Hacking Windows 7 Media Center

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Choosing a Video Codec Setup for Windows Media Center

Choosing a Video Codec Setup for Windows Media Center

Choosing the right codec setup for your Windows 7 Media Center build can be tricky. Should you stick with the built-in Microsoft decoders or get something a little more tweak-able? Even the built-in decoders need some help playing a number of file formats available, including the most popular format among enthusiasts, MKV. How do we choose which route to go [...]

Playing MKVs with Media Foundation and Divx Labs

Playing MKVs with Media Foundation and Divx Labs

Looking for an easy way to get DXVA MKVs in Media Center? Just Install Haali’s splitter! Previously, getting MKV to work properly inside Windows 7 Media Center has required quite a bit of effort on the part of the end user. It was necessary to install a number of third party codecs, make modifications to the registry and tweak codec [...]

AntiPack Codec Pack Provides Easy DXVA Install

AntiPack Codec Pack Provides Easy DXVA Install

Interested in a minimalistic codec package that provides you with the necessary components for hardware accelerated video playback in an easy to consume package? Antipack, from Andy VT (babgvant) may be just what you’re looking for. From the creator of DVRMSToolbox comes a solution to getting only what you need without the excess, a codec pack for people who hate [...]

Loading Subtitles with DirectVobSub (VSFilter)

Loading Subtitles with DirectVobSub (VSFilter)

Showing subtitles for anything other than recorded TV in Windows 7 Media Center can be a tricky business. One method is to force Media Center to play your video through FFDShow, which has built in support for subtitles, but accomplishing that has been less than easy for a large number of users and seems to get more difficult with each [...]

Advanced codec support inside Media Center with Media Control

Advanced codec support inside Media Center with Media Control

One of the greatest features of newer video container formats such as MKV is their ability to contain multiple audio and subtitle streams as well as chapter markers. These are the type of features that begin to bridge the gap between traditional DVD and Blu-Ray media playback and non-traditional digitally distributed or locally stored media. Unfortunately, Microsoft has neglected support [...]

Preferred DirectShow Filters Tool for Windows 7

Preferred DirectShow Filters Tool for Windows 7

With the final release of Windows 7 coming ever closer we are stating to see a number of very nice tools being released gear toward the new platform. For Media Center users some of the most useful programs being developed are in the area of codec support. With Windows Media Foundation and the new pipeline used in Media Center it [...]

AC3Filter goes 64-bit with version 1.60b

AC3Filter goes 64-bit with version 1.60b

Many Media Center users are switching over to 64-bit along with their migration to Windows 7 due to the support for greater than 4gb of system ram. The trouble for those users is third codec creators have been slow to provide x64 counterparts to their beloved x86 products. Luckily, that’s starting to turn around with Haali’s x64 splitter, MPC x64 [...]

Why We Use MKV (and You Should Too)

Why We Use MKV (and You Should Too)

MKV, or Matroska as it’s officially known, is easily one of the most favored container formats available for Media Center enthusiasts. But what makes this format so special? Why not just use the old tried and true MP4 or AVI formats? Well there are plenty of small features that make up the Matroska specification that make it special to so [...]

Hack7MC’s Troubleshooting Toolbox

Hack7MC’s Troubleshooting Toolbox

There comes a time when everyone needs a few good tools to take care of any potential problems that arise in their Media Center setup. Today we’d like to introduce the Hack7MC Troubleshooting Toolbox. This handy collection of free tools will help you get through any problems you might encounter in your everyday Media Center experience. Hopefully, this collection of [...]

Checking MKV Playback with Matroska Diag

Checking MKV Playback with Matroska Diag

Sometimes getting your MKV files to play can be more trouble than it should rightly be. Since Matroska is a container format playing back MKV files could require any combination of compatible codecs. Luckily, there are a few utilities out there which can help you diagnose any issues that may arise. One such utility is Matroska Diag, which will let [...]

Finding Haali’s x64 Splitter Beta

Finding Haali’s x64 Splitter Beta

Haali’s x64 edition is now available officially from the Haali download site! Haali’s Matroska splitter is one of the most popular MKV splitters available for Media Center users who run custom codec setups. For quite some time now, however, there’s been no x64 option available leaving a large number of users without any choice but to use the Gabest MKV [...]

Windows 7 Codecs – Shark007 Pack makes codec installation easy

Some people don’t really need (or want) to get down and dirty with the intricacies of codecs like FFDShow. Many people simply want their media play to, no matter what, without the hassle of learning how to setup or use various codec configurations. Granted FFDShow setup is far from difficult but in some situations it does require a little extra [...]

Ripping Subtitles to SRT with SubRip

Ripping Subtitles to SRT with SubRip

So you forgot to include subtitles while ripping your movie collection, what do you do now? Luckily, the solution isn’t to go back through the entire process and do it over again. You will need to break those DVDs back out of storage, however. Today we’ll use a program called SubRip to analyze the subtitles of each movie and save [...]

Retrieving Video Encoding Information with MediaInfo

Retrieving Video Encoding Information with MediaInfo

Sometimes we might need to find out exactly what set of tools was used to encode a video file. Maybe you would like to double-check the output bitrate of your encoding tools or the output resolution. Perhaps a friend did your encoding and you’d like to double check his workmanship. Could be that you stumbled upon the file among the [...]

Media Center Decoder Utility (MCDU) Finally Comes to Windows 7

Media Center Decoder Utility, an infinitely handy program for changing default decoders for Windows Media Center, has finally made the leap to support Windows 7. Formerly known as Vista Media Center Decoder Utility (VMCD) this simple little program allows you to change decoders with a few simple dropdown boxes. Support for Windows 7 includes renaming of Windows Media Foundation decoders [...]

Replacing the Default DTV/DVD Decoder without Breaking Live TV Playback

You can also try this new tool for changing your Directshow Filters without manually entering the registry! We covered completely replacing the native Microsoft DTV/DVD Decoder with third-party codecs a few days ago but what if you still want to use that codec for live TV? Previously the only way to deactivate the built-in Microsoft codec was to rename the [...]

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