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  1. Member
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    I have a new HTPC and would like to ask the best way to configure the video settings.

    I have PowerDVD Ultra 7.3 and it plays both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD flawlessly from both a backup (AnyDVD) or disk.

    I have MANY .avi files ranging in size from 700MB to 1.4GB to 2.2GB. I previously used a Helios X-5000 media player which upscaled nicely on the 73" Mistubishi Diamond DLP TV. However, these files don't play as nicely on the PC as the Helios. Lots of grain (especially on blacks/grey) when it displays on the TV (1080p) ... This is prevalent with PDVD, WMP, TheaterTek, and the default player within Vista Media Center. The only player that doesn't have this black/grey grain issue is the VLC player.

    My preference is to find the configuration settings that would allow TheaterTek 2.5 (TT) to be my default since it works nicely with MyMovies within Media Center. FFDShow can be used with TT but I can't seem to get the settings to fix this grain problem. I would like to make sure I take advantage of HW acceleration etc. but visual is most important.

    Also, I will play ISO and AVI from TT so I'd like to configure them seperately in TT, if possible.

    One last point is that I do have some High Def encodes in .mkv. I play them in VLC since it's the only player that will play these types. I haven't changed the extention to .avi so they can play in all players since I didn't know if I can have another video setting in TT for resize for .mkv.

    Here is my setup.

    73" Mistusbishi Diamond Series DLP
    Windows Vista Ultimate
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4400+
    2.0 GB RAM (will be adding 2.0GB more)
    8600GTS Graphics Card
    Vista Codec Package

    Any recommendations on where to start?
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  2. Adjust the brightness and contrast controls for your graphics card's video overlay feature.

    Install Haali Media Splitter and most media players will be able to play MKV files (you may also need some audio and video codecs).
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  3. Member
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    Adjust the brightness and contrast controls for your graphics card's video overlay feature.

    Install Haali Media Splitter and most media players will be able to play MKV files (you may also need some audio and video codecs).
    I have Haali Media Splitter loaded 1.7.189.11 from the Vista Codec Package. Still only VLC will play mkv files.


    I'll check the card's overlay feature...it's an evga geforce with latest nvidia drivers.
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  4. VLC uses its own built in codecs. Since you have Haali installed it's probably a matter of not having the right DirectShow codec(s) to play the files. I suspect your files have h.264 video. Try enabling ffdshow's h.264 decoder.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    VLC uses its own built in codecs. Since you have Haali installed it's probably a matter of not having the right DirectShow codec(s) to play the files. I suspect your files have h.264 video. Try enabling ffdshow's h.264 decoder.
    ffdshow video decoder >> codecs >>

    shows H.264/AVC as enabled with libavcodec decoder

    The remarks say: H264, X264, VSSH (incomplete), DAVC, PAVC, AVC1
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  6. MediaInfo will show you what codecs are used in the MKV file.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    MediaInfo will show you what codecs are used in the MKV file.
    Nice tool...

    Container and General Information:
    Matroska: 4.37 GB
    1 video stream: MPEG-4 AVC
    1 audio stream: AC3

    First video stream: 1280*720 (16/9) @ 23.976 fps, MPEG-4 AVC
    First audio stream: 48KHz, 6 channels, AC3

    Writing application: mkvmerge 2.0.2
    Writing Library: libebml v0.7.7 + libmatroska v0.81

    I have the Haali filter loaded. Trying to figure out why only VLC will play it...
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  8. Be sure ffdshow has all the MPEG 4 decoders enabled.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    Be sure ffdshow has all the MPEG 4 decoders enabled.
    When I look at ffdshow filter codecs, I see all MPEG 4 are enabled. Not sure what my issue is.
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  10. Well, as far as I know, "MPEG-4 AVC" should be h.264. Did you enable both the VFW and Directshow h.264 decoders? Media players usually use DirectShow but enabling the VFW decoder is worth a try.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    Well, as far as I know, "MPEG-4 AVC" should be h.264. Did you enable both the VFW and Directshow h.264 decoders? Media players usually use DirectShow but enabling the VFW decoder is worth a try.
    I reinstalled the Haali filter and I was able to view .mkv in TheaterTek.

    The 4.3 GB file worked nicely. The 8 GB file wouldn't play...chopping audio and no video..

