If you want to watch MKV movies using GPU decoding you have plenty of media players that you can choose from. Among them, a popular choice is VLC or Media Player Classic HC but today I would like to talk about a new entry to the field, a media player called SPlayer.
Just like the above mentioned media players, SPlayer comes with support for various video file formats including the ones encoded using the H.264 format (popularly known as MKV). If we are to believe its developers, one of the biggest advantages of using SPlayer instead of the competition is that it is very light in both size and resource usage.
Other features of SPlayer include playback of MKV movies using its own GPU hardware accelerated engine, optimized CPU usage and last but not least a very tidy and elegant user interface.
SPlayer developers also say that the media player comes with its own technologies like ShaderEngine, LiveColor or SmartAmplify which have been optimized to deliver a smooth and crisp playback experience. For those of you who only want to test SPlayer you have the option to download and try the portable version of the player, which will not leave any traces on your computer.
There is not much to talk about the user interface of SPlayer as it sticks to a very basic design while at the same time providing you all the controls that you would need when playing an MKV movie using GPU hardware acceleration. The main controls in SPlayer allow you to control any MKV movie (play, pause, forward and so on) like any other media player available, along with the possibility to synchronize subtitles with the video just in case that it’s out of sync.
You can bring up an additional menu in SPlayer by hovering your mouse over the top of the application window, where you will notice that other playback controls are available. If you would like to zoom in or out the video you can use the controls on the left side of the window. Also, if you are not a cinema fan you can remove the black bars from the movie by adjusting the video settings in the same menu.
If you want to adjust the contrast or brightness of the movie you will have to use the controls found on the right side of SPlayer application window. Here you can also set the player to remain on top of everything else.
Like we already mentioned, SPlayer lets you play MKV movies using the GPU for hardware acceleration in order to have the smoothest video playback and a high picture quality. By using the GPU to decode MKV movies, SPlayer will ease the usage on your CPU so that it can focus on other tasks.
In the SPlayer options menu you can configure the settings for the user interface and for the playback like the subtitles. You can adjust the color of the subtitles at any given moment and if you do not have a subtitle file, SPlayer can download it from the internet for you.
If you go deeper in the Options menu, you will be able to configure the Video & Audio Decoding in SPlayer; these options include choosing from various sound channels like stereo, surround sound or using SPDIF output to listen to a crystal clear sound while playing the movie.
If you want to play MKV movies using GPU, or hardware accelerated decoding, you can download SPlayer and then run it on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and on the upcoming Windows 8.