How To Play Xvid And Avi Files With Vista Media Center

Media Center Control Plugin

I’ve spent a lot of time this weekend finally setting up Windows Vista Media Center, and I suddenly realised that Vista Media Center won’t play Xvid and Avi files even if Windows Media Player will. If you want to add support for third party codecs including Xvid and Avi files in Vista Media Center then you need to install the Media Control Plugin For Windows Vista Media Center.

This plugin allows Windows Vista Media Center to utilize te FFDShow decoder, which needs to be installed seperately ((FFDShow rev 1108 recommended: download the last version from FFDShow adds support to Vista for MPEG-4 video formats like DivX, Xvid, H.264 and also alllows MP3, AAC, Dolby AC3, and OGG Vorbis audio files to be played back.

The Media Control Plugin for Windows Vista MCE also adds the following additional features:

  • Switching embedded audio and subtitles streams while playing a video: works with AVI, OGM, MKV
  • Switching between external subtitle files (.SRT, .SUB)
  • Switching between FFDShow presets (audio & video)
  • Setting and loading bookmarks inside a video with visualization of the pictures of the saved bookmarks
  • Real fastforward (and rewind) exactly like in the TV module (with 3 different speeds)
  • Switching and setting post-processing filters in FFDShow (video filters only)
  • Separate application to assign keyboard/remote control shortcuts to the commands and the MCML pages of the plugin.
  • Full remote control support (6 buttons are mapped by default, but this can be changed)
  • Default mapping (works in full screen while watching a video, except the blue button that is always caught) :
    • Fast forward / rewind buttons
    • Blue button : loads the startup page of the plugin
    • Red button : switches audio stream
    • Green button : switches subtitle stream
    • Yellow button : switches subtitle file

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32 Responses to How To Play Xvid And Avi Files With Vista Media Center

  1. lament February 13, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    i have windows vista and got no problem playing avi files in windows media center from the computer.
    the problem is that my x-box wont play them.
    i find the videos but get a message sumt like this: Cant play video. dont reconice filetype, and cant play this file. codec not installed or damaged.
    any1 know what to do?


  2. Paulo Sa Pereira March 15, 2009 at 4:43 am #

    Have been trying so many things for so long including codecs, other programs and I´m glad to have found a recommendation that finally worked

    Try what Ira W Whiteside recommended above. It worked for me.

  3. hamilton March 16, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    hi, well i was jus reading these tread and some people think it works for the xbox but no i guess its not for the media center on the xbox, it only for the xmc on your pc, if you want to watch avi, divx and other movie formats on your xbox, you can by dowloading a software to stream files via your internet networ, such as tversity, look it up on google, i hope it was of help.

  4. amgad May 4, 2009 at 3:13 am #

    well i’ve trying for the last week to play avi/divx/xvid with vista mc but no way!!
    it recognize the folder but nothing inside!!
    i’ve installed the the ffdshow and the media controll but nothing!!
    can any body explain how or what to do so the vmc will be able to play these kind of files?? by the way i can play these files with the media player.
    thanks in advance

  5. Patrick May 19, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    I can play .divx .xvid and so when I configure my WindowsMediaplayer with my Xbox360. But only when I set it up by adding my computer in the Xbox360 dashboard. So my pc has no problem playing the movies, and the Xbox360 has no trouble. But when I wanna use Win Media Center to play the .divx .xvid suddenly I cannot play them. (dont reconice filetype, and cant play this file. codec not installed or damaged) Well i have searched, read and tried so many things. It just wont work. HELP! 😉 The codecs wich needed is not the problem as mentioned, the Xbox is not the problem cause in the dashboard I can play the movies, ( I even can play the movies in Mediacenter, but it will not stream)

  6. mea johnson June 29, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    im not sure if this helps but i had the problem too. you need to hook your xbox to the internet then download a newer version of windows media. i had four avi. videos on my discs and thats what i had to do.after i got the updated windows i had no problems try it.

  7. Guest October 12, 2009 at 7:41 am #

    I did all that (installed ffdshow and media control plugin and it did not work for me. I don’t understand why they would make a media centre that would not play avi. files. This is crap.

    • Everton Blair October 12, 2009 at 8:37 am #

      you have to install the files in the right sequence – the microsoft patch & ffdshow BEFORE you install the media control plugin. Uninstall all the programs and try again.

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