Download Theme: Flying Whales

logo What better way to celebrate Earth Month and Hack7MC’s new house warming than with a new Media Center theme? Featuring shots from the excellent background files of the same name from Deviant Art member vhm-alex. This theme features the two whales seen in vhm-alex’s works prominently in each of Media Center’s sections. Check out a few screenshots then download this theme to give it a shot on your Media Center.

Flying Whales Media Center Theme

Flying Whales Media Center Theme Album Information


This theme doesn’t include an installer and may require you to take ownership of the ehres.dll file manually using the “Take Ownership” registry fix. Download and apply the registry file then navigate to “C:\Windows\ehome\” and right-click ehres.dll. Select “Take Ownership” to take ownership of the file.

Also, make a backup of your ehres.dll file and place it somewhere safe. The patch program should create a backup file named ehres Backup1.dll but there’s no reason to not keep an extra backup on hand.

Download the Flying Whales patch file below and copy the patch file to the “C:\Windows\ehome” directory. Right-click the patch file and select “Run as Administrator”. Inside the patch program select the start button to begin the patching process. Once complete launch Media Center to verify success.


Replace ehres.dll with the “ehres Backup1.dll” file created by the patch process. Alternatively, replace the file with the backup you created before applying the patch.

Download: Download Flying Whales Theme from Hack7MC (39.9mb)

No April Fool, Hack7MC is Moving!

makeyourmediacenter_button Happy April Fools Day! Since it's meager beginnings earlier this year Hack7MC has grown quite a bit in it's following. I'd like to take a moment to thank all the faithful readers, subscribers and Twitter followers. Also to let you know that Hack7MC will be moving from to a more robust system using Wordpress on Dreamhost.

Hopefully, this will provide the opportunity to give you, our readers, more valuable resources through the site and take Hack7MC to even greater success. The downside is during this coming week there will likely be times where the new construction creates a few jams. Also, postings may be slightly slim this week as the transition will take a good bit of effort to accomplish.

Hack7MC will be back to normal in no time however, so stay tuned. There are a few special items that have been held back for such an occasion that should keep everyone happily hacking their Media Center boxes all week long. So be patient during this transition period and I hope you enjoy the benefits of the new Hack7MC soon!

Let us hear your thoughts in the comments and drop any tips or ideas you may have for a Wordpress based Hack7MC!

Convert Single Video Files or Create a Queue with Handbrake

handbrake Need to convert a video or two into a different format? Have some MKV files you’d like to play on an extender as MP4 files? Handbrake has the solution for you. Handbrake is a free, open-source program with more features for converting and encoding video than you’ll likely ever need. The interface, however, is easy enough to for basic users to jump right in.

To get started you’ll need to download and install a copy of Handbrake. It’s available for a number of platforms including Windows, OS X and Linux. Command line versions are available as well but for this we will be using the Windows GUI version. Once you’ve got Handbrake installed open up the GUI by selecting HandBrake from the programs menu.

Once inside the first thing we need to do is select the source video. To do this press the “Source” button in the toolbar then select “video file” from the drop down menu. Next set the output file in the Destination File input, you may either select the output type in the Save as type drop down box in the file save window or select the type in the main window.

Configure Video Source

After setting your source and destination files, make sure that the Format listed under Output Settings is set to the correct format. If you are converting videos to use on an extender it will most likely be necessary to select an MPEG-4 Codec on the video tab. Switch to the Video tab and select “MPEG-4 (FFmpeg)”. For converting to MPG4 to play on an extender these are the most compatible settings to use.

Select Video Codec to Use

To begin converting a single file simply select “Start” from the toolbar. For multiple conversions you may want to setup a queue, which will allow you to add multiple source videos and output files to a batch process. Settings for each conversion can be set individually, simply press “Add to Queue” then go through the same steps for each video.

When you’ve finished adding videos to the queue, press the “Show Queue” button to bring up the queue listing. Check to make sure there are no errors in the listing, for instance non-alphanumeric characters in filenames will cause blank entries. These should be removed and re-entered so as to not cause problems in the process.

Video Conversion Queue

From the “Show Queue” window you have the option to begin the conversion process by pressing the “Encode” button. Alternatively, you can save or load Queues from the “Queue” drop down box. Also, you will be given the option to create a .bat file which can be executed from outside the Handbrake GUI. This .bat file can be used to run a scheduled task or for any other reason you may want to do a batch conversion without the GUI.

That’s all there is to doing some basic conversion using Handbrake. Simple to use with plenty of extra options, including advanced options for h.264 if you should choose to use a compatible codec. The ability to setup conversion queues and batch files for scheduled processing make the possibilities even greater. Include the fact that this is free, open-source software and there’s no reason to not give Handbrake a try.

You can use Handbrake to rip video from your DVDs too, check out this guide on Bringing DVDs to your Media Center with Handbrake!

Hack7MC Has Moved!

Hack7MC has left Blogspot for a new home. Following the original address @ will take you to the new home page.