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post #1 of 38 Old 07-20-2014, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Lets talk codecs

So Ive been running essentially the same HTPC setup for about 5 years. Ive got an i3 box using on board graphics connected via HDMI to my receiver. Im using WMC7, and prefer it due to Ive got the WMC remote commands set up on my Harmony remote. No complaints there. I can play literally every file format from WMC.

My question is about codecs. Ive always used Shark007's codecs. I found them pretty flexible and they do what I need them to do. My question is, is there something newer out there I should look at? I tend to use mostly Intel Quicksync settings, where possible (which is mostly everything).

So what say you? Is there something newer/faster/better I should look at that will play anything I throw at it?
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post #2 of 38 Old 07-20-2014, 10:15 AM
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Shark007 seems to work fine for most people. I don't know of many people that recommend any codec packs above it. You'll run into a few "purists" (for lack of a better word) that insist all codec packs are evil, but for the most part I think Shark007 is pretty widely accepted as the best of the bunch.
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post #3 of 38 Old 07-20-2014, 01:55 PM
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Shark messed up my system so badly a few years ago, I had to wipe my drive and reinstall the OS from scratch. Plus Shark is now full of malware, so setup is a minefield. I won't touch it.

I recommend LAV. It has none of those issues and is far easier to configure.
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post #4 of 38 Old 07-20-2014, 02:01 PM
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Malware is easy enough to avoid in Shark007 by either unchecking the "install this craptastic bonus software" check box, or by using 7-zip to extract the "real" installer without the adware wrapper. (which incidentally the author condones last I saw)

But that is a good point worth mentioning as I had forgotten about that since I haven't installed it in ages.

FWIW the last time I did install it the only thing I had to configure was a couple of check boxes to make sure MKVs were playing back correctly on extenders. But of course depending on the complexity of your setup that will vary.

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post #5 of 38 Old 07-20-2014, 02:58 PM
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Codec packs are obsolete thanks to LAV, anyway.
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post #6 of 38 Old 07-20-2014, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I dont believe LAV itself will allow subtitles in WMC. If not using shark, if memory serves, you need xy-something filter and win7D-something filter. Then they have to be configured.
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post #7 of 38 Old 07-20-2014, 03:59 PM
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xy-VSFilter is the successor to DirectVobSub and supports most subtitle formats.
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post #8 of 38 Old 07-20-2014, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
Codec packs are obsolete thanks to LAV, anyway.
just some stats for those that think codecpacks are not used any more.

My software is installed aprox. 35,000 times each week. 12,000,000 people have read the Setup and usage page over the last 3 years. To those that feel my codec releases are loaded with useless codecs, the STANDARD release only contains the LAV filters and xy-vsfilter for subtitles. Not much uselessness there that I can see.

The 12 most prevalent highlights of using my software:

1. Full color thumbnails including FLV's and 10bit MKV's.
(also allows users to select at what point by percentage to grab the thumbnail)
2. Enable the Preview Pane for ALL newly enabled filetypes such as MKV and FLV.
3. Explorer properties are displayed for non native filetypes such as MKV and FLV
4. Updated often - and has update notification builtin
5. Allow use of the PowerDVD decoders for 32bit LiveTV in Media Center.
6. Support playback of MKV files on Extenders and on the Xbox One.
7. Support the use of the Play To function for MKV and FLV files.
8. Support playback of MOD audio files and M4A files containing ALAC
9. Supports playlist creation for use in Media Center
10. Allow users to Enable/Disable codecs installed on their system
11. Functionality such as Win7DSFilterTweaker builtin.
12. Support 'Add to Windows Media Player List' using rightclick on all files such as MKV.


Get everything working with just ONE click.
For most users, simply select the [x] SUGGESTED settings checkbox will get everything working properly in the Windows players. If you have an AVR, a 2nd click will be needed on the Audio TAB to setup bitstreamed audio from the Windows players.

Of course my codecpacks aren't for everyone, but statistics do show there is still a large amount of people that use them successfully.

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post #9 of 38 Old 07-20-2014, 05:42 PM
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I have installed Shark a number of times and it always went well. Until last week I never had a bad experience. Unfortunately I ended up having an ugly battle with PC Optimum Boost. From what I understand this likely gets installed during the unpacking of Shark. Now maybe there was some tricky checkbox that had to be unchecked during the install to prevent this but it will sure make me leery next time. I also hate they eye chart at Major Geeks to try and figure out which is the download option.

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post #10 of 38 Old 07-20-2014, 06:28 PM
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I like to think Im pretty handy with this stuff and I have no idea how I would manage without Shark007. I haven't updated in 2 years or so. I have the caveats of needing to use the default WMC player for everything and also needing spdif support. The software makes it so easy to make files compatible and to turn all kinds of audio into DTS or AC3 for spdif bitstreaming.


