www.assassinhtpcblog.com

©Copyright 2011 by assassin @ assassinHTPCblog. All rights reserved. This guide and its contents are copyrighted by assassin @ assassinHTPCblog.

This may be used for personal use by the purchaser only; users are forbidden to reproduce, republish, redistribute or resell and material from this guide without the permission of assassin @ assassinHTPCblog.

Advanced Settings Tutorial

This guide is for advanced users of the HTPC or for users that have used the previous guides and now feel comfortable enough with how a HTPC works (the way I have them setup) to proceed with a few more pieces of software, hardware and settings.

Beta and Advanced

This area is currently in Beta or for Advanced settings and should be treated as such. Current research and development is underway in these areas and they should be used only as a reference at this point.

Table of Guides (with quicklinks):

Launching MPC-HC from Mediabrowser

This guide will show you how to easily launch Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC) from within Mediabrowser. You may want to do this if you are utilizing some of the features that MPC-HC offers that are not available in WMC or if certain file types play in MPC-HC and not from within WMC. To test this you can open MPC-HC by itself outside of Mediabrowser and play your media. If you are using MPC-HC for just this guide (and not the following 2 guides) then download the version that corresponds with your OS.

Download MPC-HC 64 bit or 32 bit (free) here

Install MPC-HC (the 32 bit version is shown below):

The next thing we need to do is to tell Mediabrowser that we want to use MPC-HC as the default player instead of WMC. Please note this is a major difference from the WMC guides where I showed you how to use WMC to play almost everything by itself.

First let’s locate where we stored the MPC-HC application file. Mine is stored in C:\Program Files (x86)\Combined Community Codec Pack\MPC. Remember this for later.

Next let’s open up Mediabrowser configurator as an administrator and click on the “Advanced” tab at the top and then”external players”. Now let’s click “Add”

Let’s select “MKV” as the type of media file that we want to add. You can add whatever files you want to use here but since most of my HD files are MKV I will add just this file type for now.

Now let’s click on “Select Player” and locate the folder where you installed MPC-HC 32 bit

You mediabrowser configurator screen should now look something like this

Now that we have told Mediabrowser that we want to use MPC-HC 32 bit let’s adjust the settings. First run MPC-HC as an administrator and select “View” and “Options”

Set fullscreen to launch at the start of the movie

You can also setup your subtitles here if you wish. Now you can use MPC-HC instead of WMC for certain (or all) file types.

TIP: Here are a few other resources to help you with lauching MPC-HC from WMC:

How to Configure an External Player for Playback

MPC-HC Tip and Tricks

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Enabling LAV + Madvr + MPC-HC

In this tutorial I will show you another “engine” or actually “group of engines” that you can use. This guide is for those want to get even better video quality and don’t mind adding a discrete video card to get it. To use this guide you MUST have a strong discrete/separate video card such as a ATI or NVidia (NVidia users seethe next guide for CUVID as well) as well as a stong CPU. Additionally this card must have a minimum of 96 stream processors to be able to use these pieces of software. I want to stress that this guide is completely and 100% optional. Like any engine the more parts you have the more problems with potential conflicts or incompatibilities.

Before we get started tweaking these settings let’s make sure that your video card has settings set to “off” as to not interfere with Madvr and it’s settings. Here is my NVidia Control Panel I have turned off “Dynamic Contrast Enhancement” and “Color Enhancement” (I will let Madvr perform these functions). I also have set my Dynamic Range to “Full”. Your card should have similar settings that you can disable. It is a good practice to disable most of the “Enhanced” settings that are available in your video card’s control panel.

[Update: After using and tinkering with Madvr for an extended period of time I have come to the conclusion that it may not offer dramatic differences in picture quality on all setups. However, with that being said there are many very well respected videophile users that have noticed a dramatic improvement. Should you want to try use madvr this thread is a good resource. In that thread you can also see some of my opinions about Madvr as well as some screenshot of before and after Madvr and judge for yourself whether or not you see a dramatic difference. I did not on my particular setup.]

First let’s discuss each part and why we might want to do this in the first place.

