Playback Guide

NOTE: This is a backup of the old playback guide before it was replaced by a newer and more organized one. We’ll update this slowly to reflect latest changes, but the steps mentioned here SHOULD work for now.

 

Here’s a small playback guide for setting up your media player to play almost all types of anime encodes, regardless of 8-bit or 10-bit.

Firstly, if you are not technically inclined or are lazy to follow some steps and/or just want a few-clicks installation, you should  install the latest (2011-11-11) version of CCCP and playback your files using MPC-HC. And use xy-VSFilter as well. For steps on how to do this, skip to the later section of this guide. Otherwise, read on.

The problem with CCCP seems to be that it dithers everything (including 10-bit) down to 8-bit, resulting in a lower quality.

Nevertheless, we’ll be setting it up using madVR, LAV Filters, MPC-HC and xy-VSFilter.

System requirements: Your system needs to be slightly powerful to playback stuff using madVR. For me, an i3-370M processor on my laptop running at 2.4 GHz with Intel HD Graphics (onboard graphics, with no separate graphics card), even 1080p 10-bit run smoothly.

What we’ll be needing (for Windows):

  • The latest MPC-HC build, which you can get from here (be sure to grab the 32-bit one, else madVR won’t work).
  • The latest LAV Filters, which you can get from here (grab the executable file).
  • xy-VSFilter, which you can get from here (This is perhaps the most important of the lot).
  • madVR, from here.

Before you start, please uninstall all codec packs like CCCP, K-Lite etc, as well as previous versions of MPC-HC and restart before proceeding.

1. Installing madVR, LAV Filters and xy-VSFilter:

madVR:

  • Extract the contents of madVR.zip to a folder of your choice, but keep in mind madVR will run from the folder you specify, so you can’t delete that folder without breaking madVR.
  • Double click on install.bat in the madVR main folder and wait for the installation to complete.

LAV Filters:

  • Double click on the setup file to open the setup wizard
  • Check the following from the list that appears on clicking Next: LAV Splitter (x86), LAV Audio (x86) and LAV Video (x86).
  • Complete the installation.

xy-VSFilter:

  • Extract VSFilter.dll to a directory of your choice.
  • Under windows 7, open an elevated command prompt (aka with Admin privileges). To do this, Start –> Type cmd in the search box –> Right click on cmd.exe that appears –> Run as administrator –> Yes.
  • Navigate to the directory where the VSFilter.dll you just extracted is in (For example: For D:\xy-VSFilter, Type D:, press Enter, then cd D:\xy-VSFilter, press Enter.)
  • Typeregsvr32 VSFilter.dll and press Enter.
  • If all goes well, you’ll get a prompt saying “regsvr32 in VSFilter.dll succeeded”.
  • Restart.

The recent version of xy-VSFilter comes with a convenient installer, so the above steps should not be needed anymore if you use it.

Setting up LAV Splitter to play Japanese audio by default for dual-audio releases:

  • Go to Start –> All Programs –> LAV Filters –> LAV Splitter Configuration.
  • Put jpn in Preferred Audio field.
  • Put jpn,eng inPreferred Subtitles field.
  • You can put in other values like eng or ger in the fields. This is basically to make LAV play the audio and/or subtitle stream that you prefer (if you like dubs, for example, set eng in the audio field).

Now we’re ready to set up MPC-HC. By default, rest of the LAV Filters’ default settings work fine for me, and I don’t want to tinker settings I don’t know very well.

2. Installing and setting up MPC-HC:

  • Install MPC-HC from the latest 32 bit build.
  • After it is installed, open MPC-HC and go to View –> Options (or press ‘O’ on the keyboard, O as in Options).
  • SelectPlayback on the left.
  • Under “Open Settings” Pane, uncheck “Auto Load Subtitles.” (This is to ensure MPC-HC’s internal renderer doesn’t get in the way.)
  • Select Internal Filters on the left.
  • Uncheck all the boxes to the right.I am aware this might not be the best setting, but we need to ensure MPC-HC uses the external filters and decoders we specify. If playback of some format breaks due to this, you can try enabling the corresponding stuff in this window.
  • Go to External Filters.
  • Use Add Filter four times to add Lav Splitter, Lav Audio Decoder, Lav Video Decoder, Directvobsub (Auto-loading version) IN THIS ORDER. (Seems like this step is not needed anymore.)
  • Go to Output.
  • If your machine is powerful enough to work using madVR (it won’t work well on Pentium 4 PCs or Atom notebooks, if you see what I mean), then select madVR in this window. Otherwise, select EVR Custom Pres. for Windows Vista/7 and VMR-9(Renderless)for Windows XP.
  • If playback stutters even after using EVR CP or VMR-9, use Haali Renderer and Overlay Mixer, IN THIS ORDER.
  • Now we’re ready to set madVR up. If you selected EVR CP, then you don’t need the next step.

3. Setting up madVR:

  •  Open a video in MPC-HC and pause it.
  • Right click in the MPC-HC Window –> Filter –> madVR Renderer.
  • Click Edit Settings.
  • In the left, under Processing –> Decoding, uncheck all 3 checkboxes (Decode MPEG2, Decode VC1, Decode h264).
  • Under the 3 pages in Scaling Algorithms, select Bilinear for all three. If you’re a bit tech-savvy, run GPU-Z, experiment with the various settings in these 3 pages and test GPU usagewhile fullscreen. If you see GPU usage doesn’t go to 100%, you should be able to use that setting without any problems. But Bilinear works fine for most users.
  • If you experience performance issues, try checking the checkboxes in Trading quality for performance section under Rendering.

And we’re good to go.

Testing the configuration:

  • Open a 10-bit file in MPC-HC and pause it
  • Press Ctrl + J to bring up the OSD. It’ll show some nice stuff on playback video.
  • Check that you see h264, 10-bit, 4:2:0 –> P010, 10-bit, 4:2:0 there.
  • If you see something else like NV12, something went wrong.
  • Also, personally, I don’t recommend using ffdshow’s raw video decoder since I’ve seen it output to NV12 aka dithering, which defeats the point.
  • And congrats, now you can view 8bit and 10bit videos in their full glory~ \o/

 

FOR CCCP USERS: SETTING UP XY-VSFILTER:

  • Even if you use CCCP, the VSFilter that comes with it is not very fast, and you might see lags whenb there’s intense softsubbed typesetting (such as 08:03 in our Ginga e Kickoff!! Episode 11).
  • Extract VSFilter.dll from the downloaded xy-VSFilter zip file.
  • Copy this to C:\Program Files (x86)\Combined Community Codec Pack\ and overwrite the existing VSFilter.dll.
  • Rerun the CCCP Configuration wizard with Re-register Filters checked.

Please note that this guide is not intended to be a one-stop guide for all your playback needs. I’ve tested it with many 10-bit mkvs and the scope of this guide is limited to h264/xvid anime videos.

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