    Is there some other setting I need to consider?

    Thanks.
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  12. Originally Posted by NHRaider
    I reinstalled the Haali filter and I was able to view .mkv in TheaterTek.

    The 4.3 GB file worked nicely. The 8 GB file wouldn't play...chopping audio and no video..
    Is the 8GB file the same properties as the 4GB file? Same codecs, frame size, and frame rate?
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    Originally Posted by NHRaider
    I reinstalled the Haali filter and I was able to view .mkv in TheaterTek.

    The 4.3 GB file worked nicely. The 8 GB file wouldn't play...chopping audio and no video..
    Is the 8GB file the same properties as the 4GB file? Same codecs, frame size, and frame rate?
    The 4.3GB files are 720p encodes. The 8GB are 1080p encodes
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  14. Your computer may not be fast enough to decode 1080p AVC. I'd expect a jerky picture rather than no picture at all though. You could try locating a faster AVC decoder (if your software will use it). CoreAVC is faster than ffdshow and can take advantage of dual core processors.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    Your computer may not be fast enough to decode 1080p AVC. I'd expect a jerky picture rather than no picture at all though. You could try locating a faster AVC decoder (if your software will use it). CoreAVC is faster than ffdshow and can take advantage of dual core processors.
    Thanks...I'll try that. I have no issues with PowerDVD Ultra playing all High Def stuff...Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. King Kong is 27GB (14GB + 13GB over 2 evos) and it plays perfectly. I can play 14 GB 20Mbps WMV 1080p encodes without issue as well so I'm not sure if it's the computer (processor or RAM). Also, the cpu rarely goes over 20% when playing any High Def since the 8600GTS seems to offload from the CPU.

    I haven't tried PowerDVD yet for mkv since I was trying to get TheaterTek to play from within Media Center.
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  16. Originally Posted by NHRaider
    I have no issues with PowerDVD Ultra playing all High Def stuff...Blu-Ray and HD-DVD.
    As I understand it, most BD and HD-DVD is MPEG2. MPEG2 decoding is much less CPU intensive than AVC.

    Originally Posted by NHRaider
    I can play 14 GB 20Mbps WMV 1080p encodes without issue as well
    WMV decoding is also much less CPU intensive than AVC.

    Oh, one other possibility: Some AVC files use PAFF which many decoders can't handle (CoreAVC can). I think that's only for interlaced material though. Another thread about AVCHD with PAFF:

    https://forum.videohelp.com/topic327850.html#1692276
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    Originally Posted by NHRaider
    I have no issues with PowerDVD Ultra playing all High Def stuff...Blu-Ray and HD-DVD.
    As I understand it, most BD and HD-DVD is MPEG2. MPEG2 decoding is much less CPU intensive than AVC.

    Originally Posted by NHRaider
    I can play 14 GB 20Mbps WMV 1080p encodes without issue as well
    WMV decoding is also much less CPU intensive than AVC.

    Oh, one other possibility: Some AVC files use PAFF which many decoders can't handle (CoreAVC can). I think that's only for interlaced material though. Another thread about AVCHD with PAFF:

    https://forum.videohelp.com/topic327850.html#1692276

    Looks like I have some research to do. I tried playing the mkv files in PowerDVD Ultra and it just won't play...nothing... So I'm not sure what that issue is.

    I can play a 12GB 1080P mkv in TheaterTek without issue. All the other 1080ps (8GB) have no picture and choppy audio.

    VLC and media Player Classic play all 1080p and 720p without issue.

    Thanks for the help.
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  18. If VLC plays the files they don't have PAFF. Otherwise, I'm out of ideas.
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  19. Look for what is DIFFERENT between the 12Gb file and the 8Gb file. Bitrate, resolution, but also simple things like muxing tool used (this is amazingly important), aspect ratio, sound file creation method.

    SOMEWHERE in the specs of these two different files is the answer you are looking for. Run down every possible difference in spec or creation. It is there somwhere.
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    I have the coreAVCdecoder.ax

    Is this an automatic process where the coreAVC will be used as the codec? Or do I have to do some setting changes?

    Also, I don't want to have any conflict if that is possible with the PowerDVD Ultra I have running which also lists H.264...

    Thanks. (sorry for the noob questions)
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