What is your choice for DVD Player software?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 12-29-2007, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Notice I didn't say "what's the best...............".

I'm currently using WinDVD V7. I realize it is one of the more popular, if not the most popular DVD PB software out there, BUT I has just come to my attention
everytime you start the program, it creates three cookies buried in that damn 'Documents & Settings' folder!
I don't know if they are sent anywhere, but the fact is I find that unacceptable. That brings me here to ask;

What DVD player software do you use and why and have you tried anything else?

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #2 of 27 Old 12-29-2007, 03:39 PM
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System: X2 2.77Ghz, 2GB DDR-800, Nvidia 8500GT, FFdshow LSF, 720p via HDMI to Front Projector....

I started out using Media Player Classic for a few months. No complaints, had all the major functions and worked very well with FFdshow post-processing, which is a must if you are upscaling 480i DVD video.

However, I have since switched to TheaterTek DVD and I havent looked back since. I've been using TheaterTek for about 14 months now and it is a truly a superb piece of software.
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post #3 of 27 Old 12-29-2007, 03:49 PM
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i've been using the TheaterTek player w/ffdshow post processing for a long time now..a good stable player..never crashes never gives me problems..
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post #4 of 27 Old 12-29-2007, 04:06 PM
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I also prefer TheaterTek
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post #5 of 27 Old 12-29-2007, 06:44 PM
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MCE 2005 -> NVIDIA PureVideo Decoder -> ATI x1900GT -> component 1080i -> Toshiba 40RF350u

2 years ago, the NVIDIA decoder worked better than power dvd or cinemaster in my setup.
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post #6 of 27 Old 12-29-2007, 07:21 PM
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TheaterTek user since 2000.
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post #7 of 27 Old 12-30-2007, 12:40 AM
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TT here too, but I am bummed about it's inability to play HD-DVD without some serious hacking that i'm not willing to do.

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post #8 of 27 Old 12-30-2007, 12:44 AM
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My household uses TheaterTek
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post #9 of 27 Old 12-30-2007, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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What's this, a TheaterTek forum??
I'll give it a try. Anything else??

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #10 of 27 Old 12-30-2007, 09:15 AM
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Zoomplayer Pro, highly configurable but also pretty simple to use, great interface, a huge array of plugins available, and as well as DVDs it will play any media format I throw at it (DivX, h264, etc.). It's handy having a single program that will play everything, as opposed to using one piece of software for DVDs and another for Divx, etc.
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post #11 of 27 Old 12-30-2007, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

What's this, a TheaterTek forum??
I'll give it a try. Anything else??

Although I have TT, I use MyHD (I know- hardware but at least its HTPC - when not that a PS3).
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post #12 of 27 Old 01-01-2008, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok with TT, I insert a DVD and I get a WonW (I think that is what it is called) ActivePlayer box (?) with the movie playing with a magenta background. I looked through the options and couldn't find anything that controls this.
What's up with this?
I also tried Zoomplayer, but I get an error about a audio codec that wasn't selected even though I did select the nForce on board audio.

(I gave up with that clunky MyHD interface a year ago)

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #13 of 27 Old 01-01-2008, 09:33 AM
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I use zoomplayer, lots of command line and other options, plus integrates through registry settings with my movies application, and the basic version is free. It'll play pretty much anything.

Kevin Davis
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post #14 of 27 Old 01-01-2008, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Ok with TT, I insert a DVD and I get a WonW (I think that is what it is called) ActivePlayer box (?) with the movie playing with a magenta background. I looked through the options and couldn't find anything that controls this.
What's up with this?

I think the pink screen means you don't have the video controls set up properly.

To get to the controls just go to the window and hit CTRL-C.

Best/simplest configuration is to use VMR9, DXVA enabled, Fullscreen mode. DXVA and fullscreen are set in the "Advanced menu".
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post #15 of 27 Old 01-01-2008, 10:11 AM
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Zoomplayer Pro myself. Been using it for many years. Nvidia Purevideo codec for Mpeg2 decoding.

