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I am unable to play an H265 Video on Windows Server 2012 Datacenter OS. The main reason -

  • Win2012 Server does not know about the h265 video codecs. So decoder unavailable, due to this, it can't play.

*Without installing any third-party codecs, how do I configure Win2012 Server OS to play H265 codecs?

Does Win2016 Server R2 support the H265 codecs by default?

Note: The video must play in the windows media player not any other player.

I tried installing Microsoft server media essential pack, it didn't work.

Why can't you install a third-party codec? Why can't you install a third-party player that supports that format? What are you actually trying to accomplish?

  1. Building commercial app, don't want to spend money on license cost for it.
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You can't.

Codecs are REQUIRED in order to teach Windows Media Player how to play a format it is not familiar with.

If you cannot install codecs, you cannot use Windows Media Player to play h265 video.

While I don't know for certain about the supported codecs in Server 2016, I would guess that it does not support that either.

In order to find a solution involving the answer "yes" you'll need to answer these questions:

  • Why can't you install a third-party codec?
  • Why can't you install a third-party player that supports that format?
  • What are you actually trying to accomplish?
  • third party cost license for commercial purpose. So we are first evaluating any solution by default windows has. – ajayramesh Jan 31 '18 at 20:26
  • What we are trying is some kind of service which reads the h265 video and generates thumbnails. Since we don't have that codec we can't generate thumbnails. Can't really tell what exactly we are doing - sorry about it – ajayramesh Jan 31 '18 at 20:30
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You need to install Desktop Experience, which includes Windows Media Player:

  • Open Server Manager > Manage > Add Roles and Features

  • Skip the Before you begin page by clicking Next

  • In the Server Selection Page, Your current server should already be selected, if not, select the server you want to work with under SERVER POOL then click Next

  • Skip the Server roles page by clicking Next

  • In the Features page, scroll down (close to the bottom) expand User Interfaces and Infrastructure feature then turn on the checkbox for Desktop Experience. You will be prompted to install the required components or services "Ink and Handwriting Services" and "Media Foundation". Click Add Features.

  • In the Confirm installation selections page, you will likely need to restart your server after installing and before using some of the desktop experience features.

You can also do this by using PowerShell as Administrator :

Add-WindowsFeature Desktop-Experience

You may still need to install a good codecs pack, for example the K-Lite Codec Pack. Standard and above versions also include the Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC).

  • K-Lite Codec pack is not free for commercial app. So we are trying to find out if Microsoft really can support H265 or not. – ajayramesh Jan 31 '18 at 20:27
  • Never heard about K-Lite being commercial, especially as it contains open-source software. And there are many other open-source codec packs. The excellent free VLC player also comes with its own codecs. – harrymc Jan 31 '18 at 20:58
  • @harrymc I think the OP means to say the K-Lite license either excludes redistribution in a commercial product (possible), or that it's not free for use in a commercial setting (unlikely). Unfortunately I can't find the license text and don't want to install it just so I can read the EULA. – I say Reinstate Monica Feb 1 '18 at 1:18
  • @TwistyImpersonator: I have it installed, and only two products have licenses, Icaros and madVR, and both say the software is freeware. In any case, the K-Lite installation lets one choose which components are installed and most of them can be separately found on the Web. K-Lite is just a collection of free software. – harrymc Feb 1 '18 at 7:31
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    msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/… - In buttom of microsoft page, says None of Server OS supported. So I guess without third-party we can't play h265 in Windows 2016 – ajayramesh Feb 1 '18 at 19:38

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