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  1. hi everyone, just curious if there is a section in this forum relating to media players.

    i have an issue with VLC playing 1080p WMV video files that have a resolution of 1440x1080 where VLC will not play the file at 16x9 ratio like WMP and MPC do, it plays it as a 4x3 ratio file, and i get the black bars on the sides, with a picture squashed in sideways.

    i have also got some H264 (mp4) files that were filmed in 1440x1080 and VLC plays those at the propper 16x9 ratio just like the other media players do.

    this seems to be an issue with WMV files only, filmed in 1440x900 resolution (possibly on a HDV camera)

    if there is a forum section that deals with this, could i ask a moderator to move this thread to that location, or, of its ok here, would anyone have any advice, as i have been thru the media player setup options, but cant find a solution.

    also, i emailed VideoLan 3 days ago and still no reply from them.

    cheers
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  2. To force it within player's settings is not enough ?
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  3. Originally Posted by _Al_ View Post
    To force it within player's settings is not enough ?
    sorry i dont understand your post ???

    VLC plays every type of file i throw at it, without adding any other codecs to my system, but i just discover it will not play 1440x1080 WMV to play at 16x9 like the 1440x1080 h264 files will, so it has to do with WMV files.

    i want to use WMP for everything, but no mkv or Xvid support until i have to install the CCCP codec pack.

    i can use WMP to just play my WMV files and use VLC to play h264 and mkv but i prefer just 1 player for everything.

    can you please post more info about your reply.

    cheers
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  4. if your videos are all 16:9 or most of it , go to tool/preferences/video and force aspect ratio , 16:9
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  5. Member
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    You shouldn't install cccp or any other codec packs on a windows 7 system. It says so in the Microsoft tech support site. I won't use them, and vlc (or any other properly designed player) doesn't need them.

    Codec packs may have made sense with previous windows versions but not with win7. And windows 8 will be even worse ... they're pretty much jettisoning backward compatibility for touch screen mode.

    VLC can force aspect ratio, and that's what I'd recommend. Actually I usually use SMplayer, which is another one that doesn't need codec crap. I've only tried one file that it wouldn't play and vlc would, and the menus where you find stuff like forcing the aspect ratio are much better.

    WMP? On my newer laptop I've only ever run it by accident.
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  6. Originally Posted by _Al_ View Post
    if your videos are all 16:9 or most of it , go to tool/preferences/video and force aspect ratio , 16:9
    ok i saw that "force aspect ratio" bit, but i didnt know what to type in it.

    also, i noticed that it now plays the 1440x1080 WMV files correctly, but it also forces some of my old 720x480 Xvid movies to play at 16:9 which means they are getting stretched in width so they are slightly distorted, where everything appears wider than normal.

    thats not an issue, i dont use those files, but i just find it a bit wierd that VLC will not play the 1440x1080 WMV files at 16:9 they way they are meant to, where the 1440x1080 h264 files do play at 16:9, just like all my other 1920x180 WMV and h264 files do.

    cheers
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  7. Originally Posted by Hoser Rob View Post
    You shouldn't install cccp or any other codec packs on a windows 7 system. It says so in the Microsoft tech support site. I won't use them, and vlc (or any other properly designed player) doesn't need them.

    Codec packs may have made sense with previous windows versions but not with win7. And windows 8 will be even worse ... they're pretty much jettisoning backward compatibility for touch screen mode.

    VLC can force aspect ratio, and that's what I'd recommend. Actually I usually use SMplayer, which is another one that doesn't need codec crap. I've only tried one file that it wouldn't play and vlc would, and the menus where you find stuff like forcing the aspect ratio are much better.
    hi m8, i only installed CCCP for WMP to be able to play MKV files, it was suggested to me in another forum.

    WMP wont play other formats either, i just like the way it plays.

    i just removed CCCP so i will see how VLC goes, but i didnt think i would have to force VLC to to play aspect ratio, it plays the 1440x1080 h264 files fine, its just the WMV files that it wont play at 16:9.

    i was using VLC because it does play everything without codec packs, and i do hate codec packs, but many people i know are using shit like K-Lite and shark007 ???

    anyway, thx for the replies.

