Add Codecs to Windows Vista Media Center

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 8, 2007
Updated • May 29, 2013

If you use the Windows Vista Media Center you may have noticed that playback for various formats is not supported by default. You can't playback divx, xvid or h.264 movies or play mp3 or aac audio files by default which is really annoying if you want to or have to use the media center.

The media control plugin adds support for additional codecs to Windows Vista's and Windows 7's media center. The program supports both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the media centers.

Media Control is a plugin for Microsoft Media Center that adds lacking features such as : fast forward/rewind for any video format, resume video, switch between audio/subtitles streams, sets brightness/contrast, improves picture quality...

The plugin is built on the top of an open source decoder : FFDShow Tryouts.

FFDShow is able to decode multiple audio (mp3,aac,vorbis,ac3,DTS,Dolby TrueHD,HD audio bitstream,...) and video formats (MPEG4 divx xvid h264, MPEG1 & 2, RealVideo...) and most of all is able to improve picture quality (this is called postprocessing).

In addition to adding support for additional audio and video types, Media Control adds new features to the media player. Take a look at the most important features below:

  • Switching embedded audio and subtitles streams while playing a video: works with AVI, OGM, MKV
  • Switching between external subtitle files (.SRT, .SUB)
  • Switching between FFDShow presets (audio & video)
  • Setting and loading bookmarks inside a video
  • Real fast forward (and rewind) exactly like in the TV module (with 3 different speeds)
  • Switching and setting post-processing filters in FFDShow (video filters only)
  • Separate application to assign keyboard/remote control shortcuts to the commands and the MCML pages of the plugin

The software uses ffdshow to add support for additional audio and video formats to Window's media center. The software requires the Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 redistributable to be installed on the system.

Update: Media Control updates are still released regularly. Simply run the installer once you have downloaded the release to get started.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. pannikutti said on November 11, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    veryvery bad

  2. Darfuria said on February 10, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Thank you for this :)

  3. tash said on February 9, 2007 at 6:47 am

    That’s two articles in one day that I needed. Woo. Now, any idea if it’s possible to get an xbox360 to play divx files? =]

    1. Martin said on February 9, 2007 at 11:57 am

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