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Jamesaevans’s Gaming HTPC Build Log

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by jamesaevans, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. purenitro

    purenitro Member

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    Razor is that you ? :laugh::rotfl:
  2. jamesaevans

    jamesaevans Member

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    No, Poppet01 is my girlfriend who very kindly and patiently helped me out with my gaming HTPC build. She loves her gadgets even move than me. :thumbsup:

    And now is probably a good time to introduce the third member of the build team. This is Rembrandt who belongs to Poppet01, and as you can see he is also a very pleased with the HTPC:
    [​IMG]

    On a more serious note I ordered my QNAP 412 NAS today, and hopefully it will arrive early next week so that I can experiment with ripping DVDs and Blu-rays to it. I've also signed up for a DropBox account as this looks like a great cloud based solution for those most important files.

    James
  3. pixelpixel

    pixelpixel Active Member

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    Looks neat. Well done.

    All that hard work to lock the pc inside a cupboard ;)
  4. kav

    kav Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful job James, and a great build log. Fantastic setup you have too. :thumbsup:

    No pics of Poppet though, disappointing. :devil:
  5. icstm

    icstm Member

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    Poppet is going to become the Pippa Middleton of this thread if we are not careful!
  6. bifo

    bifo Member

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    Just found this thread while away from home. Loved all the brain storming going on and sorted some "goes" "no goes" ideas of my own. Reading some very familiar names and your own 'jamesaevens' from razor and kavs forums. Super job ... thought it worth a comment cheers bud
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. jamesaevans

    jamesaevans Member

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    Hi bifo,

    Thank you for the feedback, and I'm glad that you have found my thread useful. I've certainly learnt a lot thanks to the advice from Razor and others on this forum. :)

    I've got to do some temperature testing when gaming and see if I find the best way to resolve the issue of the GTX570 not bit-streaming HD audio, so look out for some more updates in the next couple of weeks.

    James
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    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  8. mrglassworm

    mrglassworm Member

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    The king size screen is Luring......must be a hardcore gamer. Good job on the HTPC.
  9. jamesaevans

    jamesaevans Member

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    18 - Configuring HD Audio for Blu-ray movies

    As stated earlier in this build log I have confirmed that the GTX 570 graphics card that I purchased for my gaming HTPC is not capable of bit-streaming HD audio to my Denon amp, where as the cheaper GTX 560 is capable. :mad:

    Therefore, the best way to get HD audio from my HTPC was to send Uncompressed PCM audio over the HDMI cable from my graphics card to my amp using TotalMedia Theatre 5 (TMT 5). It took some experimentation and invesigation to find the correct combination of settings to achive the desired result.

    Firstly I set the Audio channels to 5.1 Surround using the NVIDIA control panel (click for high resolution image):
    [​IMG]

    In TMT 5 I had originally configured the Mixing Mode to "Original primary audio only" but according to the display on my amp this only gave Dolby Digital audio, where as I was expecting to see Multi Channel audio. A bit of research and some advice from another forum helped me to identify that the correct setting to use were:
    • Sound Card: NVIDIA High Definition Audio
    • Output Mode: HDMI
    • Mixing Mode: Mix to PCM uncompressed audio
    The image below shows that the Blu-ray movie was using the DTS HD Master Audio sound track and the correct settings in TMT 5 (click for high resolution image):
    [​IMG]

    Here is a photo of my Denon amp showing "MULTI CH IN" just to prove these setting had the desired outcome:
    [​IMG]

    Hopefully my QNAP NAS will be delivered tomorrow so look out for some more updates later this week.

    James
    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  10. Dr Tim

    Dr Tim Member

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    Ah sorry to hear about your bad luck with bitstreaming HD audio, this is a factor that has maybe put me of going for the GTX 570 and maybe grabbing a higher end 560 instead, I have even been considering going for an ATI card such as the 6950 as well.

    Anyway, have you done much gaming on it yet? If so get some screenshots up, would like to see what it looks like. :D

    Glad to see your bought a QNAP as well, I aquired a 219P a while back and it has been brilliant, never let me down. Also allows those noisy mechanical hard drives to be stored elsewhere. :smashin:
  11. jamesaevans

    jamesaevans Member

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    Hi Dr Tim,

    Yes the lack of bit streaming HD audio on the GTX 570 was a disappointment, and this was not helped by several reviews of the GTX 570 and GTX 580 stating that it could bit stream HD audio.

