Guide: Using the Arcsoft Video Decoder With An Intel GPU

by Damian on January 7, 2011 · 66 comments

in Guides

When I built my HTPC around the Intel core i5 (Clarkdale) platform this was my first experience with using Intel for graphics (in the past I had used either ATI or NVidia). The promise with the Intel platform was to build an HD ready HTPC with full HD Audio bitstream support without the need for adding a separate dedicated graphics card. HD Audio bitstreaming worked out of the box for me (using MPC HC + FFDShow as I documented here) however I encountered a lot of issue with the picture quality (green blocking, stuttering, etc…). It turns out that the issue was due to Intel’s graphics not working well with directshow filters such as the ffdshow video decoder or the MPC video decoder. The Microsoft video decoder had no issues with H264 content however with VC-1 content you would lose hardware acceleration (DXVA). If your processor can handle playback this may not be an issue, but ideally you want to use DXVA wherever possible as at a minimum this should lead  to less heat and better energy consumption since the processor is not being pushed. Right now the solution that has given me the best results when using any directshow player (such as MPC HC, XBMC DSPlayer, etc…) is to use the Microsoft Video Decoder for H264 content and the Arcsoft Video Decoder for VC-1 content. Let’s take a look at how to set up:

My Setup:

  • Windows 7 x32 core i5 HTPC and Windows 7 x64 core i5 Laptop
  • I also tested on my desktop (Windows 7 x32 w/ 4670 GPU) and my wife’s desktop (Windows 7 x32 w/ NVidia GPU)

Files to Download:

This setup WILL ONLY WORK for x32. You can still do this on an x64 system but you must use x32 players.

I want to make it clear that this is in no way altering or cracking TotalMedia Theatre. Once the trial version ends unless you purchase a license TMT will no longer work. This simply gives you access to the TMT codecs (which you can continue to use after the trial expires).

Setup:

Install TotalMedia Theater:

If you already have TMT installed on your PC you can skip this step. Otherwise install TMT (either TMT3 or TMT5, trial or full version if you have a license)

Register Arcsoft Video Decoder:

The Arcsoft Video Decoder (ASVid.ax) should be located under C:\Program Files\Arcsoft\TotalMedia Theatre 5 (or 3 if you are using that version)\Codec

Open up your favorite Notepad application and create a bat file to register ASVid.ax (see code below). Save the bat file in the same directory and double click it to run (I called the bat file install.bat).

regsvr32.exe “C:\Program Files\Arcsoft\TotalMedia Theatre 5\Codec\ASVid.ax”

Download checkactivate.dll

Download the checkactivate.dll file into the same directory as the Arcsoft Video Decoder  (i.e. in my case C:\Program Files\Arcsoft\TotalMedia Theatre 5\Codec\)

Install GraphStudio and FilterGraphSpy

The reason for this step is so we can see the graph for any DirectShow player (such as MPC HC) to confirm what video decoder is being used.

Download the File Suite and copy to a folder on your hard drive (I copied to my C:\ProgramData folder, creating a new folder called GraphStudio. There should be four files present (Context Menus, FilterGraphSpy.dll, InstallFilter, and proppage.dll). Also download the GraphStudio.exe file and place in the same folder as the four files.

Copy the InstallFilter file and paste to C:\Windows\System32

Go back into the folder where you downloaded the File Suite and double click the “Context Menus.reg” file. You will get a warning message, just click “Yes”

Now we need to register the FilterGraphSpy.dll and proppage.dll file. Right click on the files and select “Install”. Alternatively you could create a bat file to register just as done for the Arcsoft Video Decoder.

