Bluray menus yes or no? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 09-02-2012, 03:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I know im asking a two fold question, and depending on what your using opinions will differ. But being new to the htpc game I felt i should ask experienced members on here if they use an external player like tmt 5 or powerdvd with MCE, or xbmc and use full bluray structure with menus.

Right now at the moment I am using xbmc with tmt 5 for bluray, and its working fine, its smooth, and I have no issues. However playing bluray discs in xbmc player itself has some advantages such as i can exit video and browse xbmc UI, transition is smooth, and its nice playing videos all in one player.

However I have tmt working fine as an external player with bluray menus, i do enjoy menus and chapters and extras, it is also very nice to use. Besides not being integrated in xbmc gui, it is relatively smooth transition after closing it, with little hassle, i have worked most things out.

With that said I am torn, I dont really want to give up menus, but integrating everything into xbmc player would be nice....

Im sure some users with more experience have been at this crossroads like this and I would appreciate any feedback...As long as your decision is based on preference rather then necessity, because as of right now either works fine (xbmc would be more fail safe for smoothness and some issues, but added work plus additional issues for titles that need seamless branching or that need to be remuxed, plus loss of menu navigation).
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post #2 of 27 Old 09-02-2012, 03:23 AM
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I gave up on menus in DVD or Blu-Ray, just far too annoying.
I rip everything with MakeMKV along with chapters and it works well, press a button and my movie starts - no nonsense
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post #3 of 27 Old 09-02-2012, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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When I was first testing things out I was definitely heading down that road earlier this year. But i must say my dvd menus play fine in xbmc, and my blurays are playing without issues with the latest tmt june build (cross my fingers), i am concerned eventually i will run into stability problems. But i must say as of the moment tmt is playing extremely well on my system with no issue.

Of course being new to this it maybe a matter of time.
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post #4 of 27 Old 09-02-2012, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murilo View Post

I know im asking a two fold question, and depending on what your using opinions will differ. But being new to the htpc game I felt i should ask experienced members on here if they use an external player like tmt 5 or powerdvd with MCE, or xbmc and use full bluray structure with menus.

Media Center....since the days of XP, Vista and now 7.
Media Browser for UI.
Some of my backups have menus while most don't. I keep menus on the ones which have special features which I may use often, eg LOTR
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post #5 of 27 Old 09-02-2012, 07:42 AM
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I rip to mkv with MakeMKV and use XBMC for playback. I retain HD audio and subtitles with just the main movie, but no menus or extras. You have the option to keep whatever video segments you choose and MakeMKV will rip and convert each one to individual mkv files. You can label each file according to the content and just select them from the XBMC menu rather than use the original Blu-Ray menu. You won't lose anything and will have the ability to select the desired segment directly rather than wade through FBI warnings, previews, and other extras just to get to the main menu.
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post #6 of 27 Old 09-02-2012, 08:09 AM
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I'm at the same place you are. I don't mind much not having a menu on regular movies but for Blu-Ray concert music disks I want and need the menus so I can go to any song I want without having to skip through every chapter/song to find the song I'm looking for. It's a problem that I don't think there is a solution for. The folks who don't use the menus don't have much sympathy for us who do or really understand as to why we like to have the menus available. I like to have the full functions of the movies/videos that I have.
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post #7 of 27 Old 09-02-2012, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Good point, did not even think of that, I have a few concerts....
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post #8 of 27 Old 09-03-2012, 05:32 AM
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There are exceptions to every situation. Keeping menus for concert videos is certainly one of them. However, you could also create a playlist for the video so you know which chapter contains the specific song you're interested in playing. MakeMKV retains the chapter settings but gets rid of anything else you don't want. You pick and choose what you want to keep.

Those of us that don't like menus are more interested in watching the main movie and not having to wade through endless trailers, FBI warnings, and all the other crap just to play the movie. It's the main reason I chose to rip my movie discs and forget about using a standalone player. You're not forced to watch something you'd rather skip. With MakeMKV you can rip every video segment as a separate file. If you want to keep the trailers then why not place them all in a separate folder so you can watch the ones you want any time you want.
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post #9 of 27 Old 09-03-2012, 06:35 AM
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I don't use XBMC, but have in the past. I currently use Plex. It's not going to provide a solution for you either.