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post #11 of 38 Old 07-20-2014, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark007 View Post
just some stats for those that think codecpacks are not used any more.
I said that they were obsolete, not that they were unused. People use obsolete technology all the time. I continue to use ffdshow-tryout, for instance, as LAV doesn't have every feature I want.
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post #12 of 38 Old 07-21-2014, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
I said that they were obsolete, not that they were unused. People use obsolete technology all the time. I continue to use ffdshow-tryout, for instance, as LAV doesn't have every feature I want.
Then you need to research the meaning of the word 'obsolete'.

Here, I'll help you . . . using Google search -here are the 3 top responses . . .

- no longer produced or used; out of date.
- no longer in general use; fallen into disuse
- no longer used because something newer exist

So, by definition, FFDshow has been made obsolete by the emergence of LAV,
but nothing has made codecpacks obsolete.
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post #13 of 38 Old 07-21-2014, 05:38 AM
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Codecs would become obsolete if users would become familiar with DShow / the workings of their media players. That is not going to happen (and why would it?).

2-channel is just multichannel done badly. - Frank Derks
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post #14 of 38 Old 07-21-2014, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark007 View Post
Then you need to research the meaning of the word 'obsolete'.
If you really want to debate semantics, the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines "obsolete" as "no longer produced or used; out of date." I continue to assert that the production and usage cycles of obsolete products move at different speeds, so something that is out of production can still be obsolete without having fallen into disuse. Windows XP, for instance, is obsolete, yet it is still widely used. It will eventually fall into disuse, but that stage of obsolescence does not occur immediately after the end of production (or support, in the case of an OS).
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post #15 of 38 Old 07-21-2014, 03:01 PM
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q: do the shark codecs decode dts hd master audio for blu ray rips? I know one must install the dts decoder dll from arcsoft tmt for use in mpc-hc. thanks
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post #16 of 38 Old 07-21-2014, 03:02 PM
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@Aleron Ives

Codec Packs (Shark007 or otherwise) have never been a necessity. Their usefulness was born out of convenience, not necessity.

That said, they are every bit as useful now as they were years ago.

Not everyone will find codec packs useful.

Not all codec packs are useful in general.

But there are still plenty of situations where codec packs serve a useful purpose, which means they are certainly not obsolete by any definition I can find.

No one is doubting that you can function just fine only using LAV, but if you think your lone example is indicative of the needs of all HTPC enthusiasts you're mistaken.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #17 of 38 Old 07-21-2014, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
I said that they were obsolete, not that they were unused.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
If you really want to debate semantics,

This isn't semantics; its becoming idiocy.
Do you have that much of an issue admitting you made a mistake?





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Originally Posted by gerall View Post
q: do the shark codecs decode dts hd master audio for blu ray rips? I know one must install the dts decoder dll from arcsoft tmt for use in mpc-hc. thanks
The dtsdecoderdll.dll is only required if you have 7.1 DTS HD-MA audio that you want decoded to 7.1 PCM to send to a 7.1 speaker system without a receiver using the 6 RCA output terminals on a motherboard or audio card.

If you have HDMI connected to a receiver, AVR or TV, you do not need that file.
If you have an optical or spdif connection, you do not need that file.
If you have stereo speakers, you do not need that file.

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post #18 of 38 Old 07-21-2014, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Guys, I didnt intend on this becoming a pissing match for whether or not codecs were necessary or not. It looks like I got my answer. For me, and people like me, who use WMC primarily, codec packs, like Shark's, are ideal and most flexible.

Mods, please close this thread before it gets crapped on any more.

And Shark, thanks for a great product. Im not especially fond of having to 7zip the installation exe, but its workable and I understand the reason behind it.
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post #19 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
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Shark, thanks for a great product.
you're welcomed.

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post #20 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 08:26 AM
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One quick question before this thread is abandoned, if I have LAV installed, can I also install Shark007 codecs or others such as ffdshow?


I ask as I have my normal playback working great with LAV and MPC-HC but started playing with Stereoscopic player for MKV MVC 3D rips and the player prompts with a recommendation for ffdshow. I am a noob when it comes to these codecs and have gotten myself into right trouble when 'experimenting' in the past, and read somewhere not to install multiple codecs?


Thanks!


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post #21 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettmr View Post
One quick question before this thread is abandoned, if I have LAV installed, can I also install Shark007 codecs or others such as ffdshow?

To use the Shark007 Codecs, LAV would need to be uninstalled because it is contained within my codec packages and installing the same codec multiple times will cause issues. If you were to install FFDshow on your own, it would take over your entire decoding chain and not allow LAV to be used at all.


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Originally Posted by Barrettmr View Post
Stereoscopic player for MKV MVC 3D rips and the player prompts with a recommendation for ffdshow.

FFDshow is included in the Shark007 ADVANCED Codecs (along with LAV) and they can work perfectly together when using my codec releases because my software takes control of the Merit values. Also know, on 64bit OS's, you need a 2nd installation called the x64Components addon.



