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Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 8:50 am
by leor
Hey all, I've been struggling with a reliable video player for windows 10 for a while now, and I figured I'd make a post. I'm running an LG OLED from 2016 (the last one with 3D) at 4k 60hz, and I can't find a player that doesn't have some kind of drawback, or doesn't require an enormous amount of tweaking.

I've tried windows media player classic with lav filters and mad vr, VLC, Pot Player, I even bought Cyber Power DVD (which for some reason is very grainy and a bit washed out no matter what I play). In general I'm getting issues like motion jitter, players not supporting bitstreaming, players that don't support 3d, and weird color output. I often have to cycle through the different players and deal with the trade offs based on what file I want to play and it's pretty damn annoying.

I'm running a Titan Pascal and 16 core threadripper with 32gb of RAM, so it can't be a resource issue. I'm interested to hear any advice from someone who is happy with their windows video player setup (if such a person exists). :-)

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 8:54 am
by toki
as a head's up, if you're on an Nvidia card, the last driver update removed 3d support as well.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:11 am
by DancinJack
You put Windows in front of the name, but I'm guessing you meant MPC. It's definitely one of the better ones--kinda surprised you've had issues.

Make sure you're on the latest release (official dev stopped a while back): https://github.com/clsid2/mpc-hc/releases
MPDN is another option: https://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=171120

I do use VLC in a worst case scenario, but image quality isn't near as good as either of the two players above. That's about all I got? Most stuff works for me on MPC.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:20 am
by leor
Yeah don't know why I put windows there, I guess windows has been bugging me lately. I'm actually using MPC-BE which is carrying on development. It looks and sounds the best of the group, but has pretty bad motion jitter.

What's weird to me is the need to go to a community project for something as simple as playing video.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:26 am
by just brew it!
leor wrote:
Yeah don't know why I put windows there, I guess windows has been bugging me lately. I'm actually using MPC-BE which is carrying on development. It looks and sounds the best of the group, but has pretty bad motion jitter.

What's weird to me is the need to go to a community project for something as simple as playing video.

I think standalone video player applications for Windows are a dying breed.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:33 am
by Usacomp2k3
If you come to the end of your rope, you could always re-encode the videos to a format you know works 100% before playing them. Dumping everything to [email protected]/60p for example. Not ideal, but it would at least work. (does the TV support 24p input? If so, then you could dump the video to [email protected], but leave source framerate.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:37 am
by DancinJack
leor wrote:
Yeah don't know why I put windows there, I guess windows has been bugging me lately. I'm actually using MPC-BE which is carrying on development. It looks and sounds the best of the group, but has pretty bad motion jitter.

What's weird to me is the need to go to a community project for something as simple as playing video.

Have you tried the framerate "compensation" (or whatever it's called) in MPC?

I also agree with the encoding stuff. Everything I play on MPC/MPDN is x264 or x265 (generally @ 1080p) and everything works great for the most part. FWIW I'm running the PC in my sig (6700K + 32GB RAM + GTX 1080).

edit: Also, have you tried playing stuff on a "regular" PC monitor? EIther at 60Hz or higher? Is Plex an option? I don't know if Plex will solve any of your issues but it might be worth looking into.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:47 am
by Waco
DancinJack wrote:
I don't know if Plex will solve any of your issues but it might be worth looking into.

Plex compatibility with various formats (and anything esoteric like 3D) is pretty abysmal, IMO.

It's great for some things, but direct streaming content is not one of them.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:51 am
by DancinJack
Waco wrote:
DancinJack wrote:
I don't know if Plex will solve any of your issues but it might be worth looking into.

Plex compatibility with various formats (and anything esoteric like 3D) is pretty abysmal, IMO.

It's great for some things, but direct streaming content is not one of them.

Yeah, for direct streaming, x264 2D bog standard video is your best bet. But it will play just about anything (obv with some transcoding), and maybe just maybe it'll be smoother for him. Just trying to offer an alternative to the current situation.

I sure hope 3D isn't the sticking point. I also hope you didn't spend much money on 3D films.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:57 am
by Waco
True, it will transcode damn near anything if you have the CPU power for it. That's why my NAS has a Threadripper in it. Brute force all the things!

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 10:08 am
by SuperSpy
I'm not sure it has the feature set you require, but I've had good luck with SMPlayer.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 1:45 pm
by leor
It's a sad truth, but right after they finally got 3D right with these passive OLEDs they cancelled it. I'm expecting it to come back in a new 4k standard after they figure out glasses free 3d, and they'll make us buy these movies all over again. I say that because they are still filming movies in 3D and they are not going to leave money on the table.

