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Playback of HD-DVDs and BR DVDs with Media Center

HD Slider

Thread Starter
May 12, 2007
Here is what I'd like to accomplish:

Playback of HD and BR DVDs from the comfort of my 10' interfaced couch in our home theater room using Media Center.

Is there a codec that can be used along with AnyDVD HD so that I can simply play high definition DVDs from within Media Center?

Is there some high definition DVD playback software (WinDVD, PowerDVD, etc.) that can "plug-in" to Media Center and provide a HD DVD menu within the main Media Center menu (and let me control everything using the Microsoft remote control)?

I have to admit I haven't searched for all that long, but what I have found so far focuses mainly on watching high definition content on a regular PC (2 foot interface with a mouse and keyboard) using 3rd party applications.

I guess one final question should be: Do I require AnyDVD HD to do this?

I'm less interested in copying HD DVDs since they will take up too much disk space (I'd rather stick with SD DVDs for on-line playback for our children).
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As far as I know, there is no support for HD DVD and BD in MCE 2K5 or even the new Vista Home Premium / Ultimate Media Center Edition. However, there are registry hacks that can allow the user to launch an HD DVD / BD capable application and minimize the MCE interface for quasi effective 10 foot control.


If you look at this Anandtech article ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner: AMD and Dell Bring CableCARD to Pcs you’ll notice that Cyberlink apparently has some rudimentary Blu-ray plug-in for Vista MCE which is likely applicable to MCE 2K5 systems as well:

The system Dell shipped also had Blu-ray support, which appeared as an option in the media center interface. Unfortunately launching it simply brought us to a poorly made front end for PowerDVD that looked a lot like MCE 2005 and nothing like Vista's media center.

The application is actually labeled “PowerDVD DX” in the picture but it’s clearly just a PowerDVD (Probably an OEM version of Ultra or hybrid successor to 6.6) with a new 10 foot quasi MCE interface. The interface is a lot like Cyberlink MakeDVD, PlayDVD or PowerCinema in that it’s a poor imitation of MCE 2K5 / MCE 2K4. Anyway it should allow for switching between applications and Dell’s got it!
Sounds somewhat promising.

Basically if it doesn't work from a 10' interface I have no use for it (at least in our dedicated HTPCs).

I had a look at HD DVD players yesterday. Prices aren't too bad - $350 Cdn for a Toshiba HD DVD player. One concern I have with it though is (reading through the manual) it sounds like it will only output 480i to our Toshiba HDTV (since it doesn't have HDCP).

After reading that I'm starting to think that buying an XBox 360 HD DVD player ($190 Cdn), buying AnyDVD HD ($70 US), and PowerDVD (haven't figured out where to buy it or the price??) with an MCE interface might be the best way to go.

Of course the next problem is my PC probably doesn't have the horsepower to play all HD DVD formats...(ATI X1950Pro video card, but only a 3200+ AMD CPU).
Yeah a minimum on the AMD side would be a Athlon 64 X2 3800+ but realistically a Athlon 64 X2 4400+ would be a good minimum. Do take note though that GPU / VPU hardware acceleration can help a great deal but the new 8500GT and 8600GT/GTS are putting up some very good numbers in this respect,…the best I have seen in fact. ATI can do hardware acceleration too but we will likely have to wait for the X2000 series to see some really good numbers from ATI solutions.

As you know a set-top HD DVD player cannot really be helped by “AnyDVD HD” and if your HDTV doesn’t support HDCP then “AnyDVD HD” is something you are probably going to want.

Ideally you want the full protected path with a video card, monitor and drivers that all support HDCP.

BTW, the HP 2.4X HD DVD-ROM player is an option to but not necessarily a better solution but it comes with PowerDVD 6.5.
No to pretty much all the original questions with no info on if that will change in the forseable future.
I believe one thing you could do is use http://mymovies.name/ and you should be able to at least launch it from there. Not seemless by any means though.