Streaming DVD's to your XBox360 - Part 1

Sin City

MPEG2 and Your Media Extender

We’ve already learned how to get a DVD to playback on Windows XP Media Center 2005. We’ve learned to play uncompressed backups of a DVD from the hard drive through Media Center, and we have learned that Media Connect won’t stream DVD Movie files to Xbox360. As a reminder, if you do attempt this function, the result will be the following error:

Video Not Supported
Video cannot be viewed in media center from a remote desktop connection.

Advertiser Links for DVD Streaming I

Since a DVD movie is compressed with Mpeg2 it should playback because Microsoft Mpeg2 and WMV are the two video formats that will stream to the extender.

The following is a walkthrough that will show you exactly how a DVD can be streamed to Xobx360 using DVD decryption software and some file tweaking.

To help illustrate the aforementioned process, Gizmo Guy will use the u&qot;Sin City Recut" DVD, which is a good example because the "Recut" version of the film cuts/divides the Sin City movie into episodes based on the graphic novels by Frank Miller. Each episode is full of deleted scenes that weren’t in the theatrical version. After all, being able to select individual episodes of this film from the Xbox360 would certainly be cool.

Here is what the title menu of the DVD looks like:

DVD Menu

Select the episode you wish to watch in any order. We’d like to recreate this effect on the Xbox360 through our Windows Media Player. Because you already have a good Windows DRM 10 compliant codec in place, you can view a DVD through the Media Center PC. However, the DVD will still be encrypted. We’re going to strip the DVD to its barest elements: a collection of Mpeg2 files, one file for each episode of Sin City. The first step in doing this will require decryption.

Decryption

There are many decrypters available at www.doom9.org that performs the job in a variety of ways. DVDDecrypter version 3.5.4.0 is a good decrypter, which will easily compile all the individual .VOB files in your DVD’s VIDEO_TS directory into one large file. I find that DVD Shrink is easier to use and has a lot more options. So, for purposes of this tutorial, we’ll use it.

Remember that backing up a DVD you already own for purposes of playing back through your home network is perfectly legal. You’re protected by the precedent- setting ruling in Sony Corp versus Universal City Studios, in 1984.

Regardless of which one you choose, when using your decrypter there are a couple of basic options you must set in stone:

  1.  We simply want a single .VOB file for every Mpeg2. Splitting of VOB files should be disabled.
  1. We don't want to make a backup or copy of the DVD, so we're not interested in compressing the file so it fits a 4.5 Gig DVDR. Disable any compression, but backup the DVD using its 8.5 Gig setting with no compression.

Shrink

In DVD Shrink, go to the Tools menu and select Preferences. Here you’ll find settings to remove compression. DVD-9 means we’re treating this backup as a dual density DVD.

Output

In Output Files, uncheck Split VOB files. You want one big VOB, not several that are one Gig in size.

Split Vob Files

The Re-author button gives you the ability to edit the content. Select the DVD Browser tab to find the episodes of Sin City and drag them one at a time from the Main Movie Menu to the DVD Structure you’re building. It often won’t be made clear exactly what file goes to what episode. You’ll probably have to use a few seconds of the preview option to see for yourself.

In How to stream DVD to Xbox360: Part II, we’ll finish off our tutorial.