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Old 29th November 2006, 09:33   #1  |  Link
zambelli
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WMV9 PowerToy

So I finally installed Visual C# on my computer and put together an app that I've been needing to write for months.

WMV9 PowerToy is a tool designed to configure advanced properties of the WMV9 encoder and decoder otherwise only accessible through registry settings. The basic functionality is similar to McoreD's WMV9 Advanced Settings Editor, but then there are additional features such as importing/exporting settings to .reg files, video profile enforcement (disables settings incompliant with a particular VC-1 profile), WMV codec version detection, and advanced decoder settings (i.e. DXVA, post-processing).



System requirements are:
  • WMV9 encoder v11 (wmvencod.dll) or WVC1 encoder v11 (wvc1dmoe.dll)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework version 2.0
Homepage: http://www.citizeninsomniac.com/WMV

Direct download: http://www.citizeninsomniac.com/WMV/WMV%20PowerToy.exe


The software is released under a shared source Microsoft Community License (Ms-CL). What is Ms-CL and why didn't I use the usual GNU GPL? As some of you may know, I work for Microsoft and since this tool is very closely related to my actual job, I wanted to make sure I could share the code and encourage collaboration while at the same time ensuring the license wasn't at odds with my employer's policies. So there you have it: shared source software that's kosher with Microsoft.

On the linked homepage you will also find latest versions of WMCmd.vbs, another way to get the most out of WMV9 encoding.

Last edited by zambelli; 23rd April 2007 at 18:12.
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Old 29th November 2006, 13:26   #2  |  Link
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Ooh, very nice! When I get my new rig after Xmas, this will probably be my configuration app of choice.
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Old 29th November 2006, 14:28   #3  |  Link
check
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do the decoding options (specifically the pp) also affect previous WMV video formats?
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Old 29th November 2006, 16:48   #4  |  Link
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Zambelli,

Thanks for the great effort - very much appreciated.

For XBOX360 media playback of VC-1, will MS release a "profile" or suggestions as to which options NOT to use for 720p or 1080p encoding? For example, you mentioned in one of your earlier posts "no loopback with 1080p".

Thanks again.
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Old 29th November 2006, 20:31   #5  |  Link
zambelli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by check View Post
do the decoding options (specifically the pp) also affect previous WMV video formats?
Such as WMV8 and WMV7, you mean? I'm not sure, to tell you the truth. I think it might because those PP reg keys have been around for a while.
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Old 29th November 2006, 20:34   #6  |  Link
zambelli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjchmura View Post
For XBOX360 media playback of VC-1, will MS release a "profile" or suggestions as to which options NOT to use for 720p or 1080p encoding? For example, you mentioned in one of your earlier posts "no loopback with 1080p".
No, I don't think there'll be an official encoder profiile released for 360.
Loop filter is probably the only one that affects decoding performance. I think the Xbox thread pretty much outlined the rest of the properties (max bitrate and such) for achieving good WMV playback on the 360.
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Old 30th November 2006, 00:49   #7  |  Link
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Really cool things.

-t
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Old 30th November 2006, 02:17   #8  |  Link
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Thanks a lot for this tool! Unfortunatly I get an error when starting the tool, though both software requirements are fulfilled. You got any idea hot to fix this?

Thanks in advance :-)
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Old 30th November 2006, 02:42   #9  |  Link
zambelli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randi View Post
Thanks a lot for this tool! Unfortunatly I get an error when starting the tool, though both software requirements are fulfilled. You got any idea hot to fix this?
Thanks in advance :-)
The image hasn't come through yet so I'm jumping the gun a bit: but make sure you actually download the executable before running it. If you click on the link and choose Run, it will fail because .NET apps can't run from the cache with full permissions.
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Old 30th November 2006, 10:56   #10  |  Link
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uploaded it to imageshack http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/69/wmverrorxz3.jpg without the image its kind of hard to guess, I guess :-)
I dl it completly so that shouldnt be a problem
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Old 30th November 2006, 18:09   #11  |  Link
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Excellent! Thanks!

