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1.2.908.0 (Dec 12, 2008)
I now use for all my content including High-Def BluRay/HD-DVD rips primarily in Matroska.
I can now use the High-Def decoders when the settings are correct (overlay mixer for XP; EVR for Vista, enable DXVA via AVC and VC-1 etc).
Tested on an ATI HD3870 desktop and NVidia 8600M GS notebook. In XP the ATI system used 44% of the CPU for "wmplayerc.exe" to run a 1080p BluRay rip with DXVA disabled and only 3% once I enabled the hardware decoders.
My TOTAL CPU usage to playback a 1080p BluRay rip of Hellboy (mine of course) was 5% under XP. Add a few percent under Vista. CPU was an AMD X2-4800+ but it sounds like maybe even an Intel Atom might work in conjunction with ATI or NVidia hardware decoders and MPlayerc Home Cinema with the settings correctly setup to use them.
Use the Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DEL) and monitor "mplayerc.exe" to see if you have the correct settings. I recommend setting up a K-Lite Standard Codec pack and overwrite the regular MPlayer Classic (in the K-Lite installed folder on C:/Program Files..) with this one.
0.9.8a (Dec 8, 2008)
Which one is better depends a lot on hardware and how you use it.
You may be very interested to know that the version of MPC you mention is now capable of using NVidia and ATI hardware decoders if you have them. For example, my "mplayerc" CPU usage went from 44% average to only 2%. Yes, only TWO PERCENT when watching a 1080p BluRay video that I of course ripped from my own BluRay disc. (my total CPU usage was 5%. Use CTRL-ALT-DEL then "processes" to see if "mplayerc.exe" has low CPU usage.)
1. Uninstall any previous codecs or codec packs
2. *Install K-Lite 4.3.4 Standard
3. Download the newest MPC HomeCinema (currently 184.108.40.206) then overwrite the one in the K-Lite folder (C:/Program Files/K-Lite... ")
4. Change at least 3 settings under "View->Options":
a) Output->"EVR" (for Vista; probably "default" or "overlay mixer" for XP)
b) Internal Filters-> check H264/AVC (DXVA)
c) Internal Filters-> check VC1 (DXVA)
5. Start a high-def video (i.e. AVC/AC3/MKV @ 1280x720) with MPC Home Classic (drag and drop or preferably it's just associated so double-click the movie)
6. Open Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DEL) and look under "processes" for "mplayerc.exe"; if everything works you it should be 2% or 3% for an AMD X24800+. Even an Atom CPU should handle this.
This should hopefully work fine. Over 90% of my High-Def rips worked perfectly and the ones that didn't just used the CPU and still played perfectly (just slightly more fan noise).
*regarding K-Lite. Other packs may work fine. If running 64-bit be sure to get a codec pack specifically for it.
1.9 Build 13520 Alpha (Dec 1, 2008)
the latest Beta is completely unstable on my XP system and kept freezing within seconds
switching back to the non-Beta solved the problems.
4.3.1 (Nov 18, 2008)
Works fine. No issues.
Confirm it's working, then install a piece or several pieces at a time until you figure out the offending codec or application. Maybe you should get the Full version and not the Megapack. Most people are fine with just FFDShow and Haali.
That piece of software has issues and you might be able to run it and change it's settings so it doesn't interfere (hard to be specific without knowing which program.)
Also, if you install manually, you might not even need that piece of software.
If you are still stumped, install VLC (and KMPlayer without external codecs). These will play most video and not affect anything else.
2.06 Beta (Nov 6, 2008)
Great program, however I agree that no option to use the 1.x database is stupid. Seriously, compared to writing the program how hard could it really be?
So, I too am sticking with 1.14.
I seem to be following a "tried and true" trend which includes rolling back to XP.
2.06 Beta (Dec 28, 2008 - 1:49 AM)
Roughly 25% of households have HDTVs. So the best case scenario for BD sales is 25%.
However, regular DVD's are still much cheaper (including bargain bin $5 DVDs) and more titles are available. Also add on that many people have held off buying a high-def player due to the format war and price.
Other detractors are that many people got HDTVs for High Def Cable/Satellite and/or using a game console (even many PS3 owners aren't buying BluRay discs).
So of course numbers for BD disc sales are currently low.
By the end of 2009 we will see a massive surge in High Definition as HDTV prices drop, BD disc prices drop, BD titles increase and I bet many people will see BluRay movies at a friends house and say "Wow!" There is evidence that a combo BD/DVD disc is coming but unless the pricing is there it won't be relevent. Let's see a combo disc for $20, $100 BD players and High-Def TV shows like "Smallville" and "Doctor Who" with the same price as normal DVD-Video but with the advantage of High-Def.
I don't want streaming video. I want to own the discs but watch them from an NFS through my HDTV via DLNA. I'm also concerned about compression of the original source when streaming. Having said that, I could see downloading a TV series but NOT having Cable.
I guess I might have to detract somewhat and say I can see myself using both but even as an advanced computer user I feel funny about hundreds or thousands of dollars of content being in a single box... and how do I loan that to my family?
