A step by step guide on configuring
Sick Beard & SABnzbd
(and run notifications to XBMC)




What this guide will cover:

  • Setup SABnzbd & Sick Beard
  • Setup post processing/automated file transfers to appropriate media folders.
  • Setup notifications to be sent to XBMC upon download completion.

What this guide will not cover:

  • Initial setup of XBMC.
  • Provide advanced detailed procedures, it is basic setup only
  • Information and setup of newsgroups.

This guide also assumes you have a VIP account at NZBMatrix.com.

If you need any more information on anything regarding the setup of these programs, I have provided some links below. Also, remember, Google is your friend.

Start by having SABnzbd and Sick Beard installed on your machine, but do not touch any settings as this guide will go through them step by step. If you have applied configuration settings but something is not working, step through this guide and assure everything is correct.

For the screenshots of SABnzbd in this guide, I have used the Smpl-White skin. It may be easier for some people to choose this skin to follow the screenshots. If you would like to change the skin, launch SABnzbd in your browser and click Config, then under the General settings, then find the web interface option. Save it and then restart SABnzbd.

An offline version of this page can be downloaded here.


Links & Resources



Start off by launching SABnzbd. If you haven't done so already, SABnzbd will start with a setup wizard. Run through this and enter your details. As I said in the introduction, this guide does not cover setup of newsgroups. You should be able to come across a general setup guide from your provider.

Once you have completed the setup wizard, click on Folders under the Config menu on the left.



You may want to make some sort of folder structure before you go ahead. Create a folder named 'Downloads' and then subfolders within that, named 'Complete', Incomplete' and 'Blackhole'. This will keep everything in order and easy to organise in the future. See image below for example.


SABnzbd - Folder structure


Within the Folders configuration page, paste/type the directories of the folders you just made into the appropriate fields as highlighted in the screenshot below. The Watched folder in SABnzbd is your Blackhole folder which you just created. This is a folder which SABnzbd constantly watches for any nzb files that appear in there. If an nzb is saved or placed in this folder, SABnzbd will snatch it and start the download.


SABnzbd - Folder Configuration


That's all that is needed for now in SABnzbd.



Sick Beard

Launch Sick Beard and click the Config button, and then General.


You shouldn't have to touch this screen, unless you want to define whether you want Sick Beard to launch your browser when it starts. I prefer the browser doesn't launch when Sick Beard starts as I have Sick Beard start when Windows boots. If you made changes, don't forget to click Save Changes.


Sick Beard - General configuration



Search Settings

Something I change on here is the Search Frequency from 60 to 120. This is the time in minutes between SickBeard searching your nzb search engine (eg. Nzbmatrix.com). The more it searches, the more traffic that these sites need to process. I figured I don’t need it searching every hour. I have set it to search every couple of hours or so to save on un-needed congestion to the site.

Tick the Search NZB's box.

NZB Method will be 'SABnzbd'.

SABnzbd URL will be 'http://localhost:8080/' if you haven't changed anything (which you shouldn't have).

Copy the SABnzdb API Key from the General config page in SABnzbd and paste it into the SABnzbd API Key field.

SABnzbd Catagory will be 'tv'.


Sick Beard - Search Settings


Search Providers

Provider Priorities will be 'NZBMatrix'. (You can add more at a later date if/when you sign up to more search providers)

Change Configure Provider to NZBMatrix

Enter your NZBMatrix username into the NZBMatrix username field.

Copy/Paste your NZBMatrix API Key into the NZBMatrix API Key field. The API key can be found by logging into your NZBMatrix account and viewing your account details.


NZBMatrix API Key

Sick Beard - Search Providers


Post Processing

For the TV Download Directory, create a new folder within your completed downloads folder (which you created earlier) and name it 'TV'. Enter the directory for this folder into the TV Download Dir field.

Make sure that the Rename Episodes box is checked.

Metadata is the information that XBMC uses to obtain information about each episode. Go ahead and select all the options, as I have done in the screenshot.

Episode naming can be changed to suit your own preferences. It's not going to effect the way this system works.


Sick Beard Post Processing 1

Sick Beard Post Processing 2


To let SABnzbd know what to do once it finishes the download, we have to setup a script. Locate the 'autoProcessTV' folder which will be located in the Sickbeard directory. Rename ‘autoProcessTV.cfg.sample’ to ‘autoProcessTV.cfg’ and open it in a text editor such as notepad. The contents of the file should be as follows (as long as you have followed my directions):





Jump back into SABnzbd and go to the Folders configuration screen. Set the Post-Processing Scripts Folder to the directory of the ‘autoProcessTV’ folder.


SABnzbd - Post-Processing Scripts


Now go to the Categories configuration page. Input the details as follows:

Category: tv
Processing: Default
Priority: Default
Script: sabToSickBeard.exe
Folder/Path: TV
Groups: TV


SABnzbd - Categories configuration


That is it for the configuration of SABnzbd.



Enable XBMC notifications.

Enable Notify on Download

Enable Update Library

For the XBMC IP:Port, you need to reflect what you have set in XBMC. In XBMC, go into Settings, then Network. Under the Services catagory, enable 'Allow access of XBMC via HTTP'. You will need to specify a port. Go ahead and put in 8082, or any other port you wish to use. To make this tutorial simple, I have left out the username and password field as it is not needed. You can put one in if you like. Also enable 'Allow other programs on this system to control XBMC', if it isn't enabled already.

Now that you have specified the XBMC port, enter the address into the XBMC IP:Port field. If you chose 8082, then the address should be 'localhost:8082'.

If you would like to test if it's working, open XBMC and press the '\' key. This will take it out of fullscreen mode and restore-down XBMC. Restore-down your browser and place it along side the XBMC window. Now you can test if it's working and see the message pop up in XBMC. To make XBMC full screen again, press '\'.


Sick Beard - Notifications configuration


If you have followed all of the instructions correctly and saved your changes before continuing onto the next screens, Sick Beard, SABnzbd and XBMC should all work together. Your TV show episodes should be downloaded and moved into your TV show directory as you have setup in XBMC.

For information on how to use Sick Beard and add TV shows, refer to the wiki.




Composed by Daniel Holmes - July 2011