Version 6

    TV-Guide Me!


    On The Ben Heck Show, in Ben Heck's Raspberry Pi Media Centre episode, Ben and Felix set-up an instance of OpenElec on a Raspberry Pi Model B because they need something to watch!


    Through a rather concise step by step guide, they take you through the steps of setting up an SDCard with a snapshot of the Linux Operating System and software, followed by connecting it up to a temporary screen and browsing to a file system share on the network. They also cover how to access your media centre over the network via SSH to be able to administrate it, something that is very useful. If you haven't seen the episode, I definitely recommend you check it out (personally, I like the out-takes at the end).


    What can I Watch?!


    So once you have your media centre in place, its probably a good idea to watch something on it. I am not going to go into the areas of backing up your DVDs, Blu-Rays, or how to watch Television shows or Films on your media centre. If you search on the internet you can no doubt find guides on how to get that going yourself.


    Instead, what I am going to cover, is how to watch The Ben Heck Show on your media centre! Now, for the sake of convenience on my part, I will be using Kodi on a laptop, so that I can acquire screenshots easily and cleanly. However, the setup is not too different for you on OpenElec (and if you require help with it I can set-up a Raspberry Pi later with it on and guide you along).


    There are two main ways you can watch The Ben Heck Show on your media centre, the first is to use the YouTube add-on, you can sign in to your Google account (if you want) and browse your subscriptions. Or you can search YouTube for "The Ben Heck Show" and play an episode you can see how this this can look (depending on how you setup the YouTube add on) in the following gallery:


    {gallery} The Ben Heck Show - YouTube


    YouTube Add-on in Kodi: Under 'Videos' you can find 'Add-ons'


    YouTube Add-on in Kodi: If we don't have any add-ons we'll want to 'get more', alternatively manage add-ons under 'System'


    YouTube Add-on in Kodi: YouTube is listed, select it


    YouTube Add-on in Kodi: Then choose 'Install', once installed we can use this screen to configure it as well


    YouTube Add-on in Kodi: When we run the add-on we can choose to sign in, or go to search


    YouTube Add-on in Kodi: If you've got a keyboard plugged in this step is a LOT easier


    YouTube Add-on in Kodi: We can now select and play an episode or playlist! Settings like quality are in the add-on options.


    Ok, but I knew about YouTube..


    The second way you can watch The Ben Heck Show, is if you download it yourself and set it up as a TV Show!


    Yes, even though The Ben Heck Show is not on cable or your digital television (at least that I know of, would that be cool?) you can setup your media centre to browse films and tv shows and have The Ben Heck Show appear as one of them. When you have your media centre installed, it does not list 'TV Shows' or 'Films' by default until you actually add folders to your library (as covered by Ben and Felix) and set their source.


    Leaving your 'library' without setting a source where you can browse video files is fine if you just want to browse files as they are. However I like metadata and pretty pictures. I like The Ben Heck Show appearing like this:


    {gallery} The Ben Heck Show in Kodi


    The Ben Heck Show in Kodi: Tadaa! It's a documentary, who knew?


    The Ben Heck Show in Kodi: Seasons have art for them, Revision 3 used to host TBHS, now it's element14


    The Ben Heck Show in Kodi: Season 5 episodes! I didn't grab the latest one yet.


    The Ben Heck Show in Kodi: Ah Ben, you teach us so much.


    How did you do that?!


    I'll tell you, do not worry! Before I go into downloading the YouTube videos (frankly, you may already have a method yourself, feel free to use any method you personally find, but I have one I will introduce), I want to introduce to you TheTVDB !


    Some time ago, in the days of the original XBox games console, it was hacked and cracked. Thus, XBMC was born (XBox Media Centre) and every pirate and possibly legitimate person whom backed up their DVDs put all of their media onto the XBox hard drive and needed a way to browse their films, television shows and other files. What people then wanted, was a fancy way to browse said files using graphics and titles from the shows or themed by them. Thus, websites such as The TVDB was born.


    These days, XBMC is known as Kodi, which has spawned into various different derivatives across platforms. One being OpenElec. When you follow Ben Heck's video on setting up your network share and you add a video source as 'TV' the default website the media centre will use for 'scraping' (that is searching and identifying) episodes will be TheTVDB.


    It is also entirely community run. If you want to add an episode, make sure the descriptions are correct or upload graphics, then you can! There are also forums where you can contest whether or not episodes or series are named correctly. It is here where I recently had the administrators ensure that The Ben Heck Show had a Season 5.