UPDATE – You can still use the Arcsoft Video Decoder without needing to install TMT (for example if you already have the necessary files). Simply place the below files in a folder of your choice and register ASVid.ax (thanks for pointing out Rob):

- checkactivate.dll
- ASVid.ax
- ASH264Vid.dll for H.264
- ASVC1Vid.dll for VC-1
- ASMPEGVid.dll for MPEG-2

Set Up MPC HC:

I am assuming MPC HC is already installed, so open MPC HC, go to View -> Options. Under “Internal Filters” uncheck H264 and VC1 (both DXVA and FFmpeg)

Now go into External Filters, add “Microsoft DTV-DVD Video Decoder” and “Arcsoft Video Decoder”, and set both to “Prefer”. Make sure the Microsoft Video Decoder is set above the Arcsoft Video Decoder. This will direct MPC HC to use the Microsoft Video Decoder for H264 and the Arcsoft Video Decoder for VC-1 (the Microsoft Video Decoder does not support VC-1 which is why it gets skipped)

Play back H264 and VC-1 Content And Confirm With GraphStudio:

Start playing back a video (H264 or VC-1) with MPC HC and open up GraphStudio.exe. In GraphStudio press Ctrl + G, select the choice that lists “!FilterGraph…..mpc-hc.exe…..”, and click the “Connect” button

After connecting a nice graph showing the Audio and Video Decoders being used for the MPC HC file will appear. If you look at the screenshot below you can see that for my H264 mkv Microsoft DTV-DVD Video Decoder is being used as expected.

Now time to confirm that the Arcsoft Video Decoder is being used for a VC-1 mkv

If things did not go well instead of seeing the Arcsoft Video Decoder you will most likely see the Microsoft VC-1 decoder (WMVideo Decoder DMO)

The final check I like to do, if the Arcsoft Video Decoder is being used for VC-1 content then DXVA should kick in and my CPU usage should be minimal (I would expect between 5-15%)

Using WMVideo Decoder DMO (which does not support DXVA) you can see that my CPU usage is dramatically higher

Using MPC HC you can also confirm if DXVA is being used as it should state so in the bottom left hand corner.

For more information of registering/unregistering filters I highly recommend you check out Renethx’s excellent post here.

Also, once everything is confirmed working make sure you unregister FilterGraphSpy.dll as it may cause application stability issues and ROT publishing leaks memory (thanks for the heads up babgvant). You can always re register it if you need to troubleshoot.

Final Thoughts:

By following this setup I am able to get excellent playback of both H264 (via the Microsoft DTV-DVD Video Decoder) and VC-1 (via the Arcsoft Video Decoder) with full DXVA. I tested this with both TotalMedia Theatre 3 and 5, tested it with licensed versions and trial versions, Windows 7 x32 and x64, and even confirmed that it worked after the TMT trial expired. You can also use the Arcsoft Video Decoder with other DirectShow players (such as DSPlayer or WMP) as long as they are x32 players.The one thing that I did not have a chance to confirm is whether this would work if I simply copied the Arcsoft Video Decoder to another folder and completely uninstalled TMT (if I have a few minutes I will try to confirm this as well). Obviously being able to use the Arcsoft Video Decoder would not be possible if it was not for the checkactivate.dll file created by _shard.





Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found Mediasmartserver.net, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for Mediasmartserver.net you can find me over at my blog at http://www.adigitalhomeblog.com or follow me on twitter


{ 65 comments }

Jim January 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Thanks very much Damian. I will report my results with an i3 540 tomorrow.

Jim January 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm

This worked very well for me. Thanks very much for the walk through.

Be aware that you have to run the registry edits as Administrator.

Damian January 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Great to hear, so it cleared up the problems you were having?

Thanks for pointing out. I am always in my PC as admin so it never dawns on me whether a process needs to be done in admin mode.

Jim January 8, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I was a little early on the complete satisfaction. It has cleared up the issue that I was having with sharpening and artifacts, but the new setup has introduced issues with very minor studdering. The VC1 playback is great, but H264 has minor studdering in some situations. These studderings are not horrible because nobody can see them but me.

I will tweek it some more to see if I can determine the exact issue.

JS January 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm

That’s awesome Damian, thanks. As it turns out, I ended up going for an Athlon build (880G chipset). =) We’ll see what Sandy Bridge brings along.

Scott January 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm

This is cool. I recently bought TMT5 so it is nice to be able to use the codec in other ways.
Slightly off topic…I’d curious if you do any enhancing or upscaling of SD Dvds through MPC-HC?

