Originally Posted by tillig
With MyMovies, there's a server component to it. (Where do I install that? I don't have a spare machine and I'm not anxious to install things on the Windows Home Server - trying to keep it super clean.)
Your running WHS right? well MyMovies has just released the "server" part of MyMovies to run on WHS, and its works soooo damn nice, I just installed it, and so I have the MyMovies "server" running on WHS, then I run the MyMovies Client on my HTPC.
Works great, and the best part about MyMovies is that is catalogs more than just DVD's, it also does, MKV's, WMV's, Divx, anything.
WHS is extremely robust, it doesn't install Add-ins like applications, its not like your going to kill your box running the MyMovies add-in on your WHS box.
Also you can rip dvd's straight to your WHS box, as long as it has a dvd drive, so you don't need to rip it with your pc, or your htpc, it can be ripped directly to your WHS PC, and it automatically gets the data and add's it to your movie pool, really nice and simple feature, wish they had it long ago.
There's a client component to it (install on each Media Center PC). There's barely any documentation on it, and what there is is more "tribal knowledge" in forums and a partially-baked wiki (doesn't lend me a lot of confidence).
there are "read me" files that come with it, but honestly it is pretty damn straight forward, you install the "server" on WHS box, install the "client" on your htpc, and the client part the first time you run it, run it from your desktop, and you run the "collection manager" it asks for the server info, put in the pc name or IP address of your WHS box, it connects and your done.
then when you load up VMC, the MyMovies client asks how you want to see it in the menuing system, then asks you a few other questions, and your done.
simple as that.
Then the whole point of even installing MyMovies would be to run an external DVD player like TheaterTek. So now you've got Media Center, MyMovies server, MyMovies client, TheaterTek DVD player... we're really getting into a lot of moving pieces.
actually no, its NOT, the whole point to my movies is to have a more robust cataloging system than what you get from DVD Library, but other features like being able to use the third party dvd player like Theatertek or PowerDVD or TMT are added benefits.
don't under stand why you call it "moving pieces" it really isn't. Theatertek, PowerDVD and TMT all play nicely with the MCE remote, meaning NO programing or third party IR software needed to run those apps. Also how Theatertek and TMT run, is that you can close the app from the MCE remote by using the "back" arrow button, and it closes the apps and goes right back into MCE. Again Pretty Straight forward if you ask me.
Why am I so concerned with moving pieces? At one point in time, I'd have been fine with it because I had a lot of time to tinker with things and fiddle with them until they worked and keep up with every bug fix and hardware update and everything else required to be right there on the edge. Anymore, moving pieces mean time away from my family, additional wife-acceptance-factor issues, and pain.
While I can respect that, its honestly much much better from the last time you've tried it, with TMT for example, if you have a ripped blu ray or hd dvd, cataloged in MyMovies, you choose the movie, click play, it loads up TMT and starts playing, seemlessly, no issues, nothing. When its done you click the "back" button, and it goes right back to VMC where you left it.
Same goes for Theatertek.
From the sounds of it, from your first post, your whole issue is playback quality right?
well with VMC your using the default Mpeg2 decoders unless you have powerdvd or theatertek or tmt installed and have used the vista decoder checker to change the default decoders.
honestly the defualt decoders (microsoft decoders) are pretty blah, and produce a soft picture, IMHO. so changing the default decoder is one option.
you can't use FFDshow as you need a player with direct show filter capabilities, which is were using something like Theatertek comes into play where you can add post processing with TT.
If MyMovies really is literally the only way to improve performance and quality on the DVD playback, then I guess I'll invest the time, money, and energy into getting that set up. However, if there is something easy I can set in the registry, some hidden configuration console I don't know about, some Media Center product (with official support) that I can get, install, and have it just work magically without myriad tweaking... I'd rather go with the simple answer, assuming there is one.
because vista doesn't allow you to easily edit the direct show filters for it, and the rendering it uses for playback, you would need to write your own direct show filter to use something like FFDshow for post processing dvd's. I've been there, and tried that, and have had no luck, others have been successful but they have more time than me
thats why I opted for MyMovies + Theatertek for dvd playback and MyMovies + Arcsoft Total Media Theatre for Blu Ray and HD DVD playback.
works great, and does what it is suppose to do, and even the wife can use it on her own while I am not home.
- Using the PowerDVD decoder instead of the built in one: easy. Does it really make a noticeable difference?
- I currently have PowerDVD decoder set as the default mpeg2 decoder, does it make a difference?, slight, but not by much.
- Can you use RegisterMCEApp with .MCL XML files to just register a different DVD player?
not that I am aware of.
- Is ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre any good? It appears to have decent, supported, one-stop integration.
TMT is all I use for HD DVD and Blu Ray playback, but I still prefer Theatertek for dvd playback.
- Am I right when I surmise that FFDShow can't be installed using Media Control
out of the box, and easy to setup yes, if you have the time to fiddle and learn how to create your own direct show filters it could be done.
and just have that post-process? (Or is that dicier than installing all of the MyMovies/TheaterTek stuff?)
I'd say its "dicier" than installing MyMovies and Theatertek.
Or would everyone really, truly recommend that seriously the only way to get better quality is MyMovies/TheaterTek?
as already said I prefer the latter and use mymovies with external player.