For completely free options, Media Player Classic running the dscaler Mpeg2 codec would have to be at the top of the list. Lastly, no HTPC is complete without a copy of VLC sitting in the wings to play a media file when all other players fail.

-Suntan
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post #16 of 27 Old 01-01-2008, 12:29 PM
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I use the very simple and straight forward VLC Media Player. Free. Plays almost every video format (but not HD so far).

4D
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post #17 of 27 Old 01-02-2008, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


I use the very simple and straight forward VLC Media Player.

Those would not be the correct words to describe it, especially after you start to look through the options menu.

1. How do you set it to autoplay when a DVD is inserted without pointing it to the optical drive?
2. Where is the transport controls toolbar after the DVD windoew starts?? IOW's how can I FF ahead without righclicking?
Quote:


Zoomplayer Pro myself. Been using it for many years.

Then please answer my previous question regarding the audio.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #18 of 27 Old 01-02-2008, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Then please answer my previous question regarding the audio.

Afraid, I'd need more info than what you have given.

Are you getting a brown/orange popup box stating that you do not have a codec that you need? Just because you have Nforce selected as your soundcard to use, you still need an audio codec to decode the DD or DTS audio stream. Even if you just intend to passthrough the SPDIF signal to a receiver.

If you do not have a valid audio codec, I would suggest googling for "SPDIFER" which is a simpler version of "AC3Filter". It will allow you to pass the DD/DTS streams to your receiver. If you want to decode the audio and play them back through the analog outs of your soundcard, then intall the full blown AC3Filter.

-Suntan
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post #19 of 27 Old 01-02-2008, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Those would not be the correct words to describe it, especially after you start to look through the options menu.

1. How do you set it to autoplay when a DVD is inserted without pointing it to the optical drive?
2. Where is the transport controls toolbar after the DVD windoew starts?? IOW's how can I FF ahead without righclicking?

Don't know about 1, as I never have autoplay on for anything. I assume you could have the windows autoplay handler set to direct VLC to handle any inserted DVDs. Otherwise "Ctrl-D" is the command for "Open Disc" within VLC.

"+" is the command for playing the video "faster" ("-" obvisouly to slow it back down). I prefer to use "left" and "right" to jump forward and backward. You can further adjust the amount of jumpage by using "shift" - "Ctrl" and "Alt" whilst pushing "left" and "right". Further, the amount of jumpage (as well as any of the command keys mentioned above) can be adjusted/changed under the Settings->Preferences...->Interface->Hotkey settings menu.

-Suntan
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post #20 of 27 Old 01-02-2008, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


No audio decoder selected.

It's was red and that was the message.
Quote:


Just because you have Nforce selected as your soundcard to use, you still need an audio codec to decode the DD or DTS audio stream.

I understand that, but why do all these other players work without this step?? Now that I see this, how do you know which one to choose?? Trial and error?


Ok, how about these;
1. Can you change those icon buttons at the top to text so you have some idea what the hell they mean??
2. I have the subtitles checked not to show, but they still show below the movie. How do I get rid of this?

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #21 of 27 Old 01-02-2008, 08:26 AM
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I use PowerDVD Ultra, because it just works.

Yes, it takes up a bit more resources and all that jazz, but I really don't care. It was easy to set the audio to spdif and get dd/dts output, and it runs all my dvd's/hd-dvd/blu-ray without any fuss. At least none that I have experienced yet, and I've played just about every hi-def disc I own on it.

I understand there are smaller, more customizable programs out there that may allow for a few more bells and whistles, but at this point I don't care. It works, picture/audio looks good, so why mess with it?
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post #22 of 27 Old 01-02-2008, 08:39 AM
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Use theater tek if you want out of box for DVD. It comes already preconfigured to play.

Zoom player Pro is very configurable and requires time to setup for DVD. There is an excellent guide to set this up in this link: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...22#post8350722

MPC is free an also requires tweeking like zoomplayer. Sarah99 has gotten this player to work with Blu-ray and HD DVD.