Damian January 10, 2011 at 4:11 am

I have never done anything with enhancing or upscaling. I am sure there are tweaks that can be done to enhance the picture (messing around with filters or renderers), I haven’t been that brave yet :-)

MPCHC January 9, 2011 at 7:39 pm

MPC-HC 1.4.2824.0 released with fixes for Sandy Bridge decoding and possibly Clarkdale/Arrandale decoding also.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/mpc-hc/files/

Jim January 10, 2011 at 8:14 am

Damian,

Have you tried the Cyberlink PowerDVD 10 Mark II trial version? After switching to 32bit, I have found that it functions better at DXVA on my Intel GPU. Like your TMT example, it is a trial version, however its decoder can be used in MPC-HC (only working well for 32bit version of MPC-HC for me). You can find a trial version on cNet: http://bit.ly/cCkgeT

I like the “look” of the TMT codec better, but the PDVD10 codec is giving me much better performance and absolutely no stuttering no my set up.

Damian January 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

Jim,

I thought to use the PowerDVD 10 decoder in MPC HC there were a few extra steps that need to be done? I can’t remember where I saw this (will have to dig through my records), but will report back if I find this.

Damian January 10, 2011 at 11:23 am

Ah, found it, see here what needs to be done to use the CyberLink PDVD Video Decoder for VC-1:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showpost.php?p=18361179&postcount=163

If you read the bottom of teh post it appears that using PDVD for VC-1 results in playback issues (stuttering)

Jim January 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I’m keeping the PDVD for h264 as it works better for me than the MS codec, but the Arcsoft for VC-1. I use the vanilla MS audio decoder because my receiver can’t decode the new DTS and Dolby formats.

This set up is really the closest I’ve had to perfect. Thank you very much for all of your walkthroughs (esp the MediaBrowser and Metabrowser tutorials). I have yet to show it off to a friend and them NOT say “how much would it cost me for you to do that for me as-is.”

All this came just in time for an extended school weather outage in the southern US!

luke January 27, 2011 at 7:12 am

… this does not work for me. I got only a black screen in MPC-HC using the Arcsoft VC1 decoder. Within TMT5 the decoder works fine. It looks like the Arcsoft VC1 decoder works only within TMT5. For h264 the Arcsoft decoder works within MPC-HC. So, where’s the trick?

Damian January 27, 2011 at 7:17 am

Did you confirm with GraphStudio when playing a a VC-1 file in MPC HC that Arcsoft was being used?

luke January 27, 2011 at 7:45 am

yes, the Arcsoft decoder is runing (confirmed with Graphstudio). I hear the sound but the screen is black.

Damian January 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Were you ever able to resolve your problem? I haven’t been able to reproduce it, but it sounds as if the decoder didn’t register properly

Fenixen July 25, 2011 at 11:51 am

i have the same problem.. every screenshot confirmation are identical to yours. Graph studio shows that arcsoft is being used when playing VC-1 in MPC-HC, BUT screen is black.. sound is on.. but only PCM sound is being sent to receiver.

When playing H264 (avatar).. i also just get PCM sound when using MPC-HC. When i start the same movies in Total Media Theatre 5 i get DTS-HD Master audio.. whyyyy? :)

Damian July 26, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Hmmm…. sounds like Arcsoft isn’t registering properly. Do you get the same issue with the black screen if you just use the MS Video Decoder (for VC-1 I believe it is something like the WMO decoder)

And you are only getting PCM with your audio, are you using FFDShow Audio or LAV Audio?

luke February 1, 2011 at 1:03 am

No, sadly not. The Arcsoft Decoder for VC-1 does not work outside TMT5 for me. The Arcsoft h264 works flawlessly with MPC HC. Maybe they block the VC-1 decoder in the newest version. I took the TMT5 trail from the Arcsoft website. I thought the checkactivate.dll is to bypass the block.

Damian February 1, 2011 at 7:30 am

I actually tested on both TMT3 and TMT5 with the Arcsoft Decoder and both worked fine for me with MPC HC. One of my core i5 HTPCs I haven’t installed TMT5 on yet, but if I have a moment I will test out by this weekend and reconfirm

luke February 1, 2011 at 7:44 am

thank you, I will also try again as soon as possible and report.

luke February 6, 2011 at 11:50 am

… with a proper asvid.log in place the arcsoft decoder is now working BUT dxva is not active. hell… what’s going on here?