    Under each season it then lists the episodes, and how they are named for TheTVDB to recognise them:

  TBHS Season


    These are definitely not necessarily accurate, I have been going in and editing some of the episodes to make sure they're correct but it's definitely a community effort, for example there's no graphic for Season 5 at present - especially since Revision 3 stopped running the show. You can have DVD Covers or Wide Banners.


    C'mon Where's the Episodes?


    As you may know, The Ben Heck Show is released on YouTube, and we also link to the episodes here on the Community so you can benefit from the features and giveaways that we have on the site while watching them!


    Youtube-DLIf you want to download the episode yourself (which you can do on your Raspberry Pi media centre) you will need a piece of software called Youtube-DL, now I am sure that there are other methods and websites that you can use to download the episodes, however I'm not going to cover them here, but it's up to you if you want to share them in the comments.


    If you want a method that can be scripted and automated, then you'll want to setup something with Youtube-DL which is coded in Python.


    To setup the software, you will need to SSH into your Raspberry Pi, just as Ben and Felix do in the episode (or if you know how to go to the console with a keyboard, then feel free, usually this is CTRL-ALT-F2 to F6 on your keyboard).


    Now you can follow the installation guide here, the steps are basically as follows:


    sudo curl -o /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

    sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl


    What this does, is it downloads the script file youtube-dl and saves it to /usr/local/bin and then makes it executable. This means that since /usr/local/bin is normally in our 'path' variable, you can run it from any folder in the terminal when you're logged in.


    Now, what we have to do is work out where we want to save the episodes. Let's say we don't have a USB stick plugged in or a network attached storage, and we want to save an episode to the SDCard. First we should go to the home directory and then make a folder to store the 'TV Shows' in and then for the show and series


    cd ~/

    mkdir TV

    cd TV

    mkdir "The Ben Heck Show"

    cd The\ Ben\ Heck\ Show/ or cd "The Ben Heck Show"

    mkdir 5

    cd 5


    I've purposefully typed this out the long winded way. So now we will have a folder tree that looks like this:


    /home/pi/TV/The Ben Heck Show/5


    Note: Make sure you have /home/pi/TV (or whatever folder before The Ben Heck Show) added as a 'content source' under 'Video -> Files' in your media centre software, and have it set as 'TV Show' type.


    Now for the fun! youtube-dl. Let's get the latest Ben Heck Show episode URL from YouTube! We can go to YouTube and search for it, or get it from the Community space or The Ben Heck Show channel.



    From creating the folder, you should still be in '5' and we can simply type in:




    Which will give you an output like this:


    pi@openelec:~/TV/The Ben Heck Show$ youtube-dl

    [youtube] P7m6HTV7ysM: Downloading webpage

    [youtube] P7m6HTV7ysM: Extracting video information

    [youtube] P7m6HTV7ysM: Downloading DASH manifest

    [download] Destination: Ben Heck’s Raspberry Pi Media Center-P7m6HTV7ysM.mp4

    [download] 100% of 250.79MiB in 00:07

    pi@openelec:~/TV/The Ben Heck Show$ ls

    Ben Heck’s Raspberry Pi Media Center-P7m6HTV7ysM.mp4

    pi@openelec:~/TV/The Ben Heck Show$


    This is now playable in OpenElec/Kodi, but we need to rename the file to something which can scrape.


    mv "Ben Heck’s Raspberry Pi Media Center-P7m6HTV7ysM.mp4" "The Ben Heck Show - 5x15 - Ben Heck’s Raspberry Pi Media Center.mp4"


    Now all you need to do is update your library and it will be scraped successfully and show up in the menus as the screenshots above.


    That's ... involved!


    Ok, sure. There are ways in which you could make it less tedious. Firstly I use FileBot from a Windows computer that scrapes the library and pattern matches it based on the folders and TheTVDB to rename the files for me. Alternatively, you could create a script yourself that pulls from YouTube to get the episode URL and pass it to youtube-dl (I know you used to be able to get an RSS feed, but not so sure now). You can also get add-ons for your media centre which automatically update the library when you add new files.


    However this is probably not the only show you can do it for, Hak5 for example is also on YouTube and so you can have an offline, portable copy of both The Ben Heck Show and Hak5.


    Understandably this isn't a complete solution, but hopefully you can see how much fun it could be once setup! If wanted, I could make a pre-built OpenElec image that contains a number of The Ben Heck Show episodes!