Making Cyberlink PowerDVD 7/8 Ultra play nice with Media Center

Feb 20 2008

So you have a Blu-ray or HD DVD drive, and it comes with Power DVD, but how to make it integrate with Media Center? The process it two fold: 1. Have it launch from Media Center and 2. Make the MCE remote work properly with Blu-ray pop-up menus.

The first part is very easy now thanks to Media Center community member 'Armyb77' (Mike), he has very nicely created an installer that registers PowerDVD with Media Center and creates a button to a launcher that opens PowerDVD in fullscreen mode and once PowerDVD quits it correctly returns to Media Center. There are both Vista and MCE 2005 versions available on his site here.

The second part gets harder, PowerDVD natively has some support for the MCE remote, however it doesn't really have extensive enough support. A huge annoyance is that oddly Cyberlink has chosen to have the Blu-ray in movie menu function (called "pop-up menu") set to use a totally different key combination then DVD or HD DVD, so we need to find a way to get Blu-ray menus to pop-up over the playing movie like we can with HD DVD. Pressing the DVD Menu button on the MCE remote works, but it behaves like a legacy DVD which stops the movie and returns you to the main menu, which isn't the point of having the advanced interactivity in Blu-ray and HD DVD. With HD DVDs the menus simply pop-up when you hit the correct arrow button, so for example Univeral titles have a menu that slides out from the left side of the screen, so pushing the right arrow button makes the menu slide out. Likewise, Warner and Paramount titles have a menu that slides up from the bottom, pressing the up arrow makes them slide up. Blu-ray menus don't work this way with PowerDVD for some reason. So we need to make a button on the MCE remote trigger the Blu-ray in movie menu.
Digg It!

Read on for the full details...

The nitty-gritty of the MCE remote and PowerDVD Ultra:

PowerDVD Ultra has support natively for many buttons on the MCE remote, because of this, any 3rd party remote mapping software won't work properly. What this means is we need to find key on the MCE remote PowerDVD doesn't natively use. All the obvious ones such as DVD Menu, and Information are taken. PowerDVD doesn't use the Back button, nor does it use any of the number pad or the Clear button. So these can be remapped.

A simple and effective application that supports the Media Center remote is LM Remote KeyMap, it's small and unobtrusive, it just quietly hangs out in the system tray and puts a shortcut in the Start Up group. Uncheck the "show volume osd whenever volume change" otherwise you'll get an onscreen popup about volume changes (which happens whenever PowerDVD is opened). Double-clicking the icon brings up the simple configuration screen, right-clicking lets you exit the application.

So making sure that LM Remote KeyMap is closed, download the lm_profiles.zip from here at Missing Remote and extract the file into
\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\LM Gestion\LM Remote KeyMap\ if you're on XP
or \ProgramData\LM Gestion\LM Remote KeyMap\ if you use Vista.

Replace the profiles.xml with the one provided. It is setup correctly, so now when you press the Back button on your MCE remote the Blu-ray menu should appear while playing a movie. Pressing the Clear button down in the numeric keypad section of the MCE remote will quit PowerDVD, when used in combination with the plugin in part 1 you will now be returned to Media Center. It's not seamless, but it works pretty darn well.

Website design by Yammm Software
Powered by Drupal