DVD Library Hacked to Run on Extenders

Not offical from Microsoft, but you are going to want to watch
this space for more

Update: Click here for instructions

This hack will enable Microsoft’s DVD Library that comes
bundled with Vista Media Center to work on Media Center Extenders.  VIDEO_TS folders (VOB files) are playable by
creating a symbolic link’s to the VOB files, and then a WVX playlist is used to
link the separate VOB files into one.  A
special DLL is used to enable the DVD Library to show over Extender
sessions.  Enjoy!

13 thoughts on “DVD Library Hacked to Run on Extenders

  1. Users, do not get your hopes up.

    Ryan H. and I tested this very same approch first on the set-top extenders, and the when the Xbox 360 was released in 2006.

    We have not re-tested the approch on the new extenders, but expect it to behave the same way.

    There is some technical reasons why this does not work well – although a VOB file technically is an MPG, which the extender can play, it then again is not, as it contains additional informations, ect.

    This caused the process to work on 75% of all titles, and the rest of them would crash the Xbox 360 going from one file to another, because it’s not a valid MPG.

    Another problem is that multiple audio tracks may be available within the VOB’s, and the extenders are not able to decide which to play.

    So, unless there is some difference in this approch and what we tried originally, it seems to work on the surface, but in everyday use it causes crahes in the middle of the playback, causes random audio tracks, ect. ect.

    The only solution I know of is merging and re-muxing the vobs, and change the bit setting the audio track, that can be done.

    Points for the efford should be given though.



  2. Wow!

    This works great! Thanks for sharing.

    No more “My Movies” for me (BTW, I tried “QuiiK MOVIES” too and it was a complete nightmare), I’m using this hack along with DVDxml.com from now on.


  3. The symbolic links don’t work on WHS (I believe they end up deleting or damaging the files).

    Also, remember since this is a pure hack it is hard to say if it will work after the next Media Center update.

  4. @Brian:

    I had the same problems with renaming VOBs to MPEGS, and even with joining the VOBs together to make one fat MPEG.

    However, using DVDShrink you can reauthor and pack the whole movie into one VOB with whatever soundtracks you select, and remove all the extra junk. I’ve been pretty happy using that, and suspect that doing this symbolic link to a reauthored VOB will work pretty well.

    I’ll try this later tonight to see, I’m excited to not have to convert all my DVD’s to WMV (and thereby having 2 copies of every movie) for use on extenders!

  5. Mike: Problem is that this is not a symbolic link to what have been re-muxed to work.

    It is symbolic links to the VOB’s, which aren’t MPEG’s, and therefore the stability issues you had will be the same with this solution.

    A hardlink to a merged and re-muxed VOB would work, but this is not the case for this one.

  6. Does anyone know if there will be a way to get the .VOB files to play on the extenders? This only allows you to play the .mpeg files on them and there are no chapter breaks, which is a nice feature of the .vob file.

  7. Hey Chris, XPSP3 broke my TweakMCE powertoy again (how many times has it been broken). Why can’t MS it for once to make it run on all XPMCE versions irrespective of service pack levels or MCE updates?

    Btw, can anyone else confirm this? Or only my TweakMCE is broken? I reported in the SP3 forums but they gave a rude “Powertoys are not supported answer” which is simply not acceptable. Please someone help me get TweakMCE working.

  8. I wonder if transcode.dll handles some of the audio-channel issues. What we really need is some minor app that lets us specify what the default audio track to use and if we want subtitles or not.. then we need to dynamically mux the vob to the corrected mpeg with no transcoding since its not needed.

    I saw an app on avsforums that turns the XL1B3 firewire changer into a Virtual Network NAS that uses a virtual filesystem that is made up of the contents of the disks (dynamically switching to the disk that has the file when the file is requested). My theory…

    Virtual XL1B3 NAS with DVDs
    DIR 1 =disk1
    DIR 2 =disk2

    Mirror each .vob to a whole seperate directory so we can put the .xml and folder.jpg alongside the symbolic linked vob… This, coupled with this transcode.dll hack… (or even transcode360) will give us Changer support on Extenders.

  9. Anyone know how to use this with DVD’s for TV shows… Eg. You’ll have a show like “24” that might have 6 discs and 4 episodes on each disc. How can I handle these?

  10. Anyone know how to handle TV show DVD’s?

    E.g. “24” has 6 discs each with 4 episodes… Works okay as VOB files on the media center but how about on extenders?

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