HowTo: Enable "My DVDs" in Media Center 2005 "Emerald" Update

Yesterday I posted about Update Rollup #2. One of the coolest features IMO is the ability to view a library of DVD movies. While designed for DVD changers, guess what, this works for DVD images stored on hard drives too πŸ˜‰ Note this doesn’t work for CSS-encypted movies such as those you get from your DVD rental store. But that’s right, those personal DVDs you have stored on a monster hard drive will show up automagically.

Courtesy of Matt Goyer who couldn’t let me scoop him, here’s the key. Below I’ve added a download to do this automatically

If you don’t have a changer you can enable the ‘My DVDs’ functionality with the following reg key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\SettingsDvdSettings

There you’ll find a setting that says “ShowGallery”=”Play”. Double click it and set it to “Gallery”

If you’re unsure how to do this, choose Start, then Run, then type “RegEdit”. This will launch the registry editor then look for the above. I haven’t found a way to make WMVs show up here- I don’t think this is supported.

For the lazy or regkey infirmed, here’s a file that will do this automatically. Just save locally and double click

Includes two files- one to show the gallery, the other to show Play DVD in main menu.

Now just add a watch folder in My Videos to look for the root folder the DVD image(s) are located in. You can play them from My Videos or My DVDs. The major downside is that your home-made DVDs don’t have cover art, which DVD drives/jukeboxes do.

Other Settings in the same regkey hive:

  • GallerySort
  • SearchNetworkFolders
  • ShowDiscsInDrivesAtTop
  • FolderSearchDepth
  • ViewByCover

I haven’t had a chance to play with all these- hopefully Matt will post a few thoughts πŸ™‚

Note: If you’re looking for another cool movie add-in check out

Disclaimer: Use at your own risk, sorry I don’t offer support yada yada. Enjoy.

4 responses to “HowTo: Enable "My DVDs" in Media Center 2005 "Emerald" Update”

  1. Sean,

    Thanks for the update and it does work! I was wondering how MCE gets the cover images? It works when I place a disc in the machine but for discs on a hard drive how does one

    1) Get a cover images
    2) Get the movie information

    I would guess that it reads the disc ID but how can we simulate that for a disc on your hard drive

  2. I set it up and it’s working but.. these features and more were already available through my movies — the one glaring feature which is not there is the ability to watch on an extender. I get the following error:

    Video cannot be viewed in Media Center from a Remote Desktop connection.


  3. Its a bit of a kludge but putting the DVD cover art in folder.jpg in the dvd folder will work to bring up the image in My DVDs

    The ‘Expert’ – Ask The Expert Windows Media Center Show

  4. Yeah! Its working out well for me. Thanks for the other links also.