(MPEG2) Codec guide (1 Viewer)



19.06.2004: First (MPEG2) Codec Guide
Update 09.02.2005: New (MPEG2) Codec Guide
Update 21.02.2005: DVR-MS -> MPEG Filters, SVCD Samples

the first guide is sort of outdated by now. It's time for an update, but you can still find the old guide at the end of this post.

So here is an updated (MPEG2) Codec Guide:

Frodo is 100% right, the InterVideo WinDVD 6 MPEG2 decoder is the best for MediaPortal. Hey, he is one of the MP developers, he knows what he talks about :D Other MPEG2 codecs have problems with VMR9 (flickering OSD) or with region code protected DVDs (see my first guide).

I presume that you have a fresh Win XP installation on your computer, with all updates (especially DirectX and .Net framework) from microsoft and the latest driver for your graphics card installed! Here is what you need to get a smooth running MediaPortal playing 9x% of all media files:

Radlight Filter Manager 1.4:

GSpot 2.21:

Moonlight Elecard MPEG Player 2.3.2:

AC3 Filter 1.02a test3:

InterVideo WinDVD 6 (trial version):

ffdshow 20041012:

Ok, after downloading all of these files, install the moonlight elecard MPEG player and backup "mpeg2dmx.ax" found under "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Moonlight". Then you can uninstall the elecard player again. For future installations you do no need to install the whole elecard player again, because we only want to use the elecard demultiplexer from the package! So put mpeg2dmx.ax to a safe place. BTW, although the player is a 21 day trial version, the demultiplexer is free and has no limitations. You don't have to worry about that. For me the elecard demultiplexer is the best demultiplexer out there, because ff/rwd works without any problems and it doesn't show strange behavior during playback (mpgs not playing at all, wrong playback time shown or incorrect progress bar, for example).

After deinstalling the player please check if the demultiplexer is still registered. Start the radlight filter manager and search for "Moonlight-Elecard MPEG2 Demultiplexer" under "DirectShow Filters". If it's not there, click "Register" and select "mpeg2dmx.ax". This is also what you have to do in the future, when you don't want to install the whole player package. Note that windows won't find the filter when you move mpeg2dmx.ax anywhere else after registration, so please leave it in the place where you registered it.

Now you can install the AC3 filter, WinDVD6 and ffdshow. Default installation options are ok. With the filters these programms install, you can watch MPEG2 (DVDs, SVCDs), DivX and XviD video files with stereo or AC3 sound within mediaportal!

That's all!

To check if everything is fine, start GSpot and select a SVCD MPG File and press "render". If you don't have an SVCD, you can download some samples here: http://www.pcphotovideo.com/SvcdSamples.htm Thanks ericdwhite!
The video path should be:
"(S) --> Moonlight-Elecard MPEG2 Demultiplexer --> InterVideo Video Decoder --> (R)",
the audio path
"(S) --> Moonlight-Elecard MPEG2 Demultiplexer --> AC3Filter --> (R)".

If this is not the case and windows uses another video decoder (most common error) or demultiplexer, first try it again after restarting your system. When GSpot still shows other rendering paths, you have to change the "merit" which tells windows which codec to use first when multiple codecs with the same functionality are installed. Use the radlight filter manager for this. Select the codec for which you want to change the merit, choose a value from the pull-down menu, and click "set value". After a restart at the latest, windows uses the new values.

With DivX or XviD i never had any problems, so i never checked it with GSpot. Should run fine after ffdshow installation.

Other codecs you might want to install are:

Cyberlink MPEG Muxer + Dump Filter for DVR-MS -> MPEG conversion:
Download the two files from http://home.arcor.de/clarydee/LR301/ and register the filters with the radlight filter manager.

Quicktime Alternative 1.44:
for Apple Quicktime.

Real Alternative 1.34:
for Real Media.

CDXA Reader
for playing SVCDs using the menus in mediaportal. MP forum link:

Shoutcast Source
for shoutcast support within mediaportal. MP forum link:

Quicktime and Real Alternative are self installing, CDXA reader and shoutcast source have to be registered using radlight filter manager (read above).

