I was messing around with my codecs this morning and decided to update my ffdshow installation to clsid’s revision3291 (32-bit). I don’t remember the last revision I had, but I know it did not have the new DXVA decoder available for h.264 and VC-1 sources. What really piqued my interest, was that it included settings for subtitles. DXVA+subtitles+ffdshow? I had a hard time accepting it, but I was interested enough to give it a test run.
This is not really a guide because I’m not going to cover everything necessary to get all of this working. I stopped using Shark007‘s codecs a little while back because I had issues in getting settings to stick for me. I decided to go back to using Win7DSFilterTweaker which allowed me to install and configure only what I wanted, the way I wanted.
The only codecs I have installed (x86) are clsid’s ffdshow revision 3291, Haali Media Splitter 126.96.36.199 and AC3Filter 1.63b. That’s all I need and it’s all I use (I use Microsoft’s default TV/DVD codecs). I used the Win7DSFilterTweaker to allow ffdshow as my preferred codec for just about everything aside from TV/DVD sources. I may do a separate guide on that later, but I’m pretty sure you can find one if you spend a minute or two on Google.
The first thing you want to do, is to make certain h.264/AVC is not enabled in the standard ffdshow decoder…it must be set to disabled.
Next, open the ffdshow DXVA decoder properties and go to the Hardware acceleration section of the menu. Check to enable H264 and, if you want, check to enable VC1. The next part is concerning subtitles, so if you don’t use them, you can actually skip this part and be done. Go down to the Post processing drop down menu and select Surface overlay. Subtitles will not work if you do not enable that setting.
Next, go to Subtitles in the menu and make sure there is a check mark present in the box to enable it. You can pretty much accept defaults here, but I also make certain Accept embedded subtitles is checked for compatibility with some of my files. The rest of the settings you can play with to taste, but that’s all that’s needed to get them working.
You’re done. If Win7DSFilterTweaker has been used correctly to setup your codecs, Media Center is ready for your HD MKV files with hardware accelerated decoding…including subtitles.
Now, the bad news…for me anyway. I was never able to see any signs of hardware acceleration using this. The DXVA decoder was definitely being used and I downloaded properly encoded h.264 and VC-1 files to make sure it was not just my own files, but I never saw a decrease in CPU usage nor elevated use of my ATi HD 2600 Pro GPU. I’m hoping it was just my hardware or driver (using latest Catalyst), but I just could not get it to give me any kind of reassuring results. I tried in Media Center, Media Player and Media Player Classic Home Cinema with identical results.
I would like to know what any of you get if you decide to try this, however. I’m perfectly happy without hardware acceleration as what I use plays my 720p encoded files perfectly fine. This is some good ground-breaking for ffdshow though!