Shortlink of this post – http://wp.me/PrgSo-b1 (use this link in your forum/BBS/IRC/twitter/facebook etc. messages)
Alternative reading: same configuration with this page using PotPlayer – click here.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
21 September 2014 – Modified slightly the CUVID decoding method below to include the HEVC hybrid decoding method.
Also included: A detailed QuickSync headless mode setup. You do not need this if you use Windows 8 and has installed the latest drivers.
When this guide was first written nearly three years ago, it exclusively focused on making GPU-accelerated video playback. Today’s update means that you can use MPC-HC to use a variety of GPU acceleration options, depending on the computer configuration that you have, and of course, your preferences. Not only that,you can use software decoding too if you wanted it.
Suggested hardware – with consideration of software decoding and usage of madVR.
For software decoding methods, especially for Hi10p videos, a reasonably powerful CPU is needed. Below are some recommended CPUs for the said task.
These CPU + motherboard combinations should be enough for even the most demanding of Hi10p videos out there in TokyoTosho.
With the advent of OpenCL NNEDI3 upscalers and DirectCompute error diffusion dithering methods, plus the emergence of 4k displays, currently as of March 2014 there are no GPUs that can keep up with madVR. Not even Titan Black or R9 290x GPUs allows you to completely use all madVR's new features, especially with videos with high resolutions and/or high frame rates.
This GPU should be able to handle all the madVR scaling algorithms, including Jinc. Can also be used for hardware-accelerated video decoding (native DXVA, DXVA renderless) for H.264 8-bit, VC-1 and MPEG2. Can also bitstream HD audio tracks (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA/HR). You can get away with this card too if you want to use DirectCompute error diffusion options.
As of January 2015, R9 290x GPUs like this one is still the best card for madVR, especially if you use NNEDI3 and error diffusion. Cheaper than GTX980 too. Do not use drivers newer than 13.12 though.
Get the low end card if you want to use all madVR features minus NNEDI3 image doubling, while you should get the GTX980 if you want more flexibility when using NNEDI3. Both cards can stream HD Audio tracks, and use DXVA (native and renderless) and CUDA decoding methods. GTX 960 has full 8-bit and 10-bit HEVC decoding support now in LAV Video.
- DirectX End-user Runtime June 2010 – offline installer (recommended) or stub installer. A mandatory installation for the MPC-HC build above. If you already have this runtime installed (some games install this for you), there is no need to redownload this.
- Microsoft .NET Framework 4 – Download here. You probably won’t need it if you already have Windows Vista or 7. You will need it with Windows XP.
- LAV Filters Megamix - Download here (Compile time: 4 March 2015 9:01am UTC+8. Build: 91742303d72a. Changes: New LAV Filters build).
Contains MPC-HC 32-bit lite (and PotPlayer 32-bit), LAV Filters (32-bit version only), dtsdecoderdll.dll for decoding DTS-HD MA tracks, madVR, Reclock, XySubFilter and xy-vsfilter (disabled by default). doom9 thread for LAV Filters. doom9 thread for madVR, doom9 thread for XySubFilter + xy-vsfilter.
From 12 May 2014, the installer will always reset the MPC-HC settings. Existing users that wants to retain their custom settings should make a back-up of their settings by going to the ‘Miscellaneous’ section and clicking the ‘Export’ button, as shown below.
- DXVA Checker – Download here. Original website. Provides information about your GPU video decoding capabilities.
- GPU-Z – Download from here. Provides general information about your GPU.
- CPU-Z – Download from here. Provides general information about your CPU.
- Driver Sweeper – Download from here. Clean up remnants of device drivers installations for clean reinstall.
- H.264 SD video clip with styled karaoke subtitles [MediaInfo] – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya NCED theme (Hare Hare Yukai) – download here.
- H.264 720p video clip with styled karaoke subtitles [MediaInfo] – Clannad NCED theme (Dango Daikazoku) – download here.
