Windows 7 Media Center : Setup Guide, Knowledge Base & Support - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 12:33 PM
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tlmaclennan - My point is that I installed FFDshow and haali like every "minimalist" says on here when I first tried to playback mkv files and all I had was issues. I read a lot of these posts and saw there were dozens of people with similar issues as me. It just doesnt work for everyone and YES I said its probably some setting or something and I saw a REALLY long guide on setting up FDDshow and it was so long and complicated I got lost so many times it just got old. Then I saw someone mention Shark as about two dozen people beat them up for daring to mention it. Then I saw that everytime someone mentions shark the same beatings occur. I thought what the hell I will give it a shot. EASY and PERFECT. Took a few minutes and every file I tested had awesome sound levels and video was perfect. I thought why the hell would someone not suggest this more. So now I do. There is nothing easier and anyone with no experience can use it whereas all these other codecs, filters and splitters are extremely complicated and constantly conflict with each other and can be a nightmare restoring windows and getting future codecs to work once there is an issue. So now when people ask I say Shark without question.
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post #32 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogormask View Post

I thought why the hell would someone not suggest this more.

That's because they went through the long process of doing the minimalist approach and doing all the settings and tweaks that you mentioned trying. If you made it through all that and finally ended up with a working system how would you feel suggesting Shark007 is just as good or better after only a couple mouse clicks?

I went with Shark's pack about a year ago and haven't had any issues since. Now I uninstalled the pack and reinstalled following the guide posted by umdivx. I'll probably keep using the Shark pack if for no other reason than the consolidated setup interface.

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post #33 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

Also last time I checked I am getting sub titles now with 7MC + sharks using mpc-hc dxva codecs and it works flawlessly inside of media center. Not sure how you say you can't get dxva support outside of mpc-hc app, cuz it works for me right now.

- Josh

Is there anything else that needs to be done for subtitles in MKVs? I followed your sharks guide to the letter, then double and triple checked my settings, and I cannot get subtitles in WMP/WMC. They work fine in MPC-HC. Everything else works great. Getting this to work in WMC would be the holy grail for me right now.
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post #34 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 01:20 PM
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I'm suprised no one has mentioned VideoRedo in this thread.

VideoRedo is a useful tool for converting VOBs to DVR-MS files. You can also edit your recorded shows (such as removing the commercials).

http://www.videoredo.com/en/index.htm

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post #35 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 01:35 PM
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See the only advantage I like in the Shark007 pack is the consolidated setup interface, as bryansj put it. In the end the codec pack is installing and altering settings for the same codecs, splitters, filters, etc. as those who use individual codecs and tweak them themselves. You may have had problems with ffdshow but the fact is that you are still using it with the Shark007 pack. In the end the only difference between individual setup and the pack is that nice and easy GUI and the fact that the pack installs additional codecs that you may never use or need.

Now if I were playing my media in 7MC then I may advocate the Shark007 pack more as it is a bit difficult and frustrating to setup individual filters so that you get your setup working as you want. But with MPC-HC I feel it makes it so much easier to do. It comes with all the standalone filters built in, much of which are included in the Shark007 pack, and offers an easy GUI to understand. You can add external filters such as ffdshow and madFLAC and can set them to prefer or block. So you can block filters you don't want (those included with Windows) and prefer those you do want (Cyberlink Video Decoder, ffdshow, madFLAC, etc). I think it takes much of the difficulty out of it while still allowing full control over settings and you only need to install the filters and codecs that you want, leaving a cleaner setup.

I don't think anyone feels you shouldn't use the Shark007 pack. But once you want to have more control over what you install and what settings you can change or become a more advanced user the Shark007 pack becomes a bloated and novice solution.
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post #36 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stonerockner View Post

What remote are you using? I use my logitech harmony as an mce remote in iMon and the keys DON'T work. What do I need to assign them to, and how?

Could be useful for others too to know what you are aiming at...

Here is my mapping. I use an MCE Remote & an Asus remote that came with one of my motherboards.

Command -> App Command

Play -> Media_Play
Pause -> Media_Pause
Stop -> Media_Stop
Exit -> Browser_Back *

Next Subtitle -> MCE_Red
Next Audio -> MCE_Blue

Increase Rate -> Media_Fast_Forward
Decrease Rate -> Media_Rewind

* When you press the return button, it automatically closes MPC-HC and returns to the 7MC interface.


Will add this to the guide so nobody else gets confused.


