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Playing Ripped Blu-Ray Discs on Media Center Extenders

February 21, 2010

I have recently become interested in playing back movies ripped from Blu-Ray discs on my Xbox 360 Media Center Extenders. I no longer buy DVDs, but still want to have access to movies from any Media Center extender in our house using MyMovies.

I have discovered that this is possible, but problematic.

First, I am able to rip the movie from a Blur-Ray disc to an MKV file using a combination of AnyDVD HD and MakeMKV, AnyDVD is a commercial application (albeit not an inexpensive one) that removes copy protection from Blu-Ray discs. MakeMKV is a freeware/shareware application that allows one to make an MKV file from the video files on the disc. MakeMKV alows the user to select what videos to rip and what audio and subtitle tracks they want to include, thus enabling easy extraction of the main movie into an MKV file.

By installing the Haali Media Splitter software, one can get Windows Media Player re play these MKV files. When accessed from the Xbox 360 Media Center extender using my movies, the main Media Center PC running Windows 7 sends transcoded versions of the MKV file for playback on the Xbox. This works passably well, with decent video and audio, but not the full fidelity of the original Blu-Ray or MKV file.

Unfortunately, my attempts to convert the MKV files to DVR-MS or WTV files for native playback on the Xbox (using DVRMS Toolbox) have all be miserable failures, which may have something to do with the MKV files using the VC1 codec rather than an MPEG 2 video codec.

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