- H.264 1080p video clip with styled karaoke subtitles [MediaInfo] – AIR NCOP theme (Tori no Uta) – download here.
- H.264 1080p video clip with styled karaoke subtitles [MediaInfo] – Clannad After Story NCOP theme (Toki wo Kizamu Uta) – download here.
- H.264 1080p video clip with styled subtitles [MediaInfo] – Planet Earth: From Pole to Pole – download here.
- Optional test file for testing deinterlacing capabilities: H.264 1080i video clip [MediaInfo] – History Channel – Decoding the Past: Mysteries of the Freemasons – download here.
- Optional test file for testing splitter’s segment linking capabilities: 3x H.264 anamorphic 1080p video clips with styled subtitles [MediaInfo] – K-On!! episode 6 – download here.
- Optional test file to test H264 4K playback and scaling performance: 8-bit H.264 video clip with 125Mb bitrate [MediaInfo] 4k UDHTV LG Demo video – download here.
- Optional (animation) test file to test Hi10p decoding performance: H.264 1080p 10-bit video clip (no subtitles) [MediaInfo] Sentai Filmworks’ Angel Beats trailer – download here.
2-pass encode with 10000Kbps bit-rate, 16 reference frames and 8 b-frames. Visually lossless compared to the source Blu-ray, even with 50% size reduction. If you can play this file flawlessly, your system should be good enough to play 99.999% Hi10p videos that anime fansubs groups will encode in the future. Even Tenshi’s encodes.
- Optional (real-life) test file to demonstrate Hi10p encoding efficiency: H.264 1080p 10-bit video clip (PGS subtitles) [MediaInfo] – Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End blooper reel – download here.
2-pass encode with saner settings: 3072Kbps bit-rate, 3 reference frames, 3 b-frames. Differences in visual quality between the encoded file and the source Blu-ray is pretty much negligible. This clip is more than 3 times longer than the Highschool of the Dead clip above, yet the differences in size is merely only 20MB. A massive 80% file reduction has been achieved from the source file, with no 80% quality reduction, or any need to downscale to lower resolutions either.
If you have any problems downloading the files, please make a comment below.
If you already have Haali Media Splitter, madFLAC, madVR and LAV Filters installed, uninstall them first. If you have previous versions of LAV Filter Megamix that has Haali in it from here before, use the uninstaller to uninstall it too. Uninstall your version of MPC-HC too if you have them installed.
Download the .NET Framework above and install it, if you didn’t have it installed already.
Then download the LAV Filters Megamix above and install it. Make sure you do not forgot to select MPC-HC in the screen below.
Click the ‘Next’ button a bunch of times until you arrived at the last step of the installation process as shown in the picture below.
For first-time installation, the first option in the picture above MUST BE SELECTED. Then click the ‘Finish’ button to finish the installation process.
When upgrading, you do not need to select the first option in the picture above if you want to keep your previous settings. But once in a while, you should reset the settings especially if a new version of LAV Filters and/or MPC-HC has been released. Or better, uninstall your current instalation first before using a newer version of the installer.
A note for everyone, if you use Windows 64-bit, you do not have to use MPC-HC 64-bit too. MPC-HC 32-bit works just fine.
MPC-HC can now be started via ‘All Programs —> LAV Filters —> Media Player Classic HomeCinema’. Using Windows 8? It should be available somewhere in the Start Screen.
It will be here where you will have to decide which decoding method from the list below that you want to use:-
- High performance software decoding mode.
- DXVA renderless decoding mode.
- CUDA decoding mode.
- Intel QuickSync decoding mode.
- Native DXVA decoding mode.
Go to ‘Start Menu —> All Programs —> LAV Filters —> LAV Video Configuration’ to bring up LAV Video Decoder property page. For Windows 8 users, the shortcut should be somewhere in the Metro Start page. LAV Video Decoder property page will appear and ready to be configured according to your preferred decoding method.
Method #1 – High performance software decoding mode.
