Thumbnails for shows in xmltv file any chance of future support.

Started by denny09, December 13, 2016, 01:08:40 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


I would like to know what will it take for icetv to start adding thumbnails for tv shows i know you have released the api but majority of us cant take advantage of that. Is there a certain number of users that you require to request this service before you will reconsider it ? I am willing to test and offer feedback and i am sure others will do the same.

Emby fatches all the movie metada and it is awesome we just need it for the other items in the tv guide.

Emby is geting better and better since last time i requested this so you should give it at least a test.

WMC has no future which is a great shame but there is an alternative and out of all of the ones available emby looks like it is going to be a replacement not yet but in a year it will probable surpass wmc in capabilities but thumbnails are needed to make it really stand out. 

Thank you


Hi denny09,

Unfortunately a solution to the problem is constrained by Australian copyright law.

To give you some background on IceTV so you understand my reticence...

From about April 2006 IceTV fought a 3.5 year battle against Channel NINE after they sued IceTV whilst IceTV was in the middle of a capital raising to list on the ASX.  Their grounds were that we breached copyright by reproducing various parts of the EPG that was produced by their subsidiary HWW Pty Ltd.  Google it and you'll find the details.  We eventually won with a unanimous decision in the Australian High Court.  Nevertheless, as in most commercial litigation, the victory was somewhat phyric as only about half costs are recovered and IceTV had been denied the capital it intended to raise by the IPO, so was starved of funds going forward.

The use of 'thumbnails' is not necessarily permitted unless the content owner, who has produced the 'thumbnail', gives permission to the broadcaster for their use in the broadcaster's promotions, and those uses will be constrained by the relevant contract(s).  The 'thumbnail' is undoubtedly copyright as it has an 'author' who would have designed it whilst in the employ of the studio or content owner.

In the USA there is a section of their copyright law called 'Fair Use' which may, or may not, permit the free use of these 'thumbnails' by the likes Emby, Kodi, Plex and so forth.  But it may be they just get away with it as the owner is happy for the promotion of the work to be done for free.  But that doesn't mean the law is not being broken.  I am aware that the studios in the USA are looking closely at Kodi due to it's prevalence in the replay of pirated movies.

In Australia our similar law is called "Fair Dealing' but it has a higher threshold of permitted use and our lawyers have stated that we cannot just take those 'thumbnails' without permission, which we would never get.  Just as we couldn't get access to the EPG metadata and had to find ways to construct it ourselves and fight a battle to the High Court to prove we were entitled to do it as we do.

So what we do for our own 'thumbnails' is to take snippets of the broadcasted show which is an insubstantial image in copyright law and use those for 'thumbnails'.  We can't use the proper promotional 'thumbnail as that is a unique piece of work and copyright in itself.

If we were to try to 'push the boundaries' and use the proper promotional image(s) I am certain that the long memories at the various commercial TV stations, smarting at their loss to my little company, would quickly seize the opportunity to sue us again and this time with far more certainty of winning.

As for the use by Emby, and others, in Australia I'm assuming they are just getting away with it as they are difficult targets to sue from here when their actual operations are based overseas.

I hope that answers your questions, and similar ones that get asked by others at various times.


Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed post it is very insightful. It is very sad situation that you can be sued for everything these days it is very odd the country who you always associate with litigation has no issues with thumbnails as there are many commercial companies offering those services.

Even the hdhomerun software which is a commercial company that make outstanding dvb-t devices now have thumbnails for Australian tv shows I am not sure who do they use for their Australian guide data I have recommended that they have a look at icetv. It is such a shame as having the thumbnails it makes their show more visible.  Why do the graphics if you don't want anyone to associate it with the programme.

It's disappointing but I now fully understand your reasoning for not offering thumbnails.


I should add that, if sufficient Emby users were IceTV subscribers, we could provide our image clips taken within shows but they are nowhere near the quality of specially produced 'cover art' images that you see for movies.


HD Home Run get their EPG metadata from 'Gracenote' who, via Tribune Media, now own HWW, the company that was behind our original court case.  They get their data from the broadcasters so are permitted to use the images. I read on various Plex forums (Plex uses the HDHomeRun USB tuner) that that EPG metadata is not available in certain Australian regions and some users are pushing for IceTV's EPG instead


The software should be pointing to a site like for thumbnails. I use MythTV and it happily grabs thumbnails, coverart etc for movies and tv shows.
I get the guide via IceTV XML.