0codecsComplete codec setup guide for Windows 7/8

Windows 8 is finished and will soon be available for retail sale. With that in mind it seemed a good time to write an updated guide to getting codecs set up for a fully operational HTPC for both Windows 7 and 8. For this guide I’m using a new feature of HTML5 which creates expandable instructions. At the time of writing this is only supported by chrome and safari 6 but hopefully other browsers will add support in the near future.


Install Windows
  • Select appropriate regional settings
  • Log in or create a local account
Customise Windows
  • Customise Win 8 UI (see article)
  • Install CPU-Z to check hardware
  • Download MB and GPU drivers and install
  • Add Media Center (win 8 only)
  • turn down UAC by 1 notch
  • set clock auto-update site
  • enable full windows update
Install apps
  • Get a new browser
  • install windows updates
  • install Security Essentials (win 7 only)
  • install .net framework 3.5 (win 8 – via features)
  • install .net framework 4 (win 7 only)
  • install Visual C++ runtimes (6)
  • install DX 9.0c (don’t install bing bar)
Setup Media Center
  • go thru first-run
Basic codec setup
  • install ffdshow
    • install dxva
    • config – enable subtitles
    • config – tick hardware acceleration
    • config – set post-processing to surface overlay
    • config – connect to: to directsound
    • config – uncheck “apply only to spdif”
  • install LAV
  • config ffdshow dxva
  • run win7dsfiltertweaker
    • set to ffdshow DXVA, ffdshow, LAV in that order of preference.
    • disable all except DTV-DVD 64bits
    • disable MF for all formats
  • disable MC preferred
    • run regedit, delete both keys from [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Decoder]
  • configure video renderer
    • use graphstudio x64
    • set merit of EVR to preferred+2
  • change directshow preferred codecs
    • run regedit, take ownership of [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DirectShow\Preferred] and use the .reg file to overwrite
MediaBrowser setup
  • install MB
  • install Virtual CloneDrive
  • install MCL2
  • install MPC-HC
    • bypass smartscreen
    • no desktop icon
    • disable all internal filters
    • add ffdshow dxva, video and audio to preferred
    • add lav splitter to preferred
    • add EVR to preferred
Audio Codec Setup
  • install Xiph
Extra media apps and tweaks
  • install TunerFreeMCE
  • customise MC Menus
Final options
  • install CCleaner & CCEnhancer
  • use speedfan


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