Clown_BD Version 0.65 Released

by Damian on August 19, 2009 · 2 comments

in News

Clown-256One of my favorite tools that I use to manage my Blu Ray/HD DVD collection is a little program called Clown_BD. Clown_BD will enable you to extract (on the fly) the main movie and language streams of your choice, resulting in either transport streams (for Media Jukebox), an ISO image (for PowerDVD) or even a burned BD disk (for standalone players). Clown_BD accepts HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Structures, MPLS or single M2TS/TS/EVO/MKV files. You can retain the original HD Audio (such as DTS-MA or TrueHD), convert the HD Audio to a more common format such as AC3, and even have multiple audio streams included in your final output. The last point, having multiple audio streams, is very important to me. Currently, all my movies are stored on my MSS and streamed throughout my house to various devices. I want to retain the HD Audio, however, not all my devices can decode this, resulting in zero sound on these devices. Using Clown_BD I can keep the HD audio track and also create a secondary AC3 audio track which is compatible with all devices. This saves a lot of headaches and extra steps I was going through just to get multiple audio tracks (you can see one method I have been using here). You may be asking, why not just copy the disk in its entirety? The reason for me is that a typical Blu Ray disk can take up between 20-40GB+ of space, with part of that space being taken up by trailers, advertisements, etc. Even if you extract just the main movie there could easily be an additional 2-4GB+ of data (additional audio tracks, etc…) that you don’t need. If you have a large video collection, this 2-4GB+ of wasted space per movie can add up very quickly. Just extracting the main movie and audio track(s) you want could easily result in turning a 30GB file into a 20GB file with zero encoding.

As an example, the screenshot below shows the Clown_BD User Interface which lays out all the necessary information for a Blu Ray movie. I wanted to keep the DTS Master Audio but also get an AC3 track. By checking “Unconverted” and “AC3″ under “Output Audio Format”, Clown_BD will keep the DTS-MA track, but also create an additional AC3 track to be included in the resulting .ts file.

ClownBD Main Menu - Step 3 NMT

To confirm my results, I use MediaInfo to verify:

ClownBD Final Result Media Info

As a final test, I play the resulting .ts file, checking to make sure the picture looks pristine and there are no audio issues (A/V out of sync, sound, etc…):

ClownBD Final Resulti

There are several important items I wanted to point out:

  • Clown_BD does not decrypt disks, it will only work if you are using an unencrypted disk or have a program like AnyDVD running in the background.
  • All assumptions are that you are using your own legally obtained disk for personal use
  • Clown_BD does not handle Standard DVDs
  • Clown_BD does not transcode any of the video, so you will geta  1:1 copy.
  • One issue I have encountered is that W7 RC does not like ts/m2ts files with VC-1 video. There are a couple of work arounds to correct this that I am experimenting with, but right now whenever I have a movie that is VC-1 I use a different program to create an mkv (hopefully will document in another blog post shortly :-) )

For a full walkthrough of Clown_BD, check out the Wiki.

You can also visit the developer of Clown_BD here.





Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found Mediasmartserver.net, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for Mediasmartserver.net you can find me over at my blog at http://www.adigitalhomeblog.com or follow me on twitter


{ 2 comments }

mynamehear August 30, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Good post. I’m pretty much in the same boat with what you are aiming for it appears. Am curious as I work out the details what you do with vc1 movies? I think a number of titles are using it and wasn’t aware of the issue.

Also, what are you streaming to? I’ve got ps3′s and 360′s throughout the house. For me, this is a great method to bring HD to the 360′s and let users throughout the house select whatever movie they want whenever.

Damian August 31, 2009 at 5:19 am

Although I have not tested the RTM, the problem did exist with W7 RC1. For ts/m2ts in WMP12/7MC, Media Foundation only supports h.264/MPEG-2 for video and AC3/LPCM/MPEG-1 for audio. Anything else, and you get no video/audio. There is a way around this but I have not tested yet, you can get more information here (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=16951614#post16951614). Obviously the hope with W7 is that we wouldn’t have to do any sort of hacking…

Keep in mind though, the issue with VC-1 only relates to the ts/m2ts container. You can put the same VC-1 file in an mkv and have no issues with playback in W7. Right now when I come across a VC-1 Blu Ray, I still use Clown_BD to demux all the files. Once completed, I grab the VC-1 file and the audio tracks (usually DTS-MA and AC3) and remux them into mkv using MKVMerge. Another option that avoids this extra step is to use MakeMKV which I really like. The reason why I have not been using though is for two reasons:

1) MakeMKV currently does not grab the HD Audio track, it will only extract the core audio from this
2) I need to create a separate AC3 audio track for compatibility which I can do easily with Clown_BD. With MakeMKV I need to use another program afterwards to get the additional AC3 track.

As for what I stream to, I have 2 HTPCs that I primarily use. I also have an Xbox 360 and PS3 but don’t use them for streaming since there are limitations (you could use PS3MediaServer for the PS3 and I think W7 will transcode to WMC in the Xbox360 to open up these limitations).

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