Taylor February 2, 2011 at 10:10 am

Hey, thanks for the guide, any chance you could repost the Checkactivate.dll from another link? Doom9′s forums have been down for about a week now, so I haven’t been able to follow the guide.

Damian February 3, 2011 at 9:39 am

Doom9 is back up

Alex March 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I have a Core i3 540 CPU and get constant stuttering with ArcSoft for VC1 in XBMC with DSPlayer. When I don’t use ArcSoft and just MS Video Decoder I get nice bitstreamed sound but no video at all. I thought that ArcSoft would alleviate any kind of stuttering? I checked MPC-HC with ArcSoft enabled and it does show DXVA but choppy. BTW… I am watching Baraka at 96khz if that makes a difference.

Alex

Alex March 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Correction… VC1 work fine with ArcSoft. It is the h.264 that stutter. That with mediafilter.xml set to MPCVIDEODEC. If I set the MSVIDEODEC instead of MPCVIDEODEC in that file I get perfect playback of everything except for VC1 files which play only sound but no video at all.

Damian March 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm

And you are using an intel GPU, correct?

Alex March 6, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Yep. I am using Intel GPU.

Damian March 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm

OK, with the intel GPU you cannot use any of the MPC decoders (you mentioned you were trying to use the MPCVideodec for h.264). You must use the MS Video Decoder for h264 and then use Arcsoft for VC-1 (Although the MS Video Decoder works for VC-1 you lose DXVA which is why you want to use Arcsoft in its place)

Alex March 6, 2011 at 8:15 pm

I am using the MPC as per your instructions for using ArcSoft where you disable the h264 and VC1 for DXVA and FFMPEG. I then set XMBC DSPlayer to use MPCVideodec in the xml. If this is not the correct method please let me know. My ArcSoft codec is registered so I can set it in the XBMC xml just like I can MSVideoDec or MPC.

Damian March 7, 2011 at 4:45 am

Yeah, I think there is some confusion. In this guide I talk about using the MS Video Decoder for H264 and Arcsoft Video Decoder for VC1, I never mention using the MPCVideoDec. If you are referring to my DSPlayer guide there I mention using the MPCVideoDec, but that was running on a different HTPC (not an intel GPU but rather an AMD 5670)

Alex March 7, 2011 at 9:55 am

So would you recommend that I do for the XBMC? When I have the xml configured for msvidiodec i get all but VC1 playing perfectly. when I use mpcvideodec i get the blocking, and when i use arcsoft i get stuttering.

Alex

Damian March 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Alex,

Well, actually my answer would be to not use the DSPlayer build. Development has stopped completely on it. To get HD Audio bitstreaming for now I would just have MPC HC launch from XBMC. I don’t know when the new audio engine will be incorporated into XBMC so we will get HD AUdio support without any tweaking

Alex March 8, 2011 at 10:07 am

I can go with using MPC as external player but how would I specify to play mkv, m2ts and mpegs with MPC and ISOs with internal player?

Alex

Damian March 8, 2011 at 10:11 am

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/06/04/guide-using-mpc-hc-as-your-video-player-in-xbmc/

The only thing I don’t know about is ISO as I don’t use

Battles March 14, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Dbone, hope all is well. You’ve certainly developed an impressive htpc enthusiast following. I’m about to rebuild my rack mounted htpc from scratch and wanted the benefit of your latest thoughts on what components you would use if cost were no object. The htpc will also second as a gaming computer so I will need to purchase a higher end graphics card vs using integrated graphics. I’m inclined to purchase a new sandy bridge processor and will likely go with the i7 2600. It’s important that whatever configuration I end up using have the ability to bitstream the hd audio codecs to my surround processor. Based on what I describe, I have some specific questions for you:

1. As it relates to the best way of bit streaming the hd audio formats, is your current codec set up guide still the latest thinking on how to achieve this? I would like to use My Movies or XBMC as the interface vs media center classic. That said, is their an elegant and straight forward way to use these front end interfaces and use your codec set up guide?

