Recently, I began ripping my DVD collection to my WHS Videos folder.  My plan was to be able to view them from Vista Media Center.

So I ripped/copied several of them over to my WHS, fired up VMC and became frustrated quickly because I could not find a way to point VMC over to my WHS folder.  Grrrr!

So, remembering the phrase: “Google is your friend”, I fired up Internet Explorer and did a quick search.  I honestly cannot remember if Google was really my friend or if I went directly to Microsoft’s WindowsHomeServer forum.

Anyway, I soon found a thread explaining just how to do this.  The complete thread, for your viewing pleasure, is located here.

Putting it all in one place, this is what I did.

  1. I ripped my DVD’s using DVDFab HD Decrypter 4.  DVDFAb is actually up to version 5, but I find that version 4 works just fine for me.  Just do a Google to find the program.  In my case, I do a direct _TS rip.  I am not sure if MC will recognize other formats.  Experiment and let us know!  From the aforementioned thread, Xbox 360’s do not play _TS files.  .iso files work, however.
  2. Move the folder that is created to your WHS under the Video shared folder.
  3. Open regedit and search for: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media.
    This is the complete registry entry and required change:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Settings\DvdSettings
    Look for the Registry value – ShowGallery Registry value data type – REG_SZ  -Play
    Change the Registry value data from Play to Gallery.
    Close regedit.
  4. Open Media Center.
  5. Go to Settings – Library Setup – Add Folder to Watch – Add shared folders from another computer.  Add the folders containing media and go to Next – Finish.

    

     

  

You’re all done!  Enjoy all your media stored on your WHS in Media Center.

Of course, you will have one more question.  How do I get all the DVD case pictures to show up?  You will need an .xml file in each movie folder to provide this information to Media Center.  I use DVDxml.com.  You have to register, which costs you nothing.  Once you are thru the registration process, simply search for your DVD, download the associated .xml file and move over to your DVD subfolder.  Instant cover graphic and movie details!

Enjoy!