    Now that I have the uncompressed PCM working it's not that much of an issue to be honest and from what I have read there should be no difference in sound quality between bit streaming and uncompressed PCM audio. When playing Blu-ray movies it certainly sounds much better than the sound from my original fat PS3, but it would have been nice to see the bit streaming light illuminate on my amp.

    I also looked at the GTX 560 Ti originally but decided to go for the GTX 570 in the end so that the graphics card would last longer before needing to be upgraded.

    I've had a quick go on Need for Speed Shift 2, but I will try to put some more time in this weekend and take some screen shots to show you what the game looks like.

    The QNAP NAS arrived today and looks like a very nice piece of kit. Hopefully I will get the NAS set up this weekend.

    James
  12. jamesaevans

    jamesaevans Member

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    19 - QNAP TS-412 NAS Delivered

    Today my QNAP TS-412 NAS was delivered from Graham Myers at www.my-htpc.co.uk who is an assured advertiser here on AVForums. The NAS has been equipped with four 2TB Samsung F4 drives which have been configured in RAID5 to give a total of 6TB of usable storage. It looks to be a really nice piece of kit and the build quality has certainly exceeded my expectations. :thumbsup:

    The Box:
    [​IMG]

    The NAS:
    [​IMG]

    Hopefully I will get the NAS set up this weekend along with my new Netgear GS608 8-Port Gigabit switch which was also delivered today.

    James
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  13. spyder viewer

    spyder viewer Moderator

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    Your build index doesn't work for me: up to #4 it's as expected but thereafter, although it indicates the correct thread "page" at the top rt corner, the image displayed is of the introduction.

    Hope that NAS is going to get a paint job! ;)
  14. jamesaevans

    jamesaevans Member

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    Hi spyder viewer,

    Thank you for spotting that the build log index was not working, hopefully all fixed now. While fixing the links I also identified that I had missed out the step where I installed Windows 7, so I have corrected this error. :)

    No plans for any mod the to the NAS, it's going to look great in my cabinet just the way it is.

    James
  15. jamesaevans

    jamesaevans Member

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    20 - Testing (Need for Speed Shift 2)

    Following on from the previous set of tests which focused on temperatures when running Prime95 and 3DMark11, I undertook a gaming test today using Need for Speed Shift 2 to test the cooling and graphics performance of my build.

    For comparison here are the Idle temperatures recorded in the initial testing:

    Motherboard Temps: 32'C / 25'C / 28'C
    Fan Speed: 1,000 RPM
    CPU Core Temps: 30'C
    GPU Temp: 36'C
    GPU Fan Speed: 1,200 RPM
    GPU Fan Power: 30%

    After a couple of hours of gaming at a solid 60 fps I exited from the game to take a look at the temperatues, which as you will see from the screen shot look to be in the expected range (click for high res version):
    [​IMG]
    Using HWMonitor the key temperature readings were:
    Motherboard Temps: 51'C / 25'C / 50'C
    Fan Speed: 1,300 RPM
    CPU Core Temps: 61'C
    GPU Temp: 69'C
    GPU Fan Speed: 2,310 RPM
    GPU Fan Power: 59%


    Here are a couple of screen shots from Need for Speed Shift 2 to show the graphic quality. The game looks stunning running on my 50" plasma and the engine noise is probably the best I have heard in any game. I've only just scratched the surface of what Shift 2 has to offer, but it shows how sterile and boring GT5 is by comparision.

    The main menu:
    [​IMG]
    My garrage and current car the Lotus Exige S:
    [​IMG]
    On the grid before the start of the race:
    [​IMG]
    In car at the Donington Park circuit:
    [​IMG]

    I still need to work on the settings for my Fanatec wheel and pedals to get them exactly how I want them, but I'll save that for a future update.

