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Can't get an external player to open bluray discs

Emby Theater VLC bluray external player

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#1 latenighter OFFLINE  

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 06:12 PM

As part of preparation for a planned conversion to ET from WMC I have set up an external player entry for VLC to play commercial bluray discs in ET - my VLC install has appropriate 64-bit libaacs and libbdplus updates.  Unfortunately I'm always getting a "HeaderPlaybackError" message returned by ET with direction to insert a disc, despite a bluray disc being present in the one-and-only optical drive in the client PC running ET.  Emby Server is running on a different PC on the home network and I'm using a stub for the disc library entry.  My metadata/artwork is not held with the media folders.  Here are my settings:

 

Stub entry

\\Emby Server\Shared Emby Movie Stubs\Early Man (2018)\Early Man (2018).bluray.disc

 

Player path

C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe

 

Command line arguments

--fullscreen

--play-and-exit

--bluray-menu

bluray:///E:\

 

Having turned logging on for VLC it seems that ET is not invoking VLC at all so the error message would appear to come from ET itself.  If I (temporarily) replace the last two command line arguments with {path} and set VLC to be used for video files, playback of all HDD-based media I've tried is fine through ET, though obviously via VLC rather than the ET internal player.  If I set up a desktop shortcut replicating the VLC bluray parameters above, this plays bluray discs fine.  I've tried using a .bat file definition for the external player that would then invoke VLC, as I have done within WMC, but again ET did not seem to try to invoke the .bat file.  I've even tried using different users at both the Emby and Windows level (standard user and administrator) in case it may have been a permissions issue but the same result.

 

I've scoured the forums but have not been able to find any similar problem reported.  I'm hoping I've missed something obvious and someone in the Emby community will be able to put me back on the straight-and-narrow.  If anyone thinks they may be able to advise but needs extra information from me I'll supply whatever I can - though having tried debug logging on the server and for ET nothing relevant seems to be reported.

 

Although the problem could be circumvented by ripping all the bluray discs to HDD using MakeMKV or similar, I would like to get direct disc playing working which seems to have been achieved successfully with ET by others.

 

Edit: ET (3.0.3), Emby Server (3.5.3.0) and VLC (3.0.4) being used are the latest stable versions.

 

Many thanks in advance for any help.


Edited by latenighter, 04 October 2018 - 06:25 PM.


#2 Luke OFFLINE  

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 10:36 PM

Hi, stub entries are not launchable. This is the way they work. They're just a message only.



#3 latenighter OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 04:54 PM

@Luke, many thanks for the quick response.  Looks like I've totally misinterpreted use of stubs.  In my defence the Wiki for media stubs indicates '...allow Emby's library to index your "offline" media collection, as well as ask for the media when selected for playback...' so it may be useful to get this updated.

 

As it is, based on the recommended Emby naming conventions for movies I've done a bit more trialling and have found one way that works at present.  Rather than use a stub file I've created an empty BDMV sub-folder in the otherwise empty media folder (eg. \\Emby Server\Shared Emby Movie Stubs\Early Man (2018)\BDMV).  This seems to allow the library scan to populate metadata and images so that ET displays the library entry pretty-much as it did when using a stub and considers it "bluray".  When selecting play from the library entry in ET, VLC gets invoked as expected and the disc plays using the command line arguments specified in my original post.  As I was on a roll I tried a similar approach for DVDs and it seems that if the VIDEO_TS.IFO file alone is in the media folder then this works in a similar way, having set up a DVD-specific VLC entry in external players.  Interestingly when I put the .IFO file in a VIDEO_TS sub-folder within the media folder (eg. \\Emby Server\Shared Emby Movie Stubs\Shrek (2001)\VIDEO_TS\VIDEO_TS.IFO), or just have an empty VIDEO_TS sub-folder, the metadata/images returned by the library scan seemed to be hit-and-miss.

 

I'm anticipating that the method I've found above may not work in the future if the library scan functionality changes significantly.  Is anyone able to comment if there is a recognised way of invoking an external player in ET to play bluray discs?



#4 Luke OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 11:00 PM

Yes external players will work for folder rips if it is a real folder structure. We have not really developed a way for external discs though, just the stub method with the message box.