2.1. LAV (32 and 64 players need to be installed): Download link available in the WMC guides. As stated this is a splitter that is used to deliver audio and video to your HTPC. Use the settings in the WMC guides to enable bitstreaming. Make sure to install both 32 and 64 bit versions regardless of your OS as we will be working with some 32 bit files below.

2.2. Madvr: Download here (only available in 32 bit but it will work just fine on either a 32 bit or 64 bit OS. Free). Benefits of Madvr:

madVR is a video renderer, which you can use as a replacement for the Microsoft stock renderers VMR7/9 and EVR.
(1) madVR pretends to be a game, not a video player. This bypasses many GPU driver problems.
(2) Highest quality algorithms for chroma upsampling, scaling, color conversion etc.
(3) Highest bitdepth processing with final dithering stage for banding-free quality.
(4) Built in complex display calibration capability (if you have your own meter).
(5) Automatic switching between windowed and exclusive mode for tearing free playback.
(6) Carefully implemented presentation algorithm to achieve smooth motion playback.

Madvr CANNOT be used by all video cards. Requirements:
– graphics card with full Direct3D9 hardware support
– at least 128MB of dedicated graphics card memory
– Windows XP or newer

The end result of madvr is simply a better picture than the standard codecs alone:

Download the zip file and unzip it. Then install Madvr as administrator with the Install.bat file

You will see the Madvr icon in your toolbar. I right clicked on it and told it to always remain on the toolbar and gave it LAN access:

Now let’s download and setup MPC-HC to work with LAV and Madvr.

2.3. Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC–HC 32): Download here (Only download the 32 bit version regardless of if you have a 32 or 64 bit OS. Free). Benefits:

MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 playback. Media Player Classic is capable of VCD, SVCD and DVD playback, without the need to install any additional software or codecs.
It has built-in codecs for MPEG-2 video and codecs for LPCM, MP2, AC3 and DTS audio, and also contains an improved MPEG splitter that supports playback of VCDs and SVCDs using its VCD/SVCD/XCD Reader. A *.mp4 and MPEG-4 Timed Text support added. An AAC decoding filter makes MPC suitable for AAC playback in MP4.
MPC Home Cinema also has H.264 and VC-1 with DXVA support, DivX, Xvid, and Flash Video formats is available in MPC HC. MPC can also use the QuickTime and the RealPlayer architectures. Media Player Classic supports native playback of OGM and Matroska container formats.

Media Player Classic Home Cinema allows you to enhance, decode and accelerate a broad span of movie formats like x.264 with GPU assisted acceleration and image quality enhancing. The WMP Classic Home Cinema player does not require many system resources than the rest of the video media players to run smoothly. This is a low PC resources windows media player that runs on slower machines with older CPUs.
Modern graphics card offer the possibility to decode partially or completely a video stream using DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA), in order to reduce CPU usage dramatically. MPC-HC includes an embedded video decoder that uses this technology, to decode x.264, H.264 and VC-1 with hardly any CPU time required.

Install MPC-HC 32 bit:

Now that we have LAV, Madvr and MPC-HC enabled the next thing we need to do is to tell Mediabrowser that we want to use MPC-HC as the default player instead of WMC. Please note this is a major difference from the WMC guides where I showed you how to use WMC to play almost everything by itself.

First let’s locate where we stored the MPC-HC application file. Mine is stored in C:\Program Files (x86)\Combined Community Codec Pack\MPC. Remember this for later.

Next let’s open up Mediabrowser configurator as an administrator and click on the “Advanced” tab at the top and then”external players”. Now let’s click “Add”

Let’s select “MKV” as the type of media file that we want to add. You can add whatever files you want to use here but since most of my HD files are MKV I will add just this file type for now.

Now let’s click on “Select Player” and locate the folder where you installed MPC-HC 32 bit

You mediabrowser configurator screen should now look something like this

Now that we have told Mediabrowser that we want to use MPC-HC 32 bit let’s adjust the settings. First run MPC-HC as an administrator and select “View” and “Options”

Now set the output like the following

Set fullscreen to launch at the start of the movie

Uncheck MKV as we will make MPC-HC launch the external LAV filters to use this file type (and other file types if you want)

Now go to “External Filters” and click “Add Filter…” and add “LAV Audio Decoder”, “LAV Splitter” and “LAV Splitter Source”

The final result should look like this.