    James
  16. bifo

    bifo Member

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    Sehr Gut Mien Freund
  17. jamesaevans

    jamesaevans Member

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    21 - XBMC and Launching PC Games

    XBMC also enables you to launch your PC games, however in order to have fan art and thumbnails this requires some configuration and the use of launcher utility. Following the detailed advice in Grangey's excellent http://www.avforums.com/forums/home-entertainment-pcs/1428242-xbmc-setup-support-thread.html thread I have configured XBMC to launch my PC games from a dedicated games section which is accessible from the home menu.

    Not all skins have all the required main menu elements visible by default or allow you to add addional items to the home menu. Therefore I recommend applying the “TRANSPARENCY” skin before you begin the configuring XBMC to launch PC games.


    1) Create a folder for Game Thumbnails and Fanart
    Start by creating a folder on your hard drive that will contain the Thumbnails and Fanart for the games that you want to launch from within XBMC. If you want to use the Fanart as the menu background I would recommend creating separate sub-folders for the Fanart and Thumbnails as follows:
    • C:\FOR_XBMC\GAMES\FANART
    • C:\FOR_XBMC\GAMES\THUMBNAILS

    2) Download and Install the Advanced Launcher
    It is possible to use the launcher that comes with XBMC to launch your games, however, this does not provide the best user experience and does not support fan art and thumbnails. Therefore, using Angelcry's “Advanced Launcher” utility is highly recommended.
    • First you need to download the Advanced Launcher
    • Open XBMC and go to “SETTING”
    • Navigate to “ADD-ONS”
    • Select "INSTALL FROM ZIP FILE"
    • Navigate to the location that you saved the Advanced Launcher ZIP file to
    • Select the ZIP file and install it will automatically install
    • From the “ADD-ONS” menu select "GET ADD ONS"
    • Select “ANGELSCRY ADD-ON REPOSITORY”
    • Select “PROGRAM ADD ONS”
    • Select "ADVANCED LAUNCHER"
    • Select “INSTALL”

    3) Configure the Advanced Launcher
    Once the “Advanced Launcher” utility has been installed you can begin the configuration activities following these steps:
    • From the “ADD-ONS” menu select "ADVANCED LAUNCHER"
    • Select “CONFIGURE”

    The first thing you need to do is configure the location for your fanart and thumbnails by following these steps:
    • Select “LAUNCHERS THUMBS DEFAULT PATH” and browse to the folder you created earlier e.g. C:\FOR_XBMC\GAMES\THUMBNAILS
    • Select “LAUNCHRTS FANART DEFAULT PATH” and browse to the folder you created earlier e.g. C:\FOR_XBMC\GAMES\FANART

    I also disabled “Recursive Scan” as I am going to keep my thumbnails and fan art in the same folder as the shortcuts to my games. You can use scrapers to automatically download the thumbnails and fanart, but I left these sections with “IMPORT DURING SCAN” set to “NONE” so that I could manually set the images I wanted to use. Then you need to configure the Advanced Launcher following these steps:
    • From the XBMC home screen select “PROGRAMS”
    • Select “ADVANCED LAUNCHER”
    • Select “STANDALONE (Normal PC Executable”
    • When prompted to “SELECT THE LAUNCHER APPLICATION” browse for the executable file used to launch the game e.g. “C:\PROGRAM FILES\GAMES\SHIFT2\SHIFT2.EXE”
    • When prompted to specify the “APPLICATION ARGUMENTS” accept the default value which is "%rom%"
    • When prompted “SET THE TITLE OF THE LAUNCHER” to a descriptive name e.g. “SHIFT 2”
    • When prompted to “SELECT THE SYSTEM PLATFORM” select “IBM PC Compatible”

    4) Integrating into the XBMC Front-End
    Next you need to configure the XBMC front-end so that you can access your games from the home menu.

