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Old 2007-11-17, 16:48   Link #1
Daiz
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The Guide for best H.264 playback (with both SD and HD content)

Since some people have problems with playing all those nice 720p encodes out there properly, I decided to write this guide for obtaining the best H.264 playback on Windows.

Do this if you have previous codecs/codec packs installed:

1. Download the CCCP Insurgent and use it to identify and uninstall all previous codecs/codec packs from your computer

2. Reboot.

Then, for the actual guide:

1. Get CCCP. Alternatively, if you already have CCCP installed, go to step 4.

2. Get CoreAVC.

3. Install CCCP.

4. Open the CCCP configuration and uncheck H.264.


5. Install CoreAVC, do not install Haali Media Splitter with it.

6. Open Media Player Classic and go to the Options (shortcut: O)

7. Go to Playback -> Output and make sure that Overlay Mixer is selected.

Note: If you have a good graphics card, using Haali's Video Renderer could be a better option. Try it out if you feel like it.

After that, you're done. Also remember to not have any system resource hogging programs open before you start playing your videos. For example, close Mozilla Firefox before opening High-Quality videos (this might or might not improve performance, but generally it's a good idea to close other programs when doing something processor-intensive, like decoding H.264)

Now just open your H.264 videos in Media Player Classic, and enjoy the quality.

Note: If you are still having lag while playing H.264 media, you could try turning on off deblocking and deinterlacing from the CoreAVC configuration menu (found in the Start Menu) as a last resort. Another thing to try is to turn on "Process Priority above normal" in MPC.

Remember that this solution also solves all other playback problems, since CCCP install pretty much everything needed to play modern media files. Just use Media Player Classic (or ZoomPlayer) as your default video player.

This solution also allows most older computers to play SD H.264 encodes properly. Just today I tested this on a 1.5Ghz Pentium 4 with 256 RAM, and I could play SD H.264 content perfectly. They should work on even lower specs too, but I can only talk about other people's experiences in this case.

EDIT: Removed unnecessary step about Haali's Media Splitter.
EDIT2: Moved "Process Priority above normal"-step to "additional things to try if your files still won't play".

Last edited by Daiz; 2008-04-13 at 08:14.
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Old 2007-11-17, 17:21   Link #2
martino
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Step 3:
Why the hell would you want to install without Haali's splitter and then install it later on?

Step 8:
For people with a good graphics card it might be of benefit to use Haali's Renderer.

And you might not get the "best" playback out of this when it comes to softsubbed releases (and you can't say the same with regards to quality when you turn off deblocking/using CoreAVC so I think using "faster" would be a better word), since VSFilter is slow. Hint: mplayer (+ CoreAVC patch).

Otherwise this is a nice guide, for the ones that feel scared of installing something... *shrugs*


mplayer guide

Get mplayer (Windows version) from here ("CCCP" build by Nicholi). Unpack the contents of the 7zip file into a directory. Go into the directory where you unpacked the files, and navigate into the mplayer directory and open config in a text editor like WordPad and amend the following section so that it looks like:
Code:
#[libass]
ass=true
embeddedfonts=true
correct-pts=true  # fixes 1-2 frame delay in ssa/ass subtitles - make sure to comment out when using the CoreAVC decoder
Make sure that [libass] is commented out with # and save the amended config file.
Now, download a simple mplayer GUI from here (get the the version without mplayer) and put the contents of the zip file into the same directory where you unpacked the files from the previous step. Now open MPUI, go under Tools -> Options and make sure that Postprocessing is set to Off and click Apply and Save. Now drag the video file into MPUI's window, wait a while for mplayer to cache the video file/fonts, and voila! All should work fine, and should be much faster than using MPC/ZP with CCCP. Also, if you already have CoreAVC on your PC, copy the CoreAVCDecoder.ax file into mplayer's codecs directory and go into MPUI's Options window and add
Code:
-vc coreavc
into the Additional MPlayer parameters field. Apply, Save and you should have faster playback (704x400 23.976fps h264 encode with softsubs played fairly smoothly on my 500MHz P3).

Note: This was for Windows. Mac OS and *nix people will have to help themselves with mplayer...
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Last edited by martino; 2007-12-05 at 19:23.
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Old 2007-11-17, 17:36   Link #3
Daiz
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Well, I had thought that the Haali Media Splitter that comes with CoreAVC was a newer version than the one with CCCP. Turns out it wasn't. Fixing the guide now. I'll add a note about Haali's Renderer too.

Also, I used "best" simply because it attracts attention better than simply saying "faster". Since doing this will most likely result in an improvent anyway, I'm sure people won't mind too much even if "best" would be a bit exaggerating.
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Old 2007-11-17, 17:41   Link #4
martino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daiz View Post
Well, I had thought that the Haali Media Splitter that comes with CoreAVC was a newer version than the one with CCCP. Turns out it wasn't. Fixing the guide now. I'll add a note about Haali's Renderer too.
Well, that might be true, furthermore it's not like CCCP gets a new version every month. If you really need to be up to date then there are the beta versions; http://www.cccp-project.net/beta/ or you can install everything yourself, which I wouldn't personally recommend if you needed this guide or have little clue about what the settings during installation and etc mean...
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Old 2007-11-17, 18:06   Link #5
Daiz
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Well, at least the CoreAVC installer I have had an older build of Haali's Media Splitter than the latest official CCCP build. But nevermind.
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Old 2007-11-27, 04:32   Link #6
Nagato
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Haali's Video Renderer Problem

I've problem with strange 1 pixel bar at left or top of the video when playback using haali video renderer.

