Bluray (mkv) playback on WMC 7 the easy way - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 19 Old 07-29-2012, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jackbane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Seems easier than it describes in various guides and tutorials online. I read many of them, dug around different forums including this one, as well as those of the various software products out there. Though I built my first HTPC only a month ago, I've been building systems for many years, so I'm not unaccustomed to doing extensive research and experimentation in order to figure out how to do exactly what I want.

When I see recommendations to install various splitters and codec packages in order to playback mkv files of bluray rips, I'm somewhat baffled. I'm running Win7 Ultimate 64 bit on an i3 2105. 128G Samsung SSD, 2TB Samsung (Seagate) F4 storage hdd. Using onboard intel gpu. 8gb of memory. WMC with Media Browser. Silicondust homerun prime for live TV. Verizion Fios.

Here's how I did it....is it just this easy or am I missing something?

1) Used Makemkv to rip bluray to hdd.

2) Installed VLC player 2.0.3 on htpc.

3) Configured VLC player as external player for mkv files in Media Browser.

That's it. When browsing to the ripped bluray movie in MB, it launches VLC in fullscreen mode. Playback is perfect. When I hit 'stop', it quits VLC and kicks me back to MB.

Is my setup somehow deficient? I never came across this setup in my searches, instead I saw numerous recommendations to install codec packs, go through page after page of config screens, do registry hacks, install multiple splitters and programs to tweak Windows.

Curious to hear folks' responses. Oh and thanks for all the wisdom on the forum, I benefitted immensely from your experience.
jackbane is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 Old 07-29-2012, 04:36 PM
AVS Special Member
 
whiteboy714's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,581
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Your setup is very similar to lots of people here. Except they use MPC-HC for the external player. It allows more tweaking by adding stuff like madvr to help out picture quality. Not that VLC is bad but some folks want to have the absolute best.

Also not sure how VLC handles bitstreaming of HD audio as a lot people here have surround sound systems. I assume VLC can do it by now but it was a limitation of it a while ago.
whiteboy714 is offline  
post #3 of 19 Old 07-29-2012, 09:52 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 165
Nowhere on VLC's site do they make mention of HD Audio playback.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #4 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 08:39 AM
Member
 
spidermaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 38
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Certainly wouldn't consider it deficient, as a matter of fact, quite nice. That said, the two Shark007 codec packs are very simply to install so WMC will play MKV's. You're installing another 'something' anyway so it's really probably just personal preference.
spidermaker is offline  
post #5 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 09:16 AM
AVS Special Member
 
NewOrlnsDukie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Nowhere on VLC's site do they make mention of HD Audio playback.

Shhh. Don't confuse him...wink.gif
NewOrlnsDukie is offline  
post #6 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 09:52 AM
Advanced Member
 
perpetual98's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 660
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Or just use JRiver?
perpetual98 is offline  
post #7 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 09:54 AM
AVS Special Member
 
whiteboy714's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,581
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by perpetual98 View Post

Or just use JRiver?
Tried a couple times myself just can't get into the ui.
whiteboy714 is offline  
post #8 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 10:04 AM
Advanced Member
 
perpetual98's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 660
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

Tried a couple times myself just can't get into the ui.

Can't argue with that. I used WMC with MediaBrowser for years but have been ripping more MKV files from BD recently so I bought a copy of JRiver MC when v17 came out and for the most part, that's all I use for my front-end.

I've tried to dive into theming the UI, but it's pretty limited as to what you can do with it. They're talking about v18 coming out in the not-too-distant future, but it doesn't sound like the front-end will be changing all that much.

I can deal with the UI not being terribly great (although it's not bad at all, mind you) because when I'm watching media, I'm watching media and not waxing poetic about my UI.
perpetual98 is offline  
post #9 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jackbane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

Your setup is very similar to lots of people here. Except they use MPC-HC for the external player. It allows more tweaking by adding stuff like madvr to help out picture quality. Not that VLC is bad but some folks want to have the absolute best.
Also not sure how VLC handles bitstreaming of HD audio as a lot people here have surround sound systems. I assume VLC can do it by now but it was a limitation of it a while ago.

