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post #31 of 64 Old 03-15-2012, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

My take? Completely depends on what you use your HTPC for.

If you are a videophile and have a 120" display in a separate theater using only uncompressed HD sources then Madvr can perhaps give you a benefit. Or a lot of people like Madvr because it helps with interlaced and SD material. Of course you have to substitute ease of use with the pains of constantly tinkering with all the settings of Madvr and MPCHC.

Or are you an average HTPC user that uses his HTPC to either replace cable/satellite or as a daily use HTPC with your HDTV for you and your family? Well here ease of use reigns supreme and the added 5% video improvement that you can squeeze out with all these advanced settings probably isn't even noticed. For this scenario then WMC and XBMC (edit: and JRiver) are VERY good and both look excellent.

What do I use? I use a combination of WMC+MB and XBMC depending on what I am testing.

What does my family use? Mainly XBMC right now (although my wife says she thinks she likes WMC+MB better)

What have I tested? WMC, WMC+MB, XBMC, MPC-HC, MPC-HC+Madvr, JRiver, Plex and probably some others.

This is a huge YMMV kind of topic and there is no real correct answer.


I use my HTPC in a dedicated theater room with 90" screen for mostly blu-ray rips. Ocassional OVA and sporting events.

I do like the WMC/MB setup, which I was using mostly for it's ease of use as well as a nice picture.

Btw, what vid card do you use in your HTPCs? There are a host of post processing settings on the video card control panel, do you shut them all off?
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post #32 of 64 Old 03-15-2012, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

I use my HTPC in a dedicated theater room with 90" screen for mostly blu-ray rips. Ocassional OVA and sporting events.

I do like the WMC/MB setup, which I was using mostly for it's ease of use as well as a nice picture.

Btw, what vid card do you use in your HTPCs? There are a host of post processing settings on the video card control panel, do you shut them all off?

None. I have tried all three and the PQ is the exact same so I use the i3 2100 which for me had by far the best drivers.

I tried Madvr as well but I couldn't tell a bit of difference so I pulled the GT430 card and put it in another machine.

I recently redid my HTPC and added a different GT430 card back in to the mix to try out Madvr again. I am still using the iGPU though because the picture is just so damn good and for me as stated above I don't notice a difference.

I have spent/wasted a TON of time on HTPC btw.
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post #33 of 64 Old 03-15-2012, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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that's interesting. an integrated vid card outperforms a discreet gfx?
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post #34 of 64 Old 03-15-2012, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

that's interesting. an integrated vid card outperforms a discreet gfx?

If you are not needing madvr many well respected avs users say there is no difference.
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post #35 of 64 Old 03-15-2012, 05:55 PM
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I haven't used MadVR but from what I've read it is for those who like to tweak to the nth degree... I'm happy with the pq from the integrated GPU on my i3 550 Clarkdale with Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 MoBo..

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post #36 of 64 Old 03-15-2012, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I haven't used MadVR but from what I've read it is for those who like to tweak to the nth degree... I'm happy with the pq from the integrated GPU on my i3 550 Clarkdale with Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 MoBo..

The quality is real. It doesn't require tweaking. Just select Red October HQ in video settings.

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post #37 of 64 Old 03-15-2012, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jriver View Post

The quality is real. It doesn't require tweaking. Just select Red October HQ in video settings.

It may be real. Some don't notice anything different. I think its false advertising to tout an amazing improvement for everyone.

Just trying to be fair and balanced here.
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post #38 of 64 Old 03-15-2012, 07:58 PM
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The last time I tried to compare MPC-HC + MadVR and Plex, I had a really tough time telling the difference. This is with a calibrated Pioneer Kuro krp-500m and coming from someone who is is very sensitive to picture quality and video processing. Maybe if I tried again I might notice the difference, but at this point ease of use has become much more important to me. This is basically all with straight 1080p blu-ray rips. MadVR might be more useful when you need to upscale and deinterlace.

Basically, if set up correctly, the PQ differences between these programs (at least with 1080p content) is very small, and I'm sure most people will never notice the difference.
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post #39 of 64 Old 03-15-2012, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

The last time I tried to compare MPC-HC + MadVR and Plex, I had a really tough time telling the difference. This is with a calibrated Pioneer Kuro krp-500m and coming from someone who is is very sensitive to picture quality and video processing. Maybe if I tried again I might notice the difference, but at this point ease of use has become much more important to me. This is basically all with straight 1080p blu-ray rips. MadVR might be more useful when you need to upscale and deinterlace.

