better DVD codec/decoder?

Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
I built a new HTPC, loaded up all my software, put in a dvd, and to my dismay, the dvd playback wasn't as good as my 4 year old 360. My question is, how do I fix this. Better codec? Better post processing? Any software suggestions? (I've heard ffdshow is a good codec with some decent post processing, but microsoft has limited it's compatibility with windows players)

To be a little more specific, the picture quality is what is bothering me. It seems more pixelated, and less sharp.

My specs:
wmp 12 and arcsoft totalmedia theatre 5 (both programs have less than ideal picture quality)
windows 7 64bit
core i3-2100t
integrated hd2000 graphics
4gb of ram

Also, I've tried messing around with the post processing for totalmedia theatre 5 (using simhd, forced deinterlacing, auto deinterlacing, ect...), but it doesn't ever seem to reach the level of my old 360.

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

  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Go to Intel's site and use their software to check for updated drivers. I had to do this with a Core i5 2500k. WMP12 at least uses the GPU to accelerate video playback so that should help.

    Dark Shroud on
  • useless4useless4 Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Is your PC sandy bridge? I saw some tangent the other day saying Intel couldn't properly hand 23.976 fps with one of their integrated graphics chipsets. That could be part of the issue

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  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    @dark: thanks, I'll check later tonight to see if I'm running the latest drivers

    @useless: It is a sandy bridge cpu, but as far as I can tell dvds aren't 23.976 fps. Also, I'm not really noticing skipping, or jerky, playback just poor picture quality.

    Jebus314 on
    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • SkyCaptainSkyCaptain Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Use vlc?

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  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    SkyCaptain wrote: »
    Use vlc?

    VLC does not support DXVA or the DRM required for playing back all DVDs that WMP 12 has. Also WMP 12 is the best at handling DRM-free HD video.

    With Win7 there are very few codecs even needed for video playback as MS paid the fees to add codec support native to the OS. That's why in Firefox & Chrome when you want to watch H.264 video the plug-ins you need are official ones from MS.

    If there is something that WMP 12 in Win7 can't play (besides blu-ray) CCCP would be the best bet. Since Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC) also makes use of DXVA. As well as all the FFDShow filters being included and properly set up.

    Dark Shroud on
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    SkyCaptain wrote: »
    Use vlc?

    VLC does not support DXVA or the DRM required for playing back all DVDs that WMP 12 has. Also WMP 12 is the best at handling DRM-free HD video.

    With Win7 there are very few codecs even needed for video playback as MS paid the fees to add codec support native to the OS. That's why in Firefox & Chrome when you want to watch H.264 video the plug-ins you need are official ones from MS.

    If there is something that WMP 12 in Win7 can't play (besides blu-ray) CCCP would be the best bet. Since Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC) also makes use of DXVA. As well as all the FFDShow filters being included and properly set up.

    Just to be clear though, there is a difference in the abilities of the codecs as decoders right? As in not every decoder will result in the same picture. Or is that only true for encoding?

    I don't have any problems with not being able to play a dvd properly, I'm just trying to optimize picture quality, and I'm not sure what will have an affect (device drivers/codec/post processing). Ideally if there is just a player that incorporates whatever I need for high quality dvd playback, I would just use that.

    Jebus314 on
    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • corky842corky842 Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Try XBMC. You should be able to tweak the video settings to how you like it.

    Also, it has a PATV plugin so you can watch PATV on your tv without messing with a web browser.

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  • Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    @useless: It is a sandy bridge cpu, but as far as I can tell dvds aren't 23.976 fps. Also, I'm not really noticing skipping, or jerky, playback just poor picture quality.

    So here's the deal. NTSC is 59.94 interlaced fields at 29.97 frames per second, but SD-DVDs can be encoded at either 23.976 or 29.97 frames per second. MPEG2 streams that are encoded at 29.97 frames per second are displayed as is, whereas streams that are encoded at 23.976 frames per second have a 2:3 pulldown applied to them so that they output at NTSC standard framerates. The shitty thing is that some DVDs get encoded with the with 2:3 pulldown applied to them already, which means that they have a framerate of 29.97 even though the source footage is 23.976. Encoding 23.976 as 23.976 is way better than encoding at 29.97 though, because the footage looks better and takes up less space.

    TL;DR--DVDs can be encoded at 23.976, but never display at that framerate (unless you have a DVD/Blu-Ray player that can properly output SD-MPEG2 streams at 23.976p over HDMI).

    As for finding a high quality MPEG2 decoder? Can't say I've found one that will smooth out the CrCb channels to hide the 4:2:0 encoding artifacts. Seems like it'd be so easy to make too...

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  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Thanks to everyone for all the info. With updated intel drivers I was able to get decent playback (with both totalmedia theatre and wmp 12).

    New question though, if anyone is still around, what refresh rate should I set the tv to for optimal dvd/bluray playback? I haven't really been noticing any hitches or pauses, so I'm probably one of the lucky ones that wouldn't notice the difference anyway, but just out of curiosity, how does the 29.97 fps of NTSC work with the 60hz refresh rate of the tv? Do some images just get repeated? Does it even matter? What would be the ideal setting?

    Jebus314 on
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  • Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    New question though, if anyone is still around, what refresh rate should I set the tv to for optimal dvd/bluray playback? I haven't really been noticing any hitches or pauses, so I'm probably one of the lucky ones that wouldn't notice the difference anyway, but just out of curiosity, how does the 29.97 fps of NTSC work with the 60hz refresh rate of the tv? Do some images just get repeated? Does it even matter? What would be the ideal setting?