For Blu Ray and HD DVD the only one out there right now is Power DVD Ultra. It is an ok player that downsamples the 192mKz audio to 49mKz. Also you cannout output the tru HD through spdif.

Finally many of us are waiting for arcsoft to release Totalmedia Theater for Blu-Ray and HD DVD. Some oin this froum are using a Japanese download and love it - eventhough thay cannot read it

Hope this helps.
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post #23 of 27 Old 01-02-2008, 09:08 AM
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I just use the built in DVD player in Vista Media Center with the default decoder. With the right video cards and video settings, the picture is close enough to some pretty convoluted ffdshow scaling/sharpening/resizing/etc, that I have completely abandoned any standalone DVD player software (and ffdshow).

Hell, the picture for SD DVD is almost the same, if not better than the Denon 3910 that I used to have (and went on eBay).. . The only thing the Denon had going for it was "plug in, pop a disc in and hit play", and the media center is almost there too (except when the darn thing doesn't connect to the network when it comes out of standby, for some reason)
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post #24 of 27 Old 01-02-2008, 09:09 AM
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Is the jist I'm getting here that while everyone loves the 3rd party solutions, no one uses the DVD player built into MCE or Vista?
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post #25 of 27 Old 01-02-2008, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

It's was red and that was the message. I understand that, but why do all these other players work without this step?? Now that I see this, how do you know which one to choose?? Trial and error?

First, VLC and Media Player Classic come with their own codecs so they already have the audio codecs to play the files. Zoomplayer does not come with any codecs, but relies on directshow codecs (codecs that any player that supports directshow can use). To my knowledge, TTek also uses directshow based codecs, but it comes with codecs (Nvidia's Purevideo codecs if memory serves) as part of its install. This is one of the reasons TTek is more expensive than Zoom. In fact, if you have TTek (even the free trial) installed on your system, you should be able to use those codecs in Zoom, put that is just pure speculation.

Check out www.inmatrix.com for more info on how to setup zoomplayer, but basically, install SPDIFER (again install the full blown AC3Filter if you want to output analog sound from your soundcard) and Zoom should automatically set it as the default audio to use for DD/DTS. If not you will have to set it manually, which should be explained at inmatrix, but if not post back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Ok, how about these;
1. Can you change those icon buttons at the top to text so you have some idea what the hell they mean??
2. I have the subtitles checked not to show, but they still show below the movie. How do I get rid of this?

Doubt it for number 1, but you would have to ask Blight to implement that. I only use Zoom fullscreen via my remote, so I never use those icon buttons.

As for #2, again, not much I can say about that. I really don't do subtitles. It may be that they are forced subtitles within the movie, you may have to shut them off through the DVD menu structure.

-Suntan
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post #26 of 27 Old 01-02-2008, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

I just use the built in DVD player in Vista Media Center with the default decoder. With the right video cards and video settings, the picture is close enough to some pretty convoluted ffdshow scaling/sharpening/resizing/etc, that I have completely abandoned any standalone DVD player software (and ffdshow).

this would explain some of the confusion i recently had. i set up MPC/ffdshow a couple weeks ago for the first time following the directions in the ffdshow sticky. after setting it up, i tried comparing dvd scenes with the same scenes played with VMC. i couldn't see a difference in PQ and thought i had done something wrong. maybe VMC is actually a great option for DVDs.

kapone, what do you consider "the right video cards and video settings?"
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post #27 of 27 Old 01-02-2008, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

As for #2, again, not much I can say about that. I really don't do subtitles. It may be that they are forced subtitles within the movie, you may have to shut them off through the DVD menu structure.

-Suntan

Subtitles are most likely coming from VOBSUB codec - it gets enabled by default when the player is installed for some reason. As suggested by Suntan, you should review the configuration threads as there are a LOT of options that you may or may not want to use depending on your CPU speed, etc.

For the subtitles, try launching FFDShow Video Decoder Configuration, scroll down to Subtitles, expand it and highlight Vobsub, and see if the "enable" box is checked on the right. If so, uncheck and try playing a movie again.
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