Basically, if set up correctly, the PQ differences between these programs (at least with 1080p content) is very small, and I'm sure most people will never notice the difference.

^^^ this post is 100%, on target.

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post #40 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

It may be real. Some don't notice anything different. I think its false advertising to tout an amazing improvement for everyone.

You're entitled to your opinion, but "false advertising" is a little strong.

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post #41 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jriver View Post

You're entitled to your opinion, but "false advertising" is a little strong.

Madvr is not "quality is real" improvement for everyone. You have seen that others in this thread alone agree. Just be cautious what your product claims and please don't mislead people. I wouldn't want people asking for their money back because they spent $50 and found no improvement.

Edit: Just wanted to clarify that I don't think JRiver is misleading people. Their software does offer the possibility of the highest PQ although some users may not see any difference as has been reported elsewhere with Madvr. This is the statement I was trying to make is that Madvr may or may not have a drastic change in your PQ depending on your setup and how you use your HTPC. This is still very much a YMMV in my opinion.
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post #42 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I haven't used MadVR but from what I've read it is for those who like to tweak to the nth degree... I'm happy with the pq from the integrated GPU on my i3 550 Clarkdale with Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 MoBo..

You should try the new Eden release of XBMC...

Since installing it, I have ditched MB + MPC-HC + MadVR completely without looking back...

Besides the basic setup for HD audio bitstreaming and setting the option to use pixel shaders for video, I didn't have to tweak anything...
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post #43 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by balky View Post

You should try the new Eden release of XBMC...

Since installing it, I have ditched MB + MPC-HC + MadVR completely without looking back...

Besides the basic setup for HD audio bitstreaming and setting the option to use pixel shaders for video, I didn't have to tweak anything...

Could you elaborate? What features/functionalities of XMBC attract you?

Does it have it's own video playback software and codecs?

I do enjoy the ease of integration of the WMC/MB combination
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post #44 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 06:01 AM
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Does it have it's own video playback software and codecs?

Yes, it does.
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post #45 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks. looking at the XBMC page now. looks pretty nice. feel like 7MC/MB.
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post #46 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 06:37 AM
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I'm very happy with the quality of the standard Red October in JRiver and I like the interface JRiver has. I tried it out because of assassin's guide and am seriously considering puchasing it so you two need to kiss and make up! IDK if I'm going to add a GPU for that little extra though. A little side note here, is there a skin scheme similar to Diamond in MB?

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post #47 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I tried it out because of assassin's guide and am seriously considering puchasing it

You are not the only one as I am sure others have purchased JRiver because of my guides.

Some of the things I say on AVS aren't popular and are against the grain. But they are my honest opinion and I offer no apology for being honest.

My views are not alone and there is a growing roar that Madvr isn't the end-all solution for everyone that it was once touted to be. This is important because its not necessary to buy a discrete card to have a great HTPC experience which helps keep the cost down and thus gets more people into HTPC. So I feel its my responsibility to be the counter viewpoint to the "Madvr is God" mantra that some share.

Madvr is great for some. No different for others. And even the people who claim there is a "big difference" cannot show even a single screenshot (which the creator, Madshi, used to demonstrate the improvement in Madvr) to show the difference.

So, yes, I have a reason to be skeptical as I have tried Madvr as well and couldn't recreate any of the differences or improvements reported by users here at AVS and by Madshi himself utilizing screenshots as proof of concept.
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post #48 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 07:20 AM
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I discovered while watching "The Descendants" using JRiver last night that Standard Red October is using VMR-9 with LAV so it is basically the same graph I'm using in MPC-HC but I like the interface slightly better. What none of the players I've tried thus far do is allow menu control for switching audio and/or subtitle streams on the fly with an MCE Remote. Each one requires an obtrusive pop up menu to do this. I'd also like to say that JRiver was reporting 23.96 / 23.97 (only 2 digits reported) with 0 dropped frames.

Also, I'm looking for a skin similar to Diamond (or other) in Media Browser. I haven't added the skin in your guide yet.. is that what I need to do?

