2Windows Media Center eHome LogoFull 7MC codec setup

I’ve pre­vi­ously pos­ted sev­er­al times about codec issues on 7mc, but I’ve now got a solu­tion that is com­pre­hens­ive, fairly simple and works con­sist­ently.  With a few free codecs and util­it­ies you can have full decod­ing sup­port, DXVA, sub­titles and fant­ast­ic flex­ib­il­ity work­ing in 64bit (or 32bit) Media Cen­ter.  The fol­low­ing instruc­tions are spe­cif­ic to the x64 edi­tion, but should work just as well on the 32bit edition.

1. Down­load and install ffdshow

2. Con­fig­ure ffd­show settings

  • Tweak any ffd­show set­tings you want — remem­ber to do it for both x32 and x64 ver­sions — e.g. I use the “mix­er” to out­put ste­reo music to my sub­woof­er as well as the main speak­ers.  I also enable lots of addi­tion­al codecs in the video configuration
  • Open DXVA Video decoder configuration
  • Click on hard­ware accel­er­a­tion in the menu on the left
  • Tick H264 and VC1
  • Set “post pro­cessing” to “Sur­face overlay”
  • Click on sub­titles in the menu on the left
  • Tick the box at the top
  • Repeat for the x64 DXVA Video decoder configuration

3. Now dis­able the in-built Microsoft Medi­aFound­a­tion codecs (note: this does­n’t break live TV) and replace them with ffdshow

  • down­load the win7dsfiltertweaker
  • Run the fil­ter tweaker
  • on the first page, select ffd­show (DXVA) where pos­sible, and plain ffd­show for all oth­ers where pos­sible, for both 32bit and 64bit.
  • Click apply and ok any warnings
  • on the next page tick all the boxes to dis­able MF and click apply
  • on the 3rd page tick the bot­tom 2 boxes (dis­able MF and dis­able MF 64bit) and click apply.
  • OK the exit
  • Open reged­it and browse to  [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionMedia CenterDecoder]
  • Delete any entries that are present

4. Now install the required splitters

  • Down­load Haali Media splitter
  • Down­load the MPC-HC stan­dalone codecs in both x64 and x32
  • Install Haali and enable MPEG-TS
  • Extract the MPC-HC codecs
  • On x64 sys­tems copy the x64 split­ter files to system32 and the x32 files to the syswow64 folder.  on x32 sys­tems just copy the x32 files to system32.
  • The split­ter files to copy are as fol­lows: AviSplitter.ax, FLVS­plit­ter, MatroskaS­plit­ter, MP4Splitter, MpegSplitter.
  • There are oth­er split­ter files which you can also copy and register (see below) but I haven’t needed them
  • Register the split­ter files as fol­lows: open an elev­ated com­mand prompt, for each file you copied run the com­mand “regsvr32 file­name”.  If you are on x64 win­dows change dir­ect­ory from system32 to syswow64 and repeat the registering

5. Use registry tweaks to use the MPC-HC split­ter for most files and Haali for .mkv and .m2t files

  • Open reged­it and browse to [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTMedia TypeExtensions]
  • Check that their are keys for .m2ts, .ts, .mp4, .mkv, .m2t and cre­ate any new keys that are required
  • Inside each key check that their is a string with the name “Source Filter”
  • Set the value of source fil­ter for .m2ts, .ts and .mp4 to {1365BE7A-C86A-473C-9A41-C0A6E82C9FA3}
  • Set the value of source fil­ter for .mkv and .m2t to {55DA30FC-F16B-49FC-BAA5-AE59FC65F82D}

6. Enable ogg and flac audio

  • Down­load the xiph ogg­co­decs for both x32 and x64
  • Install both
  • Down­load WMPTag­Plus — oth­er tag extenders don’t seem to work so well
  • Dis­able the x64 Media Play­er by renam­ing the folder “Win­dows Media Play­er” inside the Pro­gram Files folder (on x64 win­dows only!) and then cre­ate a new “Win­dows Media Play­er” folder.  copy the con­tents of the “Win­dows Media Play­er” folder from the “Pro­gram Files (x86)” to your new folder.  This forces Media Cen­ter to use the Media Play­er 32bit engine for music — which sup­ports the tag extender.  Once a 64bit tag extender is avail­able this will no longer be necessary

7. Reboot and you’re good to go.
Any .m2ts files that don’t play back prop­erly rename the exten­sion to .m2t (which as far as win­dows is con­cerned is the same).  This will change the split­ter used and should resolve any play­back problems.

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



yet anoth­er set­ting that did­n’t work for me, sigh.… avi plays fine, but still no sub­titles (wmp). mp4 has no sound, no video (wmp) — obvi­ously, can­’t tell wheth­er sub­titles are work­ing or not. mkv starts play­ing video and audio fine (in mpc-hc only, wmp won’t play it at all), shows double sub­titles, then with­in seconds video slows down and finally freezes. :/

gravatarJon Scaife

This is now nearly 2 years old! Things have moved on since. Get the latest ver­sions of ffd­show try­outs, lav split­ter and the Wn7DSFilterTweaker (all linked on the down­loads page). Install ffd­show and lav, and then use the fil­ter tweak­er to dis­able Microsoft’s media-found­a­tion stuff and set ffd­show as the defaults.
You’ll need to turn on sub­titles in ffd­show set­tings but that should work spot on with everything. I have TS, M2TS, MKV, MP4, AVI, MPEG, WMV, WTV files encoded in al sorts of formats and everything just works.
Why do you par­tic­u­larly want to use Win­dows Media Play­er? — there are plenty of oth­er media play­er apps. Or do you mean Media Center?