MoviePoster - Virtual movie poster display software. - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Theater Room Items & Accessories > MoviePoster - Virtual movie poster display software.
meyer64's Avatar meyer64 03:21 PM 11-15-2012
In the process of building my home theater, I decided that I wanted to have a secondary display acting as a virtual movie poster to display information about the currently playing media as well as posters for movies coming soon. I was unable to find any software to do what I wanted so i set out to make my own. MoviePoster is intended to be run on a display in portrait mode and supports its own rotation mechanism for PCs that don't have native screen rotation support.
The application connects to to xbmc using the JSONRPC interface to get information about the currently playing media. When no media is playing it will display movie posters for upcoming films either downloaded from or loaded from a local cache.
Trailers can be streamed from youtube using links provided in themoviedb metadata. There is also a web based remote control interface for changing posters, activating trailers and creating custom poster lists.

Download Here:

Please see the included ReadMe.txt file for installation and general usage instructions. Please feel free to comment and report any bugs, or request features.


My custom 32" LCD Poster Display:

(Slightly Outdated) Video of operation.

pcdoctor's Avatar pcdoctor 04:51 PM 11-15-2012
This is too cool. I thought about doing this a while ago. In my mnd that is. Makes traditional posters passee.
meyer64's Avatar meyer64 05:46 PM 11-15-2012
It's probably cheaper than buying a bunch of printed posters too. I used a 32" LCD ripped out of an older tv i got off craigslist. Including wood I'm in about $100 and running it off pc hardware I already had laying around. Plus if you want a new poster, it can be added almost instantly.
Mopar_Mudder's Avatar Mopar_Mudder 12:19 PM 11-16-2012
So am I correct in thinking that you basically have to have a dedicated computer to run the digital poster board?
meyer64's Avatar meyer64 12:53 PM 11-16-2012
It would be easiest to use a dedicated pc for it yes. But it doesn't need to be anything high end. I did much of my testing using a thinkpad from 2003. The only real requirement is .Net 4.5 which restricts you to Windows Vista and above. I plan on using a cheap, low power intel Atom integrated motherboard to run it once its permanently installed. However, There really isn't any reason that it couldn't run on a 2nd monitor output of an existing HTPC. During development, I had my laptop hooked up to my tv as a second monitor and it worked fine. But i did have trouble getting it to startup in full screen on the secondary display. So if you set the poster screen as the primary display output in windows it should work just fine. The other issue is audio from the trailer playback. I dont have any systems with multiple sound cards, so i havent tested getting it to output over anything other than the primary sound output device, but i don't think it would impossible to add an option to change the audio output.
blipszyc's Avatar blipszyc 04:10 PM 11-16-2012
Just stumbled upon this thread and thought this would make a much better "Marquee" poster than the one I had planned. Does the software scale to any size? Has anyone done the math - what size HDTV would be equivalent or close to a real poster? With BF coming up, it might be time to pick up something cheap. What about heat and such, any concerns?
meyer64's Avatar meyer64 09:34 PM 11-16-2012
Yes it will scale to any size but the layout and aspect ratio are locked for a 16:9 display in a portrait orientation. The posters downloaded from themoviedb are all right around 1500x1000 resolution. So they should look pretty good on even a larger sized monitor. I'm using a 32" display and it works well for the space I have. I couldn't really imagine using something much bigger than a 42" screen though. As far as heat goes. I haven't had any problems yet. I've left it running for a few days but I probably won't run it 24x7.
gregzoll's Avatar gregzoll 09:51 PM 11-16-2012
Another site to get poster art is What about using the same software to pull still slides from something like Flickr. Say, to do a scene where a movie was shot for the poster that was up before, then slide to the movie preview. A lot of potential with that setup.
meyer64's Avatar meyer64 10:17 PM 11-16-2012
I Used themoviedb as a source because they have an open API for getting posters and metadata from their site. I don't know if impawards has anything like that, but they do have high quality posters. I'm not sure I have time to figure out how to scrape their site though.
gregzoll's Avatar gregzoll 09:48 AM 11-17-2012
I am going to check that site out, since I have been thinking of moving our DVD collection over to a hard drive again.