Now click on the external filters and set their merits to “prefer”

To confirm that we have Mediabrowser, MPC-HC and Madvr setup correctly let’s open Mediabrowser and start a movie (to launch MPC-HC using LAV and Madvr). After clicking on the play arrow you will notice MPC-HC opening immediately to full screen and the movie will begin playing.

If you right click on the movie playing you can see the filters being used. Here we can confirm that Madvr is an option.

Now let’s exit out of Mediabrowser and MPC-HC and return to the desktop. Let’s open MPC-HC as an administrator and search for a MKV movie to play so that we can change some settings in Madvr. My MPC-HC is located in Start -> All Programs.

Now manually tell MPC-HC what MKV you want to play

Now your movie should start playing. Right click on the movie again and select “Filters” -> “MadVR Renderer”

Next click on “Edit Settings”

Tell Madvr what type of display that you have

Make sure you have “0-255” level selected under “properties” to enure the best dynamic range

If you want to use color correction and calibrate your monitor then use this next section. Select the “Calibration” settings and choose “Calibrate this display by using an external 3DLUT file”. To do this you will need to make a 3DLUT file based on your specific display. You will need yCms to generate the 280Mb 3d LUT table which you can download here. Once you have created a 3DLUt file based on your display you can tell madvr where it is located. Then click “Apply”.

More information on this subject can be read at Doom9 regarding this color correction and calibration feature. 3DLUT and color calibration are many guides on their own and you should spend time reading and understanding how it works.

Next let’s adjust some of the rendering settings for chroma and luma. You can try different modes and rendering but these are the settings that I currently use that I think look the best. First let’s adjust”Chroma Upscaling” and set it to “Catmull-Rom”. Click “Apply”

Next adjust “Luma Upscaling”. Choose “SoftCubic” and “softness: 50”. Click “Apply”

Next adjust “Luma Downscaling”. Again choose “SoftCubic” and “softness: 50”. Click “Apply”

Right clicking in MPC-HC while a movie is playing will bring up an “After Playback” option where you can select exit. Selecting this will close MPC-HC and takes you back to mediabrowser automatically.

There are a ton of possible settings to adjust using these pieces of software. These settings are largely hardware specific and will also depends on what you think looks best. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different settings to see which looks the best to you.

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Adding CUVID for NVidia cards

NOTE: CUVID is now merged with LAV Video. So if you are using LAV Splitter, LAV Audio and LAV Video CUVID is now included in LAV and this guide is now somewhat obsolete but I will keep it as reference for you.

The LAV CUVID decoder can be used for those that have bought a capable NVidia card. You will need to follow the above guide to setup LAV and Madvr. If you want to launch from Mediabrowser you will also need to follow that guide as well.

First let’s check and make sure your Nvidia card supports CUDA. You can do this easily with a program called GPU-Z (free).

First run GPU-Z and examine your card to make sure CUDA is supported. If yours has CUDA checked then proceed with this guide if you want to use LAV CUVID.

So what does LAV CUVID add?

It is a DirectShow Video Decoder utilizing the NVIDIA hardware decoder engine through the CUDA Video Decoding API (“CUVID”).
Its still in its early stages, but its already been tested thoroughly and supports all major formats that the NVIDIA hardware can decode, which are right now H264, VC-1, MPEG2 and MPEG4-ASP (DivX/Xvid). Both progressive and interlaced types are supported.
As a bonus, when decoding interlaced content, it can do full adaptive deinterlacing, the best your GPU has to offer.

Features
– Decoding of H264, VC-1, MPEG2 and MPEG4-ASP (each given appropriate hardware support)
– Full Adaptive Deinterlacing, including Frame Doubling (perfect smooth playback of 1080i/60 content!)
– Usable with all renderers! Including madVR, which is recommended for the best playback quality!
– NV12/YV12 output

First download the installer here.

Next install CUVID

Now open MPC-HC as an administrator. There are a few settings that are different from the settings above. First there is one more filter to add – LAV CUVID

This will install CUVID at the bottom of the filters. I want to move it up to just under the LAV Audio Decoder using the “Up” command.