    EDIT: ok i tried SMPlayer, and it treats the 1440x1080 WMV files the same way as VLC, and i dont like the interface, looks like candy and very tacky.

    i cant force the 16:9 aspect ratio in VLC because it forces non 16:9 files to play at that ratio and it distorts the picture, so im going to associate all my WMV files to play in WMP because it plays WMV files better than VLC anyway, and it plays the 1440x1080 WMV files at 16:9 natively.

    all my other files i will play using VLC.
    Last edited by glenpinn; 20th Apr 2012 at 11:54.
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  8. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Yes, and the vast majority of computer users don't regularly run backups or anti-virus scans either, but that doesn't make it RIGHT.

    Seems to me your WMV files were just not coded correctly. You mentioned earlier about files from a camera - note that there are NO pro or consumer cameras on the market that directly output WMV (though there might be some security types), so whatever they came from, they've already been converted (and converted badly).

    1440x1080, with a "standard" PAR of 1:1 is by definition a DAR of 4:3, but many cameras (both consumer and pro, incl. HDV) output 1440x1080 using a 4:3 PAR, making the DAR 16:9 (equivalent to 1920x1080). When created, those cameras DO put AR flags in the stream, so that apps that can read them will automatically set the AR correctly.

    It seems to me that what you have is either: A) VLC not correctly reading the AR flag existing in the WMV, whereas the other apps are ok; B) the WMV files have flags in different areas and VLC is reading one area while the other apps are reading a different area which has a different AR; or C) the WMVs don't have the flag(s) set correctly anywhere and both kinds of apps are guessing - some rightly, some wrongly.

    My hunch is on "B". AR flags could exist in both the Container header/chunks or in the Video Elementary stream header/chunks (or both, depending on the file format and the V stream codec). Interpretations of those will vary by filetype, so I'm not surprised that correct reading IS going on with the MP4/h.264 compared to WMV.

    Without inspecting the header/chunks of the WMV, and correcting them if incorrect, your best bet is to do what has already been suggested: Force the AR when necessary.

    Scott
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  9. ok thx for explaining that to me scott, now at least there is some kind of reason WHY vlc is doing this.

    i have now associated all WMV files to play in WMP, simply because it just works better for those files, and the odd 1440x1080 ones i do have will play, properly at 16x9.

    all other files i associated with VLC 2.1, and everything is hunky dory, i even got rid of the CCCP pack, and i have always been opposed to codec packs for years, but i did it so WMP would play MKV files, which, thankfully, i only have 6 of at the moment.

    i have now remove the 16:9 forced aspect ratio in VLC so some of my other 720x480 (720x576) standard def Avi and Mpeg2 files (older home videos converted from my DV cam) play correctly, and are not forced out to 16x9, which, as i mentioned already, distorts them on playback.

    thankfully i only have about 6x 1440x1080 wmv files at the moment, so it wasnt a real issue, i just hate watching videos that dont play back at the correct ratio, and when those 1440x1080 wmv files were forced to play at 16x9, it cropped some video from the top and bottom on playback on my 1920x1080 screen, which was also annoying.

    all good now, and i thank everyone for their help.

    oh btw, those WMV files (both the handful of 1440x1080 and the many 1920x1080 i have) were encoded with a bitrate of around 7000/8000, and im pretty happy with the playback quality given what they are, although the file sizes seem somewhat higher than what they may have been if converted to h264 (MP4)

    i never really understood why these people who shoot these videos convert them to WMV when h264 has been around for quite some time, and these files are only between 1 and 2 years old.

    would there be any particular reason for it ???
    Last edited by glenpinn; 20th Apr 2012 at 21:43.
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  10. sorry to make another post, but if you recall i have this issue where VLC wont play my 1440x1080 WMV files at 16:9 ratio as thy are meant to, unless i force it to, which then makes all my non 16:9 video movies and video files stretch out to play at that ratio and it screws them up, even some of my cinema mode movies get stretched and they look horrid, so i decided it wasnt an option to force 16:9 in VLC and just use WMP for all WMV files, which it was happily doing on my dell pc since i last posted.