I hear that, I guess it boils down to how good it has to be. I have only a simple 5.1 surround setup in my modest living room, an entry level Onkyo AV receiver from 5 or 6 years back, LG 47" flatscreen and an Apple TV 1st generation. I have one Xbox 360 extender that doesn't see a ton of use right now, but when I get another decent TV it will come into play more. I don't believe my receiver does true HD audio, only Dolby digital and DTS. I'm not trying to be on the bleeding edge by any means. That said, I am getting a surround mix when watching mkv files using the 3/2+1 audio track.

Of course as I learn more about this stuff I'm bound to test out some other software, so I will surely check out MPC-HC and see if I can spot the difference. However, given my security conscious approach to computers I am reticent to "carpet bomb" my Win7 install with all-encompassing codec packs, especially if bundled with adware or whatever. Being able to install just one other program and no additional codecs and have it work straight away took me a bit by surprise and I was pleased. My tech experience spans lots of unix programming as well as pro audio production, as I'm a working musician and have a decent studio setup (recording to an i7 machine) in my house. My approach has always been to install just what I need and not a thing more. It's a bit harder that way because you have to figure out how it all interacts, but that's part of the fun.

Side note to another replier above: So the Shark codecs allow you to play mkv files right within WMC, without using MPC-HC or another player?
jackbane is offline  
post #10 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 12:44 PM
AVS Special Member
 
whiteboy714's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,581
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 16
For sure if your happy then that's what matters. I guess I notice a difference with madvr but it may be placebo. Either way it's not enough for me to bother with an external player. So how do you get audio to your onkyo? Optical? Do the dts and Dolby lights come on when using vlc? Or is it just doing fake surround?

To answer your other question yes shark's codec pack will let you play mkvs in wmc with no extra player. That's how I do it with media browser.

If you install shark's just be sure to select the recommended settings box.
whiteboy714 is offline  
post #11 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jackbane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

For sure if your happy then that's what matters. I guess I notice a difference with madvr but it may be placebo. Either way it's not enough for me to bother with an external player. So how do you get audio to your onkyo? Optical? Do the dts and Dolby lights come on when using vlc? Or is it just doing fake surround?
To answer your other question yes shark's codec pack will let you play mkvs in wmc with no extra player. That's how I do it with media browser.
If you install shark's just be sure to select the recommended settings box.

I connect HDMI out from computer into the LG TV. The Onkyo doesn't have any HDMI inputs. From the TV I send a coax cable to the receiver. I have the receiver on "Direct" mode so as I change channels or devices (htpc vs. appletv) the receiver automatically switches listening modes according to the signal it receives.

My Dolby Digital indicator lights up with VLC, but not the DTS indicator. This is the same as HD TV channels that have a surround mix. When a channel's audio is in stereo only, the receiver switches to stereo mode. However, there is a Dolby Pro Logic mode that I use for the stereo audio whereby the receiver creates a fake surround mix from the stereo audio input. In those cases the indicator for Dolby Pro Logic Movie is lit.

I believe in my MakeMKV rips I only included the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks and did not include the HD Audio because my receiver didn't support it. So unless I'm mistaken, I believe I am getting a real surround mix but not DTS or HD Audio.
jackbane is offline  
post #12 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 07:11 PM
AVS Special Member
 
whiteboy714's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,581
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Yes it sounds like you are getting Dolby. Does your motherboard and receiver have optical audio? Or by coax do you mean the orange plug? You could plug that straight from your mobo if it has it. With either of those you can bitstream Dolby and DTS 5.1. I think you are not getting DTS because the TV does not support it.

You are right with Makemkv if you don't need HD audio then just leave it out as it just adds size. Although in my experience a lot more blu rays have DTS-MA (which is HD) than Dolby. So if you rip a disc with DTS-MA
but deselect the HD audio you end up with the standard DTS stream. Which in your setup would not work. But your receiver should support it.

Just something to consider.
whiteboy714 is offline  
post #13 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jackbane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

Yes it sounds like you are getting Dolby. Does your motherboard and receiver have optical audio? Or by coax do you mean the orange plug? You could plug that straight from your mobo if it has it. With either of those you can bitstream Dolby and DTS 5.1. I think you are not getting DTS because the TV does not support it.
You are right with Makemkv if you don't need HD audio then just leave it out as it just adds size. Although in my experience a lot more blu rays have DTS-MA (which is HD) than Dolby. So if you rip a disc with DTS-MA
but deselect the HD audio you end up with the standard DTS stream. Which in your setup would not work. But your receiver should support it.
Just something to consider.

