This is somewhat preliminary ... I haven't been using it that long. But so far I really like it. It handles a ton of formats, in fact it'[s as good as vlc that way, and doesn't load weird codecs that'll conflict.
There are probably some quirks, like many Linux to Windows ports, but I haven't seen many of that yet. Despite quirks I've had very good results in general with Linux ports.
One quirk is that it doesn't handle DVD menus well. But it certainly doesn't seem as buggy as vlc. And I can still use mpchc for DVDs.
I've been using vlc (mostly) and mpchc. The latter really just for DVDs because vlc doesn't play them properly. The docs for vlc are much better than mpchc, though that's damning with faint praise. But vlc is just too buggy for me. The more I use it the less I like it.
However, the one thing vlc has for me is that it's much more forgiving with pixelated videos.
Except for this. SMPlayer has an option under Filters for adding noise to the signal. That's exactly the thing I wanted ... just like dithering in digital audio, which adds noise to mask quantization distortion. Which is pretty much analagous to pixelated video. It works very well. Why can't those other players put something like this into the mass of poorly documented (if at all) video options? And make it easy to find like with this?
In other words, I really like this interface. It's very intuitive and well designed. So few of these freeware coders understand that, yes, some tasks are inherently complex, but there are almost always certain things you're going to be using 80% of the time. And a properly designed interface with at least put those things at the top of the menu or just make them more prominent.
In fact, the interface is good enough that I don't mind the relative lack of documentation.
The video rendering quality is excellent too. It seems to use many of the same filters as avidemux, which is a good thing. I watched some video that is a good quality rip as far as the use of transcoding software is concerned but the bit rate is somewhat too low so it's definitely pixelated. Even with no filtering the pixelation was only really obvious in one scene, and that scene's a torture test.
The other thing, and the main reason I wanted to try this really, is that if you close the program before you finish watching a video it remembers the time and other settings. This is a great and, really, obvious feature.
I guess I like this program. I've had vlc set as my default player for videos other than dvd source for a while. That will probably change.
Review by Hoser Rob
Feb 4, 2012 Version: 0.7.0
OS: Windows 7 64-bit Ease of use: 10/10
Value for money: 10/10