I've recently purchased a Samsung noteboook running Window 7 64-bit. The computer has an i5 processor with integrated HD 4000 graphics along with an Nvidia 650M graphics card with Optimus.
I use my computer a lot to watch videos, which are all DivX encoded .avi files. Most of these are average to good quality rips in the 700mb - 1.4gb file size range.
I am using WMP 12 to watch these on the new laptop, and I am finding that the quality of these is signifcantly lower than it was on my old laptop (WMP 11 and Vista OS). Videos appear grainy and there are visible artifacts (almost like smeared rings around people, objects, etc). At first I assumed this was down to WMP so I tried asking around on forums to see if other people have had the same problem. It would seem that they haven't. I am now wondering if it is a driver issue. I've disabled all of the HD4000s sharpening options etc, as they just make things worse and so i'm running at application defaults.
I've tried installing other players, notably DivX Plus Player. Using the third-party player the quality is as good as it was previously, so i'm a little confused as to why quality in WMP 12 is so poor. Is WMP just crap, or could it possibly be down to the drivers? Could it even be a hardware issue with the computer? Although I can force most programs to use the Nvidia card instead of the HD4000, for some reason WMP seems to be hard coded to use the integrated graphics. DivX Plus Player runs under HD4000 by default and the quality is good. I've seen other threads on here discussing playback issues with HD videos in WMP, but nothing talking about normal DivX playback. At least if it's a driver issue, I can hope that it's fixed one day in an update. I've seen DXVA mentioned as a possible culprit. Is it possible WMP uses DXVA whereas DivX Plus Player uses software for the post-prcoessing?
I find this very annoying, because up to now i've used WMP for everything audio or video-related, and I'd like it to stay that way. I'm no die-hard Microsoft fan, but I find it hard to believe even they would release something so poor.