May comment is more general. None of the media centers, that I'm aware of, offer what you seek. I know I keep chapters when I rip. The unfortunate part, none of the media center programs has a chapter select. If have chapters, you can just hit chapter skip till you get to the one you want, but it's horrible solution.

I believe these problems do have something where you can enter the time to skip to. A bit nicer. But no pretty menu.

I'm sure it's something that could be done, such as when you go to play, have a "play" "resume" or "chapter select". The chapter select could just give a chapter listing just like the play/reume/chapter menu, or if wanted to get fancy, something like a TV episode select menu where, maybe, a screen capture is nabbed.

The bigger problem, I think, there is a very small demand for it. I think most users are more concerned with playback and being able resume. I think an integrated blu ray player is in more demand, never mind those wanting build in live TV and PVR/DVR, plus the HD audio.

What I would suggests if you really want something like that, suggest it to XBMC people. It may be a while, but you might get it.
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post #10 of 27 Old 09-03-2012, 06:39 AM
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On a side note, I don't care for menus any more. In fact, I find them completely annoying on Blu Ray and DVD when I'm on a stand alone player.

Like other have suggested to you, I will rip the extras I actually like and want to watch. I discovered a time ago, way before blu ray was even announced, I only watched the extras once. But I will watch a movie over and over.

In other words, a lot of this discussion is really based on what you view and how often. Once you know really think about it, it'll tell you which path you may want to take.
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post #11 of 27 Old 09-03-2012, 09:54 AM
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Unless space is an issue, I don't see why ripping to MKV is necessary, I rip to ISO or Blu-ray structure, If i want to use the menu's or extras I use Arcsoft TMT5, if I want to skip all that I just use MPC-HC or XBMC which just plays the main movie playlist anyway , on the very rare case it picks the wrong playlist then just a couple of clicks to select the right one is all that's needed.
If space is a big issue then I can see the advantages of MKV.
MakeMKV seems a waste to me personally , if MPC-HC can play the main movie anyway, without trailers, warnings etc, then why rip to MKV? Other than space of course.
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post #12 of 27 Old 09-03-2012, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acejh1987 View Post

Unless space is an issue, I don't see why ripping to MKV is necessary, I rip to ISO or Blu-ray structure, If i want to use the menu's or extras I use Arcsoft TMT5, if I want to skip all that I just use MPC-HC or XBMC which just plays the main movie playlist anyway , on the very rare case it picks the wrong playlist then just a couple of clicks to select the right one is all that's needed.
If space is a big issue then I can see the advantages of MKV.
MakeMKV seems a waste to me personally , if MPC-HC can play the main movie anyway, without trailers, warnings etc, then why rip to MKV? Other than space of course.

The annoying thing is when you get a phone call from your significant other asking why there's director commentary the movie. I know most iso's are fine, but it still happens (the latest harry potter blu-ray is an example). It's just bad WAF.
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post #13 of 27 Old 09-04-2012, 12:40 AM
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ripping using MakeMKV doesn't save that much space. That's why Handbrake is used.

It wasn't so much that MKV are so much better over an ISO or vice versa. The OP was wanting a solution that would let him have the XBMC interface and functionality, but also keep the chapters of media like in TMT5 when using XBMC. He used accessing the menus for extras as one reason he uses the menus.

I think the bulk of us were trying to stating an argument that it may be easier, at this point in time, if he likes the extra to rip them as well, and put into a separate folder that he can access any time.

As for ISOs, not every program plays nice with them. Plex can be little wonky with ISOs as one example of one popular program. Where just about everything plays nice with MKV; you need to add codecs to get it that way, but still not had to add. It's all subjective and based on personal choices with the players that will be used. Since I wasn't wiling to pay for programs like PowerDVD, TMT, and so forth, it may the choice very easy. Plus, I don't like how, as I've read, they make you upgrade or disable it after about two or so years.

I think one thing we all agree, just rip it and save your discs for unnecessary wear and tear.
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post #14 of 27 Old 09-04-2012, 01:44 AM
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I wouldn't use any software that isn't good enough to be compatible with ISO's, which isn't a new format, free or not.
XBMC's built in player can play 99% of ISO's going to straight to main movie or if setup with MPC can play pretty much all of them.
I don't know how much space MakeMKV saves, I don't know much about Handbrake, but if it does any type of re-encoding I wouldn't recommend doing that either.

