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Messing with renders now WMC, MPC, EVR, LAV CUVID, MadVR it's maddening

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Ok been a big supporter of WMC for years due to its simplicity and high WAF.

My Display has always served me well (philips 7403) and looks great until I can get a good projector. I finally have got around to getting (to me at least) a nice high-ish end audio setup, things are where I want them and how I want them... but now since I am going down the quality route this made me re-think my video setup.

I playback a lot of movies...in fact I would say it is the primary thing done on my HTPC. I started researching and seen things on using MadVR, but then seen another area talking baout using Lav with CUVID in combo with MadVR, then another thread pointing someone in another direction... needless to say it is a lot of information to process.

What I would like is some advice from two standpoints:

Get the most you can out of Windows Media Center with video (for example should I force DVDs to playback with ArcSoft TMT and use SIM HD, should I force LAV to use Nvidia CUVID and hope it works etc etc) I see arguments saying you can;t change the video renders in WMC, then some saying you can....

get the most you can outside of Windows Media Center with video (XBMC, MPC etc)

are there any good guides out there with examples?


Right now I would like to stick with WMC as long as possible, but I do want to mess with other solutions since WMC seems to be dying slowly.



Here is the info on what I have setup:

HTPC setup:

i5 3570k
Corsair H60
8GB DDR 3 1600MHz
GeForce GTX 680
120GB Vertex 3 SSD for OS
2TB Samsung 7200 for Programs (games) and storage
2TB Samsung 7200 for Hyperspin
LG Blu-ray burner
Silverstone Grandia GD06
Windows 8 Pro
Windows Media Center Pack
LAV Filters installed
Arcsoft TMT 5 with latest updates (held off on 6 due to weird boot issues)

Hooked out to:
Denon 3808CI via HDMI
Paradigm CC370 Center
Paradigm Studio 60 v2 Left / Right
JBL Control 5 surrounds (still looking for cheap matcihng speakers lol)
Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Plus

hooked out to:
Philips 52" 120Hz 1080p model 7403 via HDMI
(crossing fingers on future projector purchase)
post #2 of 33
Any progress?

I just want to use LAV for WTV recorded Tv shows playback in WMC7. How is that set up?

I already have it WTV playback working in ZoomPlayer w/LAV and the picture quality is noticeably superior to WMC.
post #3 of 33
I may be wrong on this, but I don't think you can change the codec/renderer used for WTV playback in WMC. I would love to be able to do that because I get interlacing problems quite frequently but couldn't find a way to fix it.
post #4 of 33
The Shark007 codecpack(s) will allow you to use LAV to decode the video of WTV files using Media Center for playback.

To do so, you would need to undo the changes made by Win7DSFilterTweaker (because this functionality is built into my GUI) and Uninstall LAV before using my software (because LAV is included in my distribution). To acheive what you desire, (assuming 64bit OS), In the 64bit app, select the [x] SUGGESTED settings checkbox (doing this sets up LAV for decoding in the Windows players) and disable the Microsoft Video decoder om the SWAP TAB (doing this will allow LAV to be used by Media Center).


FYI, the renderer used by the Windows players cannot be changed.
post #5 of 33
I have tried two different utilities and neither one works as far as I can tell by playing back some known problem wtv files.

Win7DSFilterTweaker doesn't work

MCDU doesn't work

I am really reluctant to use a Codec Pack. Nothing personal but they generally have a very bad reputation of containing spyware/adware, breaking playback in apps, etc. None the less, I have an image of my system and have nothing to loose by trying your solution. I will report back if it works and any side effects.
post #6 of 33
MCDU is a nasty utility. It changes native Windows filenames and often does not ever change them back. Check System32 and SysWOW64 for filenames containing 'mcdu' and manually change these files back to their original names. My installers do contain initial offers not needed for decoding that can be skipped or de-selected so watch what the install screens say.
post #7 of 33
Thanks, I have found the files but unable to rename them, get an error about needing permission. I am already administrator. Is there command line or something to rename them back to original?
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerdwn View Post

Thanks, I have found the files but unable to rename them, get an error about needing permission. I am already administrator. Is there command line or something to rename them back to original?

