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Best (and easiest) Wife-Friendly GUI for video_ts?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by danny_w, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. macrumors 601

    I have tried :apple:TV (1st gen), WDTV, Seagate, XBMC, Plex, and CinemaTube all without much luck. Either the interface is slick and easy to use but the software/hardware requires a lot of video conversion :)apple:TV), the hardware is solid but the interface is crude (WDTV and Seagate), or there is a lot of fiddling and crashing (XBMC and Plex). All I want is a simple to use box that will support video_ts (or some simple conversion thereof), preferably with a nice GUI that is easy to navigate. I am going to try XBMC again (this time under Windows 7) but it has been very problematic and inconsistent in the past. The one everybody here seems to love (Plex) always crashes on me and again is extremely inconsistent *running on my iMac). I love the idea of the automatic scrapers in XBMC and Plex if they only worked better than they currently do. My wife must have subtitles, and I have not found a good way to support this with Handbrake and :apple:TV, and I would rather not have to re-encode all of my movies and lose the extras on the discs. Any suggestions?
  2. macrumors 6502


    Hello fellow Austinite! Your best bet is to use FrontRow (Command-ESC). Put the VIDEO_TS files inside the Movies folder, and each VIDEO_TS folder in their own folder with the movie name. If you want cover artwork, place it inside the VIDEO_TS folder with the name Preview.jpg.

    Sample path:
    /Users/(your username)/Movies/Inception/VIDEO_TS/Preview.jpg

    I just tested this and it works great. Unfortunately, I don't think closed captioning works with this method. You'll have to rely on subtitles provided on the disc itself. (Which sucks because some of the movies - the SDH (Subtitled for Deaf and Hard of hearing) track is on the closed caption track, and the English subtitle does not have the additional information that usually is found on the SDH track. (I know from personal experience, since I'm deaf.)

    I'll check some more and get back to you if the captions do work under Front Row, tho.

    But it definitely seems to be the easiest way to do it per your request. The Front Row GUI is great, works with the Apple Remote, and you get VIDEO_TS compatibility.

    Hope this helps. Some info was pulled from these two posts: one from the forum here, and another one at the MacOSXHints site. Some worthwhile reading at those links.

    Have fun!
  3. macrumors 68040


    Hi Tastannin,

    Thanks for these tips - I have exactly this issue - needing a wife/kids -friendly GUI with video_ts support.

    - I don't have time to convert dvds
    - my partner and I are both deaf and need subtitles.

    Always great to see good advice from other deaf Macrumors people.

    We only have laptops, which don't have room for all our dvds. Would your method work for an external HD stuffed full of video_ts files attached to the Apple TV or to a Time Capsule?
  4. macrumors 604


    Not sure if this would work, but maybe place a symlink or alias to a Movies folder on the external HD in place of where the Movies folder would be?
  5. macrumors 601

    Yes I think a symlink works. Unfortunately I need a Mac to run this method, but that may be the best solution anyway. The iMac does not work very well for this since you cannot shutoff the main screen and FrontRow always tries to use the main screen unless you do some magic. The best bet may be to get a used mac mini and hook it up just as a movie and music server, with my files on my NAS which I currently use. It is unfortunate that only the latest mac mini has an hdmi output, and getting hdmi (including audio) out of an older mac mini is problematic if it works at all. Did they ever add audio support to the mdp on the older mini? Or am I stuck with one of those kludgy cables that pairs the mdp and toslink into an hdmi port?

    EDIT: I only need dvd support (not interested in hd) so an older mini should work if I can work out the hdmi+audio issue.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Ok....jailbreak your first gen apple TV with atvflash....then you can access your Video_TS files as if they were the original DVDs.

    A friend of mine does this and he loves it.....all the features of the DVD on the Apple TV interface. No converting.
  7. macrumors 601

    Do you mean using XBMC? I tried that and it was very sluggish (the original :apple:TV just does not have the muscle). Thanks for the tip but to me it is so slow as to be unusable. I will try Win7/XBMC on my Asrock ION330 box. I already tried the standalone XBMC but configuration was such a headache on this box, and I am hoping that the Win7 version will be better in this regard. Any comments?
  8. macrumors 6502a

    I cant really say. He bought ATVFlash, (as I at one stage had), installed it, and away he went. I dumped it pretty quick because like all jailbreaks, the moment apple updates the software, you need to re jailbreak it.

    I watched him use it one day, with his 5yo daughter, and it was good. The movie opened just like the DVD, full menus and all the DVD extras. I was impressed. Didnt seem slow or even sluggish. His daughter had no problem using it.

    Wether thats XMBC or not I have no idea. Like I said, I dumped it myself almost the same day I put it in. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I have been absorbed fully into the Apple Ecosystem and Reality Distortion field!!!:D

    Ohhhh....and of course you can then hook up an external USB HDD to the ATV so no need to keep a computer running as an iTunes server.

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