    Firstly you need to make the “ADVANCED LAUNCHER” a “FAVOURITE” by following these steps.
    • From the XBMC home screen select “PROGRAMS”
    • Select “ADVANCED LAUNCHER”
    • Set as a “FAVOURITE”
    Secondly you need to add a “GAMES” element to the home menu as follows:
    • From the main menu select “SETTINGS”
    • Select “SKIN SETTINGS”
    • Select “MENU”
    • Click the radio button to enable the “CUSTOM 1” element in the home menu
    • Enter a descriptive “BUTTOM LABEL” e.g. “GAMES”
    • Click on “FAVOURITE” and select “ADVANCED LAUNCHER”

    5) Setting up Fanart, Thumbnails and Plot Description
    In order to make the Game section more aesthetically appealing and to look similar to the Movies section you will need to configure the Fanart, Thumbnails and Plot Description. As I wanted to control the images used rather than using a scraper I followed these steps:
    • Right-Click on the item and select “EDIT LAUNCHER”
    • Select “CHANGE THUMBNAIL IMAGE”
    • Browse to the folder where you uploaded your Fanart and Thumbnails e.g. C:\FOR_XBMC\GAMES and select the Thumbnail to use for this game
    • Select “CHANGE FANART IMAGE”
    • Browse to the folder where you uploaded your Fanart and Thumbnails e.g. C:\FOR_XBMC\GAMES and select the Fanart to use for this game
    • Select “MODIFY DATA/INFOS”
    • Select “IMPORT INFOS FROM GAMEFAQS”
    • Enter the title of the game to search for on GAMEFAQS
    • Select the correct search result and import the plot details

    6) Setting the main menu background
    The final step is to set the Fanart that you want to appear when the “GAMES” element is highlighted in the main menu. For the “TRANSPARENCY” skin I followed these steps:
    • From the main menu select “SETTINGS”
    • Select “SKIN SETTINGS”
    • Open the “CONTEXT MEUN” by pressing “C” on the keyboard
    • Select “BACKGROUNDS”
    • Select the new element that you added to the home menu e.g. “HOME – CUSTOM 1”
    • Select “MULTI IMAGE”
    • Browse to the folder that contains the images that you want to use as the background for the “GAMES” element e.g. C:\FOR_XBMC\GAMES\FANART
    • Return to the XBMC home page and navigate to the “GAMES” element and you should now see your Fanart displayed.

    7) The finished result
    The "GAMES" section on the home menu showing Fanart (click for high res):
    [​IMG]
    The "GAMES" section on the home menu showing different Fanart (click for high res):
    [​IMG]
    The "SEGA RALLY" game showing Fanart, Thumbnail and Plot details (click for high res):
    [​IMG]
    The "SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED" game showing Fanart, Thumbnail and Plot details (click for high res):
    [​IMG]

    8) Useful links:
    When configuring XBMC to launch PC games I found the following sites to be useful references:

    James
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  18. Useless_Help

    Useless_Help New Member

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    Thats awesome mate, applause go out to you and Grangey!

    I was actually not intending to use XMBC but seeing this, might be tempted for the WOW factor and use MC and the rest for TV viewing etc!

    Thanks!
  19. kav

    kav Well-Known Member

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    Brilliant guide for games in XBMC, thanks James.
  20. icstm

    icstm Member

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    indeed, final post (197) should be very useful to many ppl here.
  21. jamesaevans

    jamesaevans Member

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    Glad to hear you all found the post on launching PC games from within XBMC useful, but the credit should go to Grangey as I just followed his guide and wrote down the details of the steps that I performed. :)

    James
  22. jamesaevans

    jamesaevans Member

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    22 - Ripping and Playing Blu-ray and DVD Movies in XBMC

    My preference is to rip my DVDs and Blu-rays as ISO images so that I have an exact copy of what was on the original disc, and there is no degradation of image quality. I appreciate that there are other methods of creating smaller files without losing image quality by stripping out extras and alternate sound tracks etc, but I’m happy with the ISO approach. I am using SlySoft AnyDVD HD as I was already using this application to enable multi-region DVD and Blu-ray playback on my HTPC and it also includes the functionality to rip both DVD and Blu-ray movies to ISO images.