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post #37 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

That's because they went through the long process of doing the minimalist approach and doing all the settings and tweaks that you mentioned trying. If you made it through all that and finally ended up with a working system how would you feel suggesting Shark007 is just as good or better after only a couple mouse clicks?

I went with Shark's pack about a year ago and haven't had any issues since. Now I uninstalled the pack and reinstalled following the guide posted by umdivx. I'll probably keep using the Shark pack if for no other reason than the consolidated setup interface.

Long process. It`s 7-8 options to tick and (optionally) a couple of clicks to select the preferred filters outside of MPC-HC via Win7DS Filter.


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post #38 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlmaclennan View Post

See the only advantage I like in the Shark007 pack is the consolidated setup interface, as bryansj put it. In the end the codec pack is installing and altering settings for the same codecs, splitters, filters, etc. as those who use individual codecs and tweak them themselves. You may have had problems with ffdshow but the fact is that you are still using it with the Shark007 pack. In the end the only difference between individual setup and the pack is that nice and easy GUI and the fact that the pack installs additional codecs that you may never use or need.

Now if I were playing my media in 7MC then I may advocate the Shark007 pack more as it is a bit difficult and frustrating to setup individual filters so that you get your setup working as you want. But with MPC-HC I feel it makes it so much easier to do. It comes with all the standalone filters built in, much of which are included in the Shark007 pack, and offers an easy GUI to understand. You can add external filters such as ffdshow and madFLAC and can set them to prefer or block. So you can block filters you don't want (those included with Windows) and prefer those you do want (Cyberlink Video Decoder, ffdshow, madFLAC, etc). I think it takes much of the difficulty out of it while still allowing full control over settings and you only need to install the filters and codecs that you want, leaving a cleaner setup.

I don't think anyone feels you shouldn't use the Shark007 pack. But once you want to have more control over what you install and what settings you can change or become a more advanced user the Shark007 pack becomes a bloated and novice solution.

Exactly my thoughts and reasons why i choose MPC-HC & ffdshow instead of Sharks pack. And there is a simple use interface for controlling individual filters outside MPC-HC, Win7DS Filter as mentioned in the guide.

I don`t think you can go more "noob friendly" than this :
LL
LL
LL


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post #39 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 02:21 PM
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See, I would go that route if I wanted to use the internal 7MC player. Good to know about it if I ever want to try it out.
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post #40 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogormask View Post

tlmaclennan - My point is that I installed FFDshow and haali like every "minimalist" says on here when I first tried to playback mkv files and all I had was issues. I read a lot of these posts and saw there were dozens of people with similar issues as me. It just doesnt work for everyone and YES I said its probably some setting or something and I saw a REALLY long guide on setting up FDDshow and it was so long and complicated I got lost so many times it just got old. Then I saw someone mention Shark as about two dozen people beat them up for daring to mention it. Then I saw that everytime someone mentions shark the same beatings occur. I thought what the hell I will give it a shot. EASY and PERFECT. Took a few minutes and every file I tested had awesome sound levels and video was perfect. I thought why the hell would someone not suggest this more. So now I do. There is nothing easier and anyone with no experience can use it whereas all these other codecs, filters and splitters are extremely complicated and constantly conflict with each other and can be a nightmare restoring windows and getting future codecs to work once there is an issue. So now when people ask I say Shark without question.

a) Because the latest version of Haali Media Splitter is a piece of proverbial POS. You`ll have problems with bitstreaming, for instance. My guide doesn`t mention anything about Haali and until it gets fixed, never will.

b) If you want a .mkv splitter outside of MPC-HC, the internal MPC-HC splitter (MatroskaSplitter) is the best you can find. You can download it of the same links from where you get MPC-HC, the standalone filters package.

c) My guide is not 32 pages long, it`s 7-8 settings to tick + mapping your keys and it works flawlessy, with DXVA, bitstreaming, fforward/backward/subtitle/audio swithching and superb PQ. I understand you like Sharks codec pack, i`ve added references to his pack and the minimalist guide to set it up and will make a separate chapter for it after i test it out to see that everything works as expected, but first try to set up things the way i wrote them and then bash it if you find something that doesn`t work.

I`m all for suggestions and making the guide even better, but please be constructive. Find something that doesn`t work and report it.


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post #41 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 02:32 PM
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First, you failed to mention AnyDVD and ClownBD. Very necessary programs.

Second. I don't see a need to install ANY codec PACKS, it's a waste of resources. MAYBE one or two decoders.

