Bad WMV9 playback

I just moved some WMVs over to my WDTVLIVE drive and they are not playing very well. Whenever there is any movement there big blocky horizontal lines. They were originally Vista Media Center recordings of kid shows that I have been building up over the last 2-3 years. I used Windows Movie Maker to do the conversions from the Media Center DVR-MS files as I found it was the easiest and fastest way to make them smaller at the time. I’ve converted and burned the same WMVs to DVD maybe hundreds of times and they all played perfectly.

Any ideas why these WMVs are not playing on  the WDTVLIVE well? I am still on the 1.2.21 firmware if that makes a difference. Although I rather not re-encode, does anyone know of a good tool to convert these to xvid or h264?

My best guess is that maybe the WDTVLIVE cannot handle WMVs with a high Bit Rate (3000 kbps setting was used in Windows Movie Maker).

Here is the MediaInfo output:

Format                           : Windows Media
File size                        : 961 MiB
Duration                         : 42mn 49s
Overall bit rate mode            : Constant
Overall bit rate                 : 3 136 Kbps
Maximum Overall bit rate         : 3 155 Kbps
Encoded date                     : UTC 2010-11-21 17:02:19.362
Writing application              :  6.0.6000.16937 / Windows Movie Maker
Application                      : Windows Movie Maker 6.0.6000.16937

ID                               : 2
Format                           : VC-1
Format profile                   : MP@ML
Codec ID                         : WMV3
Codec ID/Info                    : Windows Media Video 9
Codec ID/Hint                    : WMV3
Description of the codec         : Windows Media Video 9 - Professional
Duration                         : 42mn 49s
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 3 000 Kbps
Width                            : 720 pixels
Height                           : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 1.688
Frame rate                       : 29.970 fps
Standard                         : NTSC
Bit depth                        : 8 bits
Scan type                        : Progressive
Compression mode                 : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.290
Stream size                      : 919 MiB (96%)
Language                         : English (US)

ID                               : 1
Format                           : WMA
Format version                   : Version 2
Codec ID                         : 161
Codec ID/Info                    : Windows Media Audio
Description of the codec         : Windows Media Audio 9.2 - 128 kbps, 48 kHz, stereo (A/V) 1-pass CBR
Duration                         : 42mn 49s
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 128 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 2 channels
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth                        : 16 bits
Stream size                      : 39.2 MiB (4%)
Language                         : English (US)

Just for comparison, is this blocky horizontal appearance like this:


Not quite so small - each line/row I am getting is ~ 5-10% the height of the screen with a blocky look. Also it is not necessarily the whole screen. If the background is still with a object moving across it then just the moving object will get the jitter.

What you might be seeing is “Macroblocking,”  which has to do with how the file was encoded.  

See if it’s there when you PAUSE the playback.  Can you take a picture like I did and post it?  

feb15 266.JPG

Ignore the black band on top (could not get a good picture without it from the CRT tv).  Notice the doorway is fine but the arms and head which  are moving have the bars.


Well I had another look at the WMV files on the PC with a full screen and experienced the same issue. I’ll try to re-encode some and see if it makes a difference. Funny that these where okay though if burned to a DVD - I guess going back to mpeg2 fixed them. ( Ex/ I watched 3 seasons of ‘Lost’ that went thru this DVR-MS -> WMV -> DVD workflow and did not notice anything played on a projection with a 80" screen).