HD Video on a Netbook? Using CoreAVC codec to enable netbook-friendly HD

Having a netbook can be a curse at times due to the lowly multimedia capabilities. Sure, if you stick to normal AVI or RMVB videos, there are no problems but dumping in a HD 720p or 1080p movie and you will be in for a shock as your netbook struggles to play the video and trying to keep the audio in sync. This is a common problem not only for netbooks but also powerful PCs only a few years old but without enough processing power to properly decode HD content.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel for HD fanatics who wants to see their netbook be capable of playing HD content. There are two options you can use, the first being the Shark007 codec. This is a free codec pack which is quite user-friendly with a settings control application to help you configure the codec pack properly. You will need to mess around with the H264 settings to see which works best for you. However this option is not perfect, as the codec used to decode HD content is not as efficient as the second option, which is CoreAVC.

CoreAVC is currently the most efficient and advanced HD decoder used but it will set you back $12.90, although I imagine if you play around with Google you will be able to find the download link for free. You simply install the application then set CoreAVC to always Skip Deblocking and Deinterlacing to None.

The next step is to install and run Media Player Classic Home Cinema. Select Options from the View dropdown menu and click the External Filters tab. Click the Add Filter… button at the top right of the window and double-click CoreAVC Video Decoder from the list. Make sure the Prefer option is ticked. Then select Output in the Options menu and make sure that the DirectShow Video is set to EVR. Click OK, and close Media Player Classic to make sure the settings are applied

With this done hopefully your 1080p videos will be able to play smoothly. You may encounter problems with more complicated videos with higher bitrate, and nothing can help beyond waiting for an even more efficient codec to arrive, or switching over to Ubuntu Linux.

But with this guide, hopefully 720p content will be able to play fine on your netbook. With a screen so small, that’s all you need anyway.