KenbushiTV is a full-screen media control mode which allows you to conveniently browse and play your movies, music and other media on a computer connected directly to a TV. It effectively converts a computer into a powerful multimedia jukebox and Internet TV recorder
(if an Internet broadband connection is available) with virtually unlimited data storage capacity.

KenbushiTV screen layout is designed to work with older TVs (which can only display pictures with a resolution of 640x480), up to high definition LCD TV screens. Thus, it will work with older computers and older TV sets (up to the latest and fastest hardware available), and allow you to repurpose these devices to build a free Internet TV system which also plays all your movies and music.

Figure 1. Typical setup of KenbushiTV on an older TV

If you have an older computer, consider purchasing an inexpensive video card with composite video output and built-in MPEG4 decoding (this will give you a very high quality picture without overloading the computer processor). Also, building your media library with movies in MPEG4 format (ie. .mp4 or .m4v movie files) is highly recommended - they provide the highest quality at the smallest size, and play beautifully on video cards with built-in MPEG4 decoding. Your local computer store should be able to provide you with help on which card to purchase, and video cards of this type are usually available for around USD30.

A dedicated computer connected to your TV, along with a wireless keyboard for remote control of the full-screen menu system provides a profoundly effective way to operate a Kenbushi home media server. The wireless keyboard effectively replaces multi-button remote controls, and provides fast, efficient and inexpensive control of normal media playback (volume up/down, skip forward, skip backward, next/previous item, etc.), as well as superb media search and selection abilities. For example, finding a movie by name requires only a few keystrokes, and can be performed in a matter of seconds. Finding albums by name or artist is similarly easy.

Setting up
When you run Kenbushi for the first time, the KenbushiTV Setup Wizard is launched automatically and allows you to quickly set up KenbushiTV on a dedicated computer (see Figure 2 below). This wizard will add media in the computer's 'Movies' and 'Music' folders to the media library, switch to full-screen media control mode, download the Internet TV program list, and set your computer to automatically start up in KenbushiTV mode when the computer is restarted. When the wizard completes, you will be able to browse your movie and music collection (including cover artwork) and start downloading and subscribing to a broad range of free, high quality Internet TV programs.

If you used the
KenbushiTV Setup Wizard to set up Kenbushi, you may wish to skip to the section below describing the KenbushiTV Home Page.

Figure 2. The KenbushiTV Setup Wizard (page 1)

Figure 3. The KenbushiTV Setup Wizard (page 2)

Figure 4. The KenbushiTV Setup Wizard (page 3)

If you choose not to run the wizard when Kenbushi is launched for the first time, you can run it later directly from Kenbushi's main window by selecting KenbushiTV Setup Wizard from the Wizard menu.

To manually switch to full-screen media control mode (KenbushiTV mode)
when Kenbushi's main window is displayed, press 'Shift-Tab' on the keyboard or click the KenbushiTV button at the top right of the Play Media panel (the button containing four expanding arrows, shown below in Figure 5). This will bring up the KenbushiTV home page, shown in Figure 4 below. To switch back to the main window, press 'Shift-Tab' on the keyboard again. Below is a full list of all keyboard keys which are available on KenbushiTV and when playing media.

Figure 5. The KenbushiTV button on the main window

You can make Kenbushi automatically start up in
KenbushiTV mode by setting the KenbushiTV On Launch checkbox on the Preferences panel of the main window. You may also wish to set the Minimize Main Window On Launch and Launch On Startup/Login checkboxes. If you set all three checkboxes, Kenbushi will launch as soon as you startup/logon to your computer, it will start with the main window minimized, and it will switch to KenbushiTV mode. This setup is very good if you have set your computer up as a dedicated media server.

For details about adding additional media folders to your media library and other custom setup options, please see Getting Started.

Note: All screenshots used in this section were captured on a 1024x768 monitor on Windows XP.

