Help Needed:AC3 Filter in Vista Media Center - AVS Forum
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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All,
Longtime 'stalker' here who appreciates the power of this forum and is very grateful for all of the help in setting up my HTPC. I have searched everywhere and cannot find an answer/solution for this.

I backed up my DVD/Blu-Ray collection to my HTPC and was playing it though a reciever with two speakers.
-Video: HD3450 over HDMI using MPC-HC edition codec for video
-Audio: Realtek AC889A over optical/spdif using AC3 Filter for audio

Everything worked great: DIVX, MKV or MP4; stereo or DTS/AC3. I am happy, wife is happy.

Finally got around to setting up the the surround sound and now have full 5.1 (sweeet). Changed all my AC3 filter, Media Center and sound card settings and tried some stuff out in the standard Windows Media Player. Everything worked great, piped through the DTS and AC3/Dolby Digital and my receiver ate it all up beautifully. Switched into Media Center and that's when the problems began. When I try to play the same files that worked fine in Windows Media Player, I get the blue error screen that says something like 'codec needed to play this file properly'. Damn. I am not happy, wife is not happy.

But then, things get weird. If I minimize Media Center, the file will start to play and I can re-maximize and it will continue to play. Receiver says that it is getting DTS/DD and it sounds fine. WTF?

Some of the research I did leads me to believe that AC3 filter isnt compatible with Media Center, but that doesnt seem to explain it. I dont know what else to think. Can anyone here help? How can I get MKV's and DIVX's with 5.1 sound to play in Vista Media Center?

Thanks for your help!

7-27 Update: Fix Found
I was thinking more about what Mike_311 said below (FFDShow) and had a face-palm/doh! moment. Yes, I need DXVA to properly play video, but I am not having video problems. I kept MPC-HC as my video decoder and set FFDShow as the primary audio decoder and the problem was basically solved. Some additional tweeking was still needed to get FFDShow to output the multi-channel stream and there is one movie I still cant play, but other than that, I am good to go!
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:28 PM
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If you are using VMC, than you need this...

http://shark007.net/

The Shark007 codec pack has made VMC a breeze, and it uses AC3Fliter in VMC. Install, go into it's settings config, and select all the options you need, and go.
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heli Pilot View Post

If you are using VMC, than you need this...

The Shark007 codec pack has made VMC a breeze, and it uses AC3Fliter in VMC. Install, go into it's settings config, and select all the options you need, and go.

hmm, I have always thought of codec packs as a dirty word. I will keep this in mind, but given that everything else works well, I would like to see if there is another option first.

also, I use ripbot and have to switch FFDshow on and off all the time (ON for Ripbot to work, OFF for MPC-HC and DXVA to work).
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:43 PM
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You probably just need to install Haali media splitter.

Peter
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshDorhyke View Post

You probably just need to install Haali media splitter.

Peter

Nope. Haali is installed and is the 'decoder' I use for MKV files.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:35 PM
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forget codec packs all you need is ffdshow and haali media splitter.

haali isn't a decoder, it just allows you to open the mkv container... you need ffdshow to decode whatever is inside, usually h.264.

ffdshow will decode the audio and video.

i would uninstall every codec you have and only install haali and ffdshow.

basically in vmc all you need is the default mpeg2 decoder for dvds and tv and ffdshow everything else.

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 View Post

forget codec packs all you need is ffdshow and haali media splitter.

haali isn't a decoder, it just allows you to open the mkv container... you need ffdshow to decode whatever is inside, usually h.264.

ffdshow will decode the audio and video.

i would uninstall every codec you have and only install haali and ffdshow.

basically in vmc all you need is the default mpeg2 decoder for dvds and tv and ffdshow everything else.

That's what I thought too, did it, and had problems playing video in VMC with MediaBrowser, installed the SHark007 pack (which uses ffdhsow/haali/ac3filter) and everything was smooth. I don't know what it is about the pack, never really researched it, but it works really good if you are using VMC for playback of mkvs.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:47 PM
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You can't say use FFDShow for everything without knowing the guy's CPU. It may not be able to handle 1080p CPU decode. It is the easiest route, for sure, but Kaizer, what CPU/RAM do you have?
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 View Post

forget codec packs all you need is ffdshow and haali media splitter.

haali isn't a decoder, it just allows you to open the mkv container... you need ffdshow to decode whatever is inside, usually h.264.

ffdshow will decode the audio and video.

i would uninstall every codec you have and only install haali and ffdshow.

basically in vmc all you need is the default mpeg2 decoder for dvds and tv and ffdshow everything else.

it has been my understanding (and experience) that FFDshow doesnt support DXVA. Am I missing something?

My HTPC's cpu is an Intel E5200. Plenty enough for basic needs, but not nearly enough to run HD video over software.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaizersos View Post

it has been my understanding (and experience) that FFDshow doesnt support DXVA. Am I missing something?

My HTPC's cpu is an Intel E5200. Plenty enough for basic needs, but not nearly enough to run HD video over software.

it doesn't.. buthave you tried it?

i have a core 2 duo, with onboard graphics and the processor rarely gets to 50% playing HD mkvs...

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:53 PM
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You're right, an E5200 would have trouble with some 1080p content and you should continue to try and use DXVA.
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