Announcing MCDU – The Media Center Decoder Utility (replaces VMCD)

For Vista, TV Pack and Windows 7

Download  at http://www.whittakermoore.com/mcdu.exe

image 

A couple of big new features.

  1. Take Ownership: To work round the issues with codecs being secure in Windows 7 and in some versions of Vista with TV Pack installed this option will take ownership of the default codec files and rename them to a .mcdu.bak file if you choose a non-standard codec If you then choose to go back to the standard decoders the utility will rename them back..

    WARNING CHANGING THE DEFAULT MICROSOFT CODEC FOR LIVE TV CAN BREAK OTHER APPLICATIONS. RECOMMENDED ONLY FOR A PURELY MEDIA CENTER SETUP
     

  2. Show decoders not named video or audio. By default MCDU will show all codecs that have Video Decoder or Audio Decoder in the title – even if they are not marked as Media Center decoders. By checking this option al other decoders will be included. Use at your own risk.

image

If you are running Windows 7 Take Ownership will be checked at start up.

image image

IMPORTANT IF YOU HAVE ALREADY RENAMED THE DEFAULT MICROSOF CODEC FILES THEN THE AUTO RENAMING WILL NOT WORK. RENAME THEM BACK BEFORE USING THE UTILITY.

And finally the holy grail…. FFDSHOW being used for live tv in 7 Media Center. To get FFDShow to recognise Live TV you will need to enable the MPEG in AVI option.

 

 

 

Download  at http://www.whittakermoore.com/mcdu.exe

 

 

 

32 bit decoders have been tested. Its been coded to work with 64 bit but I’ve not been able to test it and I am not aware of any working 64 bit decoders for TV other than the MS ones

Use at your own risk but I hope you find this useful

Garry.

 

p.s. almost forgot for TV Pack users you will now see tow decoders listed for both Video and Audio. This is because the TV Pack allows for a fallback decoder for formats the main decoder cannot work with.

EDIT: p.p.s when downloading choose to save locally rather than running. If you run from within your browser the application will error as it will not have enough privilege

 

About the author Garry Whittaker:
Regular presenter and occasional host on The Digital Lifestyle Show. Contributing writer. Convenience Computing enthusiast. Author of the Media Center Decoder tool. Microsoft MVP
  • mhealy
    Awesome. I haven’t tried it on tried it on the 32-bit machine yet but for some reason the first time I ran it (immediately after downloading it from IE) I got a crash when trying to set the codecs.

    If ffdshow does in fact work for live TV after setting mpeg in avi shouldn’t it be possible to use the 64-bit svn of ffdshow tryouts?

  • Garry [WMA]
    Hi there

    Can you let me know the details of the crash. Itis possible it may be something to do with you already having taken ownership of the files.

    Yes you are right the 64bit tryouts ought to work but unfortunately my 64 bit machine is in pieces at the moment so I can’t test. it would depend if they install the codecs as pure 64 bit or pseudo 32 bit.

  • joshpollard
    Changing the codec wouldn’t affect playback on extenders would it? Is there a way to do that?
  • mhealy
    I can’t seem to find any information on the errors in the event logs anywhere as far as I can see and it only happened on that first run. I chose to run the application from the download dialog in IE8 so that may have been the cause. I think it probably ran the program with the wrong user permissions, idk.
  • Garry [WMA]
    Should have mentioned that in the write up. If downloading please save rather than run. By default Windows Vista upwards block registry access for non-locally running applications.

    No won’t affect extender play back. The codecs are in the extender firmware unless transcoding.

  • tai1spin
    Can’t wait to try on my 64bit TVPack install. I currently run TVPack with ATI 650 pci-e tuner and PowerDVD9 ultra. What do you want me to do to verify changing decoder for live TV works and does not break anything?? I’m thinking of switching the MS decoder live TV for PowerDVD9…
  • Garry [WMA]
    tai1spin: if you are running service pack1 or above you need to check the Take Ownership box. I can’t guarantee the POWERDVD9 decoder will actually work as I have no idea if it is a true 64bit or actually a 32bit decoder masquerading as 64bit. The former should work, the latter is unlikely to.

    Anyway if you change the microsoft video decoder ensure you change both of them to something other than Microsoft. Mixing Microsoft for one and non-microsoft for the other is not guaranteed.

    Let me know how you get on. Try playing DVD’s and any high def video you have after swapping the decoder.

  • Trikkyx
    Can’t download it from the URL above “http://www.whittakermoore.com/mcdu.exe” – is there a mirror or can anybody sent it via email “[email protected]” to me.

    thank you very much

    bye Trikkyx

  • Garry [WMA]
    Not sure why you can’t download from my site but if you go to media on thedigitallifestyle.com there is a mirrored copy there.
  • Trikkyx
    …same problem with the mirror “http://thedigitallifestyle.com/cs/media/p/19564/download.aspx” – “The site can not be displayed.”
    the problem i have is only on your site – I do not understand that – i’m in germany – and my firewall is turned off – but no download – do you have another mirror for me please

    thank you very much

    bye Trikkyx

  • Ian Dixon
  • Bob Nie
    Hi Gary
    I have need to replace Media center encoder in win7.
    Do you have any idea how to do this?
  • JonScaife
    Hi
    Has anyone else tested this with ffdshow x64? It doesn’t seem to be working for me – I get the “The video decoder is not working, is not installed…” error message as soon as I try to view live tv

    This is with ffdshow x64 2984 on Win7 x64 RC1 (7100)

    Any suggestions very welcome :)

  • dougstanton
    This doesn’t appear to work with Windows 7 RTM, it gives me an unhandeled exception error and no codecs are listed
  • Garry [WMA]
    Just tested with RTM and it seems fine.

    Just to check:
    1, you have downloaded the file (i.e. saved) and are not trying to run it directly from the link
    2, have you tried running as administrator

  • gt1485a
    I tried setting other programs to default(successfully) and now i cannot revert to the default Microsoft settings. I am running Win7 x86. Help? Please?
  • Garry [WMA]
    look for the .mcdu.bak in the windows/system32 directory and manually rename them to take off the mcdu.bak
  • Brewmaster
    I have set the MPEG in AVI option in both the configuration settings and in VFW configuration. Using the ffdshow 20041012 download. I continue to get “The video decoder is not working…” error message when I try to view live TV.

    Suggestions?

  • Brewmaster
    I also should mention that the option I see is for “ffdshow MPEG-4 video decoder” not “ffdshow video decoder” as is in your screenshot.