KenbushiTV Home Page

The menu on the left side of the
Home Page shows the root-level options available for selection: Playlists, Internet TV, Movies, TV Shows, Music, Music Videos, Audio Books, Podcasts, Help, Settings and Tools. The large icon on the left side of the screen (eg. the playlist scroll in Figure 6 below) indicates clearly whether playlists, or a particular media type, etc. are currently active. A blue Selection Cursor is normally displayed, and highlights the item currently selected. The Selection Cursor changes to green when the selected item can be played or activated - this includes playlists, albums, movies, etc.

To move the cursor around on the screen, use the arrow keys on the keyboard. You can often scroll horizontally to new pages using the left and right arrow keys. To play media, check a checkbox, activate an option, etc., press the 'Return' key (the 'Enter' key on some keyboards).

When navigating to some items, an orange help message will be displayed near the center of the screen, providing more details about the item or hints about what additional actions can be performed (see Figure 6 below). For example, when a playlist is selected, the help message will say that you can continue playing a playlist from it's last play position by pressing the 'Return' key.

The orange help message can also provide information about the progress of an active operation, such as media scanning, download progress, etc.

Figure 6. The Home Page on the KenbushiTV screen

When navigating around the menus, a green arrow on the left or right side of the cursor indicates whether pressing the left or right arrow key will move the cursor to a new menu. For example, if you press the down arrow to move the cursor to the Internet TV menu item, you can press the right arrow to move over to the Internet TV Page. See Figure 7 below.

Internet TV
A wide range of Internet TV programs are available for viewing, and the list of programs is updated daily when Kenbushi downloads the latest news from the Lava Software internet server ( Program details (episode list, program description, cover artwork, etc.) are downloaded automatically, and included in the list of programs available for browsing.

Featured programs are programs
specially selected by the Lava Software media editors for their quality and likely viewer interest. The programs in the featured list are updated quite regularly, as we try to maintain a mix of programs in different genres which are of interest to the broadest range of viewers. Of course, if you find one of the featured programs interesting, you can subscribe to it and thus automatically obtain new episodes when they become available. The featured program list thus provides an effective way for viewers to be exposed to new, high-quality programs and also allows us to promote selected programs.

You can choose to Browse the entire program list. This provides a list of all programs available (including any programs you add yourself), which can be sorted by name (ie. alphabetically) or by their date of addition (so you can easily find the newest programs). To sort programs by name, place the cursor on the left side of the Programs-Browse page and press 'Shift-N'.
To sort programs by their date of addition, press 'Shift-A'. This is should below in Figure 5 below.

Figure 7. The Programs-Browse page

Each entry shown on the program list has a checkbox on it's left side. This
Subscribe checkbox is used to subscribe to the program, and is shown in red for short programs (ie. programs averaging less than 15 minutes in length) and gray for long programs. This color coding allows viewers to easily choose programs by their play length. If you wish to only see long programs, you can also uncheck the Show Short Programs checkbox on the Program-Settings page.

To subscribe to a program, highlight it with the cursor and press the 'Return' key. A tick will appear in the
Subscribe checkbox. To unsubscribe, press the 'Return' key again and the tick will disappear. Once checked, whenever new episodes of this program are released, they will be downloaded automatically. Of course, you can download and watch any existing episodes of a program as well. To do this, simply navigate to the right when you have the program selected, and the episodes available for that program will be listed (see Figure 8 below). Episodes shown in white text are available for immediate viewing (they have already been downloaded from the Internet), whilst programs shown in blue text need to be downloaded first.

Figure 8. The episode list of a program

To download an episode of a program, select it and press the 'Return' key. A spinning Downloading Icon will be displayed next to the episode name (see Figure 9 below). The download speed of an episode depends on the speed of your broadband connection, as well as the speed of the Internet server on which the episode is stored. If you wish to watch a number of episodes, select each episode and press the 
'Return' key in turn - episodes will then be queued for download (indicated by a Queued Icon).

You can view the list of episodes currently downloading on the Programs-Now Downloading page

Figure 9. Downloading an episode

Once an episode is fully downloaded and ready for viewing, it's name will be printed in white text and a Not Viewed Icon (a blue dot) will be shown next to it. This icon allows you to easily identify which episodes have been watched and which episodes are new. To play an episode, select it and press the 'Return' key. The
Not Viewed Icon will disappear and the episode will be played. A playlist will also automatically be added to the top of the playlist list on the Home page. If you stop playing an episode, you can navigate back to the Home page (see Figure 10 above) and continue playing it from the last play position by selecting it's playlist.

