Windows 7 RC1 and Media Playback

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One of the main functions of my gaming box (apart from gaming) is viewing HD content on my big screen TV (40" Samsung LCD HDTV). Apart from installing iTunes 64bit for my music and iPhone/iPod support I also tested the new and improved Windows Media Player. To my surprise Windows 7 RC1 has native support to almost all types of media files with it's built in codecs. Beta 1 had support for DivX, Xvid, and MPEG-4 and new in RC1 Windows 7 now supports .mov! These are great steps for Microsoft in allowing users to view different types of media encoded with different codecs. HOWEVER (you knew that was coming), Windows 7 RC1 still lacks support for .MKV files. I download a great deal of HD content and my entire HD collection is in .mkv files. Before you panic and start installing a bunch of codec packs, there is a simple solution! Since the only codec pack missing and until Microsoft or someone figures out how to get .mkv support in Windows Media Player (hopefully for the final version) simply download VLC player. This will not install any other codecs except what is needed for playing .mkv files. The player does play and try to become the default media player for all files, just make sure you uncheck these option during the install.

Microsoft is definatly impressing me with Windows 7 RC1. Being able to play DivX, Xvid, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, .avi, and .mov files without any of those lame codec packs that we have all been using forever is awesome! I hope for the final release they add .mkv (matroska) and we will be set. For now try VLC player and cross your fingers for support in the final version.

More info on Windows 7 for today:
Windows 7 changes between Beta and RC1
cnet: What's new in Windows 7 slideshow

Till next time,
Jorge Orchilles

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chris said...

Now time to test out Boxee in Windows 7!

May 7, 2009 at 9:45 AM