0codecsComplete codec setup guide for Windows 78

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


Please send us your thoughts by commenting below! If you would like to subscribe please use the subscribe link on the menu at the top right. You can also share this with your friends by using the social links below. Cheers.

Leave a Reply