Now you can see that I have CUVID listed as second on my filters. Hit “Apply” and “OK” when finished.

Now let’s open MPC-HC as an administrator, select a MKV to play and right click on the movie while its playing. Click on “Filters” and locate “LAV CUVID Decoder”. Select this to bring up the setting menu.

In the settings menu you can select which formats to decode with CUVID, what type of de-interlacing you want, the frame rate that you want to output, and a few other settings. These are the default settings but feel free to adjust them based on your setup and display.

You have now used this guide to setup LAV or LAV CUVID, madvr and MPC-HC! With CUVID and Madvr there are numerous different settings and filters that can be used to get different results. These settings are largely hardware specific and will also depends on what you think looks best. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different settings to see which looks the best to you.

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Changing the DirectShow filters in Windows 7

Windows 7 uses its own DirectShow filters for decoding several audio and video formats. Changing which filters get used used to require changing the Registry keys to adjust permissions which can be very confusing, difficult and dangerous if you aren’t experienced. This guide will show you how to safely and easily change these settings which will allow you to have better control with what is being used to play your files in WMC. I would only use this guide if you are trying to achieve a certain specific result. If your files are playing fine (which 99% of the time they should be) using the standard guides then DO NOT use this guide. If however there is one particular file type that isn’t quite playing correctly in WMC then this guide is worth exploring.

For this guide I have only LAV installed. If you have other splitters, codecs or codec packs installed your screen may look slightly different with more options than what I am showing.

So let’s get started. For this guide you will need a test file (pick the file type that you want to troubleshoot obviously) and the following 2 programs:

1. GraphStudio64.exe or GraphStudio32.exe (pick the one corresponding to your OS)

2. Win7DSFilterTweaker.exe

First, let’s render a media file in GraphStudio to see what filters are currently being used (this may or may not be similar to your setup. For the purposes of this guide it doesn’t matter). Here I am choosing an MKV (H.264) as its my favorite container. As you can see Microsoft Video Decoder is being used for the Video. This is pretty standard in Windows 7 and for me is perfectly fine. But I want to change this manually to LAV for this guide.

Now let’s run the Win7DSFilterTweaker

Here you can see the settings. Microsoft is being used for H.264

Again, I am just trying to change the H.264 filters. So let’s do that now and change this to LAV

Note: I noticed a few times that GraphStudio may need to be closed and you may even need to close and re-open the Tweaker in order to be able to change these settings. So if you run into issues try these tips.

So, now LAV is set to be your preferred filter. So let’s take a look how it looks back in GraphStudio. Click close and exit out of the Tweaker

Now let’s render that same MKV (H.264) file as we did before in GraphStudio and look at the results:

As you can see now we are using LAV Video as our default video decoder. Just one thing left to do — let’s play it back!

XBMC BETA TESTING AREA:

Launching External Player for HD Audio Playback (Beta Guide)

The Beta XBMC HD bitstreaming guides are now complete and are located in the XBMC section. Thanks for the users that tested me out to verify that they work on multiple systems. We now have at least 3 different ways to bitstream HD Audio using XBMC.

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

XBMC Option 2: HD Audio Bitstreaming for XBMC (Option 2)

This is another way to enable HD Audio bitstreaming for XBMC. This is perhaps the easiest way to get HD Audio enabled in XBMC for your HTPC.

The steps are easy and very straightforward.

First download the patched build here. Unzip this and install it (You can install it over your previous XBMC installation if you have one. You will not lose any data or setting changes)

Open XBMC and enter the “Settings” and “Hardware” screen. Set your settings to reflect your AV Receiver’s capabilities. Here I have chosen to use HDMI (this is the only way to bitstream HD Audio), chose my speakers as 7.1, and chose to have Dolby Digital, DTS-HD, standard DTS (denoted by “Core”), Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD. Notice at the “Audio Output Device” you should choose your HD Audio capable AV Receiver.

That’s it! This build makes it really easy to bitstream HD Audio with XBMC. Hitting “O” on your keyboard will bring up the stats about what XBMC is bitstreaming (note the DTS-HD MA)

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

XBMC Option 3: HD Audio Bitstreaming for XBMC (Option 3)

This guide uses a different build of XBMC than the version used previously. Please refer to the first guide for an overview of audio options in XBMC if you are interested in bitstreaming HD Audio. If you have installed the “standard” xbmc build like in option #1 then you will have to uninstall that build and re-install this build instead to ensure proper playback.

