"Autoplay" folders that contain Video_TS / VOB files

I am hoping that someone can helpme out, as I’m probably just searching for the wrong thing.   I just purchased a WD TV Live Plus device to replace an HTPC running MediaPortal.   In my Video library, I’ve ripped all of my DVDs into folders named after the name of the movie, and then contain the video_ts / VOB files.  

I’m going to Videos > Network Shares (or Media Servers).  I get to the Movie folder and then have to drill down to the video_ts folder and the finally the .VOB folder.   Is this really necessary?  Media Portal would ‘recognize’ the folder contained VOB files and would automatically play them when the “movie folder” was selected (i.e. I never even saw the “video_ts” folder).

As for Media Servers I’ve tried Tversity and PS3 Media Server with the same results.  I tried making a playlist, but that seemed to have the same result.  I really do not want to convert several hundred movies to an .ISO file, which I think might solve the problem.  There’s gotta be a better way though.


(Yes, I realize it’s only a couple of button presses, but my non-tech savy wife is going to complain so I’m trying to streamline this as much as possible.

As far as I know, the only way to play movies ripped to VOB files is to do what you described. Video->Network Shares, select the folder, select the VIDEO_TS folder, press Play on the first file in the VIDEO_TS folder, then select Options, then Menu, then press Options again to get rid of the options menu. You now have regular DVD navigation. I know that is a lot of button presses, and my wife complains about it too. :smileyvery-happy:

It is a little easier with ISOs, but not by much.

Thanks, yea I found that if navigate to the video_ts folder and then pressed play (instead of select) the movie plays just fine.   But now I need to remember to switch buttons when navigating (booo) and still need to go into the “movie” folder (boo)… Kinda crazy, you would think this would be a pretty common thing.  :cry:

Due to copyright issues, most forums have banned the discussion of ripping techniques.

Licensing agreements prevail; therefore the original posted issue is not unique to the WDTV Live box. I live in Australia; after ripping, there are many titles I encounter that will not play correctly through a hardware player like the WDTV Live.

The WDTV Live contains a hardware decoder chip. Hardware decoding must comply with the international professional digital broadcast specifications. I don’t expect WD to rectify the issue as that will void licensing agreements.

Based on my experience; converting to ISO files will not solve ripping issues. Ripping alters the original DVD file structure and many ISO files stall and cause problems.

Computers use software decoding to circumvent the hardware timing specifications. The easiest long-term solution is to use the freeware version of VOB2MPG. It takes 10 minutes to convert each title to MPG, and then use PS3MediaSever to play. That way you will have copies of both on your system. Depending on the original DVD mastering, be aware that many movies containing subtitles loose the subtitle playback ability.  

I have returned to the computer playing method using a commercial software player. I use the WDTV Live only to stream MPG titles.

thepanoguy, Please do not be offended by this, but if you read the original post, JeffASimpson is not complaining about ripping DVDs or DVDs not playing properly. He was complaining about the number of button presses that it takes to play the ripped files with the WD. Your answer, while technically correct, is way off topic and does not pertain to the original poster’s question.

@Scandy, I am not offended with your comments. I agree with and sympathize with the original poster’s comment about the WDTV Live remote function because I have put up with the same WDTV Live idiosyncrasies because the licensing agreements make the WDTV Live box unworkable. People have been using VCR’s with intuitive remote controls for the past 30 years without issues. What I was trying to explain is that the reason the WDTV live remote behaves like it does is because manufacturers cannot agree on a universal consumer standard. Electronic equipment should work correctly out of the box and there should be no difference between hardware decoding and software decoding. DVD’s and Bluray disks are not the indestructible disks that manufacturer’s perpetuate. People are archiving their DVD’s on hard drive to extend the life of their purchase. Manufacturer’s should build the recording license into the product not market a dysfunctional unintuitive product. I would be more that willing to pay the extra licensing agreement to have a fully functional WDTV Live box and a proper intuitive remote control.

thepanoguy wrote:

Based on my experience; converting to ISO files will not solve ripping issues. Ripping alters the original DVD file structure and many ISO files stall and cause problems.

As long as all current copy protections are removed by appropriate tools in the ripping process DVD ISOs will play just fine on the Live. I’ve yet to see an ISO of my own rips that won’t run.

All, thanks for the responses so far.  Just to restate, I am not having any problems playing videos or movies.  It’s simply the additional steps that you need to take to watch a movie.   “Ripped” DVDs aside, if you share your DVD on your computer to watch phsyical DVDs (to get around the fact that the device apparently does not support ext. DVD drives) you are going to run into the same problem.

It’s unfortunate that this implementation, while trying to make things “simple”, ends up making things more complicated due to lack of custom settings or strange behavior (as described above).