Sharing a DVD drive (and watching movies) on a LAN
July 28, 2006 7:59 PM   Subscribe

A three pc LAN (running 2000/XP) but only one dvd drive. I'd like the other two pc's to be able to watch dvd movies from that shared drive...

The problem is, all I'm seeing in the dvd drive/movie disk on the other computers is audio and video directories and alot of IFO/BUP/VOB files - no dvd menu or autostart file - no movie. I'm using VideoLAN and a codec-loaded Windows Media Player with no success. Help from the hive in configuring this proper would be awesome.

If it's something obvious, I apologise. It's late, I'm tired, and I've run out of patience.
posted by rinkjustice to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
WinDVD can play a DVD from a folder.
posted by SirStan at 8:10 PM on July 28, 2006

Eh, ok, you seem to be saying the other PCs can see the drive, but no DVD menu comes up.

Eh, whatever software you have on the PC with the DVD, that treats the DVD like a DVD disk and not just as another form of mass storage, isn't installed/ isn't set to play DVD drives. (Or you have it instaled, and it's is set to "play" DVD drives, but it sees the drive as a network drive.) Best guess? Install the DVD playing software on the other computers.

(Sorry not to be more helpful; I have a DVD drive, but I've never bothered to play any DVDs.)
posted by orthogonality at 8:14 PM on July 28, 2006

VLC will play a DVD from a folder/drive if you drag the VIDEO_TS folder onto it (at least it works for me from winxp). Usually DVD programs will recognize the DVD if you open the "VIDEO_TS.IFO" file (basically the autostart file), but vlc doesn't seem to respond to this. media player classic w/ the k-lite mega codec pack does tho (seems to handle DVD's better as well)
posted by psychobum at 9:07 PM on July 28, 2006

Double click on the VIDEO_TS\VIDEO_TS.IFO file and you should be able to choose to open it with the media player of your choice.

Disclaimer: You may have some problems getting encrypted DVDs to play at all as the key is stored on the disk in a way that network file sharing cannot make available. Something like that.
posted by ed\26h at 3:21 AM on July 29, 2006

Response by poster: All valid suggestions, but nothing's worked for me. Maybe it is an encryption issue...

I'll keep trying stuff. Thanks to everyone thus far.
posted by rinkjustice at 3:38 AM on July 29, 2006

Rip the DVD to an ISO file. Share the ISO file in a networked location. Use something like Daemon Tools. Daemon Tools lets you create "virtual" optical drives. Create one on the computer you'd like to play the movie on, point it to the networked path of your ISO file, and you should be fine.
posted by rachelpapers at 5:34 AM on July 29, 2006

VLC media player can stream video over a network.

posted by zabuni at 8:02 AM on July 29, 2006

Yeesh. I'd be surprised if you got decent playback, even if you got it working. I'm not at home, but I'll try it when I am, out of curiosity.

I have a feeling the bitrate'll be enough to make any sucessful attempt unwatchable.
posted by hoborg at 4:22 PM on August 1, 2006

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