Had them on one at one time, until the drive went bad, but never got back to it, since it is a back burner item.
Chimera2345's Avatar Chimera2345 06:40 PM 11-17-2012
If you're going to store your movie library on a storage device you definitely want a RAID (at least RAID 1) system so even if you lose a drive you don't lose everything. I have a small NAS with 4 drives giving me 4.5tb of space and it was fairly affordable. Combined with XBMC it makes playback a breeze and the WAF is high.
blipszyc's Avatar blipszyc 08:05 PM 11-17-2012
What are you using to run XBMC? Last time I played with that I had an old modded XBOX. I'm guessing that won't do 1080p these days. smile.gif
Chimera2345's Avatar Chimera2345 09:59 AM 11-18-2012
I run tiny Intel Atom boxes (an Acer Revo and a Zotac Zbox), they both have the ION chipset so will decode h.264 MKVs in hardware and were both around $200. They are too small to handle Netflix HD or HBO Go (although later versions of Flash do have hardware acceleration) but they handle my personal library just fine.
meyer64's Avatar meyer64 10:46 AM 11-18-2012
I also use the Zotac Atom/Ion boxes all around the house. I don't do any netflix streaming, but they do work excellent for an XBMC box to play HD video off a NAS. Anything with a GPU capable of hardware decode will work though. I even have an ancient 1.3Ghz Pentium 4 that i pit a Geforce 8400 PCI card in for about $40, it plays 1080p h.264 files just fine.
meyer64's Avatar meyer64 08:24 AM 11-21-2012
A new version is uploading to sourceforge as I type this. You should now be able to run it on a secondary display and alternate sound card, so you don't necessarily need a dedicated pc for the poster display. In theory, It could run on your main xbmc box if you use the windows version of xbmc. I haven't fully tested this set up, but I think it will work ok. I've also added features for refreshing cached data and selecting alternate posters for a particular movie. see changelog.txt in the application folder for more details.

Download Link:
nebrunner's Avatar nebrunner 10:44 AM 11-26-2012
Awesome work on this! You should also post it on the xbmc plugin forums as there has been demand for this exact kind of application.

Really looking forward to what some of you creative guys do with building custom enclosed monitor frames and doing fancy wall mount installs.
jayn_j's Avatar jayn_j 12:54 PM 11-26-2012
I posted a link from here to a movie poster forum, It generated quite a bit of interest over there. Good job.
meyer64's Avatar meyer64 03:51 PM 11-26-2012
It looks like registration is currently broken on that site so i cant post there, but I am glad that others are able to use the software in their own projects. Be sure to post pictures of your poster displays too, I'd love to see them! Thank you to everyone for your compliments and encouragement! Remember, I'm happy to hear any feedback regarding bugs or feature requests as well.
jayn_j's Avatar jayn_j 06:25 AM 11-27-2012
Not broken, but clumsy. The owner is concerned (paranoid) about bots and requires a personal message before approving membership. The procedure is detailed in the "HOW TO JOIN --- READ THIS" forum.
meyer64's Avatar meyer64 09:12 AM 11-27-2012
got it. i completely missed that BIG BOLD TEXT wink.gif
roar's Avatar roar 10:05 AM 11-27-2012
Very nice job... seems like a good application for a Raspberry Pi if the code could be ported to run on the Raspberry Pi.
nebrunner's Avatar nebrunner 10:31 AM 11-27-2012
We'll see if this works:

I had requested someone build this a while ago, since you did, I bumped the thread and tried to link so other folks could get the benefit of your work.
meyer64's Avatar meyer64 11:05 AM 11-27-2012
I added my original post to your thread on the xbmc forums.

regarding the raspberry pi.. I actually thought about that as well, unfortunately the display I am using for my poster board has a defective hdmi port, so i had to use something that had VGA capability, plus i had old harware laying around to test with (free is even cheaper than the Pi) And I'm primarily a .Net developer so it was fairly easy to rough up a prototype in c#. I'm sure that I could rewrite it to target a linux environment that could run on the Pi, but i don't have one so the motivation isnt really there right now. Maybe if there is a market for a fully assembled product or something.
roar's Avatar roar 11:59 AM 11-27-2012
Originally Posted by meyer64 View Post

I added my original post to your thread on the xbmc forums.
regarding the raspberry pi.. I actually thought about that as well, unfortunately the display I am using for my poster board has a defective hdmi port, so i had to use something that had VGA capability, plus i had old harware laying around to test with (free is even cheaper than the Pi) And I'm primarily a .Net developer so it was fairly easy to rough up a prototype in c#. I'm sure that I could rewrite it to target a linux environment that could run on the Pi, but i don't have one so the motivation isnt really there right now. Maybe if there is a market for a fully assembled product or something.

Free will always be better smile.gif A bumb HDMI port would certainly rule out the Rasberry Pi. There are a couple of threads on their forums with people running slideshow scripts to use the Rasberry Pi in a kiosk like setting to randomly display images which in turn would make for a slick movie poster display, but your application is so much more. I've got a fullsized back lit movie poster box in my theatre area so I haven't quite found the right spot for this application but it seems too cool not to find a place for it in my room somewhere.
dRwOOD73's Avatar dRwOOD73 02:20 PM 11-27-2012
Can't remember if I posted earlier, but I subscribed to this thread to keeps tabs on the development and I just have to say - this whole project is AWESOME!!
me23's Avatar me23 01:26 PM 11-30-2012
This is great, thank you. Will it select posters from your movie directory that you are playing or does it always go to If there is a problem with the internet, seem like you would want to show the local copy.