Interesting. Yes, by coax I am referring to the orange RCA-sized plug. And yes, both my receiver and motherboard have optical (toslink) connectors as well as coax. So, if I send optical from the mobo to the receiver but hdmi to the TV for video I should be able to get DTS since the receiver supports it? Would there not be some audio redundancy or conflict between the hdmi and the optical connections, or will the PC know to send video only over the hdmi connection?
jackbane is offline  
post #14 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 08:54 PM
AVS Special Member
 
whiteboy714's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,581
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 16
You would just go to the sound settings and set the default audio device to Spdif or whichever one you decide to use. As far as how VLC comes into this I do not know. I personally just use the WMC player with sharks codec pack.

I set the audio to bitstream so it is sent out untouched to the AVR. This is a pretty common set up since there are plenty of folks like you that have an AVR that does not have HDMI inputs.
whiteboy714 is offline  
post #15 of 19 Old 07-31-2012, 04:40 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Artslinger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Evanston, IL
Posts: 1,572
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

You would just go to the sound settings and set the default audio device to Spdif or whichever one you decide to use. As far as how VLC comes into this I do not know. I personally just use the WMC player with sharks codec pack.
I set the audio to bitstream so it is sent out untouched to the AVR. This is a pretty common set up since there are plenty of folks like you that have an AVR that does not have HDMI inputs.

I also use WMC and the Shark pack, very simple to setup.
Artslinger is offline  
post #16 of 19 Old 07-31-2012, 04:43 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 205
assassin is offline  
post #17 of 19 Old 07-31-2012, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jackbane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

You would just go to the sound settings and set the default audio device to Spdif or whichever one you decide to use. As far as how VLC comes into this I do not know. I personally just use the WMC player with sharks codec pack.
I set the audio to bitstream so it is sent out untouched to the AVR. This is a pretty common set up since there are plenty of folks like you that have an AVR that does not have HDMI inputs.

Nice, so I have now connected both my HTPC and AppleTV via optical to the receiver while sending the HDMI out from both into the TV. On the rips that have DTS, I'm now getting the DTS audio indicator lit on my receiver. Dolby Digital for the others. And for the two-channel audio, the receiver continues to fake surround with either Pro Logic Movie mode or DTS Neo:Cinema mode. In addition, the audio/video sync is much tighter, as previously a couple of channels intermittently exhibited audio that lagged behind the video to the point of being noticeable. Now everything is tighter, surely due to cutting the LG TV out of the audio equation.

Thanks for the tip, whiteboy. I will still probably muck around with some other software as I experiment, but this was definitely an improvement.
jackbane is offline  
post #18 of 19 Old 07-31-2012, 09:47 AM
AVS Special Member
 
whiteboy714's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,581
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Great man glad to be able to help.
whiteboy714 is offline  
post #19 of 19 Old 08-03-2012, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jackbane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Well I feel like rewriting my original post since discovering an even simpler way, that is also giving me better playback than VLC was. (I was seeing some audio/video sync issues with certain mkv files....that is no longer happening with my new setup.)

Anyway I beg the veterans of the board forgive that I post about my noobish explorations, but I want other newcomers to know that mkv playback can be fairly simple, not requiring multiple installs and complicated configs.

All Ive done is install the Haali splitter. Default options upon install. De-associated VLC from Mediabrowser.

Now my mkv files all play back directly within WMC, no external player needed. Im even able to watch many of them on my XBOX 360 extender.

I was motivated to look for another solution for mkv playback because I wanted to be able to more easily use ff and rewind controls, without having to create another activity for VLC in my Logitech remote, and then insure that switching between it and my main TV activity would be smooth and easy. Using the Haali splitter, I still can use the built in WMC transport controls, and remote operation is simpler.

Anyway, just throwing that out there. I suspect that I will likely continue to probe and perhaps add some more tools as I discover more bugs/desired features. Peace!
jackbane is offline  
Reply Home Theater Computers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off