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XBMC Binding

Plebs edited this page Oct 11, 2016 · 37 revisions

Documentation of the XBMC binding (for KODI)


This page describes the XBMC binding, which allows openhab items to receive realtime updates about information like player state and running media from one or more instances of xbmc.

openhab binding for xbmc


For installation of the binding, please see Wiki page Bindings.

System requirements

This binding has been developed and tested from XBMC Frodo (v12) to Kodi Jarvis (v16.1). The binding uses XBMCs JSON-RPC API v6, both the HTTP and the websocket transports. These therefore need to be enabled and need to be reachable from your openHAB host (think firewall, routing etc.)


If you have any questions about this binding, encounter any problems or think you found a bug, please issue a bug report.

Global binding configuration

The XBMC binding allows you to define named instances of XBMC in your openhab.cfg. When defining your item binding configuration you can use the name to refer to your instances. In doing so, you can easily change the address by which you XBMC instance can be reached without having to reconfigure all of your bindings.

The syntax of the binding configuration is like this:


Where instanceName is the name by which you can refer to this instance in your item binding configuration. parameter can be one of the following

  • host
  • rsPort
  • wsPort
  • username
  • password
  • refreshInterval (available ONLY from 1.9)

Example OpenHAB v1

######################## XBMC Binding ###########################

# Hostname / IP address of your XBMC host

# Port number for the json rpc service (optional, defaults to 8080)

# Port number for the web socket service (optional, defaults to 9090)

# Username to connect to XBMC. (optional, defaults to xbmc)

# Password to connect to XBMC. (optional, defaults to xbmc)

(ONLY FROM V1.9 onwards)
# Refresh interval. Global setting. (optional, defaults to 60000ms = 1 minute)

Example OpenHAB v2: (in conf/services/xbmc.cfg)

######################## XBMC Configuration ###########################

# Hostname / IP address of your XBMC host

# Port number for the json rpc service (optional, defaults to 8080)

# Port number for the web socket service (optional, defaults to 9090)

# Username to connect to XBMC. (optional, defaults to xbmc)

# Password to connect to XBMC. (optional, defaults to xbmc)

(ONLY FROM V1.9 onwards)
# Refresh interval. Global setting. (optional, defaults to 60000ms = 1 minute)

Although you can configure one or more instances, it is not strictly necessary to do so. As long as you don't intend to use ports or login data different from the default, you could just as well use this by directly referring to hostnames or IP addresses in you item binding configuration.

Item binding configuration

Configuration format



  • {direction}: < for incoming (player state, media title etc.), > for outgoing (Send "Play/Pause" or "Stop" etc.) or = for bi-directional (send/receive volume)
  • {host}: When prefixed by a '#' a named instance, otherwise hostname or ip address of your xbmc host.
  • {property}: The property to bind to (more on this later)

Some examples:

String XBMC_String "XBMC String" {xbmc="<[#livingRoom|Player.State]"}
String XBMC_String "XBMC String" {xbmc="<[#livingRoom|Player.Title]"}

String XBMC_String "XBMC String" {xbmc="<[#bedroom|Player.State]"}

String XBMC_String "XBMC String" {xbmc="<[|Player.State]"}
String XBMC_String "XBMC String" {xbmc="<[xbmc.local|Player.Title]"}

Number XBMC_Number "XBMC Number" {xbmc="=[#livingRoom|Application.Volume]"} 

Available properties (until V1.8)

Currently, the list of properties you can use in your binding configuration is very limited:

