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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


just went through the process of installing Windows Vista x64 on our HTPC (as well as on my gaming rig). When we wanted to watch a movie I went over to the HTPC to check if quality was good enough to be bothered with watching, I found it was pretty bad. Figured it was a poor video, nothing special there. But testing some other stuff I found that everything looks crap. It's like I'm watching in 320*200 resolution or so, very pixelated.


Some avi files I have can be played in WMP (windows media player) on the gaming rig, and there they actually look ok. Playing same files in VLC or so it turns pixelated and bad again. For some reason the HTPC won't play the video in WMP though, gives me the classical codec error where sound is played but no picture, only some fancy moving colours and so.


Now from XP times I was used to installing, fix drivers, install PowerDVD and VLC, and I was ready to go. No need for additional codecs or whatsoever. What's the deal with Vista? It appears to actually downgrade the stuff I'm trying to watch.


The only material which seems to go well is HD files, 720p or above.


Any suggestions?




My system specs:


GA-P35-DS3

E6600

4Gb RAM

HD2600XT

500W PSU


and then some


Running Windows Vista Ultimate x64 edition.


I did test quickly in MCE and that was crap too.

I do like the Vista all in all so I would rather not switch back to XP...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Will give it a go, thanks for the reply! But why does Vista require extra codecs and the likes, where XP simply did what it was supposed to straight off?


I actually have a license to Theatertek from a year or 2 ago, but haven't really used it much since it was giving me problems at the time. Might have to re-check it, in combination with ffdshow. Quite a bit of a job to get that all sorted and configured properly though
 

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you don't need those extra codecs

just install the standard k-lite codec pack 3.70 and you'll be good to go

those codecs are only for x64 players, and x64 players aren't needed
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, will try.


But is it 'normal' then that Vista requires external codecs to be installed, whereas XP manages fine?


I'm talking normal DVD's, didn't think there was much decoding to those really. And VLC comes with its own codecs, as far as I'm aware. Works fine in XP, never downloaded any other codec packs. What makes Vista different?
 

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could be your video drivers perhaps, what GPU/integrated graphics are you using and what drivers?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JorisS /forum/post/13015598


Ok, will try.


Works fine in XP, never downloaded any other codec packs. What makes Vista different?

Vistax64:


you have 2 choices

play video in a 64bit app

Play video in a 32bit app.


Vistax64 Media Center = 64bit app, so youd need 64bit codecs, to play in MediaCenter.


Vista x64 has 2 different Windows Media Players: 32bit & 64bit



if your using x64 then "you should be trying to get everything playing back in 64bit players....hands down


peps wil ask Why? or disagree...and i will not argue there desicions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hmm


I downloaded a 'Vista codec pack' and installed it. The avi's now look fine in Windows Media Player. But in VLC it's crap. DVD's, which by default are played in PowerDVD, look crap. Even the intro-menu is pixelated.


Is Windows actively downgrading image quality when using anything but their own Media Player?!



Or is the 32- vs 64-bits playback that's causing my problems? VLC and powerDVD are 32-bits whereas WMP is 64? Don't know?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here's a screendump from the intro-menu to 'The Game', played with PowerDVD. Pasted into Photoshop, saved at highest quality. It's what my video looks like in PowerDVD and VLC





(click for full version)




Then I started WMC and started the DVD there, and it appears to look fine there. Unfortunately I can't seem to take a Prt Scrn there and past it into Photoshop, yields a black screen only. So I can't post it for comparison.



So basically I should be fine and manage with WMP with the codec pack and MCE, but still I wonder if Microsoft is purposely messing up other programs in Vista?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JorisS /forum/post/13017038


hmm

Is Windows actively downgrading image quality when using anything but their own Media Player?!



Or is the 32- vs 64-bits playback that's causing my problems? VLC and powerDVD are 32-bits whereas WMP is 64? Don't know?

Its all to do with DXVA1 & DXVA2, Overlay,VMR7 & EVR


XP default = VMR7,Overlay renderers & DXVA,DX9


Vista/Windows Media Player & VMC = EVR renderer & DXVA2,DX10

(when using other apps such as VLC in Vista they resort to DXVA1 & VMR7)


EVR is a really good renderer and handles deinterlaceing very good


Do some searches on Vista EVR and DXVA2, once satisfied, do some googles on Vista x64 decoders etc.
 
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