This would also make a great trivia slideshow as well.

I feel like I need to donate something for this. Awesome.
meyer64's Avatar meyer64 02:47 PM 11-30-2012
The way it should work, unless i made a mistake in the code, is that if themoviedb is unavailable for whatever reason, it will use a locally stored image for the media your playing. although admittedly, i havent disconnected my internet connection to test.

The way it finds an image is as follows:
1. First, it will check the local cache of posters downloaded form if you have the cache option turned on. (default is on and i suggest you leave it on, it really helps performance)
2. If there is nothing cached from themoviedb, it will attempt to download the poster from themoviedb, then saves it to the cache if the option is enabled.
3. If it cant find the movie on themoviedb or themoviedb is unavailable, it will retrieve the thumbnail from xbmc. (this is also the fallback in the event that themoviedb doesnt have a poster image).
4. if any of that fails, it will display a default image, the default one is just an xbmc logo.

Currently, it finds posters for currently playing media based on the imdb id, so if xbmc doesnt have the imdb id in its database, MoviePoster will skip to step 3 above and display the thumbnail from xbmc. this is what happens when music is played also.

I am open to any and all feature requests! Although, I have never experimented with any of the trivia slideshow stuff. Do you have an example of something you would want to display?
It would be pretty easy for me to make another poster 'Type' that could have a different heading and just display an image. Other than Now Playing/ Coming Soon, it could show a trivia banner of some sort and your selected image.
we could even get real fancy and make an xml type definition for the trivia so that first it could display the trivia question, then using some sort of animation add the possible answers to the screen and after a set period of time, show the answer.
Another possibility would be to use the video player capabilities to show trivia videos. What do you think?

Me23, donations are welcome and greatly appreciated! if you would like to donate, there is a paypal link on the about page in the web remote interface (click on the i in the upper right on the remote page)
me23's Avatar me23 06:23 PM 11-30-2012
Well, I was just thinking if you pointed it to a directory or folder it could just play the pics in order (say by filename). It could do this when a movie is not playing, then when you start movie up obviously the now playing would come up.
Also like your xml def and animation idea definitely.

Speaking of xml, you could make it where users could use their own templates for the now playing screen.
Also be cool just to play a loop of a video. This could be like your own animated home theater marquee Instead of buying a home theater sign, just make a cool ass video and loop in on the screen. That would be awesome!

Just some suggestions. Thanks again, cant wait to fire this up.
meyer64's Avatar meyer64 06:50 PM 11-30-2012
It has a built in web browser based remote control. when MoviePoster is running just open a browser (I tested with Firefox and Safari on my iPad) and navigate to http://localhost:8082/remote.html if on the same pc that MoviePoster is running on or substitute the host ip address for localhost if accessing it from a different machine. Check out the readme file in the application directory for more information. You should end up at a page that looks like this:

Using the cache and custom lists you can set which posters you'd like to have displayed.
fallenangel1's Avatar fallenangel1 09:34 AM 12-02-2012
Ok, Ive been playing around with this for a little over a week now and I just cant figure it out. So I guess I have to break down and ask for help. smile.gif

1) For some reason I cannot access the webserver/remote. When I type in, I get this page cannot be displayed in both IE and FF.

2) The "Now Playing" feature doesnt seem to work. If Im not playing a movie it seems to pull "coming soon" titles just fine. But if I start a movie it just freezes on whatever "coming soon" poster it had up when I started the movie. If I stop the movie it goes to the "now showing" screen but with the dog emblem no poster and within moments it starts showing more "coming soon" posters. I had it at one point where it would show "now playing and have the start and end times listed but it wouldnt pull a poster just the XBMC icon. That was when I just had one screen Id run both this and XBMC to try and get everything set up right. But now that I have a 2nd display hooked up the the HTPC it just pauses on the "coming soon" every time.

3) This is the least important for me, but I cannot get the trailers to play. I downloaded the SMplayer package you linked to and installed it but when I click on the trailer icon it just opens the black box and it sits there.

My setup:

Win7 Ultimate X64
AMD A6-3500 APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphics
Nvidia GeForce GT v.610 10/2/2012
Corsair Force GT SSD
8GB of RAM

w/ XBMC 12 Frodo Beta 1

I was using Boxee as my HTPC portal but I installed XBMC 12 Beta so that I could try and use this program.

So any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated! smile.gif
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