First download the most recent DSPlayer build of XBMC from this link.

Now install the file

Finish the installation

Now we need to download and install LAV filters here [0.58 Updated 06.29.13]

Now go to the Start button -> Programs -> LAV Filters -> LAV Audio Configuration

Once in this menu we need to choose what formats you want to bitstream. I assume since you are installing the DSPlayer build to use HD Audio you have an HD Audio receiver with HDMI input and a HTPC with a HTPC that is HD Audio capable. As a reminder you CANNOT bistream HD Audio over anything but HDMI.

Let’s choose the formats we want in HD Audio (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD)

Once you have selected the formats you want click “Apply” and “OK”

Now download the following 2 xml files from my server

advancedsettings.xml

mediasconfig.xml

Now let’s relocate these files inside XBMC. As you can see below they will be placed in the Users -> User Name -> AppData -> Roaming -> XBMC -> userdata folder

Note: Despite running XBMC first and coming back to this folder I could never get the “dsplayer” folder to show up. So I just created one.

Make the “dsplayer” folder if you need on and place the mediasconfig.xml file inside this folder. Place the advancedsettings.xml file inside thte general userdata folder as I have shown below

Inside the dsplayer folder I created

Okay, now let’s go back to XBMC and take a look at some general settings. Take a look at the first few XBMC guides for other general settings but you may have to make a few changes depending on your specific system. Since my test system is not connected to a HD Audio capable device there may be additional options that are more applicable to your system that aren’t available on my test system.

In the the video settings change the Audio Renderer to your HDMI HD Audio capable device (this may different than what I have listed below depending on your system. Look for a HDMI setting).

In the display mode change this to Full Screen

In the Audio output settings make sure you system is setup with HDMI as the audio output and also set your appropriate speakers and tell XBMC you have a Dolby Digital and DTS capable receiver to allow bitstreaming (although this will likely be handled by LAV)

Okay, now let’s play a HD Audio file to test out this DSPlayer build and make sure that HD Audio is being bitstreamed. For this test we are going to use Wall E with DTS-HD.

Example Screenshots (many more below as well):

Once the file begins to play select “O” (the letter, not the number) on your keyboard to bring up the “O”nscreen display. This will show you the Audio. The screen directly below was taken BEFORE I installed LAV and made the changes to the userdata folders.

Now remember my test system is not HD Audio capable so the HD Audio files will not show up on my particular system. But you can see after I installed LAV and the userdata .xml files that LAV is being used to bitstream audio (see pic below). If your system is HD Audio capable then you will see the HD Audio feed (DTS-HD in the case of Wall E if I had a HD Audio system connected to this test system).

You can see the “I”nfo of the file being played by hitting the “I” key on your keyboard

One other really neat feature of this player is that you can pull up and control the LAV settings (and many other video settings) from within the player. To pull up LAV select the movie reel icon on the bottom right

Now you can scroll down to the bottom and find the LAV menu which will launch the LAV settings screen where you can change your settings in LAV right from within XBMC.

Special thanks for paid user mariob33 who tested out this guide while bitstreaming HD Audio. He sent me these screenshot examples from his HTPC:

You are now able to bitstream HD Audio in XBMC! Now that this is installed and working properly download other skins and plug-ins with the help of the other parts of these guides!

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

XBMC Option 4: HD Audio Bitstreaming for XBMC (Option 4)

This guide will show you how to launch MPC-HC (Media Player Classic Home Cinema) which can playback your HD Audio files from the XBMC interface. Please refer toOption 1 for an overview of audio options in XBMC if you are interested in bitstreaming HD Audio. As mentioned above you will first need to install XBMC before using this guide to enable HD Audio bitstreaming by using MPC-HC as an external player.

First let’s download and install the latest MPC-HC build (I prefer the .exe version as its the easiest to install). Make sure to grab the appropriate version (32 or 64 bit for your OS).