    1) Ripping DVD movies
    To rip a DVD movie to an ISO image I followed these steps:
    • Place the DVD disc in the optical drive and wait for AnyDVD HD to scan the disc
    • Right-click on the AnyDVD HD icon on the toolbar and choose “Rip to image”
    • Select the destination folder e.g. C:\Multimedia\Movies\DVD
    • Create a new folder inside the DVD folder with the name of the movie e.g. C:\Multimedia\Movies\DVD\Spiderman
    • Set the name of the ISO image to be the name of the movie e.g. Spiderman.dvd.iso
    • The naming convention becomes important when configuring playback in XBMC
    • Click “Copy DVD” and wait around 15-20mins for the copy to complete

    2) Ripping Blu-ray movies
    To rip a Blu-ray movie to an ISO image I followed these steps:
    • Place the Blu-ray disc in the optical drive and wait for AnyDVD HD to scan the disc
    • Right-click on the AnyDVD HD icon on the toolbar and choose “Rip to image”
    • Select the destination folder e.g. C:\Multimedia\Movies\Blu-ray
    • Create a new folder inside the DVD folder with the name of the movie e.g. C:\Multimedia\Movies\Blu-ray\Fanboys
    • Set the name of the ISO image to be the name of the movie e.g. Fanboys.bluray.iso
    • The naming convention becomes important when configuring playback in XBMC
    • Click “Copy DVD” and wait around 45-60mins for the copy to complete

    3) Configuring playback in XBMC
    In order to create a fully functional HTPC I will be using a combination of XBMC and Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 for media playback. Based on a recommendation from Razor I will be using XBMC for all Standard Definition (SD) content and Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 for all High Definition (HD) content as follows:
    • Play DVD discs using XBMC
    • Play Blu-ray discs using Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5
    • Play DVD ISO images using XBMC
    • Play Blu-ray ISO images using Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5
    • Play other media formats using XBMC

    Natively XBMC plays DVD discs, DVD ISO images and other media therefore the configuration focused on enabling Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 for Blu-ray disc and ISO playback. I did plenty of reading around and my approach takes inspiration from Grangey’s excellent “XBMC Setup, and Support” thread and the "ISO Mounter - third-party software for auto Blu-ray ISO / IMG image mount on Windows" thread in the XBMC forum (See post #92 by slingshot27).

    As with many problems a simple approach is often the best, and this is the case when it comes to configuring XBMC for HD playback. There are two key elements to the configuration, which are as follows:
    • Two batch files to launch Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 for Blu-ray disc and ISO playback
    • An XML file to define two external players in XBMC and the rules for when the batch files should be called

    Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 comes with two different user interfaces so you might like to try them both out to see which works better for you. The default user interface is “uLaunchTMT5.EXE” which gives you a feature rich interface which more suited to using a mouse when watching DVDs or Blu-rays on the monitor desktop computer.
    [​IMG]

    The second user interface “uMCEPlayer5.EXE” provides a simplified interface which is more suited to using a remote control when watching DVDs or Blu-rays on your plasma from the sofa, and this is the option I went with.
    [​IMG]

    The final part of the puzzle is SlySoft Virtual Clone Drive which mounts the Blu-ray ISO image so that it can be played by Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5.


    4) Setting up a folder to store the batch files
    Two batch files are required to perform the following actions:
    • To launch Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 when playing a Blu-ray disc
    • To launch Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 when playing a Blu-ray ISO image

    The first step is to create a folder to hold the two batch files
    e.g. C:\FOR_XBMC\BATCH_FILES


    5) Creating the batch file for playing a Blu-ray disc
    I opened Notepad and created a batch file called PlayDisc.bat which I saved in the folder I created
    e.g. C:\FOR_XBMC\BATCH_FILES\PlayDisc.bat

    I then added the following text to the batch file:
    Code:
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcSoft\TotalMedia Theatre 5\uMCEPlayer5.exe" D:
    The first part of the text string is the path to the executable file for Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 and D: is the drive letter of my optical drive.


    6) Creating the batch file for playing a Blu-ray ISO image
    I opened Notepad and created a batch file called PlayDisc.bat which I saved in the folder I created
    e.g. C:\FOR_XBMC\BATCH_FILES\PlayISO.bat

    I then added the following three lines of text to the batch file:
    Code:
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Elaborate Bytes\VirtualCloneDrive\vcdmount.exe" /d=0 %1
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcSoft\TotalMedia Theatre 5\uMCEPlayer5.exe" E:
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Elaborate Bytes\VirtualCloneDrive\vcdmount.exe" /d=0 /u
    The first line mounts the Blu-ray ISO image using SlySoft Virtual Clone Drive. The second line calls the executable file for Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5. Of particular note is the different drive letter “E:” which is the SlySoft Virtual Clone Drive rather than my optical drive which is reference when playing the Blu-ray disc. The third line unmounts the Blu-ray ISO image once the Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 application has been closed.

