Setting Up Automatic TV/Movies Download – Usenet Edition

I like watching series (by ‘like’ I mean-I probably spent at least 1-2 hours per day watching series). I recently start using usenet instead of rapidshare/megaupload (late to the party I know!). I’m currently using astraweb. I like astraweb as you can buy blocks from them and they seems to be pretty reliable/fast. I also paid for an nzbmatrix vip account (it’s only 10 bux for 10 years!) and a newzbin account (4.10 pound for 12 weeks). I’m using two index sites as nzbmatrix is not too great at finding animes.

I’m using xbmc at home. I have around 2 personal computers which I use for downloading, and two media servers : one in living room and one in bedroom. The awesome thing about media server is that it create a ‘tick’ when you finished watching episode (it was a huge problem for me when I stopped watching in the middle of the series, and start watching another one and wanting to go back to it in 3-6 months time). It also remembers where you stop watching if you haven’t finish watching it as well. Additionally, it supports MySql database. If you set it up with MySql, you can pretty much stream the file anywhere in the house if you have multiple media servers like me; and see/update all the ticks. It’s awesome. Highly recommended. The only problem with xbmc is that it needs the file to be formatted in certain way in order for it to recognize it as an ‘episode’ (you can always go to file list, etc but it’s not as ‘tidy’). I think the format is SeriesName.S(number)E(number).avi. It’s kinda tedious to rename the episodes sometimes (even using program such as bulk rename utility). And you still have to download your episodes manually. So I decided to set up an automatic download/rename in one of my working pc so I can just sit down and watch whatever new whenever I go back from work.

The tools that we’ll need is:

1. Setting up sabnzd

It’s actually quite straightforward. All you need to set up is in config section which is located next to RSS.

General Section

Enter your usename/password if you want it to be more secure. Note the API Key and NZB Key from this section.


Enter a temporary directory in “Temporary Download Folder”. Remember this directory as you will need to go to this directory if you ever need to debug a download etc.

Enter a completed download folder in “Completed Download Folder”. Since we want to probably move/rename the file later on using EventGhost/theRenamer, it’s probably a good idea to put it all on another ‘temporary’ directory again (i.e Unprocessed download) directory. This should be different than the directory that we enter in “Temporary Download Folder”.


This is where you add your NZB server (mine’s astraweb). You’ll need host, port, username, password, connections, and retention time. You can find all the information when you sign up for the server.

Index Sites

This is where you put your NZBMatrix/Newzbin Account. You will get an NZBMAtrix username/api key when you buy their vip package. Its definitely worth it for 10$/10 years.

2. Setting up Sick Beard

Everything you need as far as configuration goes is in Config section (again!)

Search Options

Enter your Sabnzbd url, username, password, and api key, and category (I used tv). Then click “Test SABnzbd” to make sure that everything is working and Save Changes.

Search Providers

This is where you configure the NZBMatrix/Newzbin account. Just enter all the information in the “Configure Built-In Providers” section. Then drag the provider priorities to prioritize the NZBMatrix, then Newzbin, Then the default Womble’s index.

Adding Show

Choose Home-Add Shows.

  • If you have existing file to the show, choose “Add Existing Shows”. If these shows are located in network drive, I would suggest to map the network drive to make the whole process easier.
  • Choose Manage Directories – New to point to your existing directory. It will load all the folders in the directory to the list.
  • Tick the tickbox of the one you want to add. You can tick multiples items.
  • Click Submit. It will then scan TVDB for the show based on the folder name.
  • Click next, confirm that the parent folder is correct.
  • Click next.
  • On this step, you can change the initial status of missing episodes. “Skipped” (the default) means that sick beard will try to scan the directory that you choose and change the status of all the missing aired episodes to Skipped and sick beard would not try to download this episodes. Same with archieves/ignore. If you want sickbeard to automatically download all the missing aired episodes, you should change this option to “Wanted”.

3. TheRenamer

  • Choose settings
  • Change the Renamed Format to include showname and season in “s01e01” format.
  • Change the fetch folder to your unprocessed finished download folder (i.e UnprocessedDownload).
  • Change the TV Shows Archieve folder to where you keep your TV Shows.
  • Tick “Include Sub Folders” and “Auto Move”.

4. EventGhost

  • Start EventGhost.
  • Click right on “Autostart” and choose “Add plugin”.
  • Choose “Directory Watcher” from “Other” tree.
  • Click “OK”.
  • Change the watch path to the unprocessed download path (i.e UnprocessedDownload).
  • Click “OK”.
  • Click right on “Autostart” and choose “Add Macro”.
  • Choose “Wait some time” from “EventGhost” tree.
  • Change the wait time to 10 seconds.
  • Click ok.
  • Rename the “wait for 10 seconds” to “Process tv”.
  • Click right on “process tv”.
  • Choose Add Action.
  • Choose “Start Application” from “System” tree.
  • On executable, choose the location of TheRenamer.exe. Mine is in “C:\Program Files (x86)\theRenamer\theRenamer.exe”.
  • Enter -fetch in command line options.
  • Click “OK”.
  • Click Right on “Process TV” and choose “Add Event”.
  • Change Event Name to DirectoryWatcher.Created .
  • Click “OK”.
  • Click File-Save and save the tree.
  • Click File-Options and tick “Autostart EventGhost on system startup”.

5. Couch Potato

  • Click on settings. It’s located on the far right inside a button that looks like a gear.
  • Configure Searcher-Providers and enter your nzbmatrix/newzbin account.
  • Configure Downloaders
  • Enter your “black hole” directory (where it will store your nzb files)
  • Enter your sabnzbd information (host, apikey). Set category to movies.
  • Configure Renamer
  • Change the “From” folder to unprocessed movies folder.
  • Change the “To” folder to where you usually keep your movies (where xbmc find your movies).

Voila! We have an automatic download server! Yay!

PS: You can also use auto-processing in sick beard to move/rename your episodes. In this case, you wouldn’t need theRenamer/eventghost. However, I could never make it work on my machine for some reasons.


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