Third.. Does the outlook plugin allow use of two different computers? One for outlook, and one for the add-in?
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post #42 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 03:14 PM
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AnyDVD is mentioned, but not elaborated on. Seems like the guide is assuming MKV playback. You may want to add a ripping section for the different options. Then you can add Clown_BD and such.
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post #43 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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.mkv / .m2ts / .ts playback with MPC-HC. This is ellaborated on. Blu ray disks/folder structures playback is a no-brainer with TMT3, except for choosing the audio options for bitstreaming it works right out of the box.

I`ll add a ripping guide as an addon as soon as i finish the internal 7MC player playback, should be finished by tomorrow.

Regarding the Outlook Plugin, here`s the guide to set it up :http://vistamcoutlook.oabsoftware.nl...ody-manual.php


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post #44 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, i cleaned up the guide a bit, split the playback software section in 2, one for playback via MPC-HC as an external player and one for the upcoming 7MC internal player + Shark007 pack, added examples for key mappings.

Tomorrow i will hopefully finish the Section 1.2 playback guide, and add images with the settings used in the playback guide, so it would be even easier to check if you have applied the correct settings.


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post #45 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heaphus View Post

Is there anything else that needs to be done for subtitles in MKVs? I followed your sharks guide to the letter, then double and triple checked my settings, and I cannot get subtitles in WMP/WMC. They work fine in MPC-HC. Everything else works great. Getting this to work in WMC would be the holy grail for me right now.

The reason MPC-HC works is that it is using VOBsub to get sub titles working. My guide was first based on DXVA only, getting VC-1 and h.264 to playback studder free.

The other option you can do, outside of my guide, is to use FFDshow DXVA for all your codecs instead of MPC-HC codecs. This will get you DXVA and Subtitles as well.

If you want, you can install VOBsub as part of sharks and use that as well.

The OP seems to think that FFDshow DXVA is "too soft" in 7MC, I think it is more "natural" vs. an over saturated, over sharpened image, but to each is their own I guess.

- Josh



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post #46 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlmaclennan View Post


I don't think anyone feels you shouldn't use the Shark007 pack. But once you want to have more control over what you install and what settings you can change or become a more advanced user the Shark007 pack becomes a bloated and novice solution.

I can tell you I am not a novice at all when it comes to this, and I still prefer using sharks over any other solution out there. It is not a codec pack like CCCP, I think of sharks as a unified installer more than anything else.

The thing that happens is when you install FFdshow and haali individually, .mkv files for example aren't comprehended in WMP or 7MC, you need to register those filters/codecs with windows before windows will play back an .mkv, with sharks there is no registry edits, or filter registering that needs to take place.

I used to do that, a bran new install of windows, install FFDshow, Haali, then go in and edit the registry just so I could play back .mkv files natively in media center, I'd rather not, one mess up in the registry and you can break more than you can make work.

So again Sharks pack is no more bloated than you want it to be, if you are smart and comprehend what is going on and what is being install it is no more bloated then individually installing filters/codecs individually.

- Josh



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post #47 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 10:43 PM
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I have three reasons for not recommending codec packs:
  1. I've seen them screw systems to the point of needing a reformat to fix it. Note: I have not seen the Shark pack do this and I'm not saying that it will.
  2. There is no "all in one" solution for everyone and there never will be. It's better for someone to learn why they need certain codecs and have some knowledge of what they are installing. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life.
  3. Most codec packs are nothing more than a collection of pirated software.

Edit:
None of these things are directed at Shark. I have no experience whatsoever with that codec pack so I can't speak specifically to it.
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post #48 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenEyez View Post

a) Because the latest version of Haali Media Splitter is a piece of proverbial POS. You`ll have problems with bitstreaming, for instance. My guide doesn`t mention anything about Haali and until it gets fixed, never will.

Sharks installs Gabests splitter and guest what???? Gabests splitter supports bitstreaming

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b) If you want a .mkv splitter outside of MPC-HC, the internal MPC-HC splitter (MatroskaSplitter) is the best you can find. You can download it of the same links from where you get MPC-HC, the standalone filters package.

See above, also the site you link to is in Russian or whatever and is extremely hard to read when your first language is English.

Quote:


c) My guide is not 32 pages long, it`s 7-8 settings to tick + mapping your keys and it works flawlessy, with DXVA, bitstreaming, fforward/backward/subtitle/audio swithching and superb PQ. I understand you like Sharks codec pack, i`ve added references to his pack and the minimalist guide to set it up and will make a separate chapter for it after i test it out to see that everything works as expected, but first try to set up things the way i wrote them and then bash it if you find something that doesn`t work.