    Leave it at 60Hz. If we're going to get really technical, NTSC is a 29.97 FPS format but in reality every frame of NTSC is made up of two interlacing fields that are displayed one after the other, so it's kind of a 59.94 FPS format. Depending on the source (23.976p, 29.97p, or 59.94i) some material can be displayed for up to three fields in sequence. It's a weird, shitty system, and I wish we could've left interlacing and the .01% pulldown bullshit behind us when we moved to HD, but c'est la vie.

    TL;DR: Leave your monitor at some multiple of 60Hz.

    Drunk_caterpillar on
    dcsig.jpg
  • splashsplash Registered User
    How come this doesn't get mentioned? I use k-lite codec pack (standard is enough) with wmp 12. It has MPEG2, h.264, and filters such as ffdshow and anything else that's needed. Probably don't bother with a 64-bit installation, if that applies to you, yet.

  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    splash wrote:
    How come this doesn't get mentioned? I use k-lite codec pack (standard is enough) with wmp 12. It has MPEG2, h.264, and filters such as ffdshow and anything else that's needed. Probably don't bother with a 64-bit installation, if that applies to you, yet.

    Because it's a giant pile of useless bloat. Windows7 has basic codecs already installed so you rarely need more. FFDShow aren't codecs, they're filters so they won't cause conflicts for playback while using less resources. CCCP is FFDShow with the few extras needed. It's simply better and doesn't conflict with my video editing software. k-lite has multiple redundant codecs & filters that are not needed and just use up system resources.

  • splashsplash Registered User
    splash wrote:
    How come this doesn't get mentioned? I use k-lite codec pack (standard is enough) with wmp 12. It has MPEG2, h.264, and filters such as ffdshow and anything else that's needed. Probably don't bother with a 64-bit installation, if that applies to you, yet.

    Because it's a giant pile of useless bloat. Windows7 has basic codecs already installed so you rarely need more. FFDShow aren't codecs, they're filters so they won't cause conflicts for playback while using less resources. CCCP is FFDShow with the few extras needed. It's simply better and doesn't conflict with my video editing software. k-lite has multiple redundant codecs & filters that are not needed and just use up system resources.

    I see. But k-lite codec pack works with WMP12 while CCCP doesn't right? To me having to install an additional program other than WMP12 is bloat to me. I custom install only the codecs or filters I want to use from the k-lite codec pack, nothing is mandatory. FLAC, H.264, etc. and a filter to choose subtitles and such.

  • bigwahbigwah Registered User regular
    Windows 7 doesnt need any codecs. None. What does need adjusting is the nvidia/ati color options. The defaults are pretty bad.

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  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    splash wrote:
    splash wrote:
    How come this doesn't get mentioned? I use k-lite codec pack (standard is enough) with wmp 12. It has MPEG2, h.264, and filters such as ffdshow and anything else that's needed. Probably don't bother with a 64-bit installation, if that applies to you, yet.

    Because it's a giant pile of useless bloat. Windows7 has basic codecs already installed so you rarely need more. FFDShow aren't codecs, they're filters so they won't cause conflicts for playback while using less resources. CCCP is FFDShow with the few extras needed. It's simply better and doesn't conflict with my video editing software. k-lite has multiple redundant codecs & filters that are not needed and just use up system resources.

    I see. But k-lite codec pack works with WMP12 while CCCP doesn't right? To me having to install an additional program other than WMP12 is bloat to me. I custom install only the codecs or filters I want to use from the k-lite codec pack, nothing is mandatory. FLAC, H.264, etc. and a filter to choose subtitles and such.

    No CCCP's filters do work with WMP12. But you will rarely find a video file that won't play by default in WMP12 on Win7 with the default codecs from Microsoft.

  • splashsplash Registered User
    splash wrote:
    splash wrote:
    How come this doesn't get mentioned? I use k-lite codec pack (standard is enough) with wmp 12. It has MPEG2, h.264, and filters such as ffdshow and anything else that's needed. Probably don't bother with a 64-bit installation, if that applies to you, yet.

    Because it's a giant pile of useless bloat. Windows7 has basic codecs already installed so you rarely need more. FFDShow aren't codecs, they're filters so they won't cause conflicts for playback while using less resources. CCCP is FFDShow with the few extras needed. It's simply better and doesn't conflict with my video editing software. k-lite has multiple redundant codecs & filters that are not needed and just use up system resources.

    I see. But k-lite codec pack works with WMP12 while CCCP doesn't right? To me having to install an additional program other than WMP12 is bloat to me. I custom install only the codecs or filters I want to use from the k-lite codec pack, nothing is mandatory. FLAC, H.264, etc. and a filter to choose subtitles and such.

    No CCCP's filters do work with WMP12. But you will rarely find a video file that won't play by default in WMP12 on Win7 with the default codecs from Microsoft.

    I must be missing something. Most of the video files I have are in mkv and I have plenty of music in FLAC.

    I don't watch enough TV or movies to warrant using a subscription service such as Netflix where video is in a more common format I guess.

  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    Netflix uses Silverlight, I'm not sure if the video file is H.264 or VC-1.

    WMP 12 does not play FLAC, or at least I've never been able to make it happen. I have played .MKVs in WMP without much hassle.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    I've used Media Player Classic: HC for some time now.

  • HamurabiHamurabi MiamiRegistered User regular
    This seems like the best place to ask:

    What're you jerks using for Blu-Ray playback on your PCs? PowerDVD 11 is telling me it doesn't support my res -- which seems odd, given that 1920x1080 is a pretty standard res. Nothing else I've tried (WMP, VLC, etc.) will play my gorram Blu-Rays.

  • bigwahbigwah Registered User regular
    I use TMT5 in my HTPC. Havent had a problem with it (as opposed to PD).

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  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    Yes I use Total Media Theater 5 as well. I like that it integrates with WMC. PowerDVD can die in a fire, I will not allow that software near anyone of my PCs again. I doubt the company will actually make a good version of the software any time soon.

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