My personal preference, and what I would recommend to the OP (since he does like extras/menus and hasn't mentioned Plex), is to keep TMT5 setup as an external player, but use XBMC built in player as default, that way you can play and can go straight into the main movie, and if occasionally XBMC does playback wrong or if you want to see the menus/extras then just go to "play with" and select TMT5 from the menu within XBMC.
I've done this with every movie I have, and I've never had any problems that prevented me from watching the movie.

I just don't see the point of MKV for titles that XBMC (or MPC) plays back perfectly anyway in there original format, unless you want to save space or don't care for menus/extras.
Plus in the future if new players come along, or current players get improved, who knows but we may even get some menu functionality from free players or even XBMC, if you have ripped the full BD you could take advantage of this.
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post #15 of 27 Old 09-04-2012, 04:11 AM
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MakeMKV creates a 1:1 rip so the only way you save space is by deleting unwanted extras. People use mkv's because it's a more portable format and is easier to use than iso's. I used to rip all of my Blu-Rays to iso's, but trying to stream them across my network was mostly an exercise in futility. They'd stutter and freeze and were mostly unwatchable. I used several different versions of PowerDVD and TMT and they all had issues when trying to stream across my home network. I switched to XBMC and MakeMKV because it was the only solution that works 100% of the time. I just select the movie I want and playback starts immediately with no problems from beginning to end. XBMC automatically pulls in the metadata and cover art. I also stopped using Media Browser because XBMC just provides more info and I like the interface better. The best part is that both XBMC and MakeMKV are free.
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post #16 of 27 Old 09-04-2012, 04:42 AM
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Personally, I want to watch the movie, not the menus and all the other crap the studios put on a Blu-ray disc. I hardly have time to watch movies these days and going through the menu, five trailers and three or four warning screens before the movie starts is not acceptable.

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post #17 of 27 Old 09-04-2012, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

MakeMKV creates a 1:1 rip so the only way you save space is by deleting unwanted extras. People use mkv's because it's a more portable format and is easier to use than iso's. I used to rip all of my Blu-Rays to iso's, but trying to stream them across my network was mostly an exercise in futility. They'd stutter and freeze and were mostly unwatchable. I used several different versions of PowerDVD and TMT and they all had issues when trying to stream across my home network. I switched to XBMC and MakeMKV because it was the only solution that works 100% of the time. I just select the movie I want and playback starts immediately with no problems from beginning to end. XBMC automatically pulls in the metadata and cover art. I also stopped using Media Browser because XBMC just provides more info and I like the interface better. The best part is that both XBMC and MakeMKV are free.

XBMC and MPC-HC can do all this for free from ISO/BD structure over a network, I've never had stutter and it plays the movie back instantly when selected, not sure how MKV is any easier?
It sounds exactly like what I'm doing with ISO's already?
I just can't see the benefits from a Blu-ray playback standpoint, other than saving space by removing unwanted extras/audio etc.
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post #18 of 27 Old 09-04-2012, 10:27 AM
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Creating a ripped iso requires an app like AnyDVD HD to decrypt it last time I checked, which just adds to the overall expense. MakeMKV decrypts and converts BD discs on the fly. Ripping time is about the same for both. The nice thing about mkv's is that you can play them on a multitude of devices. With iso's you need a virtual drive to mount them, which limits your options severly. I've never used XBMC for playing iso's so I can't comment on BD playback, but I'm glad to hear it works for you. I think you'll find more people here tend to lean more towards mkv's for Blu-Ray rips than iso's. My problems may stem from flaky network settings or the like and XBMC is just more forgiving with mkv's than PDVD and TMT are with iso's. Whatever the reason, XBMC and mkv's made me a convert. I ended up converting over 800 BD and DVD rips to mkv files and never regretted it.
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post #19 of 27 Old 09-04-2012, 11:40 AM
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Yes AnyDVD HD or similar is required, you have to pay if you want the full BD with menus/extra/features backed up (Which the OP must already have I think)

My main point for the OP, if you enjoy extras but sometimes want to just get into main movie, you don't have to rip to MKV.
For purely Blu-ray playback on a PC, ISO/BD structure can do exactly the same thing plus it can offer full menus and extras if you ever want them, something no other format can.
This recommendation is based on the OP's wants, if this was someone who didn't care for extras, wanted to use multiple devices, and wanted it all for free, then it would be different.
Why anyone would recommend the OP ripping extras to separate MKV files, is just silly to me-
Main movie theatrical.mkv
main movie dc.mkv
making of.mkv
deleted scenes.mkv
gag reel.mkv
cast interviews.mkv
trailer.mkv
documentary 1.mkv
documentary 2.mkv
etc.mkv
etc.mkv

