little technology.

It streams Live TV (in the UK BBC1/BBC2/BBC3/BBC4 and some others).

The technology is a proprietary P2P platform.

It connects quickly, and the quality is lovely in comparison to some of the other P2P video platforms.

Pop along and sign up for the beta, it’s certainly worth playing with. If some more of the channels from the UK/European are come on line it will be cracking.

The small issue at the moment, is to keep the broadcasters happy they limit the streams to local broadcasters, and those that don’t mind being broadcast in other territories. This stops us in the UK from receiving US and some European broadcasts.


24 Season 6 Leaked

24leak.jpg24 Season 6 episode 1, 2, 3 and 4 have been leaked onto the net. The episodes first appeared on an Asian BitTorrent site, and now are available pretty much anywhere.

If you want to download them and have a look what it's all about then they are available on Easynews

Episode 1 , Episode 2, Episode 3 and Episode 4 

They are just brilliant! Jack back to his best.

The talk however is will it kill off Fox's launch of season 6 next week? Well no, most of the people that will download it and are in the states will watch it anyhow, plus the other people not in the states are just going to download them anyhow, go get them, and get into the season early.

The source of these episodes seems to be a leaked copy of the Season 6 Disk 1 disk getting out into the wild.

Sky by Broadband uninstall

I’ve noticed over on AVForums that some people are unsure as to what get’s installed, and more importantly how to remove it.

Well what it installs, the main part of Sky by Broadband is not the part you see, it is actually a P2P service (Kontiki), this is the meat and bones of the SBB application, as this actually does the downloading/uploading parts (just as a side note, the BBC trial uses this P2P application as well). Ports used by this application seem to be 80, 443 and 8080.

The less significant, but more visible part is the Flash based front end of the application that allows you to choose what to download or watch.

The third and final part of the application is actually Windows Media Player 10, this is what is used to actually play the video back again (all downloaded video’s use Continue reading Sky by Broadband uninstall


I have just watched ABC’s Invasion thatpremiered (in the UK)on channel 4 earlier. Now with the sad(ish) news thatThreshold is to be axedthis could be just the replacement I was looking for.

It’s sufficiently ‘creepy’ to keep the tension up, has EBE’s (Extraterrestrial Biological Entities) in it, and is decently acted by a competent (on the whole) line up.Let’s hope that this does not get the boot.

William Fitchtner plays the ‘baddy’ sheriff fairly well and the rest of the crew most of who are new to me seem decently cast.

Let’s hope the script does not get too complacent (a la X-Files) and the plot does not stray too far from the mark and this could be a decent series.

Lost and Earl

I have watched the latest Lost and my name is Earl (post). Lost is getting better again, the last few episodes were a little weak; this weeks Earl is possibly the weakest of them so far, but it did have a lot to follow after the wedding episode.

The new series over in the UK at the moment are a little weak as well. Rome is truly rubbish, I know now why it went down so weak in the US. Also on at the moment is Threshold, not made my mind up yet on that, some of the acting is week; however it could have a decent story line to drive it. I am still watching season 2 of Stargate Atlantis and season 9 of SG-1 on Sky as well as I did not download them from the USA.

What I am looking foward too? Well Jack is back in season 5 of ’24’, thatstarts January 15th, and Battlestar Galactica continues Continue reading Lost and Earl

Agent 47 on the Big Screen

It seems that Agent 47 (from The Hitman games) will be making an appearance on the big screen some time in 2007. Word has it that Skip Woods (Swordfish, Thursday) has signed up to write the screenplay.


That may be good, and even though Swordfish had it’s issues (I hate it how Hollywood have to dictate coding with flashing block’s of lego) it was not bad, and Thursday (his first flick) was Continue reading Agent 47 on the Big Screen