Check out a tool called Thumbgen. Its popular for use in generating thumbnails and moviesheets for the WDTV Live media player and others. It auto gathers the information and graphics from various web sites and assembles the sheet and thumbnail files. The player just associates the media file name with the two jpg files using the name convention shown in the two examples attached.
The files all have to be generated before hand, not on the fly so there is little overhead. By example the processer in the WDTV Live is much less powerful than the tivo.
On the WDTV live, the thumbnails are displayed in a row across the bottom and the movie sheet is displayed for the thumbnail currently selected and changes as the arrow keys are pressed to move to a different thumbnail.
This is what I had in mind but realize its a big step. Perhaps just the thumbnail to start?
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