This guide shows you how to properly configure DivX Plus so that it works with Media Player Classic Home Cinema. I created this guide as an alernative to the commercial H.264 decoder CoreAVC. DivX provides a really fast software H.264 decoder that is almost as fast as CoreAVC. The great news is, it's free. I try to choose the optimal settings so that playback speed is best. Be sure to pay close attention to step 8 and Tips for Improving Playback Performance which covers how to resolve some playback issues.
If you need help configuring Media Player Classic and CoreAVC, see this guide.
This guide was made using Media Player Classic Home Cinema v1.3.1249.0 and DivX Plus with DivX Pro Codec v6.9.2.
1. Required Files
- Install Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC)
- Run the DivX Plus Installation Setup (Includes DivX H.264 Decoder)
- During the Installation of DivX Plus, you will be presented with several components that can be installed. The only component required is the DivX Plus Codec Pack which includes the DivX H.264 Decoder. The other components are not required, but you may install them if you want.
- Also, during the installation of DivX Plus, I was asked to install Norton Security Scan. This is additional software that is not necessary and does not pertain to DivX at all. I recommend unchecking Include Norton Security Scan.
- Run Media Player Classic
- Go to View, Options
- On the left, click Output.
For Windows XP or older, choose Overlay Mixer *
For Vista or Windows 7 users, choose EVR Custom Pres. **
*tip: For Vista or Windows 7 users, if your video plays slowly or stutters, try Overlay Mixer*. This will disable the Aero transparency effect, but the video will play a lot better.
- On the left, click Internal Filters
- On the right, beneath Transform Filters, uncheck H264/AVC (DXVA), H264/AVC (FFmpeg). Be sure to uncheck any and all check boxes with H264.
- On the left, click (1) External Filters and then click (2) Add Filter
- Scroll to the right, select DivX H.264 Decoder and press OK.
- Select DivX H.264 Decoder from the list and choose Prefer.
- Press OK and Restart Media Player Classic Home Cinema (Important!)
3. Tips for Improving Playback Performance
- Open your Start Menu and go to DivX Plus, Codec Settings.
- On the left, select (1) Playback Settings. On the right, click the (2) Advanced tab.
- Beneath "H.264", uncheck Deblocking.
*Note: Deblocking is what smooths and makes artifacts less noticeable. By disabling deblocking, you are improving playback speed by sacrificing quality. Deblocking is most noticeable during darker or less detailed scenes when more compression is applied.
- You will notice an option called Use DXVA Hardware Accelerated Playback when available.
The Long Explanation:
This can be beneficial or detrimental depending on how you use it. DXVA Hardware Acceleration is meant to take the load off of your CPU. This means that CPU utilization will be very low while playing an H.264 video. This can be beneficial if you are trying to multitask--watching a video on one monitor while doing work on another. This means that playback performance is dependant on your graphics capabilities. Almost all videocards have inferior H.264 playback performance when compared to an H.264 software decoder like CoreAVC or DivX Plus (with DXVA Hardware Acceleration disabled).
On the flipside, leaving DXVA Hardware Acceleration disabled means more CPU is required to playback certain videos. Most High Definition videos can cause as much as 90-100% of your CPU will be utilized. This can make multitasking extremely difficult, however the playback performance will be noticeably better.
The Short Explanation:
If your video is extremely high resolution (upwards of 1920x1080) with a framerate greater than 24fps, it will be extremely beneficial to leave DXVA Hardware Acceleration Disabled.
In most other cases, 720p and normal framerate videos (24-30fps), DXVA Hardware Acceleration (Enabled) will allow you to watch videos while multitasking.
These are merely my own personal conclusions I have reached with some experimentation. Your results may differ. I recommend leaving Hardware Acceleration disabled unless you intend to multitask while watching high definition videos.
4. How to Disable the Useless DivX Watermark in the Corner of Your Videos
DivX has this horrible habit of putting its logo in your face as often as it can. The DivX logo appears in the corner of your videos when you first launch a video. This is both annoying and destructive. If you use a DirectShow encoder such as MeGUI to re-encode your videos, the DivX logo will be hardcoded into the final video, effectively destroying your video. I recommend disabling this annoying watermark.
- Open your Start Menu and go to DivX Plus, Codec Settings
- On the left, select Playback Settings. Uncheck Show DivX watermark on video and press Close
5. Check to see if DivX is actually working
Sometimes the DivX H.264 Decoder will not be used when you go to play an MP4 or MKV file. To see if DivX is actually working, follow these steps.
- Open Media Player Classic
- Play an MP4 or MKV file or a video with an Mpeg-4 AVC (H.264) video stream.
- Pause the video and go up to the Play menu > filters. You should see "DivX H.264 Decoder"
- If you see "DivX H.264 Decoder", then this means beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is working.
- If you see "MPC Video Decoder", then this means you neglected to perform Installation: Step 10. If for some reason you performed this step and you still see "MPC Video Decoder", then it's possible the video you are trying to play does not contain an Mpeg-4 AVC/H.264 video stream. You can verify this by going to File > Properties > MediaInfo.
- If you see "ffdshow Video Decoder", then that means you have FFDshow installed and it is prioritizing itself over all other external H.264 decoders. To solve this, you must go to your Start Menu and find "FFDshow Video Decoder Configuration". From there, access the "Codecs" section and set "H.264/AVC" to "disabled". The FFDShow Video Decoder Configuration could be hiding in a codec pack such as the K-Lite Codec Pack or the Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP). Look for it.
- If you see "Mainconcept", then it's possible you have Adobe Premier or Adobe Aftereffects installed on your computer and it is overriding DivX. You should not encounter this situation if you followed all of the steps in this tutorial.
Last Updated (Saturday, 18 September 2010 12:33)