Tag Archive: h264


I previously wrote a guide detailing how to offload decoding of h264 and x264 video files to the graphics card. That guide is very outdated now, but still relevant. I therefore decided to give you an updated version that also takes Windows XP users into account and simplifies the whole process.

Changes from previous version

  • Uses a newer and better Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC)
  • Accounts for Windows XP users
  • Does not require Cyberlink video decoder, which should save you some money as well as simplifying the setup

This 3 step tutorial is based on following links:


Step 1 – Requirements and installation

Latest Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC): http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/

A supported Operating System: Windows XP SP3 or Windows Vista/7 32bit/64bit

Step 2 – Configuration

After installing MPC-HC, fire it up and open the options by going to View > Options.

Make sure the settings are as described in the screenshots below:

MPC-HC Playback Options
MPC-HC Output Options
MPC-HC Filter Options

Step 3 – Testing

With the correct settings in place, it is time to check that Hardware Decoding is actually functioning.

To do this you will en a test file, you can get one from the following address: http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/76037/dxva/Aristocats.mkv

Start the movie, then right-click and go to Filters > MPC Video Decoder as shown below.

Renderer Information

In the properties window it should display the following under DXVA settings, if it says Not Using DXVA, then look trough the troubleshooting points at the end of this tutorial.
DXVA Enabled


Problem: MPC Video Decoder Properties says Not Using DXVA under DXVA mode with the Aristocats.mkv test film.

Solution: If you configured MPC HC exactly as noted in this tutorial, then you should make absolutely sure your graphics card supports x264 hardware decoding.

Problem: MPC Video Decoder Properties says Not Using DXVA under DXVA mode on some films other than the Aristocats.mkv test film.

Solution: First make sure the video format in use is actually encoded in h264/x264. If it is in h264/x264 you might be unlucky as not all encodes properly support hardware decoding and DXVA (especially older files). Click here for more info.


This Tutorial is out of date! See an updated version by clicking HERE, it is much better, trust me! 😉


I will keep the old version one here for the many insightful comments.



For this tutorial I will be using Media Player Classic Home Cinema and Cyberlink PowerDVD 8 decoder.

You will need a hardware accelerated video card. Currently either a Nvidia 8xxx or 9xxx series, or ATI Radeon HD series card will work.

If you have Haali Media Splitter installed, hardware acceleration should also work on videos in the Matroska (.mkv) container.

If you have installed a codec pack, check if VSFilter is installed. If it is installed, open the configuration and under the General tab set it to not load.

Disable VSFilter

Download Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC) and extract it. If you have an older version of Media Player Classic installed I suggest overwriting it. Install PowerDVD 8 or newer, and when finished open MPC-HC.


In MPC-HC choose Options from the View menu.

Choose Options

Go to the Playback section and enable “auto-load subtitles” to let MPC-HC handle subtitles.

Load Subtitles

Continue to the Output section under Playback. Select “EVR Custom Pres.”

Select EVR

Change section to “External Filters” and click “Add Filter…”. Select Cyberlink h264/AVC Decoder filter and click OK.

Select Filter

Select the added filter and make sure it is set as preferred.

Prefered Filter

Now, try playing a h264/x264 encoded video to see if CPU usage is lowered. When playing you can right-click the movie, select filter, then choose the Cyberlink filter and see if the DXVA option is enabled.