This is the screenshot:
Spoiler for screenshot:


This is my video card and monitor:
Spoiler for GPU&monitor:


Please someone enlighten me, how to fix this problem. This is just annoying; like eating cup ramen while fly's flying above the cup and I haven't mastered "catch fly with chopsticks technique".
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Old 2007-11-27, 07:06   Link #7
martino
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Try changing to Overlay Mixer in MPC's Output setting. Otherwise you could try installing a different driver version.

Personally I'm not too familiar with nVidia cards, but I remember that the 8800 is quite a problematic individual (but this shouldn't apply from your description); http://www.cccp-project.net/wiki/ind...#NVIDIA_Issues
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Old 2007-11-27, 08:10   Link #8
Nagato
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Umm, yes it's selected by default in CCCP setting, I guess. I don't have problem with that setting. I think my display color setting is just fine for me, but for video play back it looks quite grayish, unless I use haali's. I read somewhere that human's eyes are less sensitive to chroma, but still it's quite noticeable. I guess that part is also the big part that is compressed in encoding, so it'd look grayish?

Could you tell me how to change chroma setting for video playback only? (not for general display setting. and yes, not via avisynth)
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Old 2007-12-05, 16:27   Link #9
Daiz
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Weird. I just tested the mplayer guide that martino provided, but for some reason, H.264 video lagged while using CoreAVC. It played completely normally without it, though.

Any idea what could cause this?
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Old 2007-12-05, 16:37   Link #10
martino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daiz View Post
Weird. I just tested the mplayer guide that martino provided, but for some reason, H.264 video lagged while using CoreAVC. It played completely normally without it, though.

Any idea what could cause this?
Have you commented out correct-pts=true and/or disabled postprocessing?

I don't have CoreAVC atm and don't really feel like ... in order to figure out whether it could actually be that causing it.


@Nagato
Sorry that I haven't replied, but I don't know how to help you there. If someone who knows a solution comes across this thread then they should help you, otherwise the CCCP forum is a good place where to poke for help.
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Old 2008-02-02, 20:06   Link #11
JediNight
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Bump~ Good info.

For anyone wondering: CoreAVC uses 40-50% less CPU resources than CCCP (any libavcodec filter I guess)

So literally unless you're using a PC that's more than 5 years old, you should be able to play back most H264 content. I have a 2.5yr old AMD X2 3800+ CPU and it can play 1920x1080 H264 files at 50% CPU load average.
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Old 2008-03-24, 07:59   Link #12
fleng
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Hi guys. Happened to have that lag problem for unknown reason, so I did what your guide said. Worked like a charm, no more lag.

However I want to try again with ffdshow as the decoder and not CoreAVC. I have it installed but just left uncheck as what your guide had shown.

So do I go to the CCCP settings and just check the h264 and it will use ffdshow decoder instead of CoreAVC?

Thanks!
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Old 2008-03-24, 09:08   Link #13
emptyeighty
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Quote:
So do I go to the CCCP settings and just check the h264 and it will use ffdshow decoder instead of CoreAVC?
Exactly.

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Old 2008-03-24, 09:09   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emptyeighty View Post
Exactly.

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Old 2008-03-27, 01:45   Link #15
fyleow
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Does Core AVC actually have better picture quality or is it mostly for people who might suffer from skipped frames?
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Old 2008-03-27, 02:48   Link #16
emptyeighty
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Any decoder that abides by the spec is bit exact, so no quality difference. Unless it has bugs of course. CoreAVC still fails on some files, but not many nowadays.
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Old 2008-03-27, 21:06   Link #17
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I used this guide to try and solve a lag issue, and now I can't open MKV files at all. I was under the impression that Haali is what was allowing them to be opened. Have I done something else incorrectly? Or do I need to install Haali to play them?

EDIT - Oh, I see! I DO install Haali with CCCP, NOT with CoreAVC! Got it!
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Old 2008-03-29, 14:24   Link #18
Synria_
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I read that CoreAVC is a better decoder for older comps with less hardware capabilities. But if you do have a machine with pretty high capabilities, then is it still better to not use the thread starter's method and stick with CCCP altogether?
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Old 2008-03-29, 15:23   Link #19
Daiz
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CoreAVC supposedly still has some very minor quality problems, but if you can watch HD H.264 encodes properly without CoreAVC, I suggest that you stick with just CCCP. This way you are able to use ffdshow video filters, for example.
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The Guide for best H.264 playback
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Old 2008-03-29, 16:16   Link #20
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Well then you should add that to your opening post. I was confused that this was the best way to play H264. After some reading, I found out that CoreAVC's intention is to help low end machines play H264. If you have a decent machine already, then just stay with CCCP. I think it will help if you mentioned it.
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