Why Can’t Someone Create a Windows Vista Media Center Add-In for Movie Disc Playback?


Originally I was going to report on a yet another Vista Media Center (VMC) hack that enables users to launch their pre-installed DVD/Blu-ray player application from within Media Center, but it got me thinking. Why can’t Cyberlink (the creator of PowerDVD) create an add-in or Microsoft introduce a local disc playback feature into VMC when a supported player/decoder app is detected? Here’s what I’m talking about… we know that you need to install an application like PowerDVD in order to playback DVD and Blu-ray movies on your PC, so why not use PowerDVD as the backend engine and have a standard control and playback VMC interface for viewing movie discs? It has always seemed silly to me that you have to launch an external application to do such a media-centric task (MythTV, SageTV, Beyond TV have been able to do something similar to this for years).




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6 Reactions to “Why Can’t Someone Create a Windows Vista Media Center Add-In for Movie Disc Playback?”


  1. Dustin says:

    All CyberLink needs to do is create a embeddable component that is accessible via C# or Visual C++. There would be 20 wrappers for it overnight.

  2. Percy says:

    Someone has. It’s called ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre (http://www.arcsoft.com/products/totalmediatheatre/). It has a 2 foot interface that you can run outside of media center and a 10 foot media center plugin that runs while in media center. It’s pretty good but after HDDVD died as an HD format I haven’t made the leap to Bluray on the PC yet so I haven’t bought a copy yet. When I had the trial active it was pretty good though.

  3. Boeskip says:

    Doesn’t arcsoft have this already embedded in their Total Media Theatre?
    http://www.arcsoft.com/products/totalmediatheatre/
    Didn’t tested this yet but they have the following feature:

    Windows Media Center Edition Plug-in
    The program comes with a Windows Media Center Edition plug-in built right in! The plug-in provides a “10 foot” user experience: big buttons and compatibility with your remote control mean you can use TotalMedia Theatre to watch your Blu-ray movies from the comfort of your couch.

    Nice? Test it out!!!

  4. Excellent recommendation guys. That’s exactly what I was after… and it supports CD, VCD, DVD, and Blu-ray.

  5. Elliott says:

    Per IBM all three player software vendors (Cyberlink, Corel, Arcsoft) have not properly implemented certain playback features as related in this Dailytech article http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=12677 Software playback users on threads at Avsforum have been discussing these software problems for months to no avail. I believe IBM is to be commended for publicly revealing the problems of these software vendors and hopefully applying pressure to them to correct them. I also believe that IBM is getting a bum rap for the G45 chipset and their new G45 DG45ID motherboard because of player software vendor unresolved bugs. ALEXANDER, thanks for your post and please share the results of your tests – in particular blu-ray playback, cpu utilization, and 24p playback.

  6. Looks like Missing Remote has posted a review of ArcSoft’s TotalMedia Theater, for those interested. Blu-ray/DVD MCE integration looks solid.