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I have been using Theatertek quite happily since its inception several years ago. I even added the .mkv functionality to it when I started converting my blu-rays to mkv files a few years back. I am, however finding it quite limited (as one would expect) in its playback abilities of mkv files.


What has kept me using it is its interface and easy usability. I simply click the Theatertek icon and it opens full screen on my second monitor. If I hit the media button, a window opens with the drop down tree for me to scroll through. It is simple in its execution and easy for the wife and kids as well. I have been using VLC recently and, while actually being able to add subtitles is both excellent and necessary for some movies, I find its usability much harder than the simple elegance of Theatertek. If I click on the VLC icon, I can get it to open on monitor two, but the way in which you go about adding content to play is slightly confusing to me, let alone the wife.


I am hoping someone can recommend something that will act like Theatertek does in its execution. I am open to media programs as well, but those are slight overkill for the things I do with the computer. I really just need an easy way to open the file I want to play, while having some kind of elegant look factor to the process.


Thanks.
 

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I used Theatertek w/advanced audio pack for years. I also owned JRiver Media Center and used it for audio while using Theatertek for movies. A few years ago JRiver improved its movie handling and it now surpasses Theatertek for ease of use and flexibility. I have been using it exclusively for all music and video needs. About the only thing I miss from Theatertek is the ability to arrow up and get to the play, stop, etc. buttons. However, you can arrow down and get to volume and playback slider similar to Theatertek. JRiver has a 30 day trial so you can see if you like it. I have a few friends that don't listen to music, but switched to JRiver from Theatertek for movie viewing.


JRiver has all the codecs you need for playback and keeps them up to date automatically. It can also monitor your folders and automatically import new files. If you right click on an MKV within JRiver, you can select "Get Movie and TV Info" and it will allow you to download coverart and tags including description, actors, director, etc. If you select multiple files at once, it will download automatically for all files when you select "Get Movie and TV Info."


What you see below is from the automatic import. Also, the backdrops during movie selection change every few seconds and correspond to the selected movie. They are downloaded from HTBackdrops, TheTVDB, and TheMovieDB. You can turn them off and have a static background.



 

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I'm in the same boat... looking for something to replace TheaterTek. Most of my content viewing is from OTA recordings of HD programming, and I'm hoping that a TheaterTek replacement will have the ability to display the closed captions that are in the recordings from the original broadcasts. I know VLC does CC, but am wondering if CC be done with either JRiver or XBMC as well?
 

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JRiver has its own subtitle engine that handles almost all subtitles and closed captions. You can change size, font (for text based subtitles), and position.

 

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What about Media Browser with Media Player Classic Home Cinema?
 
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