Open a Command Prompt using a rightclick on the shortcut and select Run as Administrator
type: SFC /scannow

This Windows utility should find the files that are renamed as missing and re-add the proper files.
post #9 of 33
I found this Take Ownership reg file worked great. Allowed me to rename/change back the files.

So, I undid my changes in Win7DSFilterTweaker & MCDU.
I uninstalled LAV.
I installed Shark007 32 & 64 addon.
Using 64bit App, I see "Suggested Settings". When you say "disable the Microsoft Video decoder om the SWAP TAB", is this referring to "Disable Windows DMO Video Codecs"? It's not the settings that say "this will break live tv" right?
post #10 of 33
It is the setting that states it will break LiveTV. Just to inform you, it doesnt nessasarily break LiveTV, but does make you aware what broke LiveTV if LiveTV fails. You are asking to change native playback of LiveTV files (wtv) so I would think simple math would indicate that changing the way WTV playback is performed is also going to affect LiveTV itself. Disabling the DMO Codecs is a suggested fix for playback of AVI in the Windows players for files containing various codecs that Windows cannot handle natively.
post #11 of 33
Thanks. That definitely worked. WMC is using LAV now and the specific video quality issue I had with the the MS decoders is resolved... Live Tv works but there are new problems like cannot watch HBO get copy protections error (I was expecting this), audio sync gets out of whack, and news tickers at the bottom of the channel are not as smooth/choppy. I might play around with something other than LAV but not having HBO is a deal breaker so I will probably end up reverting back to MS. Maybe trying Media Browser with an external player if I can get commercial skipping to work in an external player???
post #12 of 33
A suggestion: only disable the Microsoft decoder for viewing your recorded TV files.
As soon as viewing is completed, revert the setting back to using the microsoft decoder.
post #13 of 33
Thanks this was fun!
post #14 of 33
Besides the "video setup wizard" in WMC and the video settings in the nvidia control panel-

Are there any hidden WMC video settings for dxva, deinterlacing, color, etc?

Does the Win7 MS mpeg2 decoder have a properties page for dxva, deinterlacing, etc?

utility?

reg hacks?
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerdwn View Post

Besides the "video setup wizard" in WMC and the video settings in the nvidia control panel-

Are there any hidden WMC video settings for dxva, deinterlacing, color, etc?

Does the Win7 MS mpeg2 decoder have a properties page for dxva, deinterlacing, etc?

utility?

reg hacks?


Make sure you right click your volume control and set up your audio output for 5.1 or 7.1 etc... and that is all set. Test it with the test tones. Then bitstream a movie too and make sure you get DTS and DD. Is so you should be all set on audio with the Shark007 Pack.
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Make sure you right click your volume control and set up your audio output for 5.1 or 7.1 etc... and that is all set. Test it with the test tones. Then bitstream a movie too and make sure you get DTS and DD. Is so you should be all set on audio with the Shark007 Pack.
Did you accidentally post to the wrong thread or are you joking or?
post #17 of 33
Why? WTV files play just fine in WMC so why change that? As a matter of fact, I have a RecordedTV section in MB and have set MB to open WTV in the WMC player whereas other file types play in MPC-HC with LAV and madVR. The prevents problems with copy once content in MB too.
post #18 of 33
No offense but I am not asking anyone their opinion on if they think "WTV files play just fine in WMC".

If the settings don't exist then just say so.

If anyone can provide the MS mpeg2 video decoder settings, utilities, reg hacks, please step forward.
post #19 of 33
Okay. So long as you don't have to deal with copy once content you'll be okay. It just seems to be extra work for minimal gain on content that isn't truly HD anyhow.

