Backdrops - store backdrops locally - all the serious themers

I’ve created a theme for myself after looking through some of the work from themers on this board, but there is one thing I don’t understand.
The rotating/alternating backdrops that you get from the internet take time to download and you always need to have your internet connection on.  Why dont you just store the backdrops locally and get it from there.

I use moviesheets in that way, where as I store 3 or for moviesheets per movie on my HDD and let them rotate.

So, after all of the above my question is - Is there a reason why no one else does it in that way?


Novice users won’t be at ease with this method.

I myself, for some movies i’ve set up a local webserver

and linked my moviesheets and backdrops properly, it streams well but sometimes it still lags.


oh it seems i’ve misunderstood you.

can you explain how you store the backdrops/moviesheets on you hdd and let them rotate.


Yes, please enlighten us to your method on storing backdrops on your HDD and have them cycling ( and automatically changing / rotating) from a local location.

Without having an ‘Internet’ Connection ?

yes, I’m sure many would be interested in your rotating method


Firstly to all the above posters - great job on your themes they are really very nicely designed. Also thanks for all the contribution you guys and Tinwarble make to the forum.
Joey/Firetix, I know how much time it takes to work on themes, so thx.

At the moment 90% of my movies use only one backdrop (moviesheet).  On the other 10% I use more than one as a proof on concept.

My way of using the backdrops as moviesheets needs some more work done on, which I just don’t have time for at the moment, but maybe someone else can run with it.

I need to look into a way of reducing the hubs time delay before it fetches the first backdrop (moviesheet).

I’ll see if I can find some time to add an additional XSL to the hub that can reduce the time delay before it fetches the first from the HDD, but can still keep a nice delay between the follow-up rotating backdrops,

There are two ways of using the moviesheet/backdrop way – here is the one I prefer at the moment, only because I already used the Hubs “Get Info” before I looked into using moviesheets:

  1. Get all movie info (XML and Cover/Thumb) using the hubs “Get info” function, or if you prefer, TG can be used to creat your XML, cover and moviesheets.
  2. Edit your gallery browse page to either use the cover as per original theme, and choose if you will be using the TG created moviesheet to display all the data or if you will only use it as an backdrop and use the hubs XML info.
  3. Create your 1280x720 moviesheets using TG. The files that you will have per movie should look like this for example: Constantine.mkv (Movie), Constantine.xml (XML),  Constantine.jpg (Cover), constantine_moviesheet01.jpg (First MS), constantine_moviesheet02.jpg (2nd MS).
  4. Edit the backdrop url in your XML to display your local backdrops/moviesheet instead of backdrops from the internet.

Hope this makes sense and can help someone till I have some time to look into the time delay before the first Backdrop display.


An example of the movie’s xml code local hdd sheet path alteration as described in Step 4. would be enlightening.

btw do user made xsl work with the hub?

Hmmm yes please provide an example of step 4…

Most of us have tried to no avail to edit the xml to point to a local background…so if you have succeded this would be amazing news…

(Hoping your method doesnt include running a local web server on one your your networked pc’s)

Sorry for the long delay - Runnimg around like mad at work.

Anyway, if your flies in step 3 are all in the same directory, which I guess will mostly be the case, then you just have to to take out the URL and your backdrop will look like this:

or if you want to keep things more structual you can create a folder e.g. backdrops and your XML will look like this:


That’s it.

As to the question about xslt’s - I hav’nt tested it yet, but if you import it into the main XMLs I cant see why not.

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Yeah, there maybe something else happening here because this doesn’t seem to work.

Did you modify the xml before you copied it to the HUB or did you modify afterward?  Also, what firmware version are you using?

Latest firmware. mod before moving to hub. Had to recompile off-course.

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Well this seems related to the latest firmware, with earlier firmwares it was not working.

If this work, it would be nicer if wd give us an option to make the backdrops static…

need to test that once i get some free time.

Hmm interesting if this actually works on the latest firmware…It would open up some serious possibilties for themeing especially related to using moviesheets…

In fact since most themers have given the latest firmware a skip its no wonder this one escaped our attention!!!

Basically you could use the backgrounds as the moviesheets !!! (well thats my untested idea) 

I dont have access to my Hub, but if this is verified by someone…i do have a Hub i can get hold of to ‘test’ this idea further…

Ok, that maybe why.

But did you edit the xml after you already had it on the HUB or did you do it before then copy it to the HUB?

The reason I ask is because the HUB caches those images from the http, and if you already had the xml on the HUB, it may be pulling the images from the cache and not from the images you have on the HUB.  I’m not saying that is what’s happening, but I would have assumed that if you could pull background images from the HUB that you would still have to direct it where to look by inputing either a direct or relative path like: “…\yourfolder\image.jpg”.

I tested with last firmware and mochii theme

with the code


it works !!!

just power off the hub to clean the cache

it’s a revolution :slight_smile:


As I said in my previous post I did it before uploading, but come to think of it I also did some after.  It’s not rreading from previous cache.  To make sure delete the thumb folder and recompile.  Also as stated earlier you have to tell it the path E.G. constantine-original02.jpg (same folder) OR images/constantine-original02.jpg (not same folder.

extremedigital - "Basically you could use the backgrounds as the moviesheets !!! (well thats my untested idea) "
As stated in my first post, this is what I’m using it for, but there is still some small issues…


Just to clarify, the cache isn’t in the thumb folder, but is cached in the flash memory.

Anyway, as I said in the post before, I’m not saying that’s what’s happening, I was just making a statement.  Also, I understood the path, I was just stating that it is unusual from what it seems it would be, because even the theme xml’s require a relative path for the images.

But you get kudos for the find.   I’ll try testing it out later to see how it goes.

it’s a good way

but less efficient than a special @@moviesheet  variable

Yep!  That’s what we’re looking for, a seperate variable from the poster variable but that acts like @@poster.  That would be candy!:smileyvery-happy:

Ok, just tested it out and it works.

So BIG KUDOS to justmeme for the find. :wink:

Also, moviesheets seem to work using this method (only did a limited test), but the load time is a little slow, but it doesn’t seem to be any slower than the regular http images.

You can also get a semi-static image if you go into the Photo settings and change the Slideshow interval time to 5 min…

justmeme,  if you find a way to shorten the delay time let us know.  However, I’m not sure how easy this may be since I believe that this is controled by the Photo viewer.