For Hauppauge PVR-250/350 users:
Use the beta light CD from the www.shspvr.com forums:
With this CD kit you get the latest drivers and "InterVideo Codecs for Haupauge" These work best for me watching live TV within mediaportal.

ONE LAST IMPORTANT NOTE!!! You can totally fuck up your windows codecs with the filter manager. So please DO NOT register/unregister any filters or change the merit when you don't know exactly what you are doing!

THE VERY LAST IMPORTANT NOTE!!! DO NOT USE Codec Packs! With these, you WILL without much doubt totally fuck up your windows codec system! :wink:

Also check out Crash's MediPortal site for more software and tips and tricks to get MediaPortal fully going:


------------------------------- beginning of the old guide --------------------------------------

i recently had a lot of problems regarding all those different codecs and filters windows uses when playing back a MPEG2 file, a DVD or SVCD for example. The MediaPortal Team already recommends the RadLight Filter Manager to manage these filters.

Sometimes windows still does not use the filters the way you set it up using the filter manager. To check which codecs and filters are actually used by windows you can use GSpot. It's a small programm that tells you the video and audio render path when playing back a media file. Note that some media players like PowerDVD or the open source Media Player Classic use build in filters. For these apps the GSpot results have no relevance. But Media Portal uses the WMP9 by default so the GSpot results are ok for us.

I tested a lot of different combinations (GPL, PowerDVD, InterVideo, Elecard, etc.). For me the combination of

"Elecard MPEG2 Demultiplexer and GPL MPEG-1/2 Decoder" for video and
"Elecard MPEG2 Demultiplexer and AC3Filter" for audio

is most suitable. Watching TV (using a hauppauge PVR350) works without any problems and ff/rwd watching SVCDs is possible. Maybe on other PCs you get different results. It's just my recommendation :D I always test the settings with WMP9. When something does not work in WMP9, it will also not work in MediaPortal. Just try it.

What doesn't work using this decoder configuration is DVD playback. I think because of the region codes. At least if you live in germany or another country outside region 1 (USA, Canada). Trying to play a DVD with region code 2 (western europe, japan) in WMP9 and those codecs, i get an digital copy protection error (error code c00d1163). So i tried the trial version of DVD Region Free. This software enables any region code DVD to be played in windows. And now playback of DVDs with region code 2 works in WMP9! But not in MediaPortal :( There i get a windows error. I already reported that to Frodo. Maybe the GPL codec is only adequate for region code 1 DVDs and DVD Region Free doesn't work with MediaPortal? Would be nice if someone from USA or Canada could test that.
Using other codec combinations is no alternative, trust me, i tested that for 2 days :) Either DVD playback works or TV.

You can download the filters and programs mentioned above here:
RadLight Filter Manager: http://fileforum.betanews.com/download.php?fid=1068572413
GSpot: http://www.headbands.com/gspot/
Elecard Filters: http://divxstation.com/softwareId.asp?sId=213
GPL MPEG Decoder: http://sourceforge.net/projects/gplmpgdec/
AC3Filter: http://www.free-codecs.com/download/AC3_Filter.htm
DVD Region Free: http://www.dvdidle.com

Note that the Elecard MPEG2 decoder is only a 30 day trial. From the package we do not use the MPEG2 decoder though, only the demultiplexer, which is free and has no limitations. Unregister all filters using the elecard components manager except for the "Elecard MPEG 2 Demultiplexor" (note the "o" in "...ltiplexOr". File is mpeg2dmx.ax).


------------------------------------------ end the old guide ---------------------------------------


Retired Team Member
  • Premium Supporter
  • April 22, 2004
    The Netherlands
    Home Country
    Netherlands Netherlands
    the best mpeg2 codec i found is the Intervideo mpeg2 codecs
    which come with WinDVD 6

    They support VMR9 , DxVA, HWMC :)



    Hi speedster,
    i updated the guide with a new download location for the cyberlink filters...



    Portal Member
    May 11, 2005
    Are the Intervideo codecs that come with WinDVD6 the same as the ones that come with the Hauppauge cards, or different? How do they compare with each other?

    Also, how does the Elecard codec compare to the Intervideo ones?

    I am using the nVidia codec right now.

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