Big problem with my WD Elements Play: 24fps

Here I was, concerned with displaying my movies nicely, with thumbnails (my other post), when I forgot to see the real issues with this purchase: the WD elements play. I know there is another post regarding this issue, I just wanted to manifest my regrets on my purchase…

Not having read the other post, I realized by myself, after trying to play my first Hi-Def movie, that I was experiencing the so called “judder effect”. When I came searching for answers here, I found out the issue by the other post.

How is this possible? How can WD launch a product with HDMI out and we can’t be able to watch a HD film without it stuttering? Is there a firmware, one week, one month, whatever, that can fix this problem?

I feel truly disappointed… 

Perhaps, but I wouldn’t hold my breath…   There’s very little documentation online on the chipset used in this box; it’s quite possible the HARDWARE won’t support 24fps, and no firmware could fix that.

But who knows…

Actually, I just checked: the movie I’m having “juddering problems” with has actually 23.976fps. 

So, is it normal to have judder?

First, I don’t have a WDEP, so I can’t see what you’re talking about.

But, what I can tell you is that ANY Film that is broadcast on TV (at least, in NTSC territories) is “Telecined.”   Judder is a byproduct of the Telecine process.

So, by syllogism, every film broadcast on TV has Judder.    That would include anything sent from a media player that was filmed at 24fps and displayed at 30fps (or a multiple thereof.) 

What YA’LL may be seeing COULD be a different issue (such as a problem with the video decoder / Telecining process itself) but since I have no way of testing, I can’t tell you for sure WHAT you see.  :)

I’m having the same issues, it slightly freezes up every few seconds and just judders along  which is really annoying. This only happens for BLU rays conversions and in any format (MKV, MP4 etc) so not sure if it has got anything to do with 24fps or just that the intenal chip can’t keep up to speed with big files. Lots of audio issues too like it not working properly then the audio slipping out of sync with the image when it does work. Also not a word on firmware updates or anything for that matter so for now I would steer clear if you are looking for High Def conversions/back-ups as this product doesn’t deliver. Shame as the idea makes sense i.e external HD with a media player in one but for now it seems I will just have to make do with this being a external HD and not much more which is dissapointing.

Here is some information for you about this issue. 

This explains it well:

Or this:

I believe the Elements play is only capable of outputting 60 or 50hz (which you can change in the display settings menu) but it doesn’t matter.

Your  television may be unable to display 24fps natively (thus using 3:2 pulldown) which would cause judder.

Even if this isn’t happening, and EP and your tv are displaying the movie at its native 24 fps, you would be seeing judder.

As for the last post in this thread, I have not seen this problem, and I do not have a EP as I am not in the EU but It sounds like it might be specific to the content you are trying to play. It’s tough to say without knowing more about the media he was playing (mediainfo log) , and your setup:

                Was the content on the internal drive or an external?

                If external, what type of drive?

                Is the audio playing through hdmi or spdif?

                Is he using a receiver?

                Does it happen with everything or just certain movies?

                For those “problem movies” does it happen every time, in the same place or is it intermittent /  happens in different spots in the movie sometimes?

Ill be honest, I do know a lot about the WDTV products, but a friend helped me with the first part of this issue as he does have an EP so I feel that this is accurate for the first part.

Ok, so I will try to answer most of your questions…

I have an Edge LED LCD from Sony, 24p Cinema Mode capability. The movie (or movies) I have problems with are BD Rips, so called hi-def movies. HDMI. Judder happens in certain parts of the movie, if I rewind and play it again, it is there all the time.



It would appear as if the Amlogic chip simply doesn’t handle the highest bitrates.

Compressing the files for a lower overall bitrate should have them playback smoothly, as WD suggests for all their other media players.

Same here keidgeibef.

My thoughts also Roofing guy.

Odd considering they are marketing the product towards HD viewers and for HD content but the hardware doesn’t have the performance capabilities it seems! Compression defeats the point of HD but i suppose I will have to try a load more settings and maybe compress slighlty if I can get away with it or get used to the idea that all the unit is good for is back-ups and Low def DVD’s :frowning:

Anyone had any better luck with any other products i.e. Popcorn etc?