Last time I checked my guide wasn't 32 pages either maybe 32 steps but I wanted to go step by step, setting by setting so that when you were completed EVERYTHING would play back with zero issues.

I was just being thorough

it is not about bashing anything, if you want to write your guide and setup process you need to explain things in every single detail possible. If this is for noobs as you say, a noob is not going to know what a filter is or what a codec is. But if you further explain it, show them what it does, and how it works and what settings do what, they start to learn this and are able to help out other noobs.

Go back into any of my base 5k post, and I **** you not 4k of them are probably answering the same questions asked over and over and over again. That is the reason I wrote my guide and went into such length and detail was so that the noob learned from it, what settings did what, and how it all works together.

Lastly you talk about PQ like MPC-HC is the best out there, well sorry to tell you but PQ is in the eye of the beholder, some like a more "natural" look, which is what I see when I use 7MC for direct playback, MPC-HC i use on my desktop, MPC-HC is a desktop app, it honestly isn't meant for the "10 foot" user experience like 7MC is.

MP-HC is great I won't refute that, but PQ? I don't know about that, looks too filtered and too sharpend, doesn't give you the film like, natural look.

Quote:


I`m all for suggestions and making the guide even better, but please be constructive. Find something that doesn`t work and report it.

As I said above, the more thorough you are, and the more detail oriented you are, and the more step by step, down to the T you can be, the better this guide will be. But just giving links to things, giving vague detail, and not explaining what each piece of the puzzle does, doesn't make it noob friendly, like I said noobs don't know what filters, or codes or hell even that an .mkv isn't a codec, but a container that holds codecs in the form of video file and separate audio file and sub titles, ect..

so the more detail oriented you are the better this guide would be. That is the only reason I am giving this feed back, I've been meaning to do a write up like this for years, took me forever to do the sharks codec write up I did, so go for it, the more you can do the better, as I never had time to do it.

- Josh



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post #49 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 10:55 PM
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If I add Total Media Theater 3 configuration I'll be able to use audio through the HDMI on my 10 year old desktop? That sounds good if it does.

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post #50 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

I have three reasons for not recommending codec packs:
  1. I've seen them screw systems to the point of needing a reformat to fix it. Note: I have not seen the Shark pack do this and I'm not saying that it will.
  2. There is no "all in one" solution for everyone and there never will be. It's better for someone to learn why they need certain codecs and have some knowledge of what they are installing. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life.
  3. Most codec packs are nothing more than a collection of pirated software.


couldn't agree more, but again I wouldn't call Sharks a "codec" pack, it is a unified installer, in fact while installing sharks, it even goes through and uninstalls previously installed codecs so you are starting from scratch when you install it.

If you follow the guide I wrote up its pretty straight forward, minimalist install, I've had 40+ people email me already with great results, zero issues, and it works, so the thing I say why break a good thing that works?

lastly veterans like yourself that understand filters, and codecs, and and registering filters and setting the merits and all that, you understand all that, hell I still don't understand half of it. I know what works and what doesn't work. This works for me and many others as well, so why not go with it?

- Josh



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post #51 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vipfreak View Post

If I add Total Media Theater 3 configuration I'll be able to use audio through the HDMI on my 10 year old desktop? That sounds good if it does.

well not exactly, you'd need to have a video card that supports hdmi audio out,
here's a good list of what video cards support it and what they can do: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1093445

basically any of the ATI 5xxx cards, intel G45, intel H55 mobo's, and nvidia 2xx cards will all do HDMI audio in one way shape or form.

- Josh



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post #52 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post

Second. I don't see a need to install ANY codec PACKS, it's a waste of resources. MAYBE one or two decoders

I think you need to re-state that whole statement. some "certain" codec packs yes can break your system, cause more issues than they fix, ect... but they don't use or waste any more resources than anything else out there.

As it has been mentioned several times, the "best" route to go is to install ONLY the codec you need for playback, 99.99999% of the time FFDshow covers that need.

When you start to get into DXVA support, bitstreaming, .mkv subtitle playback, then it changes things a little.

Also this guide is suppose to be noobs, most noobs if not all of them are NOT going to know how to install a codec, register the filters properly and expect everything to work all the time.

its a give and take, and simplicity over necessity.

- Josh



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post #53 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
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umdivx - Ok, i`ve read your posts and i`m going to expand the guide a little more this afternoon. I`m trying to create a balance between writing a clear, concise guide, that`s not too bloated, and yet no to simplistic. Trying to create a balance.