    ok, since then i bought an ati 6450 graphics card to replace the onboard graphics on this old optiplex 745 pc, because the onboard seemed to struggle with mkv and h264 files a bit.

    i installed that card and windows installed its own drivers for that card, and all was fine, that is until i decided to install the latest ati drivers, which, i think, screwed WMP up because now it also wont play my 1440 files at 16:9 like it did before those drivers.

    i tried uninstalling those drivers and the catalyst centre, but the pc now bluescreens on each attempt.

    i know it has to be those drivers causing WMP to not play them properly because WMP on all my 5 laptops that all have ati graphics and only use the windows 7 drivers, these files play perfect in WMP, and every laptop, plus my dell pc, have the same version of WMP and settings are identical.

    i am going to hook the screen up to my onboard graphics and see what WMp does with those files, and see if i can uninstall the ati software and drivers while having the card disconnected.

    i will try and take a screenshot of WMP playing those files in 16:9 mode and in the current 4:3 mode, plus i will take one of my VLC player displaying them as well, and will post them up.

    cheers
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  11. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by glenpinn
    would there be any particular reason for it ???
    Personal preference.

    Why choose a black ink pen instead of a blue ink pen?

    Why choose rye bread instead of wheat?

    There are so many different roads you can take to get to the same destination. In the end it is still a matter of choice. Personal preference and equipment compatibility are a big determining factor. Its what people are comfortable with. They must like wmv instead of h264. Or simply don't know much about it and stick with what works.
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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  12. ok i removed the ati 6450 card from the dell pc and booted on the O/B graphics, which played those WMV files at 16:9 like they did before, so i uninstalled all the catalyst software and drivers, installed the 6450 card, booted up, and now it runs on the stock win 7 drivers, and WMP now plays those files ok, so it seems like this old dell pc didnt like the ati drivers.

    Originally Posted by yoda313 View Post
    Personal preference.
    yeah maybe, but still, its just strange why someone uses WMV over something that is not only better, but outputs smaller file sizes.

    even handbrake using default normal or high profile is pretty easy to use once you got the drift, and i am using it for a lot of my encoding now.

    handbrake wont do hardware acceleration, so i use MediaConverter with Cuda on one of my machines, and next week ill be building my new ivy 3770 mATX encoding system and it will be good to do some testing with intel quick sync on the HD4000 graphics using MediaConverter, and doing some cpu only encoding with handbrake.

    apparently quick sync kills everything out there, but im pretty certain cpu only encoding would still put out better quality files than quick sync (from what i have read)
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  13. Catalyst and graphic card have nothing to do with it, its simply either the player or the video file. Often times RAW video from the camera is read incorrectly by VLC but after its compressed it begins to take readable shape. Dont worry about your hardware, just maybe reinstall windows and dont install codec packs.
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  14. Originally Posted by dioxholster View Post
    Catalyst and graphic card have nothing to do with it, its simply either the player or the video file. Often times RAW video from the camera is read incorrectly by VLC but after its compressed it begins to take readable shape. Dont worry about your hardware, just maybe reinstall windows and dont install codec packs.
    umm, i kind of confused by your comment about raw video from a camera not being read correctly in VLC ???

    this is not raw video from a camera, it is footage filmed on a sony HDV cam at 1440x1080, then edited and encoded in WMV format with approx 8000 bitrate.

    re-installing windows will not fix this, because the exact same issue with VLC happens on 5 laptops and 2 desktop computers in my home, so it is an issue with VLC not forcing those files to play at 16:9 ratio like WMP and MPC do.

    i installed the CCCP codec pack on this dell pc when i found the problem last week, thinking it may help, when it didnt, i uninstalled that cccp pack.

    this was the first time i used any codec packs on any pc in 4 to 5 years, and they made no difference.

    in my original post, referring to VLC not playing those 1440x1080 files at 16:9 yes, i know the graphics had nothing to do with that issue, because originally i was using my dell 1735 laptop when i started getting and playing those types of files.