Note: If you are wanting to use a renderer like MadVR (see advanced tab) then download the 32 bit version only regardless of your system. I suspect most users will not want to use MadVR and should download the MPC-HC version that correlates with their OS.

MPC-HC Link

Now install from the file you just downloaded

This will finish the installation. After the install is complete you will receive this prompt if you do not have DirectX installed. Let’s do that next

Download and install DirectX runtime from here

 

Make sure you DE-select the annoying Bing Bar adverstising

It will now download and install. This may take a few minutes.

Now let’s download ffdshow (choose your appropriate version 32 vs 64 bit)

Note: Again, if you want to use Madvr in the future download just the 32 bit version regardless of your system.

Check this website for the newest versions.

Now let’s run the file we just downloaded and install it. Keep all default settings for now. We will change some of these later.

If you haven’t already done so make sure in Start -> Control Panel -> Sound you have your HD Audio capable output HDMI device selected as the default output. Remember that only HDMI can carry bitstreamed HD Audio souces (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD) from an HD Audio capable sound device.

Now let’s re-open ffdshow and start to change some settings for XBMC. First go to the Start button and open ffdshow Audio decoder configuration

Scroll down to “Output” on the left and select all the sources you want to bitstream to your AV receiver. Click “apply” and then “OK”

Now let’s open MPC-HC and go to “View” and then “Options”

Now make the following changes in the “Output” menu (this is where you could enable Madvr if you so desired). Click “Apply” and then “OK”

Next adjust the “Internal Filters” menu to deselect “Matroska” and “ogg” in the source filters. Deselect “h264/AVC (FFmpeg)” and “VC1 (FFmpeg)” in the Transform Filters.

Now let’s adjust the “External Filters”. Select “Add Filter”

Find and select “ffdshow audio decoder”. Select “OK”

Now change the merit to “prefer” for this filter. Hit “apply” and then “OK”

Now select “Add Filter” again and find the “Microsoft DTV-DVD Audio Decoder”. Click “OK”

Now this time select the merit to “Block” this filter.

Exit out of all the programs. Now we need to download and install this piece of computer code from my server.

Playercorefactory.xml

Let’s take a closer look at this xml file that will be the communication between XBMC and the external player. Below you will notice the “<filename” area. If this is different than where your MPC-HC.exe file is located this area MUST be updated in a XML piece of software. I prefer XML Notepad 2007 because it is free and easy to use. So let me briefly take a diversion from the guide and show you how to update this. If you note the “rule filetypes” this will only launch MPC-HC for MKV files with 1080p in the filename. This comes in handy for blurays ripped to MKV. You will have to change the rules for the way you have your specific files saved and played. There really is no “one way” to do this and because of this the code will require some tweaking and adjusting to meet your specific needs.

Will all that said the following code will play mkv files with “1080p” in their name. This is just one example that I am trying to show. You can visit this xbmc wiki for more information.

<playercorefactory>
<players>
<player name=”MPC-HC” type=”ExternalPlayer” audio=”false” video=”true”>
<filename>C:\Program Files\Media Player Classic – Home Cinema\mpc-hc64.exe</filename>
<args>”{1}” /fullscreen /close</args>
<hidexbmc>false</hidexbmc>
<hideconsole>false</hideconsole>
<warpcursor>none</warpcursor>
</player>
</players>
<rules action=”prepend”>
<rule filetypes=”mkv” filename=”.*1080p.*” player=”MPC-HC”/>
</rules>
</playercorefactory>

To get XML Notepad 2007 go to the Microsoft download center located here

After this is installed run the program and open Playercorefactory.xml (the file you downloaded above)

On the “Tree View” on the left you can see the individual components of this file. Expand the “player” and select “filename”. Here you can see the path of your mpc-hc file. Here you can highlight, hit “delete” on your keyboard and copy and paste the file path of your mpc-hc file (the path might be easier to find if you make a shortcut of the file and then select “properties” from the shortcut to see the path. From there you can just copy and paste the path to XML Notepad)

Example of my shortcut link (please note that if you copy and paste from here be sure to remove the quotation [ ” ] marks from the file path)

Now let’s locate the XBMC roaming user data folder. You can see where its located at the top of this picture

