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Theatertek 2.0 - OMG it's fantastic!

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by zAndy1, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    So far I've been using the MCE dvd player with the Nvidia decoders, the picture was ok but not as good as I remember having on a previous HTPC, it was slightly softer than I remember. Installed Theatertek last night and straightaway the difference was very apparent. Added FFDShow into the equation and the result is absolutely fantastic! The picture is far sharper, cleaner and filmic than it was using the MCE dvd player, it's bloody awesome to be honest! And they reckon it's going to improve with version 2.1 which is due anytime now, can't wait to see it if it's going to get better! To anyone using MCE2005 and just using the standard built in dvd player, trust me do yourself a favour and give Theatertek a try!

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  2. KraGorn

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    Wondered if you'd get round to it Andy. :)

    Have to say I don't really understand why MCE+nVidia codec should be worse than TT2+nVidia codecs (without FFDSHOW), all I can assume is that the parameterisation of the codec isn't optimised in MCE (Overlay vs. VMR, deinterlacing maybe?).

    2.1 will only be noticeably better PQ-wise as far as I can see if you're using VMR9 rendering, though I'm not sure what the new codec refresh will add since only a few days agao Andy told someone that the 'new' codec on the nVidia site were simply re-packaging what came out before Christmas.
     
  3. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    No I don't understand why MCE+nvidia codec should be worse than TT2+nvidia but in my case it was and not just a little either! I think that's the whole point of 2.1, VMR9 is supposed to be the way to go, it's what I'm using at the moment anyway. Looking forward to seeing what 2.1 brings anyway, even if it's nothing I'll be happy cos I'm happy with what I've got now!

    Cheers,
    Andy
     
  4. lisag

    lisag
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    I want to give this a try now, in case I am missing out on something!

    Do you run this outisde of MCE2005?
    Has it messed up the MCE2005 set-up as I understanding that installing more than one DVD codec can break the installation?
    Do you just use it for DVD's or for Divx/Xvid too?

    thanks
    lisa
     
  5. KraGorn

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    VMR is preferred for nVidia cards, ATIs are still better at Overlay. 2.1 will use 'renderless' mode which should eliminate tearing that some people see with some cards, 6600s I think are subject to that more than most.
     
  6. sapper

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    Arrrrrrrgghhhhhhhh :eek:

    Just when I think I have a game plan for my HTPC, some one has to throw a spanner into the works...

    Well I shal wait and see what is the result of this..

    Adrian
     
  7. lisag

    lisag
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    Just tried it, didn't like it, went back to PowerDVD6 :)
     
  8. betamac

    betamac
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    Yeh i must admit Theatretek really is just about the best picture you can get on DVD IMO, its fantastic, i also use Nvidia codes with VM9 and theres no problems with tearing or anything on my 6600GT

    I used to use Power DVD 6, Windows media player before i built a HCPC but there really is no comparison in my eyes for picture quality when comparing to theatreTek

    Each to there own though.
     
  9. lisag

    lisag
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    How come I can't see this difference? :thumbsdow

    It was really the quality of Xvid/Divx codecs looked terrible, PowerDVD6 has built-in Divx support and it looks really nice. Maybe Theatertek is good for DVD's but not for Divx / Xvid films?

    What codecs are you using exactly and does everything work inside the MCE2005 app?

    Cheers
    lisa
     
  10. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    It works outside of MCE2005. I have Theatertek with the 2.06 patch installed. I also have Andys FFDshow preview installed (get it here http://ffdshow.leffe.dnsalias.com/andy2222/ , it's the preview_SSE2 one). Configure FFDShow as per the guide here http://htpcnews.com/main.php?id=ffdshowdvd_1 , on the Resize and aspect settings I would make sure 'No aspect ratio correction' is checked though. Also I think you only need YV12, I had a few problems but think setting the raw video and the output to YV12 helped. When thus configured my dvd picture looks awesome! I've also got it set to VMR9 in the theatertek video configuration btw.