    Once you have created the folder and both batch files you should have something like this (click for high resolution):
    [​IMG]


    7) Creating the XML file
    For XBMC to play a Blu-ray disc using Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 it needs to know about it. To do this you need to create an XML which adds Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 as an external player and defines the rules for when this external player should be used.

    Open Notepad and create a new file called “playercorefactory.xml” which (assuming that the user account is called "HTPC") must be saved in the following location for Windows 7
    e.g. C:\Users\HTPC\AppData\Roaming\XBMC\UserData\playercorefactory.xml

    Note: If you do not see the "AppData" folder then you will need to enbale "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" in the Control Panel

    I then added the following text to the “playercorefactory.xml” file in Notepad:
    Code:
    <playercorefactory>
    	<players>
    		<player name="PlayISO" type="ExternalPlayer" audio="false" video="true">
    			<filename>c:\FOR_XBMC\BATCH_FILES\PlayISO.bat</filename>
    			<args>"{1}" /fullscreen /close</args>
    			<forceontop>false</forceontop>
    			<hidexbmc>false</hidexbmc>
    			<hidecursor>false</hidecursor>
    		</player> 
    		<player name="PlayDisc" type="ExternalPlayer" audio="false" video="true">
    			<filename>c:\FOR_XBMC\BATCH_FILES\PlayDisc.bat</filename>
    			<args>"{1}" /fullscreen /close</args>
    			<forceontop>false</forceontop>
    			<hidexbmc>false</hidexbmc>
    			<hidecursor>false</hidecursor>
    		</player> 
    	</players>
    	<rules action="prepend">
    		<!-- Bluray ISO -->
    		<rule filename=".*bluray.*" player="PlayISO"/>
    
    		<!-- Bluray Disc -->
    		<rule protocols="bd" player="PlayDisc"/>
    	</rules>
    </playercorefactory>
    The “players” section defines two external players and if you look at the “filename” parameter you will see that they reference the two batch files that I created previously. The “rules” section defines when the external players should be called. The “filename” parameter in the “Bluray ISO” rule is used so that the external player is only called when the Blu-ray ISO filename matches the rule e.g. Fanboys.bluray.iso The “protocols” parameter in the “Bluray Disc” rule is used so that the external player is only called when the disc is of the “bd” type.

    Once you have created the XML file you should have something like this (click for high resolution):
    [​IMG]

    8) Testing the playback of a Blu-ray disc
    I am using the “Transparency” skin for XBMC so before I could see the Blu-ray disc in XBMC I had to enable the “Play Disc” main menu element from the “Settings” menu as it was not visible by default.

    I then returned to the home menu and scrolled through the menu elements until I came to the “Play Disc” element which I selected. XBMC then launches Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 and begins playing the Blu-ray disc. When I closed Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 I was returned to the XBMC home menu.


    9) Testing the playback of a Blu-ray ISO image
    I navigated to the “Movies” element of the XBMC main menu and then selected a Blu-ray movie that I had ripped as an ISO image, in this case Prince of Persia:
    [​IMG]
    This automatically mounted the Blu-ray ISO image using SlySoft Virtual Clone Drive, launched Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 and began playing the Blu-ray ISO image. When I closed Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 I was returned to the XBMC home menu.


    10) Useful Links:
    When configuring XBMC to play Blu-ray discs and ISO images I found the following sites and threads to be useful references:

    Hopefully this post will be useful to other forum members in setting up XBMC to playback Blu-ray discs and ISO images. :)

    James
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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  23. Hooblue

    Hooblue Member

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    That last post is awesome mate, just what I was after as i've just been looking at how to play bluray discs and ripped iso images using XBMC and this has saved some serious googling! :smashin:

    Maybe it could be added to the XBMC guide so that everything is kept in the same place?
  24. Dr Tim

    Dr Tim Member

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    Great update, having just converted to XBMC those two posts will definitely come in handy!
  25. holtehero

    holtehero Active Member

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    This is my biggest bug bear with the GTX580, the fact that cheaper cards in the Nvidia line up do support it.