That said, you could use Open With to force WMC to use MPC-HC instead and then have MPC-HC use LAV and madVR even.
post #20 of 33
Sorry, I am not being clear? I am not asking how to play WTV files with another app. I already know how to do that.
post #21 of 33
RELAX.
post #22 of 33
You cannot play things like HBO with anything but the MF playback path if your provider has marked them copy once as this is the only path that meets DRM requirements in WMC. Once you mess with that you will get the error.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Why? WTV files play just fine in WMC so why change that? As a matter of fact, I have a RecordedTV section in MB and have set MB to open WTV in the WMC player whereas other file types play in MPC-HC with LAV and madVR. The prevents problems with copy once content in MB too.

I have a question & it's not meant to challenge what you are doing. I'm just still trying to learn a few things & maybe do a simple tweak or two if it improves the picture quality. If WTV files play just fine in WMC then what is the reason or advantage for using MPC-HC with the other add-ons? I use my HTPC mainly as an OTA DVR and the picture quality looks pretty good to me on a 46" HDTV. Would I need something like a 70" HDTV in order to see any difference between WMC and MPC-HC with LAV and madVR?
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Why? WTV files play just fine in WMC so why change that? As a matter of fact, I have a RecordedTV section in MB and have set MB to open WTV in the WMC player whereas other file types play in MPC-HC with LAV and madVR. The prevents problems with copy once content in MB too.

I have a question & it's not meant to challenge what you are doing. I'm just still trying to learn a few things & maybe do a simple tweak or two if it improves the picture quality. If WTV files play just fine in WMC then what is the reason or advantage for using MPC-HC with the other add-ons? I use my HTPC mainly as an OTA DVR and the picture quality looks pretty good to me on a 46" HDTV. Would I need something like a 70" HDTV in order to see any difference between WMC and MPC-HC with LAV and madVR?

WMC player works fine for 1080i and 720p compressed 60Hz video from the CableCo but does not have very good (or any remote friendly) subtitle control or timing control for 23.976 fps Blu-ray Rips that are in mkv. The OTA signal might be less compressed and then MPC-HC could be better but you lose some of the other things that make using the native player worthwhile (ff/rew control, Info button for info about what is playing, for example).

I can see the difference in my 40" Samsung. Some cannot see the difference but I can. MPC-HC set up like this is sharper, has better black levels and doesn't exhibit cadence like WMC does for Blu-ray content.
Edited by Sammy2 - 7/22/13 at 12:37pm
post #25 of 33
Some people can see and prefer the way LAV renders versus MS w/ DVXA. I'm of the opinion ignorance is bliss - if it looks fine to you now, leave it. Problems can occur if you screw with this; so if you're not sure what your missing, don't even bother screwing with it.
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by staknhalo View Post

Some people can see and prefer the way LAV renders versus MS w/ DVXA. I'm of the opinion ignorance is bliss - if it looks fine to you now, leave it. Problems can occur if you screw with this; so if you're not sure what your missing, don't even bother screwing with it.

Very good advice.
post #27 of 33
Exactly. Don't mess with this for TV playback.

For FullHD stuff that doesn't need the MF path I feel the WMC player is somewhat lacking.
post #28 of 33
On my system I can easily see external players have better picture quality than wmc default decoder. And I found using using LAV as the decoder in wmc also looks way better than the MS decoder. Using LAV in wmc worked perfect but no hbo, so now I'm searching how to tweak wmc default decoder advanced settings - dxva, deinterlacing modes, utilities, reg hacks...

I would consider the switch to an external player except- Does MPC-HC or ZP do commercial skipping wtv (ala wmc7 dtb/comskip)? Setup guide for that?
post #29 of 33
Thanks for the information.

I'll stay with WMC for my OTA programs.
I have a stand alone Blu-ray player that I use for DVDs & Blu-ray discs.
My "cable" programs come in via satellite so no CableCard is used.
post #30 of 33
So what exactly do you play on your HTPC?

So you only play OTA from your HTPC?
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