I'm 100% sure most people here use MKV and it obviously works great, but I think 99% of those people don't care for extras and just want to watch the movie, for those people MKV is best.
If you enjoy extras, MKV is not the best way to view them IMO and ISO/BD structure can give you the best of both worlds.
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post #20 of 27 Old 09-04-2012, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Personally, I want to watch the movie, not the menus and all the other crap the studios put on a Blu-ray disc. I hardly have time to watch movies these days and going through the menu, five trailers and three or four warning screens before the movie starts is not acceptable.

Well for me menus are not a distraction, their a connivance, I enjoy skipping to scenes in some cases easily, and having a timeline with pictures, in some movies if i want to rewatch a plot point earlier but have no idea when it occured, the timeline with pictures are quite a nice reference to use. , i enjoy that simple navigation, i also like easily navigating to extras if i want.. However doing the main movie has advantages to.

Im quite curious how many of you decided you dont want menus, and how many made the decision awhile back when menu playback simply was to problematic.

Couple notes I dont know if its clear, i have 15 tb of blurays ripped using the full folder structure. If i go down this road, I will simply pull out the main mt2s file, i wont be using an extra steps, if it requires remuxing (seamless branch title) i will use tsmuxer, and someone also suggested i use eac3to with it to avoid audio issues.

Im leaning toward keeping everything though as it is now, simply because it works. But i really am torn, each has its advantages. I also dont want to use two players for bluray depending on how I feel, because a seamless branch title will work fine in tmt, but if my wife uses it and I dont have tmt set up as an external player by default, she will have no idea whats going on. its either i go xbmc for bluray, or stay with tmt for bluray. That is the easiest way i can make sure everything works, and put my full focus on one player. I also notice their is instances where xbmc plays the wrong playlist as well, so i will either keep full folders with menu, or go single mt2s file with xbmc.

The only way for me to ever be completely satisfied would be if xbmc could play full bluray structure (as well as bd-lite like my old dune) but i dont think I will ever see the former happen so I will have to make a decision. It may also come down to me simply having issues crop up as well with tmt. knowing its expendable, but so far i have worked everything out and its playing fine.
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post #21 of 27 Old 09-05-2012, 01:44 AM
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Well, its up to you to decide whats best for you, everyone is going to have different opinions on what they prefer, it doesn't mean that's best for you, that's the beauty of a HTPC, there are so many different things to choose from.
If you want menu's then you have to stick with TMT5.
If you want to rip the main movie, then use XBMC.
One other thing to consider, is that it will only be a matter of time before TMT updates to include Cinavia (Latest PowerDVD 12.0.1905.56 has done this)
So then on certain titles in the future you will be forced to use XBMC or similar.
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post #22 of 27 Old 09-05-2012, 04:19 AM
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What's being proposed here are nothing more than various options and suggestions. The method you decide on is up to you. Many people, like myself, have amassed a huge library of movies and simply don't have time to watch all of the extras. I've already got more Blu-Ray movies and DVDs than I'll ever have time to watch so keeping the extras is pointless for me. I'd love to watch them at some point, but chances are I'll never get around to it. I prefer XBMC and mkv's because it's the best solution I've found that works for me. Iso playback worked fine if I had the iso file located on the HTPC hard drive. The problems I had stemmed from trying to mount the image from my server and play it back on a remote PC. The results I got were anything but perfect. Mkv's play beautifully in XBMC on any PC in the house when streamed from my 24TB server.
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post #23 of 27 Old 09-05-2012, 08:24 AM
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I think you're kind of stuck at this point. If your wife just watches the movie and not the extras, then just let her use XBMC. If it's done right, it may give her more fun experience with cover art, synopsis ans so forth. It's like Netflix, but it's your media. Then you can deal with switching between XBMC and TMT.

MKV can be used to save space. But MakeMKV isn't the program for it. It saves some space, but not much. It just puts the movie into a MKV container. Handbrake does transcode. to make the movies smaller. Unless you're one of the those unlucky few who can see a pimple on a fly's butt, Most people aren't going noticed the difference between 25mbps vs 15mpbs rate encode. Maybe if it's side by side. With my lazy eye and colorblindness, well....I'm just screwed.