    9 days ago i decided to move over to this old desktop pc with a 24" screen in readiness for building my new ivy 3770 pc.

    that new issue i posted about WMP now not playing those files at 16:9 yesterday and today after installing the ati graphics drivers is most definately graphics related, and i proved that beyond doubt, as you can read in my previous post.

    all my laptops play those files in WMP, VLC wont, this dell 745 was exactly the same prior to, and after installing the 6450 card, running on the win 7 drivers, everything was fine.

    that was, until i installed the ati drivers and catalyst control, and as soon as i did that, WMP played those files identically to VLC at 4:3 ratio.

    to resolve it, i removed that card and booted on the O/B graphics, removed the ati software and drivers, putting the 6450 card back in and running the win 7 drivers, WMP again played them perfectly.

    so yes, my original issue that instigated this thread definately relates to an issue with VLC and those files for sure, but this new issue was definately related to graphics drivers or the ati software.

    even MPC 1.6 play those files at 16:9 ratio.
    Last edited by glenpinn; 27th Apr 2012 at 05:00.
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  15. if the issue is aspect ratio related I dont see how graphics card has anything to do with it other than performance. It depends on the software used to play it, and which program used to re-encode it, like someone else said it needed to tell VLC that it should be read as 16:9.
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    VLC is buggy. That's not exactly a secret in the computer world. None of them past (I think) 1.0.5 plays dvd files properly, But if you want to use it to stream media you have to use newer versions for security reasons. Version 2 doesn't seem to support adjustment of caching, so I'd go with 1.1.15 or whatever the last previous one was.

    I haven't uninstalled it, though, because unlike many other ones like mpchc it doesn't need codecs and splitters to work. It's a linux port and they don't tend to muck up your windows registry.

    It will sometimes play files that SMPlayer won't, but that's only happened to me once.

    I only use vlc instead of smplayer if smplayer won't work with the file, and usually it's the reverse that's true. SPplayer is just a GUI for mplayer, which generally comes installed with linux distros and is one of the most powerful and robust video programs in existence. And, like vlc, it doesn't mess with the registry and remake the whole system for itself.

    Many other good open source programs use mplayer libraries, which should tell you something.

    On my newer laptop the only time I've ever used wmp is when I forgot to change the file association to something else. I.e. by accident.
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  17. Originally Posted by dioxholster View Post
    if the issue is aspect ratio related I dont see how graphics card has anything to do with it other than performance. It depends on the software used to play it, and which program used to re-encode it, like someone else said it needed to tell VLC that it should be read as 16:9.
    hi, in your 2 posts above, are you referring to my original problem where it is very obvious now that VLC is at fault not being able to play those files at 16:9 where all other media players will, or are you suggesting that my latest problem where WMP suddenly stopped playing them at 16:9 as well, is actually an issue with the files, and not caused by the ati software.

    if it is the latter problem, please remember that i said WMP also stopped playing those files at 16:9 at precisely the moment i installed the 6450 driver package on thursday night, and reverted back to playing them at 16:9 again immediately after removing the ati software tonight and booting on the 6450 with win 7 drivers.

    we know VLC has a definate issue with these files because it happens on every laptop and pc in my home, and i tried version 1.0, 1.5, 1.8, 2.0 and 2.0.1 and it is still the same.

    on every other machine in my home, WMP plays those files at 16:9 and every version of WMP is 12.0.7601.17514

    if you are referring to my latter problem, then how could it have been caused by anything else other than the ati software package i installed, why did WMP only stop playing them at 16:9 during that 18 hour period ???
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  18. Originally Posted by Hoser Rob View Post
    VLC is buggy. That's not exactly a secret in the computer world. None of them past (I think) 1.0.5 plays dvd files properly
    in my experiences, VLC has no issues playing any files i toss at it, even my old dvd compliant mpeg2 files from my dv cam play very nicely, but WMP also plays them nicely as well.
    i have tried GOM, MPC and SMPlayer and all 3 definately have small buggy issues with certain files i play on them, and its wierd that when i did install CCCP codec pack for a short time, some of these players had some wierd issues that were not in them prior to using that codec pack.