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and read somewhere not to install multiple codecs?

Multiple codecs do not cause an issue. Issues are caused by installing multiple instances of the same codec. So if you have LAV installed, it must be uninstalled before installing a codec package such as I distribute.

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post #22 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettmr View Post
I ask as I have my normal playback working great with LAV and MPC-HC but started playing with Stereoscopic player for MKV MVC 3D rips and the player prompts with a recommendation for ffdshow. I am a noob when it comes to these codecs and have gotten myself into right trouble when 'experimenting' in the past, and read somewhere not to install multiple codecs?
For what it's worth, Stereoscopic Player also works using LAVfilters instead of FFmpeg.

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post #23 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 10:29 AM
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Thanks both for the info, that helps me understand it better for sure... I have Stereoscopic player working (but may be not optimal) with just LAV so didn't know if I 'needed' something else to get the best experience. Its interesting as I think MPC-HC now includes LAV and the installer for MediaBrowser3 Theater also has an option to install (I guess if not detected) LAV. I think I may setup test machine and try with Shark007 codec pack installed first and then see how the other installs for the players work from there. The only thing that puts me off a little is the 'bonus' software that comes with the codec-packs, which I really do not want on my HTPC.


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post #24 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettmr View Post
I think I may setup test machine and try with Shark007 codec pack installed first and then see how the other installs for the players work from there. The only thing that puts me off a little is the 'bonus' software that comes with the codec-packs, which I really do not want on my HTPC.

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Malware is easy enough to avoid in Shark007 by either unchecking the "install this craptastic bonus software" check box, or by using 7-zip to extract the "real" installer without the adware wrapper. (which incidentally the author condones last I saw)
To be sure that you avoid unwanted installations, use 7zip to extract the distributed installer and you will have a 'clean' installer without anything extra involved.

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post #25 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark007 View Post
This isn't semantics; its becoming idiocy.
Do you have that much of an issue admitting you made a mistake?







The dtsdecoderdll.dll is only required if you have 7.1 DTS HD-MA audio that you want decoded to 7.1 PCM to send to a 7.1 speaker system without a receiver using the 6 RCA output terminals on a motherboard or audio card.

If you have HDMI connected to a receiver, AVR or TV, you do not need that file.
If you have an optical or spdif connection, you do not need that file.
If you have stereo speakers, you do not need that file.

I need 7.1 DTS HD-MA decoded to PCM and downmixed to stereo using the 2 rca outputs of my audio card. Why would I not need the file for that? Do you codecs include that file? thanks.
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post #26 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 10:55 AM
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I need 7.1 DTS HD-MA decoded to PCM and downmixed to stereo using the 2 rca outputs of my audio card. Why would I not need the file for that? Do you codecs include that file? thanks.
Unless you are seeking actual 7.1 output because you want to feed a 7.1 analog speaker system, the file is not needed. All DTS HD-MA audio tracks comes with a 5.1 core track that LAV handles just fine. No, my current distributions do not include that file.

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post #27 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark007 View Post
Unless you are seeking actual 7.1 output because you want to feed a 7.1 analog speaker system, the file is not needed. All DTS HD-MA audio tracks comes with a 5.1 core track that LAV handles just fine. No, my current distributions do not include that file.
Thanks, Shark. But I'm still confused - the core track is not DTS - MA - I would need the decoder for 2 channel (downmixed) DTS - MA, as well as 7.1, correct?
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post #28 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerall View Post
Thanks, Shark. But I'm still confused - the core track is not DTS - MA
The core track, which is inside the MA track, is 5.1 DTS. LAV decodes this 5.1 track without issue.


Quote:
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I would need the decoder for 2 channel (downmixed) DTS - MA, as well as 7.1, correct?
No. There is no difference downmixing 7.1 versus downmixing 5.1. The result is going to be the same. LAV only uses that file to give you 7.1 PCM output. If you are not trying to feed an analog 7.1 speaker system, you do not need that file.

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post #29 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark007 View Post
The core track, which is inside the MA track, is 5.1 DTS


No. There is no difference downmixing 7.1 versus downmixing 5.1. The result is going to be the same. LAV only uses that file to give you 7.1 PCM output. If you are not trying to feed an analog 7.1 speaker system, you do not need that file.
Thank you so much. I was under the impression that there was a difference between downmixed 7.1 dts ma lossless and downmixed 5.1 core lossy. I thought I needed the file to receive a 2 channel lossless track. So when dts ma 7.1 is down mixed it always lossy?
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post #30 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerall View Post
Thank you so much. I was under the impression that there was a difference between downmixed 7.1 dts ma lossless and downmixed 5.1 core lossy. I thought I needed the file to receive a 2 channel lossless track. So when dts ma 7.1 is down mixed it always lossy?
downmix = lossy
There is no such thing as lossless downmix
Its like trying to say that apple juice is still an apple.

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