Themes: In need of a starting point

Hi all,

since a few weeks I am owner of a WDTV Live SMP (Gen.3) which is my first SMP ever. After setting up everything I was a little disappointed of the way partitions and folders show up when browsing through my videos and the music and photos are not as well usable as I thought.

So I started to play around with some themes (thanx to all the contributers, you do a very good job!) and was thrilled what is possible. But (there is always a but…) some of the graphics didn’t match my taste and I started to change some images in the theme I liked most.

But now I want to understand a little more of the things I am doing and trying to build my own theme step by step. I read that it is possible to change single files and only the meta.xml must be contained in the archive. Changing the BG-RV.jpg of the moochi theme wasn’t hard, but with my next steps I crashed the SMP (it was hung up in boot cycle and I had to do a hard factory reset). That took me to a little bit more precaution and I tried to use the Legacy theme. But that theme did the exact same thing and I saw a HUB image, so I think I downloaded the wrong file. Another reset was necessary and I am a bit frustrated because I have no clue how and where to start over. I coulnd’t end up in permanently restting the SMP because it is in use by my familiy and I am glad that the theme experiments are tolerated so far.

Can anyone guide me to a good starting point, perhaps with a link to a theme which could easily be modified and does not crash the SMP? Thanx in advance to all for your help!


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I dont think there is a propper documentation on theme modification anywhere. There is only this short doc on the specification i know of:

I dont have a need for a big theme change on this mediaplayer, but I made a small modification for the Mochi theme, and it was a lot of try end error, because you always have to see what number/variable does what…

Download a Theme, change some numbers and see what happens. The way is the goal. =)

If you get the hang of it, its very easy to do more/advanced modifications.


thanx for your reply. I already found the specification, but it was not as helpful as I thought. Very basic document…

So try and error seems to be the only way, which is not as easy because you might sometimes put your SMP in a state where you can only factory reset it :frowning: Or you have to use the work of someone else, which is not the way I prefer, but it seems to be the (my) only chance.

I don’t get it why WD is not putting the original moochi theme out in the open. Every gadget gains worth from theming, never heard of a gadget loosing something cause of the possibility of personalization, customization or theming.

I think most people in this community would like to tweak or personalize their SMP. Remarkably they didn’t come up with any kind of tutorial, beginner’s guide or whatever yet. I know that such a thing would cost a lot of time and the few successful theme contributers may not want to give away their hard reverse engineering work for free by investing more time into a documentation.

Are there community members which are interested in developing a tutorial for theming together and asking the right questions to the experienced theme developers? Maybe we start something as a community work!?

I don't get it why WD is not putting the original moochi theme out in the open.

 You didnt know that the mochi theme is already out there?

Its in the GPL download (1.11.14, 883mb), the folder is called “RES_RV”.

Hey Guys,

There is already some info out there:

You can also download the OSD (Mochi theme) from here:

This is for 1.09.11, but there have been no major changes from this version to the one that is in the new FW.  When there is a change I will post a new OSD download, just look or search the forum for “OSD”.

The only thing different is that you will need to change “video_run.xml” to “video_run_buf.xml”, but this is not the OSD anyway, because it was changed.  If you are developing a theme though, you should actually include both.

Nope, I didn’t know that. I found a lot of discussion but searches never ended in anything downloadable.

I found the thread from Tinwarble “Attention themers” and read that this is not a theme that you can upload to SMP. So I got stuck, because I hoped to find an uploadable moochi base from which I can make modifications step by step.

My english is not that good that I understand every little deatil and maybe I misinterpretated a lot.

Thanx for the downloads you gave me, I will try again with the original moochi.

The OSD (Mochi theme) that is downloadable is NOT a theme meant to be something that you install on the SMP (because the Mochi theme is already on your SMP).  It is the base theme, that you can modify to your specifications, then you have to zip the modifications that you make then it can be uploaded to your SMP.

You only have to include the modified xml & images, you don’t have to use the entire theme.  The OSD includes all the xmls & images that are modable, so this is what you need to create a theme, which must be in zip file format.

You can download a current theme (like Mojo or Darklght) to see how you zip file should be structured.  Also, your zip file has to be under 30MB.

Also, no matter what other xmls you include in your theme, one xml must alway be included which is “meta.xml” or you will not be able to upload your theme to the SMP.

In any event, the OSD is your starting point and is what you need to create a theme.