    i cant recall using MPlayer, will try it tonight if i have not tried it already, but overall, i still think WMP handles WMV files far better than any other player, thats why, after VLC failed to play the 1440x1080 files i had at 16:9, i decided to use WMP for all WMV files, and VLC for everything else, and i was happy with that.

    well that was until i installed the new 6450 ati drivers last night, causing WMP to play the 1440x1080 files at 4:3 the same as VLC did.

    im not convinced there is a single player that can cope with everything, so sharing the files across 2 players suited me fine.

    and yes, i currently have VLC 1.8 installed on all my laptops and desktops, downgrading from the new 2.0.1, which i didnt like at all.

    EDIT: i just tried downloading MPlaey but it gave me the download for SMPlayer 0.6.9 yet i already tied 0.8.0 and i didnt like it.

    so SMPlayer is just the gui for MPlayer ???

    EDIT: ok installed SMPlayer 0.6.9 and it treats the 1440x1080 wmv files the same as VLC and MPC 1.6 does (plays at 4:3 ratio) so it seems WMP is still the only player that will play those wmv files at 16:9

    SMPlayer plays mkv, mpeg2, Xvids, divX, h264 very well, i like the player, but, it actually starts the movie from where it was previously stopped, which i never seen before in a media player.

    when i adjust the volume slider, it displays a long dotted bar on the screen replicating the sound adjustment and it annoys me, but figure i will get used to it.

    VLC 0.9 was the best version i ever used i think, i might go back and try it again, because i never had these 1440x1080 wmv files back then.

    so, summing it up, it seems that there is something in VLC, SMPlayer and MPC that wont play those files in 16:9 ratio at full screen, where WMP will, so i cant se it being the actual files at fault.
    Last edited by glenpinn; 27th Apr 2012 at 08:31.
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  19. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by glenpinn
    yeah maybe, but still, its just strange why someone uses WMV over something that is not only better, but outputs smaller file sizes.
    Well not to beat this to death but one persons "better" isn't to somebody else.

    Also smaller file sizes aren't always what a person is after.

    If you know the people that made the files why not ask them?

    It still could be a matter that their destination device prefers wmv to other formats. I know the original zune portable players are such a beast. But if these are high def files I think the newer zune hd can handle some hd files in mp4 so that might not be what is going on here.

    Anyway just a bit off topic I guess.
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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  20. everything taken on board, but WMV where i come from is considered pretty ordinary, and for me, i would never do any output in wmv when there are better options, and why would file size not be important to someone ???

    i dont know who filmed them, but i do know a sony HDV cam was used, because i saw the cam in several of the scenes, and they were filmed in 2010 and 2011.

    anyway, its not the issue here, but i do know the issue i just had with WMP stuffing up with those 1440x1080 files was related to the ati software, that much is for sure, but as for VLC and SMPlayer (MPlayer) not playing them at 16:9, well that will remain a mystery i guess.

    main thing is that wmv plays them ok, so i am happy.
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  21. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    If you are still curious, you could always load up those suspect WMV's into ASFViewer (a MS app) and post a screenshot of the contents. There might be some clues into how it was encoded or muxed that might make clear why one player would see a flag (or hinting) and another would not...

    Scott
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  22. Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    If you are still curious, you could always load up those suspect WMV's into ASFViewer (a MS app) and post a screenshot of the contents.
    ok after i load the file up in asfviewer, what sections would you need me to screenshot, because there is a hell of a lot of info in there, and to get the details of all sections, i will need to take several screenshots.

    on the left pane there is a menu list, which of those do you want info from.



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    Last edited by glenpinn; 27th Apr 2012 at 21:18.
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  23. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Hmm...If any of those panels include something referring to: AR, Aspect Ratio, Resolution, Dimensions, Pixel size, Geometry, or similar terms. Or possibly "flags".

    Probably would be in one of the first 5 folders or in one of the "stream properties" or "extended stream properties" folders...

    Scott
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  24. ok thx, i will screenshot any folder info i think is relevant and upload the image, or a link to them as soon as i get a few moments to do it.

    cheers
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