Windows 7 uses its own DirectShow filters for decoding several audio and video formats. Using third party filters instead of the native filters is not possible without making changes to the Windows Registry.
The Win7DSFilterTweaker tool allows you to configure your preferred DirectShow filters with just a few mouse clicks. It is quick, easy, and changes can always be undone.
If you for example prefer to use ffdshow or CoreAVC for decoding H.264 video then you can do so by using this tool.
This tool is particularly useful for the Microsoft players, such as Windows Media Player and Media Center. Certain advanced third party players, such as Media Player Classic, are already capable of using third party filters without using this tool.
The changes that this tool makes to the preferred filter settings of Windows only have effect when a player uses DirectShow.
Windows Media Player and Media Center use a new framework called Media Foundation instead of DirectShow when playing certain file formats. In that case they will always use the Microsoft decoders, and not any third party DirectShow filters. Examples of file formats that are played using Media Foundation are: .m2ts, .mp4, and .mov.
This tool has the capability to disable the use of Media Foundation for specific file extensions. The only negative side effect of those tweaks is that thumbnails will not work.
This tool is also capable of completely disabling Media Foundation and other Microsoft playback components by renaming certain files. However, you should be aware that doing so might have noticeable side effects. For example, playback of live TV in Media Center could stop working. But in any case, any change made by the tool can easily be undone to restore the system to its original state.
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