    Cheers
    Andy.
     
  11. babaroga

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    errr, Lisa, what exactly is you display device ?

    Thetertek plays Divx and xvid stuff, but don't forget that those ones are of dubious quality and TT only shows that with precision
     
  12. lisag

    lisag
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    Errr, my display device is a Panasonic PW7 plasma panel.

    The functionality of MCE2005 is important to me, integrated tv, movie archives, remote control, so looks like theatertek is not the right move for me at the mo....thanks anyway for your interest :)
     
  13. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    It's only a case of closing media center and opening Theatertek.. and the 2.1 update due this weekend I believe provides full compatability with the MCE remote which is nice!
    Anyway if you don't feel you have a problem with the picture using MCE dvd player then that's fine, perhaps it's just something that becomes more apparent when using a projector and therefore having a much bigger image.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  14. lisag

    lisag
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    Ok, I am still tempted.....!
    What version of ffdshow do I need to use?
    And the instructions on the second link you gave seem to be for zoom player, do they still apply with Theatertek?

    Getting confused now :confused:
     
  15. KraGorn

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    Page 3 shows the setup you need in TT.

    There are two versions of FFDSHOW which are commonly used, I use the 20041012 version from Sourceforge mainly IIRC because it fixed some aspect ratio problems. Many people though use the older 20040709_sse2 'Andy' version which is better at some things, supposedly the Lanczos resizing is less broken in that one but you'll need a processor with SSE2 extensions, ie. a P4 or AMD64 I believe.
     
  16. lisag

    lisag
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    Well this is an interesting education, seems to be going ok and I am noticing slight improvements. Is there a similar guide available for Xvid/Divx settings as the guide I am following is for DVD's?

    Also, everything seems to work ok inside MCE2005 apart from DVD playback which will not use the FFDshow settings - is it just not compatible, or is there a setting I have missed?

    I have managed to crash MCE2005 once so far, will play around with it over the weekend, and see how it goes, thanks for your help so far though
    :)
     
  17. lisag

    lisag
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    I gave up.... :mad:

    It seems that the only combination of codecs that operate properly inside MCE2005 are PowerDVD6 + Xvid + AC3 filter, with anything else installed on the pc it causes lock ups, crashes and just strange behaviour within MCE!

    I did notice a slight improvement of DVD playback using Theatertek and FFDShow post-processing, but I could mimick a lot of it by adjusting the advanced settings on the plasma, such as sharpness, gamma, colour profiles.

    Still I learnt a bit more, so an interesting evening.

    :)

    lisa
     
  18. KraGorn

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    FFDSHOW mainly comes into its' own in two situations, (a) when the display is significantly larger than SD and so scaling quality is vital and (b) when cleaning up material is needed, ie. poo or over-compressed transfers or poor film stock, ie. grainy.

    On the subject of Xvid/DivX the principles are the same though IMX many files in those formats are going to look pretty poor when up-scaled due to lousy encoding.
     
  19. PannyAdams

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    Lisa G Help!

    I think I'm in the same situation as you but a few weeks behind. I want to stay inside MCE as the interface is family friendly.

    The whole Codec thing is very confusing! I have bought PowerDVD 6 which produces fabulous images playing DVDs outside of MCE. But as of yet the only video I've managed to play in MCE is a DVD in Media Player. None of my ripped files VOBs, DivX or AVI will play!

    In your set up have you got PowerDVD to play inside MCE or does WM10 just use its codecs? Also what are the Xvid + AC3 filter codecs you have?

    Help I'm sooooooooo confused!
     
  20. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    If you want to stay in MCE I recommend you install the My Movies plugin, get it here http://www.binnerup.dk/mce/mymovies.htm , you need to install deamon tools as well. You can then add your movies using the edit collection function and if it's on your hard drive tell it it's online. It should then play just be clicking on it (provided the necessary codecs are installed). I don't think it's possible to use Powerdvd or any other seperate dvd player actually inside of MCE, you have to run it outside of media center.

