Remove TotalMedia Theatre DVD Prompt in Media Center

Dec 15, 2011 by

ArcSoft’s TotalMedia Theatre is one of the best solutions for adding Blu-ray (and HD DVD!) playback to your Windows Media Center. The hooks into Media Center make the experience fairly seamless—perhaps too seamless, since it also adds a new menu that prompts you about which software to use each time you play a DVD. That’s annoying enough to lose critical acceptance points in most families.

TotalMedia Theater prompts you to choose a player every time you insert a DVD

Credit goes to Entertainment 2.0 listener Mike for getting us to dust off this old hack and adapting it to the latest version of TotalMedia Theater. To eliminate the prompt screen and always use Media Center to play DVDs and TotalMedia Theatre to play Blu-ray and HD DVD media, you’ll need to use the Registry editor, regedit.exe. If contemplating that raises your blood pressure, you may want to just put up with the prompt. If, however, you feel plenty comfortable mucking around in your registry, then follow these directions. But remember: you can seriously screw up your system if you don’t know what you’re doing here. Tread cautiously. As with any system update, it’s a good idea to create a restore point before making changes like this.

First, find and delete the following registry branch:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\AutoPlayHandlers\Handlers\ArcSoftTotalMediaTheatre

Then find and delete the ArcSoftTotalMediaTheatre key in the following branch:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\AutoPlayHandlers\EventHandlers\PlayDVDMovieOnArrival

After making these changes, Media Center will no longer prompt you to select a player for DVDs—it will just play them the way it always did.

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  • http://twitter.com/VINYLFREAK TIM BLACK

    Richard,
    Nice hack. Do you know if there is a way to go the other way with the hack?I would much rather have TMT5 do the video processing on all  my DVD playback.I feel it does a much better job with picture quality, than having 7MC handle the duties.The SimHD feature in TMT5 does work quite well.I do agree that having to come to that “Choice” screen, is annoying.                                           Thanks Tim

  • http://twitter.com/WhatAnnoysMe Annoyed Richard

    Unfortunately, there’s a lot of interest for this on forums, but no known solution. We’ve tried some registry hacking ourselves—even eliminating Microsoft’s own, built-in handlers—but haven’t been able to force TotalMedia Theatre to play DVDs by default in Media Center. Today I posed the question to ArcSoft’s email support service. Hopefully we’ll have an answer (one way or the other) soon.

  • http://twitter.com/WhatAnnoysMe Annoyed Richard

    The response back from ArcSoft is that this is not possible.

  • http://twitter.com/VINYLFREAK TIM BLACK

    Richard,

    Thanks for your effort.
    I was afraid of that.
    I know that MyMovies 4 offers the DVD play directly option at a subscription level higher then I am currently at. (More $$$$$)
    I need to find out if this option just implements the hack described above, or if it actually uses TMT5, if it is actually installed along side MyMovies 4.
    I will report back, when I find out.

  • http://twitter.com/VINYLFREAK TIM BLACK

    Brian Binnerup from MyMovies got back to me today re: the instant playback feature within TMT5.

    His response is posted below.  =(

    “Hi Tim,
     
    This option is only available when using the built-in player in windows media center.
     
    Best regards, Brian BinnerupMy Movies”

  • http://twitter.com/WhatAnnoysMe Annoyed Richard

    HA–yes, it seems to take forever to accumulate the necessary contribution points for the upgraded MyMovies features.

  • http://SimplPixl.com/ Ben Wade

    Richard,

    I just did this to my two MCs.  Nice tutorial.  Now if we could only get TMT to actually support all Blu-ray DRM…