Buttons Blog

Hi all,

After owning a few WDTV HD players  and converting my films to play on them, I got myself a couple of SMP players.

Both are now hooked up to a pair of WD Elements 2TB each so 4TB local storage on both.

I’ve a few issues that I’d love answers to if possible, the first of which I shall cover in this post as I have a photo to hand.

In the past I had always used JPG’s for the Folders & Movie files, but obviously the SMP now has sheets so no more making per movie thumbs (hooray)

What annoys me about the SMP at the moment is the Drive icons directly under Library that are just Black rectangles with a folder in them. Can these be substituted with custom ones like the folders?

I’ve made a nice “WD My Book” icon using illustrator and would much rather have that than these boring ones!

PS: My picture has now been replaed by a yellow triangle !?! if this is the case for other viewers you may not get what i mean in my post.

That means that your image has not been approved by moderators yet.

We’ll see it when they approve it.

Ahhh… That would explain it!
My next real issue with “all” my WD players is a subject that has been touched on numerous times but never really resolved.
There are many old DVDs including: “Comming to America” “Tremors” “The Running Man” “Space Truckers” that display as a little window with black borders on all 4 sides. I have ripped these films to multiple containers and formats with a number of program’s, but every time it displays this way. The standard answer is that it’s not coded correctly etc. I recently swapped out a few TVs to Sony smart sets, as these play back a number of files I copied exactly the same film file that had this problem onto a thumb stick and shoved it into the TVs USB port.
The film played perfectly with only borders top and bottom! This would suggest there a lack of ability on the wd player to display the file correctly. Unfortunately 1.2x isnt enough and as usual, the stupid HDMI connection block TVs ability to stretch the display.

Here’s it playing on a Sony 320ex Smart TV via USB: (perfect widescreen only top & bottom borders)


… so does this happen if it’s ripped directly to full ISO format?   … not “re-containerizing” it?

I have seen that .ISO can sometimes overcome this issue, but such a method does kind of negate the point of the player

for me as I remove all the rubbish the studios love to cram onto discs these days. If I have to keep all the adverts, warnings and menus I may as well put the disc in.

As for answering your question for the sake of others, that’s the only format not tried. Why? purely because none of my programs appear to have that as an output option.

The answer to your first question (without seeing your pic) is no.  You can’t have a image display for the root of a drive.

  “In the past I had always used JPG’s for the Folders & Movie files, but obviously the SMP now has sheets so no more making per movie thumbs (hooray)”


I’m not sure what you mean by this, the SMP doesn’t have “sheets” it has backdrops and thumbs for each movie is still needed.  However, you can use the “Get Content” function to get the thumbs and backdrops so that there is no need to add them yourself, but you need to remember this.  The if you use the “Get Content” function it uses the extension “.metathumb” for thumbs and if you add your own thumbs with a .jpg extension you will run into issues because .metathumbs and .jpgs don’t exist well on the SMP and the .metathumbs will in most cases override the .jpg.

I can’t answer your second post until I see your pic as I don’t understand what you mean.  But as far as ISO’s go, you don’t have to do a full disc ISO, you can just have main movie ISO (no extras, ads , etc.  just the movie).

Another thing you have to remember is that if you files are on a NAS you need to add them to the media library and whether your files are on a NAS or a HDD connected to the SMP you have to select the content source as “My Media Library” for all the info to display correclty.

Thanks for answering the first query…shame about that as it just looks unfinished against the pretty backdrops etc.

Won’t be fiddling with the Blacklight themes etc… I want to watch media not the GUI.

What do I mean by “sheets”… I’m not being to the letter specific. Pre Hub & SMP you got bugger all. The SMP creates what I would describe as sheets ie it provides a Thumbnail, Backdrops and brief text overview from “the Movie Database” More than sufficient for my needs.

Interesting about the .ISO (you should see my photo now by the way of it working on a smart TV) I will take a picture of the WDTV output for the same file and post it later today.

The software I have are “Pavtube - Ultimate Blu-Ray Converter” “Pavtube - ByteCopy” “Magic DVDRipper” & ClownDB.

Don’t believe any of these have “ISO” output?

Note: I only use lossless quality so any method that degrades this isn’t an option either.

PS: Worked out shortly after buying the SMPs what Metathumbs are. Still handy for my older WDTV players as I simply copy out the Metathumbs via Wi-Fi and rename to .jpg and behold thumbs for those too.

Well, first it’s DARKLIGHT not Blacklight.:wink:  And using themes is your choice, but your are already using one, just the default one.  By the way, that’s part of my “signature line” and displays on all my posts automatically.  I wasn’t telling you specifically to try my themes.

That’s not even close to the letter. .  Then HUB/SMP uses multiple sources to display the info.  The xml to display the metadata, thumbs to, well, display thumbs and backdrops (which are pulled from the xml data) to display backdrops. And all that themes do (such as Darklight) is give you a different way to display that info.

You can use ImgBurn (freeware) to convert your TS/VOB to ISO.  You can also use mkvmerge to convert to mkv (no compression).

“Note: I only use lossless quality so any method that degrades this isn’t an option either.”

Well, that’s too bad, since if you are ripping DVD’s you are already using lossy.  But ISO’s are just a zipped DVD, no compression, it’s exactly the same just zipped into a single file.   But I can throw my Handbrake encoded mkv’s (compressed, about 1/3 the size) up against any non compressed DVD and you can’t tell any difference in quality.

Thanks for the info “BUT” please please please let’s nip the Lossy debate in the bud before it starts.

I only use DVD for low quality films or ones that don’t really benefit from HD. This being the case, many DVD are pretty poor so why would I want to make it worse!! For any “looker” films I always use Lossless (in the context of identicle to the source material ie the Disc) Blu-Ray.

Going to try a little test with Imgburn and will feedback results!


This is what the exact same file looks like via WD TV. (note this also happens if sent via regular Red, White & Yellow jacks rather than HDMI