To view the list of episodes recently downloaded (and ready to watch), navigate to the Programs-Recently Downloaded page. Each episode which has not yet been viewed will be shown with a
Not Viewed Icon, so it's easy to identify new, fresh episodes.

Figure 10. The Programs-Recently Downloaded page

Adding your own programs (advanced users only)
You can also add your own programs to the program list, allowing you to subscribe to them (by checking their
Subscribe checkbox), select and download individual episodes, etc. in the same way as the default Internet TV program list maintained by Lava Software. Thus, you can easily expand the number of Internet TV programs available to you.

To add an Internet TV program (also called a 'video podcast' or 'vodcast'), you need to find the URL of the video podcat RSS feed in XML format.
Video podcasts can be found in a wide selection of podcast directories available on the Internet, such as MeFeedia,, Podcasting News, Podcast Salad, etc. You can search through these directories to find podcasts (often called 'Channels') that interest you, and then locate the actual video podcat RSS feed in XML format.

Of course, you can swap video podcast URLs with family and friends as well - this can be an excellent way to share and watch programs which are of common interest to you.

When loaded into a normal web browser (such as Firefox), a video podcast RSS feed in XML format looks similar to that shown in Figure 11 below.

Figure 11. A video podcat RSS feed in XML format

Once you have found the URL of a video podcat RSS feed in XML format (eg., navigate to the Programs-Tools-Add Podcast URL page and type in the URL. Then press the 'Return' key and Kenbushi will download the RSS feed and add the video podcast to the program list. The cover artwork of the podcast should also be downloaded automatically (though some podcasts are released without cover artwork).

Automatic program updates
Kenbushi automatically checks every hour for new episodes of subscribed programs, and automatically downloads new episodes for you (if the
Enable Auto-Downloads checkbox is checked). Thus, once you've subscribed to a program, you never need to manually start a download (unless you wish to get an older episode) - Kenbushi effectively operates as a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) system for Internet TV programs, without the need to set program recording times or search program guides.

To start automatically getting new episodes of a particular program, check it's
Subscribe checkbox.To stop getting new episodes of a program you're subscribed to, unsubscribe from it by unchecking it's Subscribe checkbox.

Every day, Kenbushi will download the KenbushiTV news file and an updated program listing from the Lava Software Internet server. This
program listing update may contain additional Internet TV programs, feature new programs, etc. After this download is complete, Kenbushi checks for new episodes of all programs.

Note: Kenbushi uses advanced techniques to minimise the amount of data downloaded to keep the program information updated. A complete daily program list update downloads only around 100KB of program data. Of course, added to this is the size of any updated
video podcat RSS feed files which have to be downloaded.

Monthly Download Tally
Shows the amount of Internet TV video data downloaded, calculated from the 'Monthly Quota Start Day' (ie. the day of the month on which your ISP resets your monthly quota). This allows you to monitor the amount of data downloaded, to help you manage your monthly ISP download quota.

Monthly Episode Count
The number of new
Internet TV episodes downloaded from the 'Monthly Quota Start Day' (ie. the day of the month on which your ISP resets your monthly quota).

Add Video Podcast URL
Type in the
URL of the video podcat RSS feed in XML format, and press 'Return' to add it to the Internet TV program list. See adding your own programs for further details.

Show Short Programs
This checkbox allows you to control whether short programs (ie. programs which average less than 15 minutes in length) are included in the Browse-Programs list.

Enable Auto-Downloads
The checkbox allows you to enable and disable downloads of new episodes of subscribed programs.

Download Download Quota
Sets the amount of 
Internet TV video data which can be downloaded from the 'Monthly Quota Start Day' (ie. the day of the month on which your ISP resets your monthly quota). Once this limit is reached, automatic downloads are disabled (automatic downloads are enabled again on the 'Monthly Quota Start Day').

Quota Start Day
The day of the month on which your ISP resets your monthly download quota.

