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windows video playback [to codec pack or not to codec pack]

Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
What are people using these days for video playback in windows? It's one of those topics where misinformation abounds, nothing makes sense, and despite there being a huge assortment of options nothing seems optimal. I mostly use mp4s or mkvs that I have obtained. Given the sources of these files, documentation is not great so I generally don't have great control over making sure they are all uniform in terms of the codecs they use. Also I watch anime on occasion so working subtitles are very important (and by working I mean I would rather not have to flip through settings every time I open a file).

From my understanding there are 3 broad categories for approaching this problem.

1) Codec pack. Something like shark007, k-lite, or cccp to beef up wmc or wmp so that they can play all files natively.
2) Manual codec installtion. Something like FFDshow + haili media splitter + madVR? Or LAV?
3) Standalone player. Something like VLC or MPC-HC that handles codecs internally somehow.

I've done the manual thing before with just haili and ac3filter which worked pretty well for everything but subtitles. I'm tired of reading flippant forum posts from forums I don't hang out at, so I figured I'd ask for some flippant posts from the one where I spend more time. So what do you all use?

"The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible


  • EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    I think most people use VLC these days. Works for 90% of files, handles subtitles fine, etc. I personally also have the K-Lite codec pack (which VLC is totally seperate from), which includes MPC-HC in most configurations. The one problem with codec stuff is that if you don't tell it otherwise (you can tell it otherwise if you want), your computer will load the codecs even for videos inside games. Usually no problem, but sometimes it can be mildly annoying, and the volume control for the movie will be based on the CODEC settings, not necessarily the rest of your audio. MPC-HC + K-Lite seems to handle MKV better, specifically (VLC will sometimes not show chapters, etc.), and sometimes other formats when you're adding subtitles as well. Otherwise, VLC "just works" for everything and you barely have to worry about it. It's also pretty user-friendly and has lots of convenient keyboard shortcuts that are easy to set up. MPC's setup (and, seperately, the codec pack's) is less simple.

  • NosfNosf Registered User regular

    VLC for sure; last time I installed a codec pack I wound up with a few weird problems until I uninstalled it. I'm not sure I've run into any missing codec problems in a long time using VLC.

  • Great ScottGreat Scott King of Wishful Thinking Paragon City, RIRegistered User regular
    Why just choose one? Since universal media players don't access the Windows codec system, they don't tend to cause compatibility problems.

    I use CCCP (WMP Classic) + VLC, for one example. Sometimes WMPC doesn't like certain files, and when that happens I open them in VLC.

    I'm unique. Just like everyone else.
  • LostNinjaLostNinja Registered User regular
    I use CCCP, and have never had any problems with it. I'm pretty sure that I have never had to mess with any settings since installing it to watch anything (including subtitled content).

  • sukilee901sukilee901 Registered User new member
    edited September 2013
    I use the VLC, which can deal with almost any kind of the video/audio formats, and you don't need install third party codec(which confused me before). I also use a LITE Blu-ray player software named Aurora Blu-ray Media Player which i GOT from GOTD before. I call it LITE, as it can only read and playback the main movie of a Blu-ray disc(including most of the commercial ones), but without original Blu-ray menu and 3D playback. For the PowerDVD or Arcsoft TMT, both are paid software and a little expensive for me.

    sukilee901 on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Free Bluray software is pretty much nonexistent because BluRay licensing fees are high

    I'd go with VLC anyway. Windows codec packs can be buggy, hard to uninstall and are very deeply dug into your Operating system. VLC uses lots of the common ones anyway but they're tied into the program so they won't interfere with other OS things or programs

  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    I'm using VLC for now as it was the easiest to get going and seems to be the easiest to uninstall if I change my mind. For those of you who went with codec packs, how did you pick? I don't see very many comparisons but from what I could find k-lite seemed more friendly than shark007, and cccp was supposedly overkill.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    Another thing with VLC, is Windows Media Player seems to know how to hijack it's codecs by default, so you will not only gain VLC player, your WMP will gain a ton of new codecs also.

    Steam! Battlenet:Wisemantobes#1508
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