That aside, Cyber power does a decent job with 3d so I'm covered there. I'll have a look at the frame rate compensation, thanks for the idea.

@JBI, any thoughts as to why something as basic as playing video on a computer is so neglected? The quality of a relatively expensive product like Power DVD is laughable, have things like Rokus, Apple TV, and game consoles made the idea of plating video on a computer LIKE A SANE PERSON obsolete?

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 2:50 pm
by meerkt
Try MPC-HC (1.8.6 linked above), it might behave differently from MPC-BE.
Try changing the settings for the internal LAV video decoder (when playing video, right click \ Filters \ LAV Video Decoder.
Make sure you're switching the refresh rate when going fullscreen (available in the settings).
Try the few vsync modes in MPC-HC: "normal", Alternative, Accurate, and some tweaking under Accurate (I think they're for this mode). I'm not sure what the differences are, but try; also, Ctrl-J might be helpful when experimenting.

I don't think video playback is neglected on PC. There are a lot of players, especially open-source.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 3:02 pm
by techguy
I've been in your shoes. After trying just about everything over the last 10 years, I ultimately opted for an Nvidia Shield. I advise you save yourself the headache and do the same.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Tue May 07, 2019 7:19 am
by just brew it!
leor wrote:
@JBI, any thoughts as to why something as basic as playing video on a computer is so neglected? The quality of a relatively expensive product like Power DVD is laughable, have things like Rokus, Apple TV, and game consoles made the idea of plating video on a computer LIKE A SANE PERSON obsolete?

IMO it is due mostly to two things:

1. It's just not a use case the average consumer has any more. If they're not streaming video on their smartphone, they're streaming it on their "smart" TV, or using one of the other products you mentioned.

2. Increasingly onerous DRM.

So playing video on a computer (other than streaming in a web browser...) has become a niche, which means it gets neglected, which makes it more of a PITA, which ensures that it becomes even more of a niche since only a few die-hards are willing to deal with it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Tue May 07, 2019 12:48 pm
by Concupiscence
just brew it! wrote:
leor wrote:
@JBI, any thoughts as to why something as basic as playing video on a computer is so neglected? The quality of a relatively expensive product like Power DVD is laughable, have things like Rokus, Apple TV, and game consoles made the idea of plating video on a computer LIKE A SANE PERSON obsolete?

IMO it is due mostly to two things:

1. It's just not a use case the average consumer has any more. If they're not streaming video on their smartphone, they're streaming it on their "smart" TV, or using one of the other products you mentioned.

2. Increasingly onerous DRM.

So playing video on a computer (other than streaming in a web browser...) has become a niche, which means it gets neglected, which makes it more of a PITA, which ensures that it becomes even more of a niche since only a few die-hards are willing to deal with it. Lather, rinse, repeat.


I think VLC's proliferation is a response to this, too: when a situation becomes a frustrating niche, you want something that will work well enough in a pinch. Thus, the Swiss army knife of media players manages to become a safe if not exactly sexy solution, and it runs across platforms, so you don't have to relearn your workflow when it's the end of the day and you want to watch a disc rip on your laptop.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 12:53 am
by johnbee
techguy wrote:
I ultimately opted for an Nvidia Shield.

A good idea.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 3:50 am
by Ifalna
When it comes to 4K BluRay I didn't even attempt a PC based solution since I'd need a post Kaby Lake CPU anyway.

Instead I got a DV compatible BD player.
Lo and behold, even the standard BluRays look a lot better when played by the dedicated hardware player compared to cyber link and my computer.

Meh, who cares. Never liked Cyber Links bloated software anyway.

Worst thing is anything HDR (except games). It just won't work properly, no matter what I do.
Want to use YT HDR? Better use the TVs app and endure the advertisement hell b/c the PC just can't get the colors / light levels right.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:39 pm
by mikeowins
My favorite video play on Windows: PotPlayer. Simple user interface and support almost all video formats.

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:41 am
by defaultluser
Yeah, I don't understand this sudden love affair for Pot Player. What does it do that VLC hasn't done for fifteen years?

Re: Best windows video player

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:03 pm
by drache'86
Any software Blu-ray player (and a stand-alone for that matter) is only as good as updates when new encryption comes in.
I actually use quite an old version of Power-dvd ultra and it still works for me. Of course any software developer will want you to upgrade since it helps the revenue stream and pay for their licences.

As for a grain, LG tends to go pretty crazy on noise and edges with the sharpness settings high or the "enhanced sharpness" turned on. I think that turning the Advanced Features OFF, noise reduction OFF and Sharpness down low will help make noisier content look more natural and subtle instead of obnoxiously grainy.