2. I assume that the 32 bit version of windows is preferable to 64 bit for a htpc. Correct?

3. Graphic card wise, do you recommend ati or Nvidia in the context of a htpc?

4. I see a lot of posts on the Internet by folks who have had a difficult time getting hd audio to bitstream properly using their ati 5000 series cards. In fact, I saw a YouTube video of a guy who finally resorted to going with a i3 core + integrated graphics configuration because he couldn’t seem to get his ati 5xxxx card to bit stream properly. That said, before I configure my new htpc with an ati 6xxxx card, I want to make sure that there is a straight forward and reliable way to bitstream without a hitch using the ati 6000 card (or Nvidia equivalent) while also using My Movies or xbmc as an interface. Should I have any concerns?

6. What are your thoughts around using a solid state drive for the O/S drive?

7. Please let me know if there are any other recommendations you might make. Also, as an aside, please keep in mind that since my htpc is rack mounted and located in a separate room heat and noise are big issues for me.

Many thanks in advance. Your guidance is much appreciated!!!

Battles

Damian March 15, 2011 at 4:17 am

Hey Battles,

Hope all is well for you. I will do my best to answer your questions:

1. Nothing should have changed with regards to setting up HD Audio. When it comes to XBMC or MyMovies you are left with a few options:

XBMC – cannot bitstream HD Audio. There is a new audio engine that is being built in which will allow for this, but I don’t know how far along it has come. In order to get HD Audio working you are going to need a third party player like MPC HC launching from XBMC (http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/06/04/guide-using-mpc-hc-as-your-video-player-in-xbmc/). Prior there was a branch of XBMC called DSPlayer which allowed for bitstreaming but the developers have since dropped support

MyMovies – to Bitstream HD Audio you will either need to once again rely on a 3rd party App or make some tweaks to your system to get bitstreaming working in the internal WMC player. On my HTPCs I have Mymovies or Media Browser launch MPC HC for my mkvs/m2ts and TMT3 for my BluRay folder rips, so I get full HD Audio bitstreaming without needing to mess around with the internal player. For using the internal WMC player Sharks codec is still probably the best solution, but you can of course do manually.

2. Hmmm…. I generally prefer x32 for an HTPC. However, since you mentioned that you would also be using your HTPC for gaming I wonder if it may benefit you to instead go with x64 so you could have the benefits of increased RAM, etc… There was actually some discussion about 32 vs 64 on AVS forum last week – http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=20107697#post20107697

3. I have only ever used ATI and have been happy with (actually when I bought my desktop PC a while back it came with dual NVidia 8800GT which I ended up having to replace with an ATI card after they went bad). It seems like ATI can be a little buggier then NVidia when it comes to releasing fw updates ( I like to go with the if it aint broke dont fix it approach when updating). ATI appears to be the only card that does 23.976 properly.

4. I have never had issues bitstreaming HD audio with two separate ATI 5670 GPUs. When the ATI 5xxx GPUs first came out there were EDID issues, but this has long been resolved. I would expect zero issues with bitstreaming HD Audio with the latest ATI 6xxx GPUs

6. I have never used an SSD drive primarily because I didn’t feel the benefit justified the cost (for my HTPCs one of the goals was to keep the costs in line). However, if you are willing to spend the additional money and from what I had read an SSD drive would make an excellent O/S drive

7. I would definitely recommend checking out Renethx’s guide on AVSForum. It costs a $10 donation but it is an extremely detailed guide and Renethx can answer just about any question you have about your build. Since noise is a concern I would definitely ask to see what combination of fans (case, HSF, PSU, etc…) gets what you need. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=19553212#post19553212

Any others questions let me know here, post in the forum, PM me, smoke messages, etc…

Cheers
Damian

battles March 15, 2011 at 10:02 am

Damian,

Many thanks for your advice. I placed an order for Renethx’s latest HTPC build guide, which I’m sure will be very helpful. I’ve always been a big fan of using WMP’s internal player just because it felt more to be a seemless solution than launching 3rd party software such as TMT, etc.. Just one more thing to go wrong and another reason why my wife might need to bug me at work with “the media center isn’t working, etc. (I’m sure you know what I mean)”. That said, now that I am upgrading to a new surround processor which can handle hd audio encodings, perhaps going the TMT3 route or Medica center classic route makes more sense. Further, with a solid state drive, they should launch very quickly. Just need to figure out whether the remote support with these third party apps and the ability to toggle to get back to WMC is easy enough and reliable enough for the wife + kids.