Property Direction Description
Player.State < Current player state: 'Play', 'Pause', 'End' (Stopped due to end of content), 'Stop' (Stopped by user). An 'End' state is immediately followed by a 'Stop' state.
Player.Type < Currently playing type: 'movie', 'episode', 'channel', or 'unknown' for a PVR recording
Player.Title < Currently playing title: movie name, TV episode name, music track name
Player.ShowTitle < Currently playing show title: TV show name, empty for other types
Player.Artist < Currently playing artist (music only)
Player.Album < Currently playing album (music only)
Player.Label < Currently playing title (in case of radio streams)
Player.<???> < Any other player property supported by the XBMC JSON RPC API
Player.PlayPause > Play/pause playback
Player.Stop > Stop playback
Player.Open > Open a URL for playback
System.Shutdown > Send OFF to power down the system
System.Suspend > Send OFF to put the system in Suspend mode
System.Hibernate > Send OFF to put the system in Hibernate mode
System.Reboot > Send OFF to reboot the system
System.State < State of the XBMC application (ON if connected, OFF is XBMC unavailable)
GUI.ShowNotification > Show a notification in the XBMC UI
Application.Volume = Show and adjust the volume in the XBMC application
PVR.OpenTV > Open a PVR TV Channel by name for playback
PVR.OpenRadio > Open a PVR Radio Channel for playback
Screensaver.State < Current screensaver state: (ON if screensaver active)

Starting from V1.9 the configuration format is enhanced maintaining full backwards compatibility:


The list of new available {property} is:

  • Input (new in V1.9. See below)
  • Property (new in V1.9. See below)
  • Label (new in V1.9. See below)
  • Refresh (new in V1.9. See below)

Property = Input

Command Direction Description
Input.ExecuteAction.up > Moves cursor UP
Input.ExecuteAction.down > Moves cursor RIGHT
Input.ExecuteAction.left > Moves cursor LEFT
Input.ExecuteAction.right > Moves cursor RIGHT > Moves cursor RIGHT
Input.ExecuteAction.back > Moves cursor BACK > Shows INFO screen
Input.ExecuteAction.codecinfo > Shows codec information
Input.ExecuteAction.osd > Shows OSD
Input.ExecuteAction.aspectratio > Changes Aspect ratio
Input.ExecuteAction.togglefullscreen > Toggles full screen / Windowed screen
Input.ExecuteAction.contextmenu > Shows context menu
Input.ExecuteAction.???? > Any other command from the following list: (at present 172 commands available)
* xbmc=">[livingRoom|Input.ExecuteAction.up]"
* xbmc=">[livingRoom|Input.ExecuteAction.down]"
* xbmc=">[livingRoom|Input.ExecuteAction.togglewatched]"
* xbmc=">[livingRoom|Input.ExecuteAction.zoomin]"
* xbmc=">[livingRoom|Input.ExecuteAction.zoomout]"
* xbmc=">[livingRoom|Input.ExecuteAction.rotate]"

Property = Property

Command Direction Description
Property.type < Gets the media type
Property.percentage < Gets the elapsed percentage of the playing media
Property.time < Gets the elapsed time of the playing media
Property.totalTime < Gets the total time of the playing media
Property.currentsubtitle < Gets the current subtitle language of the playing media
Property.canrepeat < Returns "true" if the media can be repeated
Property.canmove < Returns "true" if the media can be moved
Property.canshuffle < Returns "true" if the playlist can be shuffled
Property.speed < Returns speed multiplier of the current playing media (1x, 2x, etc.)
Property.audiostreams < Returns the list of all audiostreams of the media
Property.position < Returns the current position
Property.repeat < Returns "true" if the media can be repeated
Property.canrotate < Returns "true" if the media can be rotated
Property.canzoom < Returns "true" if the media can be zoomed
Property.canchangespeed < Returns "true" if the media speed can be changed
Property.subtitles < Return the current subtitle
Property.canseek < Returns "true" if the media can be seeked
Property.shuffled < Returns "true" if the playlist is shuffled
Property.currentaudiostream < Returns the current audio stream
Property.subtitleenabled < Returns "true" if the subtitles are enabled
Property.???? < Any other property from this list:
* xbmc="<[livingRoom|Property.percentage]"
* xbmc="<[livingRoom|Property.totaltime]"

Property = Label

Just some examples as there are hundreds of available commands:

Command Direction Description
Label.Player.Time < Display media time
Label.System.Uptime < Display system uptime
Label.VideoPlayer.VideoCodec < Display video codec
Label.????.???? < Any other command from the following list: (Several hundreds of commands available)
* xbmc="<[livingRoom|Label.Player.Time]"
* xbmc="<[livingRoom|Label.System.Uptime]"
* xbmc="<[livingRoom|Label.VideoPlayer.VideoCodec]"

Property = Refresh

* xbmc=">[livingRoom|Refresh]" => Force refresh of incoming properties

Incoming properties that are not part of any XBMC notification, will be refreshed with each refresh interval of the binding (default 60 seconds).