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post #49 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I discovered while watching "The Descendants" using JRiver last night that Standard Red October is using VMR-9 wirt LAV so it is basically the same graph I'm using in MPC-HC but I like the interface slightly better. What none of the players I've tried thus far do is allow menu control for switching audio and/or subtitle streams on the fly with an MCE Remote. Each one requires an obtrusive pop up menu to do this. I'd also like to say that JRiver was reporting 23.96 / 23.97 (only 2 digits reported) with 0 dropped frames.

Also, I'm looking for a skin similar to Diamond (or other) in Media Browser. I haven't added the skin in your guide yet.. is that what I need to do?

Sure. JRiver has a bunch of great skins. Try them out to see what you like better.

I wish more than 2 decimal places for 23.976 were reported since ATI, NVidia and Intel all get pretty close nowadays.

Also give XBMC a try as it has excellent in-player control. This is one of the main advantages over WMC in my opinion.
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post #50 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post


Sure. JRiver has a bunch of great skins. Try them out to see what you like better.

I wish more than 2 decimal places for 23.976 were reported since ATI, NVidia and Intel all get pretty close nowadays.

Also give XBMC a try as it has excellent in-player control. This is one of the main advantages over WMC in my opinion.

One at a time! Haha. I haven't looked at the XBMC guide but maybe you can answer this. Can it be a plugin to WMC? I'm still going to eventually get the PVR going on this thing!

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post #51 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 07:32 AM
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One at a time! Haha. I haven't looked at the XBMC guide but maybe you can answer this. Can it be a plugin to WMC? I'm still going to eventually get the PVR going on this thing!

Yes, it can.

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post #52 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 08:24 AM
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What none of the players I've tried thus far do is allow menu control for switching audio and/or subtitle streams on the fly with an MCE Remote. Each one requires an obtrusive pop up menu to do this.

I'm not sure what you consider obtrusive, but the On Screen Display (OSD) gives you access to settings with the arrow keys on an MC remote.

http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/OSD

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post #53 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 08:45 AM
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I'm not sure what you consider obtrusive, but the On Screen Display (OSD) gives you access to settings with the arrow keys on an MC remote.

http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/OSD

FWIW this is pretty similar to XBMC which also uses an OSD so I don't necessarily think that XBMC has an advantage from that perspective.
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post #54 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 08:54 AM
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I'm not sure what you consider obtrusive, but the On Screen Display (OSD) gives you access to settings with the arrow keys on an MC remote.

http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/OSD

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FWIW this is pretty similar to XBMC which also uses an OSD so I don't necessarily think that XBMC has an advantage from that perspective.

What I'm talking about is a button on a MCE remote, specifically a Harmony 900 or other, that allows to toggle through the subs and audio streams with a small but readable at 10 feet window showing the streams available then just hit enter. On my BDP this is small and horizontal along the bottom of the screen rather than right in the middle. The OSD is a window or dialog box that covers maybe 20% of the screen area unless I'm missing something. JRiver is not alone in this, MPC-HC does it too. What remote button brings up the OSD, btw? I used a right mouse click to access it.

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post #55 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 09:22 AM
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The OSD is a window or dialog box that covers maybe 20% of the screen area unless I'm missing something.

It's more like 10%, I think. It's the two lines that say "Subtitles/Forced Subtitles (auto)" in this picture.


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post #56 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 09:30 AM
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Here's the OSD for XBMC (pic taken from my guides if you want to see the others):

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post #57 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 09:47 AM
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It's more like 10%, I think. It's the two lines that say "Subtitles/Forced Subtitles (auto)" in this picture.


I must have been doing something else... That is just what I'm talking about. How to access that with an MCE remote?

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post #58 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Here's the OSD for XBMC (pic taken from my guides if you want to see the others):


imageshack is blocked here at work.

Maybe I can see it in your guide.

EDIT: Which guide number?

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post #59 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 09:51 AM
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imageshack is blocked here at work.

Maybe I can see it in your guide.

Yeah, the guide pics are hosted on the server. I try to preserve that bandwidth for the users so I purposefully share the pics on imageshack that I share publicly.
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post #60 of 64 Old 03-16-2012, 09:55 AM
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I must have been doing something else... That is just what I'm talking about. How to access that with an MCE remote?

Up or Down arrow. Start in Theater View/Video.

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