Out of curiosity, which front end interface do you prefer (MyMovies, MediaBrowser, XBMC, etc). I used to use MediaBrowser but I found it too slow, buggy, hung a lot, etc. I’m now using MyMovies which seems much more stable and fast. I have tinkered around with XBMC, but I’ve found that the scraper doesn’t do a good job of recognizing my movies and the thought of having to re-tag even 25% of my entire movie collection just isn’t that appealing. However, the interface/skins seem very cool and if they can solve the hd audio issue, I will likely switch over. Would love to hear your thoughts, as I’m sure you have spent lots of time with all of these front ends. All in all, I wish there was one comprehensive interface that did movies, music, home videos, netflix, photos very well. I haven’t found it yet, but perhaps you have!!!

Damian March 16, 2011 at 5:57 am

Battles,

Sorry for the delayed response, I actually responded yesterday but Firefox kept crashing on me and I lost patience to keep retyping:

As far as TMT or MPC HC it really depends on what format you keep your media in. TMT you will only want to use with BluRay folder rips (TMT does not support HD Audio in standalone mkvs/m2ts). TMT does a really good job of integrating with WMC and really feels as if it is part of. MPC HC is a great player as well (I use it for my standalone m2ts/mkv). However, it really is a separate App from WMC so you definitely feel like you are leaving WMC, and of course with that there is the chance of issues. I have MPC HC launch from Media Browser and can control it with my Harmony remote. There have been occasions though where MPC HC either didn’t close properly or while it played the WMC internal player would start playing as well. Not sure if it is MPC HCs fault, WMCs fault, or the fault of Media Browser, but definitely hurt the WAF.

As of now I still use Media Browser but have been discouraged by some of the bugs/instabilities (which I can deal with but once again hurt WAF). Now that My Movies has added support for TV Shows I can now reconsider. I do test around with XBMC but probably won’t seriously look at until the new audio engine is in place.

Cheers
Damian

battles March 16, 2011 at 11:32 am

Thanks Damian! No need to apologize for a late reply…you’re doing me the favor! Going back to your recommendation that one use an external player such as MPC HC for the playback of standalone m2ts/mkv, have you had any success in properly setting up Shark’s codec pack to allow you to stay within the WMP/WMC environment and properly playback m2ts/mkv files with hardware acceleration (on both AVCHD, VC-1 encodings) and properly pass through hd audio bitstreams to your surround processor (via an ati 5/6xxx hdmi output)? If so, I imagine that you wouldn’t be resorting to MPC HC if you had. However, if you have been successful, can you share which video and audio settings need to be tweaked in his codec pack to allow for this? In the past I have tried using Shark’s pack but, at the end of the day, have found it easier to simply disable certain windows media foundation decoders to arrive at satisfactory outcome (this was before I needed to pass through hd audio bitstreams, of course).

Thanks again

Damian March 16, 2011 at 11:43 am

I had issues when I first tried Sharks codec pack, but to be fair this was a while ago. I just prefer to have the cleanest approach possible to my HTPCs, which was simply installing FFDShow, MPC HC, TMT, and be done with it. There are still issues with the internal WMC player such as proper mkv chapters support, subtitles, etc… Not saying that it can’t be done, but once again the most trouble free playback I got was just keeping things minimal. I do have on my list to revisit the Shark pack but haven’t gotten to. Really I would recommend trying the following:

- Since your primary concern is to get playback with HD Audio working and would prefer to do this in the internal WMC player I would tell you to try Sharks Codec pack. I believe when you install there is a “Recommended” settings button which I think sets everything up for proper HD Audio playback

- If for whatever reason this doesn’t work for you, you can then look at alternatives like using a 3rd party player.

