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Windows 7: Best Video Player/Codec Pack


05 Apr 2010   #1

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 
Best Video Player/Codec Pack

I figured I'd post this so that we can get a list of the most useful video players and codec packs. There are so many out there, but there are some that are better than others. Feel free to add your own favorites.

Video Players

** VLC Media Player **
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
One of the best media players out there. It'll play almost any video file without a problem. Also, it doesn't require any codec installation for use.

** Media Player Classic Homecinema **
http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/
A free media player based on the original Media Player Classic. Note that this player is not a variant of WMP, in fact it's not related. This player doesn't require a codec pack be installed in order to play most files, but it's a fairly popular player for videophiles.

Mplayer
http://www.mplayerhq.hu/design7/news.html
An alternative to VLC. It's a decent player, but not quite as popular as the others.

KMPlayer
http://www.kmplayer.com/forums/index.php?
Another player that doesn't require codecs to be installed. Developed by Pandora TV.

Mainstream Options:
Windows Media Player
Winamp
Quicktime/iTunes
DivX Player

Codec Packs

** K-Lite Codec Pack **
http://www.free-codecs.com/download/...codec_pack.htm
One of the best comprehensive codec packs available. It'll allow you to play pretty much any video file you can find. It's pretty bloated, but worth it if you're going to come across alot of codecs.

Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP)
http://www.cccp-project.net/
A decent alternative to K-Lite. It'll allow you to play most files.

Matroska Pack
http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Matroska_Pack.htm
A lighter codec pack that'll allow you to play .mkv files and many of the modern codecs. It's gotten good reviews.

Real Alternative
http://www.free-codecs.com/download/...lternative.htm
Allows you to play Real files without downloading the latest Real Player.

Quicktime Alternative
http://www.free-codecs.com/download/...lternative.htm
The same as the Real Alternative, except for Quicktime files.

Popular Individual Video Codec Types:
DivX/XviD
MPEG2/4
H.264
RealVideo

Note: There are a ton of different codecs out there. I haven't listed them here because it would be a waste of space since only a handful are used by most people. The most popular codecs are DivX, XviD, Matroska, and MPEG-4. My personal recommedations are noted in **, either VLC or K-Lite w/ MPC HC if you plan on viewing everything under the sun. If you're an average video viewer, any player which includes a minimal codec package should work well.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Apr 2010   #2

7 x64 | 7 x64
 
 

I am suprised your list does not include one of the best codec packs.
Shark007.net - Windows 7 Codecs - WMP12 Codecs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2010   #3

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

On Windows 7 the codecs seem very good/complete out of the box. The only thing I installed is Haali media splitter to allow WMP 12 to parse .mkv packages. I have yet to encounter something WMP 12 won't play with just this installed, but my testing may not have been exhaustive. But I have played many MKVs and .mov files and divx encoded AVIs.

Edit: WMP doesn't play .flv, but both VLC/MPC-HC do and these aren't generally something I keep in my media library.

Also Microsofts codecs seem quite good, so I don't want to override them. x264 playback uses less CPU in WMP 12 than in MPC-HC (VLC seems worse than both).

MPC Home Cinema version has codecs for just about everything built in(isn't that the point of the HC version?). I used it to play everything on WinXP without any codec pack installed. On Windows 7 x64 it does seem to be missing support for Apple .mov files.

I don't think most of us need a codec pack at all with Windows 7 and I would like to keep extraneous installs to the minimum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


05 Apr 2010   #4

Win7 Home Premium 64x
 
 

Would people suggest getting rid of Windows Media Player and using one of these like VLC? Can these play DVD moveis better than WMP? (or with better options/GUI)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #5

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Thorsen View Post
Would people suggest getting rid of Windows Media Player and using one of these like VLC? Can these play DVD moveis better than WMP? (or with better options/GUI)
I will guess that most people will suggest using WMP, but personally I suggest VLC or MPC HC. I've never liked the WMP interface, so that's why I don't use it. It really just depends on what you like. As mentioned, Windows finally started catching up on codecs so you should be ok to watch most videos with a stock WMP. However, I'm not the average viewer, I have a library which including XviD, DivX, Real, x.264, flv and more. VLC can play all of those. Very few players can play REAL, although they're starting to. It really depends on your personal preference and what you think "better" is. I don't care if VLC uses a bit more CPU, I'm only doing one thing when watching a movie so it really doesn't matter if it uses 40% or 80% of my CPU.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fantail View Post
I am suprised your list does not include one of the best codec packs.
Shark007.net - Windows 7 Codecs - WMP12 Codecs
While you might consider that one of the best, I've never used it and most of my videophile friends don't either. It's not quite as popular as you think. The most popular packs nowadays are K-Lite and CCCP. That's if you're not using something that can play everything anyway.