As the menu dislike question, it wasn't really till I started using rips and programs like Plex and XBMC. With stand alone players prior, I just got annoyed when I couldn't skip the FBI warnings or trailers right away. Now, I'm just too impatient to wait for that or to wait the thrity to sixty seconds for the movie to load, yet alone to start playing. Plus, I have to get up to change the movie disc. How is my butt going to get bigger if I leave the seat, LOL.

On a side note, I could have sworn XBMC had a time skip or jump to. I think Plex does, but I haven't found it.

I'm not knocking ISOs by any means. Compared to MKV, it's more limited as to what will play it.
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post #24 of 27 Old 09-05-2012, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I ultimately came to a decision and this is more so what ace suggested. All the responses did help.

Im going to be using xbmc as my primary player. I said i wont waste time on two players, and I really dont want to, but my main focus will be making sure things work in xbmc.

I will keep tmt set up as a second external player, i should be able to select it if i ever want to in the context menu, and for any 3d movies. I dont know if I will like 3d, i may hate it, but I am in the market for a new display, so I may give it a go, and tmt will be required. I also decided to keep full rips of movies, it may use a few extra gigs, I estimate I could maybe get an extra terabyte out of it stripping out everything but the main movie. But i am finding i dont want to spend time going back and remuxing or re-ripping all those titles with seamless branching, i also found some users having trouble with remuxes with forced subtitles....and also in case i ever want to use menus i can still use tmt as the backup.

The odd full bluray xbmc cant detect the proper playlist i will probably remux. Although a xbmc developer said the option to select playlists is being looked at, my wife or novice users might have no clue what one to select so I will just remux those.

Unfortunately for tv the full blu ray structure will have to go....


While I did watch the extras on some shows occasionally, it stopped making sense having discs for tv shows. In xbmc i renamed my full bluray folders for a show so for instance mad men disc 1 bluray would be S01E01E02E03, which would correspond to disc one which contained those episodes. So if any episode from 1-3 was selected, disc one would launch, the issue is for those not familiar with it, it would get confusing navigating basically two interfaces, the xbmc and bluray one. For the first 3 episodes you could use the bluray menu, but begining episode 4 you would have to go back to xbmc and launch episode 4 in xbmc to launch disc 2.... Somewhat again confusing for novice users.
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post #25 of 27 Old 09-06-2012, 12:37 AM
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This is pretty much where I have ended up.

- rip full discs to future proof and to avoid possible broken rips (e.g. Missing subs)
- normally jump straight to movie, in my case with JRiver MC.
- TMT for when I need it

One tip. You might find it useful to use AnyDVD Speedmenu. This cleans up the playlists and in my experience makes it more likely your normal player (not TMT) will find the right one. I rip to protected .iso, so I can switch back to the original menus any time I want if using TMT.
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post #26 of 27 Old 09-06-2012, 04:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Ugh well this was working great in theory....actually everything was working well with my idea. Then forced subtitles. When using bd structure I see a few reports and tested myself of issues with forced subtitles. Someone mentioned x-men first class on xbmc site and they would not show up. I tried and they were not showing up either.



Why does this have to be difficult.

Anyone using xbmc how do you get around forced subtitle issue, I am a picky with my image so i dont want any re-encode option... And how will I ever know if i buy a brand new title thats just released if it has forced subs? Thanks to the list in this forum it will be not a huge issue for past titles, but im thinking of brand new releases.

Also with tv shows, I buy alot of tv shows released on bluray, how would I ever decipher which ones may have forced subtitles. Like episodes of breaking bad where they speak spansih...

Honestly the more i try this, the more tmt is actually the easier option. But i was liking the idea of not having to use an external program. If i can figure out how to easily solve this forced sub thing will be I can maybe keep going with my current plan.

Well I maybe saved, someone appears to have made a modified eden that respects pgs subtitles, oddly it got no attention, will test and report back. Whats more frustrating is media player classic seems to have no issue playing these with forced subtitles. But xbmc does. Even worse in a search this issue has been going on for a number of years.
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post #27 of 27 Old 09-06-2012, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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So the build works, but i have no idea if this will be supported by xbmc developers and added to official builds. It should, but if not and this guy goes missing im gonna be kicking myself...

If anyones interested I will post a link.
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