Of course if you are looking to play a BluRay folder rip you will need a 3rd party player as the internal WMC player cannot handle. This is actually the appeal of XBMC once the new audio engine kicks in, as you will be able to play everything (including BluRay folder rips, just main movie) from the internal player with HD Audio and no need for codecs/tweaking

battles March 16, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Thanks again. My new surround sound processor arrives on Monday so I won’t be in a position to test Shark’s codec pack. If it works, I’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, we’ll continue to look forward to XMBC’s upcoming release of its hd audio solution.

BTW, are there any really good value-add WMC plug-ins / customizations you’ve added to your HTPC setups (vs. the kind of stuff one might add and use a couple of times but has little longevity)?

All the best,

Battles

Damian March 17, 2011 at 4:19 am

Honestly there aren’t any real killer plugins for WMC (aside from Media Browser or My Movies) that I have come across. There is tubecore that works in conjunction with PlayOn.

You can see a list of some addins here:
http://madeformediacenter.com/m4mc/

Also take a look at Remote Potato:
http://ww2.fatattitude.com/software/software-about-remotepotato.aspx

battles March 18, 2011 at 10:07 am

Thanks Daminan. I’m in the process of setting up my new htpc and I plan to give Shark’s x64 codec package a try. Since I won’t have my new surround sound processor until Monday, and therefore, will not have a receiver until Monday to confirm that the HD Audio pass through / bistreaming is working correctly, I was wondering if there is a software application I can use in the meantime to validate that my codec implemenation is properly bitstreaming the hd audio signal…Software that basically confirms that once I connect my surround sound processor, it will receive properly encoded HD Audio Streams. I know that Media Center Classic and other 3rd party apps will tell me that the file being decoded was encoded with HD Audio, but since I plan to use WMP/WMC and codec Shark’s package (and not a 3rd party app for playback), I’m not sure I can assume that everything is working properly just because it looks right in the 3rd party apps.

Thanks again for your advice!

Damian March 18, 2011 at 11:12 am

When you play a video that is using FFDShow Audio (which is what you will use to bitstream hd audio) go into the toolbar and you should see the FFDSHow Audio icon. Scroll over it and it should show the audio that is being output (so hopefully this should serve as confirmation). For me my confirmation is always my AVR, which you will be able to test out on Monday

battles March 18, 2011 at 11:34 am

Thanks as usual. Hopefully it all works. You’ll be the first to know!

battles March 22, 2011 at 11:20 am

Damian,

Still trying to get my system up and running. I noticed that when I go to “sounds” and select properties for my amd hdmi audio output (i’m using the 6950 card), it only shows that it supports stereo and dolby digital. In fact, it doesn’t even allow me to change my configuration from stereo to a surround format. Based on screen shots I’ve seen on the web, there should be other options including the HD audio formats and a 7.1 configuration. I wonder if Win7 installed an incorrect audio driver? I went to amd’s site and couldn’t find a seperate audio driver to install (I have installed the lastes video / catalyst drivers). I imagine that you’ve come accross this type of issue before….if so, do you know how best to solve it?

Damian March 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Battles,

You should see the settings I show in my writeup here:

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/02/02/guide-setting-up-bitstreaming-with-your-windows-7-htpc-part-i/

It doesnt sound like the AMD drivers installed correctly. Possibly try rebooting. You could also try installing the Realtek HDMI driver if you still have a problem to see if that fixes it.

Battles March 23, 2011 at 6:18 am

Thanks Damian. Now that I have my surround processor hooked up, I have isolated my problem and I’m hoping that there is a solution. To level set first, my surround processor is the Tact Audio TCS MKIII. It’s a very unique processor that tends to be very picky about the form of the signals it is processing. The only signal it accepts over hdmi is PCM uncompressed. It doesn’t detected uncompressed bitstream, just PCM. I have a hunch that I’ll need to install Reclock to properly transform the signal output from ffdshow. Further, I’m not sure if this means that I must use MPC as my viewer (vs WMC). Is my hunch correct? Based on my predicament, can you offer any insight as to how best to put the hd audio signals into PCM that will work withh my processor? Does Reclock work in win 7 64 bit or must I convert back to 32 bit? Will it work with WMC or do I need to use it with MPC?