Let’s paste the file you just downloaded from the server into this folder

Okay, now let’s go back to XBMC and see how this looks when it is playing (notice the file below is a MKV with “1080p” in the title)

The MPC-HC screen will flash for a second to let you know that this program is starting

The movie will start playing shortly

If you hit the “Windows” or “Esc” key you can get out of full screen mode and confirm that you are in MPC-HC

Finally if you press Ctrl+j you can bring up the On Screen Display showing you various stats about the file you are playing

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Media Browser 3 – Media Browser Server

Media Browser has long been one of my favorite “front ends” for HTPC. With Media Browser 3 the developers are aiming to completely redesign the way that Media Browser functions. With that being said Media Browser 3 is still in Beta so there are bound to be some bugs.

There now will be 3 parts of Media Browser that will work together:

1. MB Server

2. MB Classic

3. MB Theater

MB Server is the “host” of the system where you set it up once on your main HTPC or server (wherever your media is stored) and it will host it to any and all of your clients machines. You then have two options for playback. Option 1 is “MB Classic” which is similar to the way Media Browser has always worked. It uses WMC on a Windows based machine for playback. Option 2 (not yet released by the Media Browser team) is a stand alone Media Browser player that for the first time ever can function independently of WMC.

Please note that if you are using Media Browser 2 you CANNOT have the new Media Browser 3 installed along side your older Media Browser 2. It will install over and replace Media Browser 2 but should not change any of your settings.

So let’s get started. First, go to the install page and install the SERVER first. This is important as doing this out of order will result in an installation error.

After download proceed with the install. You may be prompted to install the .NET Framework. Accept the terms to continue.

You may also be prompted to install Visual C++. Again, install to continue.

Installation will continue

You will need to reboot to proceed after installation

Continue installation

The application should now launch to finish installation

Allow the Server to run

This screen will now be displayed as it is downloaded

Allow access

The Media Browser Server wizard will now start. Notice that it is now being displayed in your browser. Click Next

Enter your user name that you want to associate with your account

Click to add your media collection

Let’s add our “Movies” first

This is my small test library that is located on my “G” drive.

Alternatively you could add a networked mapped drive. Here I have also added my “Z” drive from my FlexRaid server

Once you are finished let’s also setup our “TV Shows” folder

My test files for the TV Shows are located in my “E” drive as noted here. Choose where yours are located and press “OK” to continue

Once you are finished you should see both of the media collections that you just added. Click Next.

Now let’s go to the “Dashboard”

This is the “Dashboard”. On the left pane you can see the different categories that you can choose. On this screen you can see information about your server, which user(s) are currently connected to your Media Browser server and what tasks, if any, are running. Next let’s click on “Default Media Library”

This is an important screen for adding to or changing your library. Next let’s click on “Metadata”

Here are the options for the metadata. I recommend these settings. Clicking on the “Images” option will allow you to change the number of backdrops (personally I recommend 5-20 depending on how much storage you have). Now let’s click on “Plugins”

Here is the menu for plugins. Let’s click on “plugin catalog”

Now you can see some of the possible options that are currently available. Feel free to install some or all of the available plugins. However, please know that many need to be installed from Media Browser Classic (which I will discuss later). Also, please note that currently the stand alone Media Browser Theater player is not available as it has not been released.

Under “Client Settings” enter your information and press “save”

Under the “Advanced” area note that you can choose to run the Media Browser server at startup. I recommend choosing this option. Also, if you want have your software updated automatically even if it is a beta version you can change this here.

Under scheduled tasks are selections to check for updates. There is also a selection to scan your media

There are also selections to “cleanup” your libraries if needed

Once your are finished note that you can easily tell if Media Browser server is running by checking the “Show hidden icons” area in the bottom right corner of your desktop

More Media Browser 3 guides coming soon…

www.assassinhtpcblog.com

©Copyright 2011 by assassin @ assassinHTPCblog. All rights reserved. This guide and its contents are copyrighted by assassin @ assassinHTPCblog.

This may be used for personal use by the purchaser only; users are forbidden to reproduce, republish, redistribute or resell and material from this guide without the permission of assassin @ assassinHTPCblog.

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012-2013

assassin

error: Content is protected !!