Genres Of Interest
This information is sent to the Lava Software server when the news file is downloaded, and provides us with feedback about your viewing preferences. This information is accumulated from all users and allows us to determine the most popular types of programs viewers are interested in (for the purpose of selecting new programs for the program list).

Show Explicit Programs
Some Internet TV programs have hard language, sexual references, drug use, etc. which may be unsuitable for younger viewers. This checkbox allows you hide explicit programs (this checkbox is off by default, so no explicit programs are normally displayed). Note: The marking of a program as 'explicit' is made by the publisher of the video podcast, and is not controlled by Lava Software.

KenbushiTV tools
Check for new media now
The 'media-aware' folders are scanned and new media added to the media library. Cover artwork for new media items are also downloaded from, if they are available.

Free Disk Space
The amount of free disk space left in the 'Downloads' folder (used to store Podcasts and Vidcasts) is displayed. If the amount of free disk space gets low, you should delete old episodes of Internet TV programs to make more space available.

Update Movie Cover Artwork
DVD cover artwork is downloaded from for new movies added to the media library.

Update Music Cover Artwork
cover artwork is downloaded from for new music added to the media library.

Kenbushi can be set up so that you can have all your movies set up like a jukebox for easy selection and viewing. To browse your movie collection, go to the Home page, move the selector to the Movies item and then move right to the Browse item. If you press the right arrow again, the screen will scroll sideways and the Movies-Browse page
will be displayed (see Figure 12 below). On this screen, the DVD cover artwork (which had previously been automatically downloaded from by Kenbushi) will be displayed for each movie displayed in the right menu.

Figure 12. The Movie Browse Page

Notice that the movies displayed on the right menu are sorted alphabetically (ie. by name). You can easily change the way that media are sorted by pressing the uppercase keys shown below in Table 1. Normally, when the cursor is on the left side of the screen, you will see a new sorting method affect the displayed results immediately.

Note: Lowercase characters (ie. a, n, t, l, m, u) are used for entering search text - only uppercase characters are used for selecting sort methods.

Key* Sort Method
Recently Added
Least Played
Most Played
User Rating

Table 1. The Sort Methods available for media search results

* Note that these keys are capitalized character keys. For example, to sort by name, press 'Shift-n' on the keyboard. Press 'Shift-t' to sort by time.
** Pressing
'Shift-t' once sorts media by longest play time. Pressing it again sorts media by shortest play time.

If you leave the display for a few seconds without pressing any keys, detailed information about the currently selected movie (ie. the movie in the centre bottom of the screen) will be displayed (see Figure 13 below). Information including play time, genre, MPAA / OFLC rating, cast, review, etc. will be shown, if it is available.

Figure 13. Detailed movie information

If no cover artwork is available, nor other detailed media information, then a simple white rectangle will be displayed as well as some basic media information. An example is shown below in Figure 14. Thus, it is worthwhile to get as much information for a movie as possible, and the media information download system built into Kenbushi will assist in this process.

Figure 14. Basic movie information

You can also search for movies by name, actor, genre, length and MPAA / OFLC rating. When searching by criteria requiring the entry of text (eg. movie name), entering part of a movie's name and pressing the 'Return' key will bring up that name in the results on the right side of the screen. For example, entering 'run' will display movies such as 'Bladerunner'.

If you press 'Return' without entering any text, ALL items will be found. This may be especially useful if you want a list of all actors in all movies, so you can browse through them. Once you've selected an actor, you can easily see which movies they appear in and then make a movie selection. In the example shown below in Figure 15, the letters 'al' were entered into the Actors textbox, and the actors whose names contain 'al' are displayed.

Note: When the Search textbox is colored green, it is active and you can type in text. Y
ou should enter text using lowercase characters only (uppercase characters, such as A, N, T, L, M and U, are used for selecting Sort Methods for search results - see Table 1 above). When the textbox is inactive, it's background in grey.

Figure 15. The list of actors whose names contain 'al'

Browsing music in your Kenbushi media library is done in a similar way to browsing movies. In this case, CD cover artwork is displayed, and you can choose to play an entire album (by pressing the 'Return' key when the album is selected), or select a particular track on an album. See Figure 16 below.