Dee1707 wrote:

  … Compression defeats the point of HD…

That is a VERY COMMON misconception.

100% of ANY HD content you have access to is compressed.     HIGHLY compressed.  The only time it is NOT compressed is between the HDMI interfaces of your display and the source.

If it weren’t, the raw bitrate would be in excess of 3 GIGAbits per second for 1080p60 material.   Most BD’s are around 30 Megabits per second, meaning there’s a 100:1 compression already in terms of bitrate.

The BD standard was defined quite a while back (4 years?)   In that intervening time, tremendous gains have been implemented into the compression algorithms (that will NOT be added to BD standards, because that could break existing hardware) that enable even further compression gains well beyond what the BD standard has.

In other words, you can safely go from the BD “Spec” of 100:1 to almost 300:1 or without any substantial loss in perceived quality.

So, don’t have any fear if you use a good quality transcoder (like HandBrake) to lower the bitrates of your HD material.   You just need to have time, because it can take 2x to 10x of “Real Time” to do a re-encode, depending on the speed of your computer.

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So what process would you recommend that I follow? I’m currently using DVDFab to decrypt and convert the Blu ray into “uncompressed” MKV. Then I’m removing the DTS audio in MKV converter to stereo as the WDEP can’t play HD audio. Are you suggesting I now run it through Handbrake too and reduce the bitrates so that I may get smooth playback? Any easier and less time consuming way of doing this? Do you have one of these WDEP units yourself?

Here’s what I do:

1>  Use BDInfo to find out which MT2S PLAYLIST contains the feature film.

2>  Use TSMuxerGUI to pull out that playlist into a new M2TS stream.

3>  Open that new M2TS stream using Handbrake; select the High Profile preset, output to MKV, and then go to AUDIO and convert the tracks to whatever you want (AAC or MP3 or whatever)

4>  Hit GO.   

5>  Go to bed

6>  Wake up to find an MKV that’s about 1/3 the size of the original M2TS stream.

Nope, they don’t sell the WDEPs in North America, so I don’t have one…

But the BitRate issue comes up time and time again in the WDTV Live forums…   Same thing applies there.

REALLY, I don’t know that we’re really talking about a bitrate issue.   A file with bitrates that are too high will pretty much not play at all; it’s not going to have just slightly jerky video (which is what this thread started as) it’s going to STOP, START, AUDIO will go away, etc.   If the bitrate is too high, the file will pretty much be useless.

So, are we actually talking about the same thing?  

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Well I know trying to compare VLC to a hardware player is often a lost cause – I’ve brung that point up often enough.

I don’t have the fastest PC.  I generally don’t have issue with 720 playback.  But 1080 files are rather hit-and-miss.  Some play fine, if my PC can keep up, and others will play fine in spots, and then glitch if the bitrate gets too high… but with the bitrates being variable, it’s only the highest sections where playback becomes troublesome.

So, I just naturally assumed it was similar with the hardware players.  Sure, if the entire file is too high, I can see it not playing at all, but my assumption was that if it was only the sections with the highest bitrates that the device couldn’t keep up with, then only those sections would have playback issues.  Play… hit a spot it struggles with… play some more… hit another spot it has troubles with, etc…

So, I could very well be out too lunch… I’ve never really fed my WDTVs a file with excessive bitrates myself, to see for sure how they’re handled.  And even that wouldn’t be conclusive, since my boxes are all Sigma-chipped, and the Amlogic chip could behave differently.

It just seemed rather logical to be a bitrate issue.  But you’re right – it may not be.

Nah, you’re absolutely right.  

If it’s a bit-rate issue, it will likely have the same issue in the same spot every time.

Definitely a bit rate issue.

As since Tony suggested using Handbrake (reducing the file size from 20Gb to around 8Gb) the judder has gone away. And I must admit  the quality seemed just as good as the original :slight_smile: My thanks go out to you. I’m still in the process of trial and error and only converted one BLU ray with Handbrake as it took 16 hours! But the results so far look good. Lets hope this has now fixed the issue. A real shame you can’t get a rip with all the menus working like with a DVD but at least the quality has been maintained which was my main concern.