Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blu-ray ISO Mounting, Burning and Playback Guide 20100119 Update


Since I’ve been fiddling around different software for the past two days, I’m semi-happy with what I got so far. I’ll just summarize my experience.
My system is still winxp SP3, it’s relatively old for multimedia purpose, but still kicking.

The Blu-ray playback software:


1. PowerDVD 8 Ultra version 2217a with HD-DVD add-on.
2. TotalMedia Theatre 3 with SimHD plugin. (TMT3 for short)
3. WinDVD 9.


I have achieved playing actual discs with all three software via a Lite-on BDROM. For playback quality, my preference is: PowerDVD (Hardware Acceleration [HA] on; well, powerDVD always turns on HA for Blu-rays, you can’t turn it off since version 8)>WinDVD 9 (HA on)>TMT3 (HA OFF). PowerDVD gives the best visual quality, but BDMV folder playback and image capture function are disabled on build 2217a; while I didn’t spent too much time on winDVD 9 since it doesn’t do anything; TMT3 can play BDMV folder directly, plus it can capture images as long as the disc has no AACS protection (can capture images from Blu-ray ISO). But TMT3’s video quality is definitely the worst among the three, even after turning off hardware acceleration; with hardware acceleration on, the video quality is even worse, any still images will show aliasing lines, and the DVD playback is totally crapped out! So for serious viewing on PC, powerDVD is the way to go, TMT3 is only good for its functions, winDVD is somewhere in the middle…

For mounting Blu-ray ISO without a physical discs, first you’ll need that famous UDF2.50 reader if you are still using winxp. powerDVD has no problem with either Alcohol 120% or Virtual CloneDrive. TMT3 don’t like Alcohol 120%. After reading around online, I think I found the explanation:


Emulation from Alcohol puts Blu-ray ISOs as a giant DVD-ROM, while from Virtual CloneDrive regards them as a BD-R; although when building the images in Imgburn, I think Imgburn still treat them as DVD-ROM.


Obtaining Blu-ray ISO:
So far, only two pieces of software are easy to use: AnyDVD HD and DVDFab HD Decrypter. AnyDVD HD can work on-the-fly, while DVDFab only works on dumping files to hard drive. After obtaining BDMV folder from the disc, the best option is to make ISO using Imgburn (I think AnyDVD HD can put ISO file directly). The reason I don’t like BDMV folder is because Blu-ray file structures are quite complicated, I don’t want to mess them up, this is especially important if you want to process m2ts in tsmuxer, eac3to later on; making an ISO will make the files read-only and not writable within the ISO so that you won’t mess up the original structure. The drawback to this is that you cannot put a srt/ssa/ssa subtitle file under the “stream” folder, load up mpc/Kmplayer/Potplayer to play the streams with subtitles. But currently the all these multimedia players are still poor at handling raw m2ts streams if there’s Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA advanced codecs, I wouldn’t worry too much of losing this convenient feature.

Before burning, to make the ISO playable in software players such as PowerDVD, you’ll need to have a complete Blu-ray structure:


More info HERE.

So to summarize all the above, here is the procedures:


Original Disc->AnyDVD HD(can handle BD+)/DVDFab HD->BDMV->(Complete Blu-ray structure if folders are missing)->IMGBURN UDF2.50 making ISO+MDS/BDISO->Alcohol 120% / Virtual CloneDrive mounting->PowerDVD 8 2217a HA on / TMT3 HA off (specifically used for Title/Pop-up menu captures).

PC with additional subtitle without losing menu:

It is possible at the moment with BDMV titles, some people report that they have successfully muxed in audios and subtitles into m2ts and tricked clipinf files to have a valid stream. I haven’t tried the guide yet.

PS3 without subtitle:

Mounted BDISO->TVersity with transcoding off+add BDMV folder to share->PS3 (only works on simple m2ts with LPCM, poor at handling complex Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA)

PS3 with additional subtitle:

Mounted BDISO->tsmuxer with srt subtitle/4GB cut->FAT32 USB drive->AVCHD manager/AVCHDme->PS3 (no restriction, but menu is lost).

Maximum size for blank Blu-ray discs:

12,219,392 Sectors
25,025,314,816 bytes = 24,438,784 KB = 23,866 MB = 23.31 GB

11,826,176 Sectors
24,220,008,448 bytes

24,438,784 Sectors
50,050,629,632 bytes
46.61 GB

23,652,352 Sectors
48,440,016,896 bytes

"If the disc is formatted with what's known as 'spare areas' for error correction etc (part of the blu-ray standard), that size will be smaller still.”

