Blu and Red playback in Media Portal

First, follow Phils excellent guide on his site with regard to setting up Media Portal, which will integrate KMPlayer and Deamon Tools.

Configure everything as indicated in that guide, except the following:

i) Skip the section that mentions removing autoplay – you will need this for your HiDef ISO playback.

ii) On Page 2, section 24, I added the file extension .iso.

PowerDVD

Install PowerDVD.

I am using version 7.3730, but I would imagine it will work for any version of 7 (such as the more popular 3319a version.) If you get any problems, please let me know and I will update this guide.

Open PowerDVD, right click on the screen and select configuration. Click the video tab, and select Video always on top.

**************************************
Also note that I am not upscaling any SD-DVDs, and not sure how PowerDVD does this (if at all), so please be aware of this if you rely on KMPlayer to upscale SD-DVDs.
**************************************

Folder Structure

My folder structure is set up like this:

C:\Media
.......|
........`DVDs
........`MP3s
........`Pictures
........`TVShows

All of my DVDs (either ISO or mkv) are in the same folder (ie not in seperate folders).

If the files are put into seperate folders, you end up clicking thru more than once to watch the film, ie one click on the folder to open it, and then one click on the iso/mkv to start it.

Ripping the Disk

You will need to have Anydvd (I am using the latest version in this guide, currently at 6.4.1.2) running, and use ImgBrn (a free tool) to rip the disk to an ISO format.

Open ImgBrn, and select Create Image file from disk.

Then you will be presented with this screen:

1 - Select your HiDef drive (Blu, Red, or Purple (Blu and Red)
2 - Select the destination folder for your rip.
3 - Press start to rip the disk.

This will take approx an hour for a HD-DVD, and 90mins or so for a Blu-Ray.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: For more info on ImgBurn, as well as info on PowerDVD 3319a, please check Sappers excellent guide.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Once this is complete, check your destination folder. You will probably have an extra file other than the ISO, a mds file, which can be deleted. If you leave it, it will be picked up in Media Portal and report it as being a copy of the film (as the mds file is a shortcut to the iso.)

IMDB Information

Open Media Portal, and navigate to your Video folder.

Move your mouse to the far left of the screen so that you can see the menu structure as shown.

Highlight Switch View, press enter, and select Shares.

You will now see something like below, a list of all the ISO’s within your nominated folder. Next to your newly created ISO will be a temp picture of a film clacker, which means the imdb info is missing.

To retreive this, highlight the film, and press F3 **. You will briefly see the IMDB window:

Now because autoplay is on, you will end up starting the film, as it gets mounted by Deamon tools (you did follow Phils guide properly didn’t you?) and autoplays while its trying to get the info. Dont worry, just wait until the film is loaded, and then kill PowerDVD.

You will be presented with a list of film titles that match your chosen film. Select the correct film, and a new window will show, indicating a bar that will load actor information, pictures and film synopsis.

You will then be presented with a screen that looks something like this:

The image: arrows at the bottom of the screen relate to the image displayed – you can cycle through and pick the one you like the most (Film poster over DVD cover for instance).

Press escape to exit back to the main menu again, and the little image next to your picture will have changed to the one you chose earlier.

Again, move the mouse to the left, to get the menu. Select Switch Views and choose Titles - this will remove the file extension (either ISO or MKV from the suffix of the file, keeping things clean.)

You can then change the view (of the DVD cover art) to how you want it to be displayed**, ie. in list form or small thumbs etc.

In any of the views you choose, your ISOs and MKV 720 rips are now indistinguishable from each other, with an ISO film getting mounted by DT before playing in PowerDVD, or an MKV being launched and played by KMPlayer.

I have not tried yet, but I would imagine SD-DVDs would work in exactly the same way, looking no different within the menu, and launch through PowerDVD as well.

Now simply browse through your menu in the way you have configured it, select the film you want - shown below in Filmstrip mode:

Then there is a brief flicker view of Vista complaining about video resolution, Deamon Tools mounts the disk, PowerDVD loads automatically:

and your film presentation starts......

And because I know that someone will want that PowerDVD skin, here you go.

It originally comes from the HDStarter plugin for Media Portal, but after using it for a while I realised I didnt need it - I have set my Blu-Ray and HD-DVD ISO's to autoplay, and if I put an Original Disk into my player, I click the App Launcher button on my remote control and choose PowerDVD.

However, the plug-in creator has got some different PowerDVD skins, one for HD, one for Blu-ray, and the one I use, the mixed version. The first two are in his first post (linked above) while the mixed version that I use, is found here on page 11.

**Additional Info

IMDB

Automatic Scan

You can scan multiple titles by going into Media Portal Configuration, selecting Movies from the list, then Movie database and then the Scan tab.

Tick Skip files already in database, and then update database from selected shares. This will take a while, but it picks up any films that have not yet been tagged without the rigmorole of opening and closing Media Portal itself and closing PowerDVD as it autoplays.

Note: I personally have tried this a few times, and each time I have felt it to be not very helpful. Lots of error messages, and DT hosting and unhosting files. YMMV though....

Manual Scan

Within MP, I normally switch to Share mode, select the ISO's/mkv, press F3 to get their IMDB info, and then switch back to Title mode, and then it shows up as per my pics. For some reason quite a few films come up 'unknown' so I have to go into MP config, and copy and paste the IMDB info (and any pictures I felt better represented the film) into their relevant fields.

Changing Default View

Once you have decided which view you like, you need to return to the Media Portal configuration to make your prefered option default.

Movies > Movie Views > Then select title from the view menu, and change the View field to whichever mode you prefer, which in my case is Filmstrip.

Updates

PowerDVD Version: I am currently using PowerDVD8, an early version, using a HD-DVD plug-in and registry entry. The steps require you to do this, and then this to get PowerDVD8 to autoplay HD-DVDs. You do lose the lovely skin that I had above though, reverting back to PowerDVDs red default skin.

Film View: Things change and with more and more films added, the filmstrip mode was a chore to flick through. In List mode, with version 1.9 of the Monochrome skin gives a good list view along with IMDB info at the same time. The list also rotates round on itself (from A to Z, then back to A again) where the film mode does not - if you go to A and carry on pressing left, it opens one of the menus.

FAQ

Q. PowerDVD is reporting I need to update my software, saying something like "Some movies may fail to play if updates arent applied"

Q. "CyberLink PowerDVD requires perodic updates to continue playing back some new disc titles. Would you like to update now?" It doesn't matter what iso image I mount; as the result is the same. Sometimes I see "file mode" flashed up when PDVD is getting ready to try to play the iso.

A. I was using the newest DT lite (version 4.3?) that is on their website. With this I was getting the message about updating the player everytime I tried to play something.

I thought I would download a non-Lite version and try that. I downloaded the newest Daemon Tools Pro Basic, the free 10 day trial one. I installed it, leaving all drivers and stuff of that nature the same. I mounted an image, it immediately started playing in both PD7 and PD8 without any issues or hesitation.

Just to test I re-installed DT lite and mounted the image, it gave me the please update player error. I switched back over to DT Pro Basic, mounted the image again, and it worked perfectly in both PD7 and PD8.

[Answer by dpandkp on AnyHDDVD Forums]

Note that if you have installed the later version of DT Lite, you will have installed a SPDT driver, which needs to be removed as well, as this interfers with DT, so make sure you uninstall things properly:

You have to get the stand alone SPTD installer. That can uninstall it. The DT installer will not do it. - Answer by SamuriHL of AnyHDDVD forums.

My HTPC web pages were hobbled together by me.