#5 latenighter OFFLINE  

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 11:58 AM

@Luke, I've been developing my approach on-and-off and I think what I have come up with will be more robust than I originally thought.  If it doesn't go too much against the recommendation to have all media online in common formats, with your OK I can create a new post with a title of "A Method to enable Blu-ray Disc Playback for Emby Theater" or similar to give the full detail to anyone interested.

 

In summary there were two problems to solve:

1) Be able to play the blu-ray discs themselves;

2) Remain compatible with Emby clients that don't have external player capabilities (eg. Emby for Android) and handle the situation gracefully.  Leaving an empty BDMV folder in place caused these clients to "circle".

 

1) can be achieved through various methods - in the end I've gone for a .bat approach that will check for the presence of a disc and request it be inserted as necessary, make the visual transition between Emby Theater and VLC as smooth as possible and then hand off to VLC.

 

2) is achieved by using the folder structure to hold a 10s video (.m2ts in the BDMV folder) that displays a message that the Emby client with no external player defined will display to indicate discs cannot be played via that client.  In addition, so that everyone using the server knows the real media is offline, I've created bespoke primary images that combine the original poster and disc images that will show when navigating the library.


Edited by latenighter, 16 October 2018 - 12:14 PM.


#6 Luke OFFLINE  

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 01:41 PM

Sure, sounds great, thanks.



#7 jasonsimth OFFLINE  

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 09:23 AM

As part of preparation for a planned conversion to ET from WMC I have set up an external player entry for VLC to play commercial bluray discs in ET - my VLC install has appropriate 64-bit libaacs and libbdplus updates.  Unfortunately I'm always getting a "HeaderPlaybackError" message returned by ET with direction to insert a disc, despite a bluray disc being present in the one-and-only optical drive in the client PC running ET.  Emby Server is running on a different PC on the home network and I'm using a stub for the disc library entry.  My metadata/artwork is not held with the media folders.  Here are my settings:

 

Stub entry

\\Emby Server\Shared Emby Movie Stubs\Early Man (2018)\Early Man (2018).bluray.disc

 

Player path

C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe

 

Command line arguments

--fullscreen

--play-and-exit

--bluray-menu

bluray:///E:\

 

Having turned logging on for VLC it seems that ET is not invoking VLC at all so the error message would appear to come from ET itself.  If I (temporarily) replace the last two command line arguments with {path} and set VLC to be used for video files, playback of all HDD-based media I've tried is fine through ET, though obviously via VLC rather than the ET internal player.  If I set up a desktop shortcut replicating the VLC bluray parameters above, this plays bluray discs fine.  I've tried using a .bat file definition for the external player that would then invoke VLC, as I have done within WMC, but again ET did not seem to try to invoke the .bat file.  I've even tried using different users at both the Emby and Windows level (standard user and administrator) in case it may have been a permissions issue but the same result.

 

I've scoured the forums but have not been able to find any similar problem reported.  I'm hoping I've missed something obvious and someone in the Emby community will be able to put me back on the straight-and-narrow.  If anyone thinks they may be able to advise but needs extra information from me I'll supply whatever I can - though having tried debug logging on the server and for ET nothing relevant seems to be reported.

 

Although the problem could be circumvented by ripping all the bluray discs to HDD using MakeMKV or similar, I would like to get direct disc playing working which seems to have been achieved successfully with ET by others.

 

Edit: ET (3.0.3), Emby Server (3.5.3.0) and VLC (3.0.4) being used are the latest stable versions.

 

Many thanks in advance for any help.

thats nice point dude i aslo want to now this hope is who can help out too.



#8 latenighter OFFLINE  

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 03:35 PM

@ jasonsimth , as per my later posts I have been able to get a solution that works for me and I would hope others too.  As I proposed to Luke, I'd started putting together my notes as a detailed informational post.  Unfortunately, while writing them out, I fell foul of the forum logon timeout and lost what I'd entered....  To avoid similar re-work I'm now putting together something offline that I can copy to the forum quickly and not hit the same problem.  Once in place I'll post a link in this topic.



#9 latenighter OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 10:51 AM

I've now started the informational post.  Here's a link to it:

 

https://emby.media/c...n-emby-theater/

 

This covers an Overview and Software.


Edited by latenighter, 07 November 2018 - 05:50 AM.


#10 latenighter OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 05:48 AM

I've added the next section, External Player Definition, to the informational post now.



#11 latenighter OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 03:09 PM

The last section, Library Entries, has now been added to the informational post.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Emby Theater, VLC, bluray, external player

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