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Work has been killing me lately, so still not much from me.  I’m hoping that after this week, I’ll have more time for updates and news.

I did find that VMCNetflix has a new 1.1.10 release that fixes some logon issues that were a result of changes to the Netflix site.  It has also been modified to install on Windows 7, but I have not tried that (he has not either, apparently).

I also finally finished updating every single one of my XML files so that Media Browser would display parental ratings.  It took about 3 weeks of gradual editing and I estimate that I edited about 1500 files.  I also created custom backdrops for all movies that did not fetch one from TheMovieDB (or for ones that I did not like).  Media Browser also has a new domain to look out for – please update your links to www.mediabrowser.tv.

The last thing I did was edit the backdrop.mcml file in the Media Browser source so that the blue filter on the backdrops was not so dark.  It made some backdrops almost appear black.

Default filter:

My edited filter:

Default filter:

My edited filter:

These aren’t the best examples as the backdrops aren’t all that dark to begin with, but you can see that there is defintely more detail while still being able to maintain good readability on the overlayed text areas.  I like it better, anyway.  Now I just need to edit the header and footer areas so they are darker, since the lighter filter affected that too.  It’s not that bad, however, so it can wait.

In completely unrelated news, I ordered a Bowflex Motivator 2 from Amazon this morning.  Hopefully, I can begin getting myself back into some sort of shape.


  1. Zack says:

    I’m running MediaBrowser, and don’t have this blue filter on any of my backdrops (it just grabs the backdrop.jpg as is). Without the overlay, it’s nearly impossible to read any of the plot info. I’ve seen these blue backdrop screenshots on your site before, and went about writing an Imagemagick bash script to loop over all my backdrop files, and put a blue overlay on them. I’d like it to automatically do the overlay for me. Can you tell me what options need to be enabled for the blue filter to be there? Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • Jon says:

      As long as I’ve been running the SVNs there has been a blue filter on backdrops. There has to be an issue with your Media Center if there isn’t one on yours. There has never even been an option to enable/disable it – it’s hardcoded within the MCML.

  2. Zack says:

    Thanks for the quick reply. I’m not running the code from the Subversion trunk, I’m using the compiled .msi from the project page. I’m not sure why I wouldn’t have the overlays. I have two friends that use MediaBrowser as well, and neither of them have the overlays either.

    I just checked out throgmorton’s new MCML layout from the repo, but I’ve never compiled MediaBrowser (or any Windows app for that matter). I do have to say I miss the ease of a simple ./configure && make && make install compile from the *nix world. Can you provide any help in the compiling process? I downloaded Visual C# Express Edition, and WIX, so I’ll give it a go.

    • Jon says:

      I’ve actually never run any of the released beta editions, but I know I had to have run the SVN equivalent at one time or another. It’s just extremely odd that none of you have that filter…first time I’ve heard of that. Any chance of a screenshot (just for curiosity’s sake?).

      As for grabbing the SVN and compiling, I can do you one better (for now). I posted a recently compiled build that you can try right now. It’s available here. Keep in mind that this has a modified blue filter that I did for my own purposes. I felt the default one was too dark for my tastes. If you want a darker one (assuming compiling your own build works), follow the below steps.

      If you still want to compile yourself, I use TortoiseSVN to grab source from http://videobrowser.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

      Once downloaded, you will want to open the project in Visual Studio 2008 C# (Express is fine). You will also need to have WiX installed. Once the project is loaded, do an F6 to compile. Go to your SVN download folder, browser to Mediabrowser/Setup and run the Build.bat to create your MSI. It will be in Mediabrowser/bin/Release.

      I don’t recall needing the latest Media Center SDK, but if you run into issues, you may want to download and install it and go through the steps again.

  3. Zack says:


    I’d be more than happy to try out your release with the lighter blue backgrounds. I tried finding your post on here about your compiled build, but I couldn’t locate it. Could you point me in the right direction to download it? Thanks again for your help, and quick responses.

  4. Zack says:

    Thanks, I’ll try that out tonight, and see if I get the blue filter like I should.

  5. zreed says:

    Well, I just tried it out your build, and still no overlays. Here are 2 links to see what I mean…


    At this point I’m not really sure what to do. If I was the only person I knew with this problem, I’d reinstall Vista, but as I said earlier I have two friends that are running Vista Home Premium and Ultimate and experience the same issue.

    • Jon says:

      I’d post this on the MediaBrowser forums. This is the first time I’ve heard of it and have no idea how to even reproduce it without editing source code.

      Are any of you running any custom themes or used a theme editor?

  6. zreed says:

    That’s a good question, but no, we are all running stock Media Centers with only MediaBrowser and the Netflix plugin installed. I think I will post this on the forum.

  7. Joshua says:

    Hey Jon,

    Don’t know if you saw this yet, but theres some new eye candy for mediabrowser. take a look.


    • Jon says:

      Yes, thanks. This showed up in the SVNs about a week ago. They look nice, but I personally don’t think they really “go” with Media Center. It just goes from the standard Media Center theme to this completely different mockup and doesn’t “feel” right to me.

      I was going to post some screenshots last week, but I was going to wait until they got to a more finalized revision. They have been making a lot of small changes to that theme, so I have no idea how the end product is going to look.

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