Posts Categorised: HTPCs

0DVD Shrink LogoAutomate DVD Ripping on Windows 7

With my recent HTPC pro­ject now work­ing really well, I want to rip my col­lec­tion of DVDs to my media serv­er for more con­veni­ent play­back in Win­dows 7 Media Cen­ter (and all the addi­tion­al bene­fits asso­ci­ated with Media Browser, par­tic­u­larly the meta data on rat­ings, syn­op­sis, etc). Rip­ping DVDs, whilst straight­for­ward is rather tedi­ous. I found an excel­lent meth­od of auto­mat­ing the pro­cess was to modi­fy my auto­play set­tings with Auto­Play Repair, and point the auto­play to a pro­gram called DVD Rip which auto­mates the rip­ping of DVDs with the well known DVD Shrink.
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0Windows Media Center eHome LogoFixed: Media Center 7 behind taskbar on startup

I’ve had a very irrit­at­ing prob­lem with my new Win­dows 7 Media Cen­ter HTPC setup. I have 7MC set to load full­screen on star­tup (as the PC is a ded­ic­ated HTPC), but some­thing I changed at some point was caus­ing the taskbar to show on top of Media Cen­ter (i.e. Media Cen­ter did­n’t have win­dow focus) and there­fore my remote con­trol did­n’t work until using the mouse func­tion to click on Media Cen­ter to refo­cus it (at which point the taskbar dis­ap­pears).
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0Windows Media Player LogoSwitching the default WMP to x64 in Windows 7

One of the strangest things in Win­dows 7 x64 is the pres­ence of both x86 and x64 ver­sions of Win­dows Media Play­er 12. Even stranger is that des­pite Win­dows Media Cen­ter being 64bit only (and there­fore requir­ing 64bit codecs) Microsoft saw fit to set the default WMP12 ver­sion to the x86 edi­tion. For those of us who don’t wish to main­tain 2 sets of codecs it is desir­able to change this default status. How­ever, Microsoft do not appear to have provided a simple way to do this as yet. So here’s how…
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0Windows Media Player LogoOutputting WMP Videos to second display

When using a PC with a second dis­play (for example a laptop with a data pro­ject­or) it is often a com­mon prob­lem to find that a video played with Win­dows Media Play­er will only dis­play on the primary dis­play, and not on the sec­ond­ary out­put.

There are vari­ous dif­fer­ent con­fig­ur­a­tions which con­trib­ute to this beha­viour — Win­dows set­tings, Win­dows Media Play­er set­tings and Graph­ics Card driver set­tings.
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2Haali Matroska logoUninstall Haali Media Splitter x64

There is a beta (or maybe its Alpha) installer for Haali Media Split­ter x64 out and about (for links to the installer see my pre­vi­ous post on win­dows 7 x64 codecs). Sadly the unin­stall seems to be broken, which can cause hav­oc when try­ing to dia­gnose codec issues. To remove Haali com­pletely you need to unre­gister the fol­low­ing files manu­ally using regsvr32 /u filename (from a com­mand prompt run as admin­is­trat­or)
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