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Windows 7: mkv playback ez solution x32 x64-NO CODEC PACKS!!

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07 Aug 2009   #1

Windows 7 build 7600
mkv playback ez solution x32 x64-NO CODEC PACKS!!

I have seen alot about no support for mkv in wmp and wmc on these and other win7 threads/boards. I've seen solutions ranging from adding a complicated divx7(not a free codec) tool with necessary support, adding various codec packs, some crazy scripts and regedits with powershell,cmd etc. that can be disastrous with the slightest mistake.

First, if you want to find out the hard way that codec packs can be dangerous, install one. Some are probably better than others, maybe some even won't screw up your system?

But a prominent codec pack-(touted on these boards)- I tried-back when I was a newbie at multi-media playback-caused major system problems. At first it worked great! Then.......Wierd random icons started showing up for un-related programs, web pages, etc., various formats stopped working, program defaults changed by themselves-had to do a clean disk wipe and os install to correct it! Most claim to be minimalist but the point is, they can essentially take-over a system and cause major instability, freezes,etc. Maybe they work for you? Not judging, just suggesting.

Second, mkv playback for both 32 and 64 bit players is not that hard. Two simple installs, no messing with regedits, powershell, or cmd prompts. Here's what has worked for me and it is a real "minimalist" approach!!

32-bit WMP/WMC
1-Download the latest version of ffdshow tryouts and the 32 bit Haali media splitter from
2-During the set-up stage of tryouts, disable ffdshow in all but the H.264/AVC in video and vorbis in audio. Haali's splitter install is pretty straightforward, just make sure the ogg option is selected.

You can play video only mkv simply by installing the splitter only. Enabling ffdshow to render the vorbis codec enables the audio. You can also re-enable ffdshow to encode/decode the other codecs at anytime if you find there are some wmp12 won't play though I haven't found any others yet.

Contrary to some rumors, the 32-bit player is the default in 7. But using the 64 bit players for mkv playback is also possible using essentially the same process. And the great news? Gabest is no longer the only free 64 bit direct show splitter!! Haali has a beta 64 out(see step 2 below)

1-You must install the 32 bit version of tryouts first as described above. Then, search for and install the latest build of 64 bit ffdshow-tryouts from sourceforge and again, diable all but H.264/AVC video and vorbis audio.

2-Download the 64bit beta Haali splitter from the link on the site linked below. Note that during install, you will need to select the Program Files directory vs the Program Files (x86) and be sure to name it and the start menu folder "Haali Splitter 64" to keep from confusing the two versions of the splitter!! For some reason the installer tries to use the x86 directory but it is a 64 bit splitter. Link to site with direct download:

Finding Haali‚€™s x64 Splitter Beta.


That's it!! The RTM is supposed to support mkv natively but until then, this is about the easiest way to get mkv playback. You can also simply download the standalone vorbis audio codecs with the two versions of the splitter but with tryouts, you have the ability to enable any other video and audio codecs that may not be natively supported at any time.

Please post any comments or problems so I can run other tests. Though I wouldn't recommend any codec packs, some do have decent utilities that you can install separately like the k-lite "codec tweak tool".

My personal favorite codec tools are:

Installed Codec by simple app which doesn't require full install/uninstall which provides a list of all system codecs,filters,DMO's,media drivers,etc which can be saved and viewed in various printable formats with extensive "view" options ranging from full detail(merit,product name,file name,company,location,registry entry,etc) to just a few columns of info that you choose. It also gives you the ability to disable/enable any of the installed codecs or change their merit value.

Gspot available at favorite)-also runs without complete install, that lets you import media files into the utility by drag and drop or browse and gives you detailed info on the file, whether you have the codec installed, and best of all gives you rendering option testing which can be exported to wmp or any other media player you select

MediaInfo available at or, this very easy to use tool also allows for drag and drop or browse and gives you basic or customized formats to view detailed info on any media files and includes links to download the codecs needed by the media file if you don't have them installed. Another great option under the programs options tree in "preferences" is an option called "shell info tip" When checked it allows you to preview media file info like codecs,bitrates,file size,etc., simply by moving your pointer over the file icon/thumbnail. This is particularly helpful with p2p downloads that can have incorrect extensions as well as determing the specific codecs used in .avi containers(divx,xvid,3ivx,etc). The program is also available in various forms in both 32 and 64 bit versions.

Hope this helps somebody!! New to this particular forum so if this has already been solved or the method revealed, apologies. If nothing else, I have tested all the codec utilities mentioned in 7 and all work just fine!! Check em out.


No offense to any specific codec pack developers/devotees, just sharing my experience which isn't uncommon. But I strongly advise against using them.

If you insist on a codec pack,though most computer/media "geeks" agree with me that they shouldn't be used, I would suggest the XP/Vista/7 codec packs developed by

-They are adjustable configs based on the original ffdshow model,
-they are comprehensive yet allow for minimal install of as few as 1codec
-add playback for .mov and realtime without additional "lite" media players in wmp for Vista and XP
-provide an easy way to utilize/load the 64 bit players as system default, -are updated often,
-allow for testing of codecs within the GUI,

and best of all they are completely free and are developed by someone who truly just wants to help vs get rich!! Closest to tryouts I have seen with more supported formats and a simpler user interface though it does disable most other oem/program codecs and can conflict with those that aren't. If you do use it, make sure to visit the developers site and forums and follow the instuctions carefully.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2009   #2

7600 x86

wall of text?

i like coreavc. i'm stickin' with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2009   #3

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Ok, but if people want to use WMP to view mkv files with no fuss that seems like a good post. Going to give that a try.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Aug 2009   #4

Windows 7

If using WMP12 all you need to do is download Halli media splitter. Easiest option imo for MKV playback
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2009   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mvrck View Post
If using WMP12 all you need to do is download Halli media splitter. Easiest option imo for MKV playback
That will do!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2009   #6

Windows 7 build 7600

Mvrck, masterB:

Which build are you referring to as far as using Haali only? Before tryouts, I tried the splitter only approach and didn't get audio rendering or thumbnails as I mentioned. If it's possible now, all the better!

But perhaps with 7600 this is not an issue? Havent had the chance to move up from rc yet. If that's the case, great. The other point I was making is that it is likely additional format support will be needed and having tryouts installed doesn't hurt.

Also, did you install any additional codecs to make mkv? It seems odd to me that MS would have mkv and vorb/mka natively with no splitter.

Any info you can provide would be helpful
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2009   #7

Win7 x64

Haali will work, yes. However that only enables directshow, not media foundation playback. If you want the latter the only option is the divx mkv win7 tech preview:
DivX Tech Preview: MKV on Windows 7 | DivX Labs - Everywhere Communication Occurs Community Happens

Then you can use Media Center or WMP, and everything will be played (with full acceleration).

Alternatively, just download media player classic. That installs nothing, no codec packs, no reg changes, just a single file that plays everything (it has an internal mkv splitter). Only directshow so far though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2009   #8
xan K

Windows 7 x64

I've always been reluctant to install codecpacks, but I tried shark007's and I'm keeping it. it's very neat.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2009   #9

Windows 7 build 7600

MKV works fine in wmc and wmp without the divx tech preview with haali and tryouts. Rendering or acceleration haven't been an issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2009   #10

windows 7
mkv s

try vso for burnink mkv s and vlc works for viewing have fun
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 mkv playback ez solution x32 x64-NO CODEC PACKS!!

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