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How to play 10bit videos

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by SamKook, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. SamKook

    SamKook Akiba Citizen Uploader

    Since I started encoding some of my videos in 10bit, I thought it would be best to make a tutorial on how to play them since support for it is not yet implemented in all the players which makes me expect a lot of questions on how to play those files.

    I'll use the terms 8bit, 10bit, 32bit and 64bit in this tutorial(there should be a space between the number and the word "bit", but I almost always end up writing it without one). Just so you don't get mixed up, 8 and 10 are about the color depth of the video and 32 and 64 are about the OS(Operating System).

    The advantages of 10bit color depth, in a nutshell, is that it allows for better compression at higher quality which means that the file size of the movies will be smaller and will look a little better than if they had been encoded with an 8 bit encoder(which is almost all of them unless you work at a professional level).
    It doesn't matter if your monitor or video card isn't made for it, it will play fine and you'll still be able to see the advantages.

    *Playback problems*
    What could happen if you try to play a 10bit encoded video when your player doesn't support it:
    -The player only display a black or green image.
    -The video plays, but the colors are wrong or of very poor quality.
    -The player could crash(but I haven't seen it happen yet)

    *What 10 bit doesn't support*
    -Hardware acceleration(DXVA, CUVID, etc.) isn't compatible with 10bit(and probably never will be) so you'll need to disable it.
    -External players. So far, there are no external players that can handle 10bit, only a computer.

    *Installing 10bit supported player*
    I'll try to cover multiple ways of playing them, but my favorite and the one I use is manually installing MPCHC and some codecs, but it's not the easiest.

    **In general**
    If your player is not mentionned below, try to update it to the latest version and check if the video plays properly.
    If it still fails and you're using a 64bit OS(windows, linux, etc.), try the 32bit one, I've seen the exact same version of a player fail with 64bit and play perfectly with the 32bit one.
    If it still doesn't work, you'll need to change player(or codecs) or wait for it to implement 10 bit support.

    If you need to install a codec pack, this is the one I recommend. It doesn't install too much useless things and it uses most of the codecs and the player I install manually.
    Support has been implemented sometime in July(but the stable release was from 2011-07-30) so if you have an older version, all you need to do is update it.
    It is strongly suggested that you remove any other codecs or codec packs before you install it. The instructions on how to do this can be found here: http://www.cccp-project.net/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page#Installation_Instructions

    **VLC player**
    *Edit: The stable version of VLC 2.0.0 now has support for 10 bit video
    Support is only implemented starting at version 1.2 which is not yet final(at the time of me writing this). That means you need to download one of the nightly builds, but they may be unstable since people are currently working on it. If you get a bug or if it's not working, get it again on another day.
    You can download them here for windows(if you don't know which to choose, take the .exe): http://nightlies.videolan.org/build/win32/last/

    **The manual way**
    You'll need the 32bit versions of(64bit isn't recommended, but you can try it if you want):
    MPC Home Cinema(MPCHC for short)
    Haali Media Splitter
    LAV Filters

    The easiest way to get all you need is to get them from http://x264.nl/ in the "decoder" section.

    It is recommended to remove all codec packs you might already have since they may create conflicts when playing some files or contain old versions of what you're about to install(see the CCCP section on how to do this).
    1. Install MPCHC using the defaults settings.
    2. If it ask you to install the latest directX, dl this installer and run it: DirectX web installer
    3. Install LAV Filters. You only need to select the 32bit(x86) versions of the splitter, video and audio(you won't see the 64bit ones if your OS doesn't support it) unless you're trying to use the 64bit version which I do not recommend.
    4. Install Haali. Uncheck "Associate .mkv and .mka files with windows media player". You can also uncheck "Enable MP4 support" and "Enable OGG/OGM support to let LAV decode them, but it's not necessary.
    5. You can also use madVR as the video renderer for MPCHC since it provides the best quality, but it has problems with some source(like DVDs) so unless you're familiar with changing MPCHC settings, I don't recommend it which is why I won't explain how to do it here(you should be easily able to figure out how if you have the qualifications to use it).
    6. Open MPCHC, click on the "View" menu, then on "Options", click on "Internal Filters" and uncheck all of them in the "Source Filters" and the "Transform Filters" columns to let LAV decode the videos.
    7. If some video won't play, you can go back to MPCHC internal filters option and check the box that correspond to it or you can install FFDShow-tryouts(often only called ffdshow) which you can find at the same place as the others.
    If you install ffdshow, just make sure to set the merit to normal(go in the Video decoder configuration, click on "DirectShow control" and slide the Merit bar left until it display "normal" instead of "ffdshow default" and do the same for the Audio decoder configuration) to make sure it doesn't get used over LAV filters(but it wouldn't be that much of a big deal).

    If you have any other solution to play 10 bit files, you can post them here or pm them to me and I'll add them to this post.
    2 people like this.
  2. xianxianyue

    xianxianyue New Member

    1 person likes this.