---

In reality, the best method to install Codecs is as needed. Choose a video player that you'd like to use and then play your videos. If you find you can't play one, then download the codec for that and only that. In this scenario you'll most likely find that you only have to install a handful of codecs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by notsograymatter View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fantail View Post
I am suprised your list does not include one of the best codec packs.
Shark007.net - Windows 7 Codecs - WMP12 Codecs
While you might consider that one of the best, I've never used it and most of my videophile friends don't either. It's not quite as popular as you think.
You must be living in some dark cave somewhere (along with your videophile friends) and missing out on the true reality of the best codecpack to ever have come onto this scene. The Shark007 codecs are installed over 1 million times monthly. I would hardly call that unpopular. Once you check out its capabilities, you'll forget that K-Crap ever existed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #7

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Personally, I use a variety of media players.

Mainly VLC, MPC and WMP

Codec pack that I prefer is CCCP. I found with my setup, it was a quick install. I used to use Tversity for streaming to my X-Box360 and PS3 and found that CCCP best suited that application.

I now use PS3 Media Server to watch nearly everything on my big screen so CCCP is not required, but I have it installed still as I can pretty much manipulate it with my eyes closed.

Basically, between PS3 Media Server, the various media players, CCCP and multiple screens to choose from, there is NOTHING I can't play, where ever I choose.


If you are just looking at PC playback and don't want to get into a codec situation, I recommend VLC as it plays nearly everything it sees, with out a codec pack required, and has a little bit more pleasing GUI than MPC.

Just my opinion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #8

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Shark007 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by notsograymatter View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fantail View Post
I am suprised your list does not include one of the best codec packs.
Shark007.net - Windows 7 Codecs - WMP12 Codecs
While you might consider that one of the best, I've never used it and most of my videophile friends don't either. It's not quite as popular as you think.
You must be living in some dark cave somewhere (along with your videophile friends) and missing out on the true reality of the best codecpack to ever have come onto this scene. The Shark007 codecs are installed over 1 million times monthly. I would hardly call that unpopular. Once you check out its capabilities, you'll forget that K-Crap ever existed.
Gee a guy with name Shark, belittling another codec pack, while hawking one called Shark007.... Coincidence?

Really on Windows 7 you don't need a codec pack, just Haali media splitter to open MKV packages and WMP will play most anything I find.

Not only that but VLC/MPC-HC have built in Codecs.

I have VLC/MPC-HC and of course WMP-12 and no third party codecs at all installed.

My favorite player is MPC-HC it has a nice and powerful interface. I like the ability to tweak the screen zoom and a bunch of other things.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

+1 for Shark007 codec. IMO, the best pack for Windows 7.

No problem for any video file for Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center.

Quick, painless, easy.

After Shark007, I swore off of VLC and MPC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2010   #10

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Shark007 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by notsograymatter View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fantail View Post
I am suprised your list does not include one of the best codec packs.
Shark007.net - Windows 7 Codecs - WMP12 Codecs
While you might consider that one of the best, I've never used it and most of my videophile friends don't either. It's not quite as popular as you think.
You must be living in some dark cave somewhere (along with your videophile friends) and missing out on the true reality of the best codecpack to ever have come onto this scene. The Shark007 codecs are installed over 1 million times monthly. I would hardly call that unpopular. Once you check out its capabilities, you'll forget that K-Crap ever existed.
Didn't say I hadn't heard of it, just said I didn't use it and most of my friends don't. That's not to say it isn't popular among certain crowds. Some programs are extremely popular even though they aren't used by the more advanced users of that subject. I'm sure it's a great codec pack, but from what I can tell it contains the same codecs as every other "all-in-one" pack on the net.

Personally, I've moved away from K-Lite and CCCP. They both install too much extra. Shark does the same. I just install codecs as needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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