Also, i will add the advantages of using MPC-HC vs the advantages of using the internal 7MC player at the begining, so the user will choose exactly what he wants. I`ll put a couple o screenshots to compare PQ, so the reader can choose what suits him best.


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post #54 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

well not exactly, you'd need to have a video card that supports hdmi audio out,
here's a good list of what video cards support it and what they can do: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1093445

Oh... ha... yeah... My vid card is like 10 yrs old. nVidia 7800gt. I bought a DVI to HDMI converter. Oh well... I'll just have to live with my phone jack. xD Thanks

My Summer Motto: "When Nature turns off the damn heat I'll turn off my A/C"
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post #55 of 4681 Old 05-20-2010, 11:50 PM
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lastly veterans like yourself that understand filters, and codecs, and and registering filters and setting the merits and all that, you understand all that, hell I still don't understand half of it. I know what works and what doesn't work. This works for me and many others as well, so why not go with it?

- Josh

I was just elaborating on why I (and other "veterans") are against codec packs in general. I have however seen some of those veterans recommend Shark's pack if that's the route someone wants to go. As I said, I don't have any experience with it in particular so I don't consider myself knowledgeable enough to recommend it.

One of these days I will get around to trying it, but I just haven't had the time. I will say that I've seen him respond to issues fairly quickly and from what I gather, he only includes freeware codecs (ie: no ArcSoft, Cyberlink, etc). For those two things alone, I would consider it as a viable solution.
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post #56 of 4681 Old 05-21-2010, 12:35 AM
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I would try the "minimalist" route first. I installed W7 32-bit Ultimate, ATI Catalyst 10.3 drivers, the ATI HDMI driver, the latest version of Haali Media splitter (as of about a month ago), and TMT 3.
My hardware is an Asus P5Q-Pro, with a Q6600, 2 megs of DDR2, assorted and sundry hardrives. HIS 5670.
This system plays everything I have thrown at it, MKV's, BD's, HD-DVD's, DVD's. It bitstreams True-HD and HD-Master from both the original discs, and from Folders on the hard drive. It streams Dolby Digital from cable-recorded shows in 7MC, and from AVI's, etc that were downloaded.
I did not install FFDSHOW.
Not saying that this package will work for everyone, but it is worth a try, and it is working so well, I am not about to even upgrade my vid drivers!
John
Edit: This is all going via HDMI to a Pioneer VSX-1018 receiver, then to a Pioneer KRP-500M plasma.
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post #57 of 4681 Old 05-21-2010, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
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But can you bitstream HD audio for files stored in .mkv containers or m2ts/ts containers without ffdshow? No, you can`t.

Alot of people rip their movies into those formats. Solely for Blu ray disks/Blu ray disk folders, TMT 3 works flawlessy, ofc. But the guide is intended for playback of all HD content, stored in any container.

As for Catalyts 10.3, you have a Pioneer receiver. The EDID issue that got fixed in 10.4 was only affecting Denon/Onkyo/Sony receivers (not being able to bitstream True HD), there`s an entire thread about it.



EDIT // Section 1.2 involving the 7MC internal player and Sharks pack is done. Umdivx, i removed some of your steps since they were already selected by default in the configuration interface.

Next up is a more elaborated section about setting up Media Browser (libraries, installing plugins, options etc.)


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post #58 of 4681 Old 05-21-2010, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Vipfreak View Post

Oh... ha... yeah... My vid card is like 10 yrs old. nVidia 7800gt. I bought a DVI to HDMI converter. Oh well... I'll just have to live with my phone jack. xD Thanks

Sorry but the 7800GT wasn't around 10 years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_7_Series 5 yes, 10 no.

- Josh



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post #59 of 4681 Old 05-21-2010, 07:42 AM
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It streams Dolby Digital from cable-recorded shows in 7MC

That is because windows 7 has a built in AC3 decoder, mpeg2 decoder, and mpeg4 decoder that comes with windows.

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, and from AVI's, etc that were downloaded.

Same goes for AVI's, Microsoft included their own divx decoder with windows. Are you playing .MKV's within 7MC?

- Josh



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post #60 of 4681 Old 05-21-2010, 07:51 AM
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EDIT // Section 1.2 involving the 7MC internal player and Sharks pack is done. Umdivx, i removed some of your steps since they were already selected by default in the configuration interface.

Next up is a more elaborated section about setting up Media Browser (libraries, installing plugins, options etc.)

Looks good, only thing you might want to note, for those running 64bit version of windows, they need to have the x64 components as well and need to make the same adjustments in the x64 components as you do under the 32bit settings.

- Josh



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