Thanks again

Damian March 23, 2011 at 6:29 am

I believe reclock can only be used for x32 application. To be honest though I have never used Reclock so I really an not in a position to help you with. Best bet would be to ask around on the slysoft forum

http://forum.slysoft.com/forumdisplay.php?f=85

Bob April 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm

hmmm

paddy246 May 18, 2011 at 3:22 am

mate, is it possible to use tmt’s app/cuda accelerated with mpc-hc? Installed the trial version, and I feel that its simHDis not nearly as good as a simple mpc-hc setting tweak with sharpen. So I just want to bring the only feature TMT had that I like, the APP/CUDA support.

I tried to register ASVid.ax, ArcSimHDFilter.ax and deinterlace.ax.

The simHD filter needed for the decoder to saves its setting, but it will bypass my dxva which makes my cpu use go high, and the playback cannot connect with post processing within AMD’s Catalyst.

Scott Kingery May 18, 2011 at 7:36 am

I haven’t seen anything yet that uses APP for AMD. If you want CUDA (for Nvidia) there is an excellent decoder written by nevcairiel called LAV CUVID and you can read more here: http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=160290. Won’t help you at all with AMD but just in case others are looking.

Mondo July 8, 2011 at 11:56 pm

What is the process to “unregister FilterGraphSpy.dll “?

Thanks Damien.

Damian July 9, 2011 at 4:46 am

The same way you installed you would uninstall (i.e. right click on the dll and there you be an uninstall choice in the popup)

Rob July 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Hi Damian,

I ran into issues with using the asvid.ax file. I copied it and the checkactivate.dll from another machine, so I never installed TMT on this particular machine. Basically it doesn’t work (the DMO decoder loads). If I block the DMO one, I get no video.

Any chance if you can check with just removing the TMT folder and copying the asvid.ax and checkactivate.dll to another folder works? Thanks!

Damian July 27, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Hi Rob,

I will definitely test out. I just built a new PC without much installed, so I will see if I can get ASVid.ax to work without installing TMT

Rob July 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Hi Damian,

I actually got it figured out. You need to also copy more DLLs to get it to work. Renethx on Avsforum posted it and I can confirm it working now:

http://fractal.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=20497344#post20497344

Maybe it’s worth updating your guide with this information.
Thanks!

Damian July 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Interesting, that would definitely explain why it worked for me since I already had TMT installed. I will update the guide. Thanks!

Cheers
Damian

Damian July 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Guide updated (right before MPC HC section). Nice catch, thanks!

Alex September 16, 2011 at 7:25 am

Thanks, works great.

However I found better image quality and stability by not adding the “Microsoft DTV-DVD Video Decoder” as an external filter in MPC.

Used TMT5 codecs.

DIHEGO September 30, 2011 at 7:54 am

I have a very awkward issue.
I have my collection with 2 audios– Spanish for my old folks and English-
English is by default- When I use TMT5 — it reproduces my movie perfect “TMT5 is by far one of the best video players” but the audio is in Spanish and i can’t seem to switch it to English. It seems like TMT5 does not recognize the alternative audio- and what’s worst the one that was set by default which is English.
Any suggestions?

Damian October 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Interesting, so it won’t let you switch language audio tracks? I assume these are disc rips (i.e. Blu-ray and/or DVD)?

Nick March 3, 2012 at 2:06 am

Hi Damian – great guide. Has already been very helpful. I’m in the process of building a new HTPC – which so far is going well. I intend to get a copy of TMT5 for bluray playback – I like the idea of also being able to use the arcsoft filters outside of TMT (mediaportal in my case).

The question I have is: how do I configure the arcsoft filters (eg activate / deactivate simhd). It seems a little naive to expect the configuration in TMT5 would apply for external use of the filters… Or is it actually that simple?

Thanks, nick

Damian March 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Hi Nick,

I would think you should just be able to register any of the arcsoft filters in the same manner as discussed here, and then should be accessible in a 3rd party application like Media Portal or MPC HC

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