Figure 16. The Music Browse Page

If you leave the display for a few seconds without pressing any keys, detailed information about the currently selected album (ie. the album in the centre bottom of the screen) will be displayed (see Figure 17 below). Information including album name, artist, genre, release date, composer, music label, review, etc. will be shown, if it is available.

Figure 17. Detailed music information

When you select a media item for playback and press the 'Return' key to start playing it, the appropriate media player is automatically launched. Quicktime is used for all audio playback, as it is much faster to start up than VLC and can play music purchased from the iTunes store. VLC is used for playback of most video files, except for MPEG4 movies. VLC takes a few seconds to start up, and a rotating progress chaser is displayed during this time (see Figure 18 below).

Figure 18. Playing a selected TV show via a playlist

When playing music, the full-screen Music Backdrop screen is displayed (see Figure 19 below). This backdrop shows the album cover artwork (if available), as well as song title, artist, album, and play progress information (time still to play, play position, and song duration). To close the Music Backdrop screen, press the 'Esc' key.

Figure 19. The Music Backdrop screen

Kenbushi builds a playlist automatically whenever you browse through your media and select a media item to play. The type of playlist it creates depends on the type of media you select to play:

Full-screen media playback control keys
A wireless keyboard provides a superb way to remotely control media playback on your Kenbushi media server - it is inexpensive, available from any computer store, easily replaceable, won't get lost, and offers a depth and ease of control which simply doesn't exist with hand-held remote controls. Of course, any wired keyboard is also good, and you may already have one of these.

The keys used for playback control are clustered together to make it easy to locate them, even in a darkened viewing room. The arrow keys form the centre of the control key cluster, and are used for navigating the full-screen media control interface, selecting media for playback, and playback control. See Figure 20 below.

Figure 20. The keyboard keys used for media control

The 'Shift' and 'Ctrl' keys need to be held down for some of the control operations, but all of the most used functions require only a single keypress eg. volume up and down, skip backwards or forwards by 10 seconds, mute, etc. Some controls are only valid when using the VLC media player to play media, such as changing the picture aspect ratio, and adjusting audio and video
synchronization (some movies suffer from a lack of synchronization between the audio and video streams, and setting an audio advance or audio delay can alleviate this issue).

Note: Some keyboards, such as those on laptops, may not contain all the keys available on a normal extended keyboard, such as 'End', 'Page Down', etc. If you wish to use your laptop as a media server (ie. by connecting it to your TV), it is recommended that you add a standard wireless keyboard to your laptop. Usually, this involves plugging the wireless receiver of the keyboard into your laptop's USB socket. The benefit of such a setup is that you will then have full remote control of your media library from your couch.

All the keyboard combinations available when playing media through the media control screen are shown below in Table 2. For easy access, you will find these controls listed in the Help menu at the bottom of the Home Page (see Figure 4 above).

Key Function
Play selected media item
Ctrl-Return, Esc* Stop
Spacebar Pause / Continue
Up arrow
Volume up
Down arrow
Volume down
Left arrow
Back 10 seconds
Ctrl-Left arrow
Back 1 minute
Right arrow Forward 10 seconds
Ctrl-Right arrow
Forward 1 minute
Toggle mute
Page Down
Show playback position
Shift-Right arrow
Next media item
Shift-Left arrow
Previous media item
Take screenshot
Shift-Tab Toggle full-screen media control
Page up
Change aspect ratio (VLC only)
Ctrl-Up arrow
Increase audio delay (VLC only)
Ctrl-Down arrow
Decrease audio delay (VLC only)

Table 1. Full-screen media control keys

When playing music and movies with Quicktime, an OSD (On-Screen Display) will be displayed whenever you press any of the media control keys. For example, when the pause button is pressed, a pause icon is displayed in the top right side of the screen. VLC displays a similar OSD.

* When playing media with VLC on MacOS X, the Stop function is activated only with the 'Ctrl-Return' key ('Esc' cannot be set to quit VLC on MacOS X, due to a problem in VLC). When playing media with VLC on Windows, the Stop function is activated only with the 'Esc' key.
When playing media with Quicktime, either key can be used.