Mainly used for Hi10p videos, and other video codecs if your GPU doesn’t support it. For best results, you need a fast dual-core CPU with minimum speed of 3Ghz. A quad-core CPU should at least have 2.5Ghz of speed at least.
Method #2 – DXVA renderless decoding mode.
Works only in Windows Vista and later. Works best with nVidia GPUs, and also ATI GPU series that has UVD3. ATI UVD2.x users may have to switch to EVR custom presenter. Doesn’t work on Hi10p videos and other unsupported video formats, and will fall into high performance software decoding mode when such files are played.
Method #3 – CUDA decoding mode (nVidia GPUs only).
note: Must use driver version 340.52, if your GPU is supported, if you want HEV hybrid decoding support.
Doesn’t work on Hi10p videos and other unsupported video formats, and will fall into high performance software decoding mode when such files are played.
Method #4 – Intel QuickSync Decoding Mode.
You need an Intel SandyBridge/IvyBridge CPU that use the LGA1155 socket and a motherboard that did not use the P67 chipset. Therefore only motherboards with the B65, H61, Q67, H67, and Z68 chipsets can be used. All Series 7 motherboard chipsets will work. Windows 7 and later is recommended. Windows Vista is discouraged (no heterogenous GPU support), and Windows XP isn’t supported at all.
If you want to use QuickSync ASIC for decoding while using a discrete videocard for madVR, you will need Windows 7 or later. If you only have Windows 7, you need to enable the QuickSync headless mode by following the steps in this link. If you have Windows 8, you do not have to do so.
Always make sure that you are using the latest drivers available from Intel’s website, not the ones that comes from the motherboard manufacturer’ websites, or the CD. Older driver versions may cause the decoder to fail.
Method #5 – native DXVA decoding mode.
Works only in Windows Vista and later. Should only be used by owners of Intel G45 chipset, Clarkdale and Arrandale CPUs, ATI HD3xxx, HD4xxx and HD5xxx GPUs. But all other GPUs/iGPUs that can use QuickSync/CUVID/DXVA renderless decoding methods should also be able to use this mode. Doesn’t work on Hi10p videos and other unsupported video formats, and will fall into high performance software decoding mode when such files are played.
Click ‘Apply’ button to save your settings, then click the ‘OK’ button to close the property page.
Go to ‘Start Menu —> All Programs —> LAV Filters —> LAV Splitter Configuration’ to bring up LAV Splitter property page. For Windows 8 users, the shortcut should be somewhere in the Metro Start page. ‘LAV Splitter’ property page will appear below.
Leave everything here exactly as shown above. You’re welcome to play around with automatic audio/subtitles track selection routine though to suit your needs. Verify that everything is in order, click ‘Apply’ and then click ‘OK’ to close the property page.
Go to ‘Start Menu —> All Programs —> LAV Filters —> LAV Audio Configuration’ to bring up LAV Audio Decoder property page. For Windows 8 users, the shortcut should be somewhere in the Metro Start page. ‘LAV Audio Decoder’ property page will appear below.
Enable any audio codec you want to bitstream here. If bitstreaming DTS-HD MA, do not enable ‘Use DTS-HD Framing for all DTS types’ unless your receiver needs it.
Go to the ‘Mixing’ tab and enable the ‘Enable Mixing’ option. Set the ‘Output Speaker Configuration’ option to match your speaker setup
For example, if you have a stereo speaker system, change the’Output Speaker Configuration’ option drop-down menu to use ‘Stereo’. Verify that everything is in order, click ‘Apply’ and then click ‘OK’ to close the property page.
Click here to read how to configure madVR.
If you have any problems, make a comment below with the screenshots of your DXVA Checker, GPU-Z and CPU-Z results like in the example below.
- With the removal of ffdshow raw video filter, if you want to deband your videos, you have to use JanWillem32 deband pixel shader script (which is included in the LAV Filters package above) or madVR. Those two methods need a reasonably powerful GPU to run effectively though. No iGPU like Intel HD4000 and AMD/nVidia solutions can handle it, and some models of low-end discrete GPU may have problems too.