I like the detailed descriptions of the various settings. One additional information would make it perfect: the effect of the particular setting on the encoding speed vs the picture improvement potential.
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Old 30th November 2006, 22:15   #12  |  Link
zambelli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randi View Post
uploaded it to imageshack http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/69/wmverrorxz3.jpg without the image its kind of hard to guess, I guess :-)
I dl it completly so that shouldnt be a problem
Hmm, it looks like it's failing when trying to retrieve the installed codec names and versions. Are you running this as non-admin by any chance?
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Old 30th November 2006, 22:16   #13  |  Link
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Quote:
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I like the detailed descriptions of the various settings. One additional information would make it perfect: the effect of the particular setting on the encoding speed vs the picture improvement potential.
I wanted to do that too, but it would've required me to run perf and quality tests on every option - which would've taken a long long time.

It's still a good idea - it just might take me a while to get the data necessary to implement it.
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Old 8th December 2006, 19:51   #14  |  Link
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Thanks for this awesome little tool, zambelli.

Last edited by obieobieobie; 8th December 2006 at 19:51. Reason: typo
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Old 9th December 2006, 03:17   #15  |  Link
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A few words about the VC-1 profile enforcement. The primary reason why I added this feature is because the MSDN documentation for these settings, as registry keys or IPropertyBag properties, does not mention anything about profile compliance. Furthermore, the encoder DMO doesn't do a thorough job of enforcing profile compliance in all cases. For example, Compression Optimization Type = 1 preset sets both DQuant and Motion Search Range internally, but it doesn't check whether these conform with the selected video profile (which it otherwise does when these settings are set individually). So as a result, using CompOptType=1 with Simple Profile will actually create bitstreams that don't follow the VC-1 specification. It's an unfortunate oversight, but it's one that can be rectified with good documentation and encoding guidelines.

In order to make sure this doesn't happen, I added the "Enforce profile" feature to WMV9 PowerToy so that you can easily make sure you're always generating VC-1 compliant videos. The enforcement follows these rules:

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Old 9th December 2006, 04:25   #16  |  Link
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Wahey. THAT's what I'm after with VC-1! Means I can generate perfect Simple and Main Profile encodes every time, and compare with AVC better.
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Old 9th December 2006, 09:15   #17  |  Link
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Thanks for the tool. I'm sure I'll use this often.
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Old 11th December 2006, 17:35   #18  |  Link
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to get back on my issue: Your guess was (kind of) correct. Even though I still use my old Domain admin account (due to lazyness moving everything to an new account), which should grant me admin rights, doing the runas thingie with the normal local admin account solved the problem. Thanks for helping!
(I really gotta move the account, there are some folders I cannot access anymore, and not take over as well. Anybody got an idea/tool how to do this the easy way?)

:-)
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Old 18th December 2006, 15:45   #19  |  Link
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Awesome tool zambelli. Great to get easy access to more parameters. I do have some questions though.

Being a bit on the noobish side of what everything means (the explanations really really help though), are there any specific settings that impact quality more than others?

I did notice that your "Best Visual Quality" preset enabled some settings but they also slowed the encoding down drastically. Are there any settings there that are more important than others or is that perhaps more dependant on the source material?

I'm going through my DVD collection a.t.m, transcoding them to WMV for easy viewing on my 360 and of course i'd like the best quality i can get without it taking days to encode a single movie so are there any features that i should look more at than others. I'm mostly talking film material here, and almost no anime or cartoons.

Again thanks for this tool
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Old 19th December 2006, 02:59   #20  |  Link
zambelli
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Quote:
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I did notice that your "Best Visual Quality" preset enabled some settings but they also slowed the encoding down drastically. Are there any settings there that are more important than others or is that perhaps more dependant on the source material?
The Motion Search Level and Motion Match Method options slow down encoding the most.

Quote:
I'm going through my DVD collection a.t.m, transcoding them to WMV for easy viewing on my 360 and of course i'd like the best quality i can get without it taking days to encode a single movie so are there any features that i should look more at than others. I'm mostly talking film material here, and almost no anime or cartoons.
Quality comes at a performance price, unfortunately. My favorite quality-at-whatever-cost setting is:

Motion Search Level = True Chroma
Motion Match Method = Hadamard
Motion Search Range = Auto
In-Loop Filter = On
B-Frame Number = 1
B-Frame Delta QP = 1

If doing 1-pass CBR, enable Lookahead = 16 too and increase your video buffer size to 15-30 seconds to allow more variance in bitrate.

If you'd like to speed up these settings a little bit, try Motion Search Level = Auto True Chroma, and Motion Match Method = Auto... But it's unlikely you'll get the encoder to go any faster than this without sacrificing more quality.
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