It’s very apparent that netbooks are known for not being all that powerful. They’re great for portability, checking your email and surfing the web, but when it comes to heavy information processing like playing HD video, you’ll have to look elsewhere…or do you?
One of the biggest cons with my netbook was that it would barely play my HD collection, but I discovered a way to fix this problem by using the ever-diverse (and my favorite) Media Player Classic and the CoreAVC codec. CoreAVC is known as one of the fastest software decoders out there, and when it’s coupled with Media Player Classic, you get the ultimate video player for your netbook. Mind you, CoreAVC will cost you $10, but there’s also “other ways” to get it, of course.
So, let’s get started. You’ll need three things for this quick project:
1. Go ahead and download and install Media Player Classic if you don’t already have it.
2. Now, download and install CoreAVC. Go ahead and uncheck Haali’s Media Splitter when you get to the Choose Components screen. You’ll only need the codec.
3. Once installed, go to the CoreCodec directory in Start>All Programs and select Configure CoreAVC.
4. The only changes you’ll need to make to the codec are setting Deblocking to Skip always and setting Deinterlacing to None (Weave). Hit Apply and then OK.
5. Open up MPC and go to View>Options. A new window will pop up. Select External Filters on the left side.
6. CoreAVC Video Decoder should already be showing in the list, but if it’s not, go to Add Filter and find CoreAVC Video Decoder in the list on the left-hand side and double-click on it. It should now be listed. Then, make sure Prefer is selected.
7. Select Output in the left-hand side menu. Make sure DirectShow Video is set to EVR (Vista/.Net3). Click Apply and then OK.
8. Close and restart MPC to make sure the new settings apply.
You’re all set to go now. Play your favorite HD video and it should play without much trouble. Mind you, it won’t play perfectly, but audio will stay in sync and the video will barely skip. I should also note that playing HD video on your netbook will use up practically every single resource, so don’t plan on doing anything else except watching that movie.
“What’s the point of playing HD video on a low-resolution screen?”
For me personally, my whole collection is in HD and I’d rather not convert every video I have to make it play nicely with my netbook. For others, they usually like to connect their netbook to a larger display.
“Are there any other alternatives to CoreAVC? I really don’t want to spend $10.”
Luckily, there are free alternatives that are just as good as CoreAVC. The Shark007 codec has been said to work well for HD playback on netbooks.
“What about battery life? Won’t HD playback drain my battery like crazy?”
Surprisingly, HD playback doesn’t suck much juice out of netbooks. Using the Asus Eee 1005HA, I managed to still have 72% battery left on a 1 hour, 30 minute, 720p movie with screen brightness at 75% and both WiFi and Bluetooth off. On a normal 15.4″ HP laptop, the battery died before I could even finish the movie. That’s saying something for netbook battery life!
“Will this work with online HD content like YouTube?”
Unfortunately, no. The codec only works with HD video played in MPC.