Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Media Center Extender DVD Playback

So my household is a Media Center centric one, and I have long been annoyed by the lack of DVD playback for the Media Center Extenders. I think Microsoft may have crippled the extenders for no real reason, that I can tell. They seen to think that streaming of DVD's constitutes a breach of the rights that studios grant you. I fail to see how I am not allowed to share in my own home the contents of a rightfully purchased or rented video with myself. The logic is fuzzy to say the least, but that is the line Microsoft decided to walk. They sidestepped the issue in the current generation of extenders somewhat (some of the extenders have built-in DVD playback capabilities). For me this is somewhat academic as the old generation of Media Center Extenders are not supported by vista, but since I bought it I feel that it should be of some use to me.

I'm sure this is an old hat for the true followers of The GreenButton, but I thought I would share for the rest of class. The link outlines the process for creating a Hardlink between a fake mpg file and a ripped .vob file.
Linking VOBs for extender playback presented on of all places an MSDN blog, is helpful with fairly easy to understand instructions.

As a side note having been burned by the lack of support for the last generation of MCE accessories by the new version of Media Center I do not plan on buying any additional accessories. I have a rarely used HP extender and 2 Media Center Portables (one Creative and one Samsung that technically still work w/ Vista). I suppose I would just like a nod from the device manufactures "hey you bought our stuff, thanks".

--------------------Update on this Post---------------------------
There is a way to make this work, that isn't so manual.

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