2.06 Beta (Dec 8, 2008 - 8:50 PM)
WARP10 = Larrabee ?
Considering the fact that by the time Windows 7 is released any laptop or desktop should have graphics with DX10+ installed it makes me wonder why the ability to do this via the CPU is so important?
I'm wondering how much influence Intel has on Microsoft in supporting its new Larrabee architecture. After all, they did get Microsoft to alter their specs to support previously unsupported hardware to get the Vista logo (to Microsoft's regret).
There's probably a much simpler answer as to why they are doing this through the CPU.
Anyway, I have a feeling Larrabee is going to sneak up and bite AMD/NVidia in the butt if they aren't careful. Maybe Lucid Logix' "Hydra Engine" will help AMD and NVidia sort out their Crossfire/SLI scaling issues but one thing is absolutely certain and that is 2009 is going to be the year that PC graphics start getting its act together.
I hope that Microsoft can manage to release Windows 7 with less issues than Vista created. New features are cool, Microsoft, but I want reliability and compatibility over added functionality.
2.06 Beta (Aug 18, 2008 - 3:05 PM)
The HDTV role:
First, no matter how good the "Upconverting" DVD player is, it still only has 720x480= 345,600pixels vs 1920x1080= 2,073,600 which is 6X the number of pixels. Yes, it's SIX TIMES the quality when comparing the best, anamorphic widescreen DVD to a new BluRay movie (if the full quality is used). So how would a Toshiba upscaling DVD player make someone's eye look 6X as good? Uh, they can't...
Film is 24 frames per second. You can't shoehorn that into 60fps evenly for each frame so the HDTV must have a feature to play at either 48fps or better yet at 120fps. So no matter how great the 24p option sounds for the DVD player it's the HDTV that's important.
I've compared a lot of DVD players and I've discovered that if the HDTV has great upconverting, Motionflow, 24p, Contrast Ratio, Dynamic Contrast ratio etc they can do an amazing job even on an inexpensive DVD player.
However, the best DVD player in the world won't look very good on a crappy HDTV.
Besides, nobody that's ever sat down in an ideal setting and compared a good BluRay movie to its DVD equivalent would ever come away thinking the older DVD format was even close.
Computer as DVD player:
Computers have the luxury of modifying their functionality through software. Just about any modern desktop or laptop with the right software can get the maximum quality out of a DVD (BluRay has higher specs and more specific hardwar requirements). The drawback is power but even that's improving. Also:
A Home Theater PC can do even more such as accessing files via a Home Server or local drive(no more inserting discs. Play movies, surf the internet. Play music. With a CableCard the HTPC becomes your TV receiver and recorder. Gaming consoles such as the Sony PS3 are increasingly offering more functionality. The PS4 will be interesting to look at when it comes out.
Anyway, HTPC's will continue to drop both in price and power consumption. They aren't ideal for the average person quite yet but in a couple years a cheap PC could perform ALL your needs except for playing the latest high def video games.
2.06 Beta (Jul 27, 2008 - 9:12 PM)
8cm discs in PS3:
When BluRay USB drives drop in price that will work (I assume but can't verify). If not right now it's a matter of a firmware update or Linux for PS3 if you're very brave.
This is a sharp looking camera. I was looking at the Sony equivalent and maybe it's just me but I really can't stand all the wording describing the various components pasted all over the thing.
I would definitely want both a 1.8" SATA and an SDHC interface though.
2.06 Beta (Apr 3, 2008 - 6:31 PM)
64-bit CPU's (all of them now I guess) aren't generally "truly" 64-bit. Where they really shine is in the math registers which are 64-bit so programs like Photoshop could process at 2X that of an equivalent 32-bit version of Photoshop (as long as you are running 64-bit Windows with 64-bit Photoshop).
It would really be nice if Photoshop included a tool to analyse your usage of Memory to see if you could benefit from more. I think the average Photoshop user should consider at least 4GB of RAM but it really varies especially if your processing makes multiple copies of a large RAW file. Do your research for a quality motherboard with an adequate memory controller and good RAM (go with quality over speed).
Considering OEM copies of Windows Vista Premium can be found as low as $100 I think dual-booting is a good way to go either with 32-bit XP/64-bit Vista or 32-bit Vista/64-bit Vista. *Note: the 4GB memory limitation in 32-bit Windows refers to the entire Memory Map of which RAM is the largest, but not only part. A system with a 512MB card should access about 3.2GB in 32-bit Windows. Most memory now is Dual Channel so I recommend the majority of Photoshop users go with 2x2GB or 4x1GB.
Despite the significant advantages of graphics processing (GPGPU), especially parallel computations utilizing Stream Processors don't expect Adobe to really bother with this until it's adopted a lot more. Considering plans are underway to eventually combine the best of both the CPU and GPU (5 years?) maybe they'll skip GPGPU entirely. Also, the need for parallel computation decreases slightly as we see faster, multi-core CPU's with low idle power (soon 8 cores with 2 Watts total idle power). Err, I guess that is parallel computation but you know what I mean..
64-bit should double computation time. Ensure adequate memory for no hard-drive access slowdowns.