0Media Player Classic - Home Cinema LogoPlay BluRays and DVD’s in MediaCenter with MPC-HC

I’ve long run Win­dows Media Cen­ter on my HTPCs in com­bin­a­tion with DVBLink and Medi­aB­rowser. How­ever, recently we have been watch­ing more phys­ic­al disks than in the past, and I have found vari­ous issues with Media Cen­ter. Usu­ally I have MPC-HC con­figured as an extern­al play­er, but doing this for phys­ic­al disks proved less than simple. Even­tu­ally how­ever, I have man­aged to get it work­ing flaw­lessly.

Unfor­tu­nately (and unsur­pris­ingly) the pro­ced­ure for DVDs and BluRay disks is dif­fer­ent. Thanks Microsoft! So, I’ll provide the full instruc­tions, sep­ar­ately, for each…

DVD’s

DVDs can actu­ally be played nat­ively by Media Cen­ter. This is actu­ally annoy­ing for 2 reas­ons: Firstly because the intern­al play­er doesn’t sup­port some fea­tures I use in MPC-HC (e.g. the speak­er mat­rix — as I have a 4.1 sys­tem with no centre speak­er); and secondly because it auto­plays (on wake up) any disk found in the optic­al drive! Adding an extern­al play­er pre­vents the auto play and brings back the bene­fits that come with MPC-HC and extern­al codecs like LAV.

  • On your sys­tem drive (prob­ably C:) browse to the Pro­gram­Data folder and cre­ate a folder called MPC-HC
  • Inside this folder cre­ate 2 new files with the fol­low­ing con­tents (note — there are no typo’s in the fol­low­ing lines, the <applic­a­tion line is not meant to have a clos­ing >)
  • Make sure the path in the launcher.cmd file points to your install­a­tion of MPC-HC and that the “F:” points to your optic­al drive let­ter
  • Finally, con­fig­ure MPC-HC to close when you press stop. To do this, load MPC-HC, Go to View: Options, select the “Keys” option, and click on the “exit” option. Click on the “key” column and then hold down Alt and press X. This will assign Alt-X to close MPC-HC. Now scroll across to the “app com­mand” column, and click in it. In the pull-down menu, select “MEDIA_STOP”
  • Finally, copy the fol­low­ing code into a new text file and rename it so it has a .reg exten­sion. Run it and integ­rate it into the registry
  • If you have used a dif­fer­ent path for your files then you will need to modi­fy it here

Blu-Rays

BluRays are in some ways easi­er to imple­ment as Medi­a­Cen­ter doesn’t nat­ively sup­port them and was designed to sup­port 3rd party pro­grams. Sadly this third party sup­port was built in a very clunky way which means the pro­ced­ure is a little com­plic­ated.

  • BluRay sup­port is enabled via “entry points” in Medi­a­Cen­ter. An entry point can either be cre­ated manu­ally in the registry, or it can be cre­ated with Media Cen­ter Stu­dio. Sadly Media Cen­ter Stu­dio has ceased to exist — but it has been pre­served in vari­ous places on the web, includ­ing our down­loads page.
  • Run Media Cen­ter Stu­dio. Click on the “Start Menu” tab AND the “Start menu” menu but­ton
  • Click on the “Applic­a­tion” but­ton to add a new applic­a­tion
  • Enter a Title value (prob­ably MPC-HC)
  • Enter a path (to your MPC-HC install­a­tion) — images should auto­mat­ic­ally be assigned
  • Enter your drive let­ter for your optic­al drive for the argu­ments
  • Now change your path to point to your launcher.cmd (e.g. C:\ProgramData\MPC-HC\launcher.cmd) (Note: see the DVD sec­tion above for the launcher.cmd code)
  • Save and close
  • Browse to C:\ProgramData\Media Cen­ter Studio\Images\EntryPoints
  • There will be a logo with a long file­name sur­roun­ded by curly brack­ets. This name is the entry point value which you will now need. Mine was {ef61cf90-2ddd-4f12-8f2e-acf16d81d758}
  • Run reged­it and browse to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Extensibility\Categories\AutoPlay\Blu-Ray]
  • Cre­ate a new key with the value of your entry point (e.g. {ef61cf90-2ddd-4f12-8f2e-acf16d81d758})
  • Switch to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Extensibility\Categories\AutoPlay\HD DVD]
  • And cre­ate anoth­er new key with the same name (e.g. {ef61cf90-2ddd-4f12-8f2e-acf16d81d758})
  • Now browse to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Extensibility\Entry Points\{ef61cf90-2ddd-4f12-8f2e-acf16d81d758}]
  • Copy the value of “App ID” which will be anoth­er (dif­fer­ent) long curly-brack­ets ID. Mine was {37dee78b-2ef7-4e94-a4e1-7e74fe0b6d­d2}
  • Browse back to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Extensibility\Categories\AutoPlay\Blu-Ray\{ef61cf90-2ddd-4f12-8f2e-acf16d81d758}]
  • Cre­ate a new String Value called “AppID” and give it the name you just copied (e.g. {37dee78b-2ef7-4e94-a4e1-7e74fe0b6d­d2})
  • Repeat for HD DVD by brows­ing to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Extensibility\Categories\AutoPlay\HD DVD\{ef61cf90-2ddd-4f12-8f2e-acf16d81d758}]
  • Cre­ate your final “AppID” string for HD DVD with the same name as for Blu-Ray (e.g. {37dee78b-2ef7-4e94-a4e1-7e74fe0b6d­d2})
  • To help cla­ri­fy the struc­ture you should now have in your registry here is the code from mine, using my examples. Your 2 IDs in curly brack­ets will be dif­fer­ent to mine…
  • Finally — it is worth hav­ing a second extern­al play­er con­figured if you don’t want inser­ted disks to auto­play without a prompt. Hav­ing a second play­er enabled leads auto­play to offer a prompt ask­ing which play­er you would like to use. I have VLC avail­able as an altern­at­ive to MPC-HC. The instruc­tions are the same. Below is code for an altern­at­ive launcher.cmd which works with VLC

Credits

Thanks to Ren­eth­ex on AVS­for­um for pro­du­cing the guides for both Blu-Ray and DVD that this was mostly based on.

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