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Improving the TVIX user interface

By default, all items installed on the TVIX will be shown as a list and although this serves a useful purpose, it's not the most engaging of interfaces. By adding in a few files to the folder structure, you can drastically improve upon this.

Icon Browsing

Icon Browsing gives the TVIX the capability show images as representations for the foldernames. eg, using a DVD cover to represent a file or an album cover to represent the album. To do this, follow the example below for a Movie:-

  • make an emtpy file called "icon.tvix" and place this in the folder you wish to browse. You could do this using notepad for instance.
  • download an image of the box cover for the movie (eg. from amazon, imdb etc) placing it in the movies own folder and calling it folder.jpg. The best size for this image is 100*136

You may now have something like this as you file structure:-

- -Videos
- - - -icon.tvix
- - - -Alien
- - - - - -folder.jpg
- - - - - -Alien.avi

Using this formular with all your Movie folders will give you an interface something like this.


Showing Movie information in the user interface

The background image to the folder you are viewing from the TVIX can be changed to anything you like. By using this simple technique, it is possible to create an image containing information about the movie. For instance:-

TVIX background image (TVIX.jpg)

This file has to be of size 720*480 for the TVIX 4100/5100 and 1280*720 for the TVIX 6500/7000


Software tools for improving the user interface

You could spend a lot of time downloading and editing movie images and information just how you want it or you could use some prebuilt tools to do this. Both are excellent tools and allow you to quick transform your interface into something far more rich and enjoyable.

The two main tools are:-

The Video below shows the an example of Icon Browsing and showing movie information via the TVIX.jpg image. It was created using TVIXIE but Movie Gui Builder does pretty much the same thing, although it does have more sources to choose the information from.


TV Series

If you have ripped or downloaded a TV Series, TVIXIE and Movie Gui Builder will not be of any use to you for creating the a user friendly interface. You can however create a folder icon (to browse to the TV series) and a background image(using some fanart) while showing the episodes you have available. (See the about techniques for this)

Before you go off and create all these yourself, have a look at this thread on the mpcclub web site. Their community have already created a lot of the images already for the popular TV shows.

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