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  21. PannyAdams

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    I have my movies installed, but can't get it to play anything. I get an "unknown error" in media player that I don't get playing them in plain XP.

    Is there anyway to check that I've installed the Codecs? I have simply installed PowerDVD so far......MCE says these codecs are supported.
     
  22. PannyAdams

    PannyAdams
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    Also, I don't have Daemon Tools installs but the FAQ say I only need it if I rip to isos.....whatever they are?
     
  23. KraGorn

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    The term 'ISO' is shorthand for 'ISO image', this is a single file often (though by no means always) having a name with the extension .ISO. The popular DVD ripper DVD Decrypter can rip a DVD to an ISO as well as the more usual IFO/VOB files.

    In general it is a physical copy of an entire file system. It is possible for a DVD player to one of these files 'as is', TheaterTek does, however it is more usual to 'mount' it in a 'virtual DVD drive' as other players don't know how to decompose an ISO file.

    In the case of a DVD the file system is the collection of IFO and VOB files and everything else you'll see if you rip a DVD in IFO mode as opposed to ISO mode.

    DaemonTools is one utility that creates these virtual drives. It sets up a virtual DVD drive and mounts the ISO image on it. To a program like a DVD player it looks just like a real DVD drive and it [the player] plays the content as if it were a real DVD in a real drive.
     
  24. PannyAdams

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    Thanks......I have ripped ifo/VOB, Avi and divx and none of these play in mce via my movies. I'm assuming it must be that I've not installed the codecs properly. Can anyone explain how I check or how I do it? Or point me at a website that does?

    Thanks

    Panny
     
  25. lisag

    lisag
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    Hi there,

    Happy ot help out with sharing my set-up, it was such a pain to get it working, but now that it is working I really like it - the GUI and remote within MCE is very user friendly.

    Ok, so I have MCE2005 installed, and PowerDVD6, this should enable DVD playback and Divx playback within MCE, it includes divx codecs. When PowerDVD6 is installed it provide an extra programme within MCE which you can access from the main menu and adjust the settings.

    If you don't have this I am wondering if you have some remnants of other codecs hanging around that are interefering?

    Next I added the latest Xvid codec for playing back my Xvid encoded films, and AC3 filter which enables audio encoded with AC3 (normally 6 channel) to passthru via SPDIF to my digital amp and get cool 6 channel surround sound!

    It's all good :thumbsup:

    does this help?
     
  26. KraGorn

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    'Fraid I can't help with MCE, I don't use it and have no idea if it supports ripped DVDs and if so how you'd get to play them. If you can play a DVD from the drive then your problem isn't related to codecs.
     
  27. dazzer123

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    I have MCE2005 installed and I just rip movies with DVD Decrypter to my movies folder as stated earlier in this thread a Video_Ts folder in another folder with the title of the film and then Mce2005 just plays the movie as it would a DVD disc.
     
  28. PannyAdams

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    Lisa

    Which xvid ac3 codecs do you use? I'm paranoid about installing any as I've read on forums that they can screw the whole thing up?

    Barry

    P.S. The only Cyberlink video options I get is to set the picture (settings like vivid) and to stretch it. I can find options that list the codec installed is this right?
     
  29. lisag

    lisag
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    Hi Barry,

    Well if you get the extra Cyberlink Setting Program showing within MCE then it seems that the codec is installed, if you stick a DVD into the drive and select to play DVD - does it play?

    I use the Xvid 1.0.3 codec from www.xvid.org and the AC£ filter version 0.70b from http://ac3filter.sourceforge.net/

    lisa
     
  30. PannyAdams

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    Problem solved!

    It appears PowerDVD 6.0 will install fine and give me the options, but it doesn't actually work unless it is registered!!!!! It only prompted me to register the first time I used it to play a DVD outside of MCE. It then asked me for my product key then ta da....it all worked. Its a bit odd you can istall the software without entering the product key. Now DVD playback quality inside WM10 is greatly improved.

    Thanks for all you help.
     

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