Launch VIDEO_TS in Front Row

Front Row is an excellent application with a nagging problem irritating more than a couple of users…the lack of support for backed-up DVD files (aka VIDEO_TS folders). In order to play a DVD in FR, one has to actually insert the physical disk. Ironically, Apple’s DVD Player CAN play these backed-up files with no trouble…it’s just FR that won’t play nice.

With the cost of hard drive space so low, most of the movie fans I know have been archiving onto their HDs and storing the discs elsewhere. But accessing and playing these files in OS X meant either breaking out the mouse and keyboard or adding a third-party app followed by programming macro commands into a universal remote.

All that changed early last week. A developer at the AVS forums created a small program called DVD Assist that allows one to launch a VIDEO_TS folder from within Front Row and play it through Apple’s DVD Player. Coupled with the Apple Remote’s ability to control that DVD player and there’s now no reason for another input device!

I use my Mini primarily to watch HD programming through EyeTV 2.3, which is integrated nicely into Front Row. And I wanted to show how easily I’m now able to move between TV and a backed-up disc, so I posted a small movie at YouTube that shows how simple the entire process is!


  1. Squished Squirrel

    It was nice that you showed the transition from DVD Player back to EyeTV and not from DVD Player to Front Row

  2. Just curious, but if you have the EyeTV Live TV window open and then go to Front Row – EyeTV is still playing in the background – so you would have two sound sources playing at the same time ? How did you overcome this or did you have to use the EyeTV remote as well as the Apple remote.

  3. The EyeTV software handles the Digital Output transition when you switch between FR and EyeTV. EyeTV’s sound stops once the move to FR begins and returns once FR disappears on the return trip. It’s totally automated and requires no interaction whatsoever from the user. And the sound continues to record in EyeTV’s buffer while I’m watching something in FR.

    Managing the sound was an added feature in v2.0 of the app, which also removed the need for EyeTV’s remote completely. It’s written to be controlled exclusively by the Apple Remote.

  4. Sorry for commenting off-topic, but what version of EyeTV software are you running in this demo? It looks more FrontRow-like. So is it

  5. mr. Obsession

    That’s version 2.3.0 I’m using…it was radically redesigned in 2.3.1.

  6. So is Eye TV 2.3.1 backwards compatible and will it accomplish the same function, you so elegantly showed in 2.3.0 ver.

  7. mr. Obsession

    David -

    For the most part, yes, the functionality remained the same. The only glaring change was the way to navigate to Front Row. Instead of using an actual Menu selection (as in 2.3.0), 2.3.1 requires a quick click of the Apple Remote’s Menu button to get to FR.

    The other changes are cosmetic.

  8. hey guys,

    great software, but after installing it i just cant get it working… :( i am using OSX 10.5.1 and front row. i am trying to get this to work using ISO, so i have setup a directory in My Movies, called DVD Images, just like the documentation suggests. i have one .ISO and one fake movie (the countdown movie that comes with DVD Assist), which i have renamed o the same as the .ISO. when i launch front row, all i can see is these two movies and front row doesn’t seem to know what to do with the .ISO. i thought DVD Assist was supposed to mount the ISO then play it?

    any help ould be greatly appreciated.


  9. mr. Obsession

    I’m pretty sure that DVD Assist does not work under Leopard…check out the developer’s page to make sure (I don’t have anything to so with the creation/maintenance of this software). But it’s still running well for me under Tiger.

    Good luck!

  10. i am also using eyeTV v3.0 on a intel macbookpro.

  11. ah thanks i will check this out. cheers for your amazingly fast response! cheers.

  12. Hi,

    Excellent tutorial on dvd assist applescript, is there any chance you could email me it as a .dmg. I have looked everywhere for it and only come up with dead links to

    It appears the file does’nt exist there atm.



  13. Hi,

    I would love to get my hands on the application as well but the links are all dead like Richard has highlighted above.

    Is there a reason for this?

    Anyway i was wondering if i too could get my hands on the .dmg file for my mac.



  14. As always, why don’t you just look at the developer’s site. It is there conveniently packed on a zip file !

  15. DVD Assist is not working for me on OSX 10.6.6, bummer.

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