Playing Ripped DVDs on Media Center Extenders

Playing Ripped DVDs on Media Center Extenders without conversion or playlists

One of the great features of Windows 7 is its improved codec support and this means you can easily play ripped DVD on Media Center Extenders (so far I have only  tested the Xbox 360). With Vista it was a big fiddly creating symbolic link files and Play List but with Windows 7 is very easy.
I am not sure this worked in earlier builds of Windows 7 but it works fine in build 7100, here is how I do it (it also works directly in Media Center)

    Create a folder for storing your ripped DVDs
    Add the ripped DVD folder to Media Center:
        Go to the Extender and enter the videos section
        Press the more info button (The X key on the 360 controller)
        Select Manage Library
        Select Add Folders to the library 
        Locate the DVD rip folder
        Select Next and finish off the wizard 
    Rip the DVD to a sub-folder of the main ripped DVD folder with your favourite ripping tool (I use DVD Decrypter and DVD Shrink to get rid of the bits I don’t want)
    Go to the folder where the videos files are stored and get rid of any .IFO, and .BUP files
    I find it best to tidy up the folder and only keep the main feature VOB files, so you can get rid of the menu video loop and extras by deleting the extra vob files
    Go to the Extender and enter the Videos section
    You should see your ripped DVD folder and inside that folder you will see your newly ripped DVD
    Go in to the folder and select Play All
    The movie will play in Media Center

I did find a slight pause as it loaded the next VOB file, you could get round this by merging the files in to one large VOB file ( I use a command line option like “Copy /b VTS_01_1.VOB + VTS_01_2.Vob VTS_01_3.Vob MainMovie.Vob”)

There may a better way but this is nice and quick and doesn’t take much effort to get it working on the 360