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       Playing VOB dvds...can menu be easier?
    ericinboston
    post Sep 3 2010, 07:29 PM
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    Hi all! I just bought the WD TV the other day...I am literally only using it to play ripped dvds which are in the VOB format and the correct directory structure. I also typically rip just the movie...no menus or chapters or anything. But not always...sometimes the entire dvd is ripped.

    My question is that when I navigate to them via the Video Folders, when I get to the movie, I've got, for example, 5 VOB files in each. Now, I'm a techie so I know what they are for and realize the _01.vob is where the movie starts (and that WD will just move on to _02 when _01 is done), but it seems kinda dumb for WD to display all 5. Why not just display the first _01.vob file? For non techies at my house, they're going to wonder why after clicking a few times to navigate dumps them into a folder full of VOBs.

    I've looked in the Options and I do not see any kind of way to disguise this.

    I don't want to make Playlists because that's just going to make more work for me. I'd rather just have a few folders (Comedy, Drama, Action for example) and then movie titles in those folders (Caddyshack, for example) and finally when I get to Caddyshack, there is just 1 "file" I need to click with the remote.

    Any ideas? Or is this a feature request?

    On a less imporant note, if instead of choosing Video Folders I choose All Videos, I get thousands of crazy files listed like .DAT files. I have no idea what they are and they typically start with CAT. Anyone know what these are and why WD is listing them?

    -Eric
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    post Sep 3 2010, 07:29 PM
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    WDUser
    post Sep 3 2010, 08:26 PM
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    Are you sure you have a Gen. 2? See the first link in my sig below to confirm.

    As for your DVDs, I guess you'd be better of simply ripping them as a single lossless MKV using MakeMKV. That way, you'll have only 1 file per movie, which is simpler to handle, plus no quality loss as well.

    Try it and let me know.
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    ericinboston
    post Sep 3 2010, 08:46 PM
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    Hi. I definitely have a Ver 2...I checked before posting.

    As far as the file conversion, I politely argue that I will never do any kind of conversion...for 2 reasons:

    1)I basically backup all my dvds in the first place...so I can burn them to a dvd for backup...having them on the hard drive is very nice now so I can play them via the WD TV.

    2)I consider myself extremely extremely computer technical...however, I have tried every video conversion utility under the sun for about 5 years and none are 100% accurate...lip sync is off, CODECs from hell, incompatibility with flavors of WMP, video compression issues, chapter problems, etc. Besides, I'm kind of a bit freak anyway...I only use MP3s on my iPod...everything else has been WAV since 1992. I'll keep my dvds in VOB format...a 2TB drive is barely over $100 these days anyway so frankly I don't see the point in all the crazy conversions these days (10 years ago when 50GB external drives were considered huge and would barely hold 10 uncompressed dvds?...sure...but not nowadays when I can store 400 dvds per 2TB of space for ~$100).

    I'd be happy to take a picture of the menu if you are unsure of what I am talking about. Everything works...it's that it looks confusing for novices on what VOB file to play the movie...they shouldn't have to choose...just play the bleeping movie. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) I'm not going to make ISOs because a)that will take me time and (IMG:style_emoticons/default/cool.gif) I've read a lot here that ISOs have their performance issues on WD TV.

    I will, however, investigate MakeMKV...but I've heard the praises/claims for years about conversion utilities promising perfection. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

    -Eric
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    ericinboston
    post Sep 4 2010, 08:39 AM
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    Hi all. I tried the MakeMKV and it's a pretty nice app...it's created a few movies for me and they seem to play just fine. The only negative feedback I have for MKV files is that there is no Chapter...so for long movies, I have to fast forward which takes forever since the WD TV maxes out at 16x (wish it was more like 48x or some kind of "skip ahead 10 mins" button on the remote. When I used MakeMKV, I was pointing it to directory structures on my drive...not a physical dvd.

    If there is a way for me to create MKV files (a single file for the entire movie) that allows me to jump to chapters, please let me know...that would be quite handy.

    Thanks again in advance!

    -Eric
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    WDUser
    post Sep 4 2010, 01:20 PM
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    QUOTE (ericinboston @ Sep 4 2010, 08:09 PM) *
    Hi all. I tried the MakeMKV and it's a pretty nice app...it's created a few movies for me and they seem to play just fine. The only negative feedback I have for MKV files is that there is no Chapter...

    MakeMKV was able to detect and preserve chapters for all my DVDs and BRs, so either there's something the matter with your DVDs, or MakeMKV has a problem with them. I suggest you take a look at this related thread on the MakeMKV forum and post there if you're having issues. Remember that the program is still in beta, so it may have bugs that the devs can fix, if you'll send them the logs as requested.

    BTW, if you really feel like it, you can add chapters manually to MKVs using MKVMerge GUI (part of the mkvtoolnix package).

    QUOTE (ericinboston @ Sep 4 2010, 08:09 PM) *
    so for long movies, I have to fast forward which takes forever since the WD TV maxes out at 16x (wish it was more like 48x or some kind of "skip ahead 10 mins" button on the remote.

    Since a dedicated "Jump to Time" feature has been requested since day 1 and WD will probably never implement it, the next best thing is to use the 10 min. jump feature, which FYI does already exist. Just press Fast Forward/Reverse on the remote and then Next/Prev to skip forwards or backwards 10 minutes at a time.

    P.S. As far as being a "bit freak" goes, I am one too. I too prefer lossless audio over lossy formats like MP3. Why else do you think I suggested ripping your DVDs as a single lossless MKV? MakeMKV doesn't re-encode/compress the video, which is why it's so fast, plus this feature has been rejected by the devs anyway since there are plenty of tools available that can do that. As far as compatibility goes, the MKV/MP4 formats are the formats of the future, unlike outdated containers such as AVI etc. MKV is also the best supported format on these WD TV models in my experience. Other advantages of MKV include embedded soft subs etc.
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