Imgburn to turn on spare areas:

Tools-->Settings-->Write-->Prefer Format Without Spare Areas (versions after has this on as default)

Here goes the 122509 update:

A little bit about the players troubleshooting, mainly for TMT3 going explode (causing PC immediate reboot, no BSOD, not even a chance for memory dump). So this is the third time I got hit by this, last two times I got away from it by reinstalling winxp because I did have a reason to, but this time I definitely DO NOT wish to reinstall. So I did a bit research online, and found out I’m NOT alone. The only difference is that some users were speculating about hardware+driver deficiency, while my situation is that it occurs when I installed Canopus Edius NLE on my system (so more like pure software incompatible).

Here’s the procedure I solved the problem this time:

Uninstall Canopus Edius
Uninstall Canopus codec
Uninstall TMT3 completely (manual register and folder cleaning required, see below for details)
Install Canopus
Install TMT3 –> Reboot –> Update to latest .160 version as of this writing –> Reboot

And miracle did happen when I did the above steps.

Details on how to clean uninstall TMT3:

Step 1: Please uninstall the program in the Control Panel. If you have other ArcSoft programs installed, please uninstall them too. Then delete the program files in "C:Program FilesArcSoftTotalMedia Theatre" folder (the installation directory).
Step 2: Delete all the files and the folders (including the hidden ones) in "C:Users<username>Application DataArcSoft" and "C:Program FilesCommon FilesArcSoft" folders.
Step 3: Double check "archlp.sys" in "C:WINDOWSsystem32drivers" has been deleted, if not, please deletes it manually.
Step 4: Clean up the registration files:
1).Go to the Vista Start menu and click in the Start Search Dialog Box, type "regedit" and press Enter.
2).Delete "[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREArcSoft]" and "[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareArcSoft]" these two nodes.
Step 5: Reinstall TMT after rebooting the computer.

Reference Links:

File system:
For cars mp3 CD:

change the filesystem to ISO9660 + Joliet

Joliet is what most standalones will look for when playing MP3 / DivX discs.

Use UDF when you're burning DVD Video / HD DVD / Blu-ray discs.


Here goes the 01192011 update:

pioneer BDR-206_reg

So at the beginning of 2011, I finally bought a Blu-ray writer - Pioneer BDR-206. Actually, I got the retailed BDR-2206, which comes with Blu-ray playback software PowerDVD and an extra case. Otherwise it’s exactly the same as the OEM BDR-206. I was a bit disappointed to find out even the 2206 didn’t include power and SATA cables. BDR-206 is more like a price-down re-release of last year’s BDR-205 rather than introducing something new. Well, there’s the BDR-206MBK which is world’s first BDXL 128GB quod layer writer… Here are some initial impression.

To go along with the writer, I ordered 5 Mitsubishi BD-RE DLs and 3 Sony BD-RE SLs on ebay which shipped from Japan, rather than going with the domestic ones which one BD-RE DL will cost a ridiculous fortune. Majority of my projects are BD50’s, I have very little use of BD25 discs.

mitsubishi bd-re dl

For the BD-RE DLs, I was able to get the original packaged Mitsubishi 5 pack. The discs come with a media code TDKBLD-Wfa-000. I was a bit disappointed and was worried about the compatibility with my Playstation 3 since I read online that this specific media code doesn’t go along with the launch 60GB Playstation 3 well. But fortunately, everything went extremely smooth, I was able to play it without any problem. I’ve watched two movies all the way through without any problem. The first time of using requires a full format which takes as long as writing the discs to full which is 90 min. The data verification process takes about half of the time at 45 min. And as the instructions about imgburn above, I burned these discs with spare area without any problem.

sony bd-re

For the Sony BD-RE SLs, I bought the re-packaging ones. These come with packaged without the case. I have no problem using these either, everything went smoothly. But I have to admit worrying about the legitimacy of these discs at first. The disc media code is SONY-ES1-002, which I believe are the same as the ones sold in US. The burning process takes exactly half of the time as BD-RE DLs since BD-RE SLs are exactly half of the size unlike DVD 5 vs DVD 9.

I’ve also burned some CDs and DVD 5s using this writer, and everything is smooth, but I’ve only got verbatim ones, can’t test anything else.

Lastly, some testings on my projects so far:

PS3_BD-RE testing1

1. The projects authored in Scenarist BD has a very GOOD compatibility in PS3’s compatibility. There’s a playlist with PIP and always-on menu I had in the project, I could never get this to work in PowerDVD 10 various patches and TMT3/5, Sonic’s Scenarist QC worked to some extent, but it runs exactly as I intended in PS3! Other navigation stuff all worked correctly which exceeds my expectation. Since PS3 DVD’s playback has some quirks, I’m a bit overjoyed.

2. The current top menu audio switching isn’t very smooth, I need to change it to switch at the end of the playlist rather than switching right away.

3. The picture in the metadata, as shown above, needs to have much larger texts. The two picture size are only 640*360 and 416*240.

4. Return button might need to use a second button in BOG to turn off popup menu, otherwise the menu would stick on screen until the title is jumped.

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