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SageTV extenders and Blu-Ray playback

Posted by onlydarksets on November 21, 2008

I was researching Blu-Ray players, when it occurred to me it would be much easier to just get a BD drive for the PC, rip the disc to the SageTV server, and play it back from there.  However, Sage does not appear to support this natively yet, either in the client or the extender.

One alternative, though, seems to be to remux the audio/video streams into a MKV container.

  1. If the blu-ray has DTS audio use tsremux to remux the .m2ts to .ts with AC3 audio. If the blu-ray has AC3 audio skip this step.
  2. Demux the .m2ts (or .ts) into elementary streams using tsmuxer.
  3. Use mkvmerge to put video and AC3 audio into .mkv container. Make sure you specify the proper frame rate for H.264 files or the audio will be out of sync.
  4. Move to Sage import directory and enjoy. No reencoding at all so video is perfect blu-ray. No menus of course.

Here is another set of instructions:

  1. Put bluray in, rip to disk using anydvd hd.
  2. Go to the bdmv\stream folder. look for the largest m2ts file. its usually 16-25gb or so. some say this doesnt work as the movie is split into multiple files….i have not seen it yet after 14 blurays.
  3. Run “eac3to.exe bluray.m2ts bluray.mkv” this will break the audio and video into seperate files.
  4. Run mkvmerge.exe -o FINAL.mkv bluray.mkv bluray.ac3″ This will mux all the files together.

Now here is the hitch, when you first run eac3to on the m2ts, it will result in several audio tracks. most will be ac3, some may be flac. the flac would be DTS audio or even HD audio. I have not been able to get these to work on the HD100. you will need to run “eac3to.exe bluray.flac bluray.ac3” to convert the audio.

Not quite ideal, but better than nothing.  The search continues, though…

UPDATE: OK, here’s another option that appears to work most of the time:

  1. Installed Swiss Army Knife (SAK) on the PS3. This is a tiny little Linux program that is extremely simple to install using a simple USB stick. It’s not a full blown Linux OS that requires Linux knowledge. It basically just loads and gives you about a half dozen options. One of those options is…
  2. Ripped the BD to my windows machine over the network. Just tell SAK the IP and folder name of a shared folder on a networked Windows machine and press Enter. The end result for me was a roughly 18gb .iso file of Michael Clayton. (Obviously you can skip this step if you have a BD drive. I don’t, but now I know I don’t need to buy one.)
  3. Mounted .iso as a drive and ripped/extracted it to a new folder called “Michael Clayton” using AnyDVD HD.
  4. Pointed my HD100 to the big fat .mt2s file in the Streams folder and hit play, fully expecting some sort of problems, the kind that would make people go through all sorts of muxing/demuxing/mkv’ing. But it just worked! No stutters, no glitches, beautiful picture, it was all there! (This is a VC-1 1080p disc from what I can tell. It sounds like VC-1 movies are the kind that tend to give people the most trouble, so I don’t know why this seemed to work so easily for me. It makes me wonder if for some reason the HD100 is better at playing .mt2s files than .mkv files?)

10 Responses to “SageTV extenders and Blu-Ray playback”

  1. andy vt said

    MKV exposes VC-1 in a way that only the MS WMV Decoder will connect to it; which may be what fixes VC-1 issues for those using PowerDVD and m2ts.

  2. Thanks for the info – VC-1 does seem to be the red-headed stepchild here. This is not a supported solution by Sage (contrasted with their support for archived DVDs), so I’m not expecting 100% success if I go this route. Which means I’ll need a standalone BR player in the living room 😦

  3. andy vt said

    So far, I haven’t found a reason not to like the “play the original m2ts” approach. I don’t have an extender, but throwing the file in an import folder and assigning metadata to it like any other video and it works great in Sage (esp. now that they’ve got HWA/EVR working :)).

  4. What BR drive are you using? Also, I assume you have a GB network? I have a lot of upgrading to do…

  5. andy vt said

    The drive is a LG GGC-H20LK. My wired network is gigabit but the pc extender is connected over wireless N.

  6. I don’t think I need the HD-DVD support, so I’m looking at the LiteOn. There are surprisingly few choices if you just want a BR-ROM drive (I already have a DVD burner, and I don’t need a BR burner).

  7. andy vt said

    It was cheaper than any of the BR drives that also were DVD burners when I got it because of a newegg promo code. I’ve never had great luck with LiteOn drives, they always die on me. Of course the one’s I’ve had in the past have all be in the $20 range…

  8. Go to this website to read review about Oppo’s BDP-93 3D player…

    […]SageTV extenders and Blu-Ray playback « onlydarksets[…]…

  9. Joanna said

    Very good post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our
    website. Keep up the good writing.

  10. ths very much,i can work

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