    Apparently after asking around on some other forums, its not that the cards are incapable its just that Nvidia need to enable in the drivers and probably licence the codecs for these cards.

    As you mention PCM is ok, but i'd rather being seeing DD-TruHD and DTS-MA shown on my Amp
  26. jamesaevans

    jamesaevans Member

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    Hi holtehero,

    Interesting that you have found out that the GTX 580 (and I'm assuming GTX570) have hardware support for bitstreaming HD audio but that it is a driver / licensing issue. When I looked into this issue the feedback I found indicated that it was hardware related.

    Unless Nvidia provide a formal statement on this issue or someone gets a hacked GTX560Ti driver to run on a GTX 570/580 and demonstarte bitstreaming of HD audio I guess it will be difficult to prove one way of the other. Either way it does not work and it should work.:mad:

    I would also like to see DD-TruHD and DTS-MA shown on my Amp given that I invested in an Amp that is capabale of decoding bitstreamed HD audio. That being said Uncompressed PCM is providing significantly improved sound quality over my PS3 that I was previously using to play Blu-ray movies. The improvment is most noticable in the speach which is significantly clearer that before.

    James
  27. punish

    punish Member

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    Hi jamesaevans,

    i tested your tutorial, but it doesn't work for me.
    When i start to play an iso only this happend:
    [​IMG]

    I can press ok, but Total MediaTheatre 5 does not pop up.

    When I take a look to the xbmc.log I see the following lines:
    10:55:14 T:5756 M:4294967295 NOTICE: CExternalPlayer::ExecuteAppW32: "c:\FOR_XBMC\BATCH_FILES\PlayISO.bat" "z:\BLURAY\Daylight.1996.BLURAY\daylight-bluray.iso" /fullscreen /close
    10:55:15 T:5756 M:4294967295 NOTICE: CExternalPlayer::ExecuteAppW32: WAIT_OBJECT_0
    10:56:05 T:5756 M:4294967295 NOTICE: CExternalPlayer::process: Stop
    10:56:05 T:5756 M:4294967295 NOTICE: CExternalPlayer::process: Showing XBMC window TOPMOST
    10:56:05 T:5756 M:4294967295 NOTICE: CExternalPlayer::process: Reclaiming audio device 2

    When I enter the following line in a command box: "c:\FOR_XBMC\BATCH_FILES\PlayISO.bat" "z:\BLURAY\Daylight.1996.BLURAY\daylight-bluray.iso"
    Total MediaTheatre 5 starts and plays the video fine.

    But why does it not start from XBMC?
    I tested the batch also with PowerDVD. Then It works, but why doesn't it work with TMT5?
    Please Help.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  28. jamesaevans

    jamesaevans Member

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    Hi punish,

    It took me a few hours of trial and error to get his working, so let me see if I can help you to resolve this issue.

    Firstly which of the two TMT5 executables are you using and have you tried the other one? I found that the MCE version worked more reliably so if you are not using this one give it a go and see if you get the same result.

    Also worth making sure you have the latest version of XBMC and TMT5 just in case any bugs have been fixed recently that might be causing you issues.

    James
  29. Hooblue

    Hooblue Member

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    Hi James,

    I've been trying to get this to work also (using an external player to launch TMT3). I'm using the Aeon skin but can't see where within the settings I switch on the 'Play Disc' option on the main menu. I can find the place to show/hide the other options such as Movies, Video etc and assumed the Play Disc option would be in the same place, but can't for the life of me see it. Does it only appear when a disc is actually inserted or something? Or should I use a different skin? Or is it hidden somewhere else?

    Cheers
  30. jamesaevans

    jamesaevans Member

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    Hi Hooblue,

    I thought that the "Play Disc" option was a standard XBMC feature that would be part of all skins. However, it is possible that the person who created the skin you are using decided to remove this option and not give you the option to re-enable it. Might be worth posting the question in the appropriate "Skins" thread over at the XBMC forum to see if anyone else has found how to enable this option for this skin.

    I'm using the "Transparency" skin which includes the "Play Disc" option once it has been enabled from the "Settings" menu, so may be give this skin (or the default skin) a go and see if either of these work for you.

    James
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