Example use case

As can be seen in the introduction video, i have a dimmable lamp next to my tv. I use this to light up the room after sunset when i press pause and go back to the previous level on resume, unless the lamp state has been altered while on pause. This is of course an example very specific to my preferences, but should give you an idea on what can be done.

import org.openhab.core.library.types.*
import org.openhab.core.persistence.*
import org.openhab.model.script.actions.*
import java.util.Date

var Number brightnessBeforePause

rule "Lights on when paused"
        Item LivingRoom_XBMC changed from Play to Pause
        var Date sunsetTime = (G_SUNSET_V.state as DateTimeType).calendar.time
        var Date sunriseTime = (G_SUNRISE_V.state as DateTimeType).calendar.time
        if( now.toDate().after(sunsetTime) || now.toDate().before(sunriseTime)){
                brightnessBeforePause = LivingRoom_Lamp.state as DecimalType
                if ( brightnessBeforePause < 50){
                        sendCommand( LivingRoom_Lamp, "50")     

rule "Lights off when pause end"
        Item LivingRoom_XBMC changed from Pause to Play
        if (LivingRoom_Lamp.state == 50){               
                sendCommand( LivingRoom_Lamp, brightnessBeforePause)

XBMC Binding combined with Wake-On-LAN and Network Health Bindings

The following configuration can be used to power on your XBMC machine using the Wake-On-LAN Binding and power it off using the XBMC Binding. The Network Health binding updates the state after some time if XBMC was powered on or off without using openHAB. You have to insert your own IP and MAC address of course.

Switch XBMC_Power "XBMC Power" {xbmc=">[#openelec|System.Shutdown]", wol="", nh="openelec:80"}

Example of using the Player.Open option

To use the Player.Open command, you would need to define a String item with this binding, then send an Update to this String item. This will cause Openhab to send the Player.Open command to the specified XBMC instance:


String XBMC_OpenMedia    "XBMC Player file [%s]"  { xbmc=">[#woonkamer|Player.Open]" }
Switch XBMC_Radio        "XBMC Start Radio"       


rule "Start Radio"
    Item XBMC_Radio changed to ON
    postUpdate(XBMC_Radio, OFF)
    sendCommand(XBMC_OpenMedia, "")

This will introduce a Switch item with an associated rule that will send the Player.Open command when the switch is pressed.

Example of using the Application.Volume option


Dimmer XBMC_Volume "XBMC Volume [%.1f]" (XBMC) { xbmc="=[#woonkamer|Application.Volume]" }


Slider item=XBMC_Volume step=10

Example of how to set the volume in the rules script

sendCommand(XBMC_Volume, "50" )

Example of Screensaver.State


Switch LG_Screensaver "XBMC Screensaver Living Room" {xbmc="<[#woonkamer|Screensaver.State]"}


rule "turn tv on or off"
	Item LG_Screensaver  changed
	if(LG_Screensaver.state == ON)
		logInfo("screensaver", "turn tv OFF")
            } else{
		logInfo("screensaver", "turn tv ON")

Example of PVR.OpenTV


String LG_OpenTVChannel    "Open TV Channel [%s]"  { xbmc=">[#woonkamer|PVR.OpenTV]" }


rule "Voice Command open tv channel"
    Item VoiceCommand received command

feature overview


Setup intro

Linux and OS X





User Interfaces



(link to openHAB forum)



Application Integration



A good source of inspiration and tips from users gathered over the years. Be aware that things may have changed since they were written and some examples might not work correctly.

Please update the wiki if you do come across any out of date information.

Binding configurations

Use case examples

Item definition examples

Sitemap definition examples

Collections of Rules on a single page

Single Rules


Syntax highlighting for external editors

Release Notes

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