HTPC: VLC for videos and UI Tweaks

17 10 2009

So this week I tweaked the HTPC some more.  The first thing I did was to get the video libraries working and playing in Xlobby.  My goal was to get VLC to play all videos and DVDs while still using Winamp to play music. 

Video Playback

It took two lines for my VLC settings in Xlobby:

1) DVDs –
Extensions: ifo,video_ts
Command Line Switches: %path% –fullscreen

2) Video Files
Extensions: mov, avi
Command Line Switches: %file% –fullscreen

Now Xlobyy will open DVDs from disk, Full DVD Copies on my NAS, and MOVs. Which thus far are the only files I’ve tried to play.  I did notice that Xlobby didn’t automatically recognize MOVs as ‘Video’ files and didn’t import it into the library. So I had to go manually add it to the Library but once I did everything works fine.  This process was amazingly simple compared to gettng all my audio things worked out :)

General UI Tweaks

So now that I’m actually using the HTPC more s a home theater system than I am building it. I decided its time to do some of those final tweaks to how it works.

1) Autologin – Using TweakUI I set the correct media playing user to automatically login.  That way when the power button is pushed comes up into windows and no need for a keyboard to login.

2) Autolaunch of Xlobby2 and WOL Packet – I put the Xlobby2 shortcut in the ‘Startup’ folder so it will automatically launch upon login and therefore boot as well.  The WOL program I used was ‘wolcmd’ its free to download and use. I created a batch file to wake the media server and put it into the ‘Startup’ folder.  I found out to make the the batch file work the path to the program needs to be in quotes but the parameters can’t be. So my line looks like this:

“C:\Program Files\wolcmd\wolcmd.exe” MACMACMAC IP.IP.IP.IP Subnet.Subnet.Subnet.Subnet Port

3) Screensaver – Off

4) Pwer Settings – Windows doesn’t make this easy.  I wish I could say if this program is running do this and if this program is running do this. For now I set it to go into Standy in 2 hours. Enough watch a movie in one sitting.  I’m going to have to work on this one though but I need something now because the home server power down is dependnt upon the oer comptuers statuses.

5) Ialso enabled RDP and enabled my restricted user to RDP in so I could configure the HTPC from my laptop :)

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