Continue to have stutter with mkv file.. help please


I have the below MKV file and it suffers from video stuttering and also the audio then becomes out of sync. It seems to play the movie for the first 1 minute and then it starts to stutter and becomes unwatchable. 

(intermittently while testing with this file I experience that the WD TV Live HD no longer responds to my Sony Commander remote or the remote that came with the WD TV Live HD)

 I can successfully stream the same file to my laptop using FREEWARE VLC Player without any issues. This leads me to believe that there is a fault with the WD TV Live HD (which cost me $149.99 plus tax plus shipping)

 I can successfully stream other MKV files to my WD TV Live HD, even MKVs with higher video bitrate and resolution.


WD TV Live HD1.01.24

I have my WD TV Live HD connected via 100Meg Ethernet to a Linksys router

I have my mkv file on a network share on a Windows Home Server

I have other MKV files with higher resolution and bitrate that I can watch successfully.

Stuff I have tried:

  • I have tried changing the WD TV Live HD video output to 1080p 23.976Hz (and others), no luck still stutters and audio out of sync

  • I have copied the MKV to a USB stick and tried to play locally, no luck still stutters and audio out of sync

- I have tried to scan/fix the MKV file with “meteorite” but this tool does not scan any of my mkv files successfully.

  • contacted WD Tech Support and that was less than helpful.


Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  • is it possible to enable or review any type of logs or statistics on the mkv file being played to the WD TV Live HD?

Complete name                    : [\homeserver\Videos\New\21.mkv](file://%5C%5Chomeserver%5CVideos%5CNew%5C21.mkv)
Format                           : Matroska
File size                        : 4.09 GiB
Duration                         : 2h 2mn
Overall bit rate                 : 4 768 Kbps
Encoded date                     : UTC 2008-07-07 15:03:40
Writing application              : mkvmerge v2.2.0 (‘Turn It On Again’) built on Mar  4 2008 12:58:26
Writing library                  : libebml v0.7.7 + libmatroska v0.8.1

ID                               : 1
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                   : High@L4.1
Format settings, CABAC           : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames        : 3 frames
Muxing mode                      : Container profile=Unknown@4.1
Codec ID                         : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration                         : 2h 2mn
Bit rate                         : 4 033 Kbps
Width                            : 1 280 pixels
Height                           : 720 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 16:9
Frame rate                       : 23.976 fps
Resolution                       : 8 bits
Colorimetry                      : 4:2:0
Scan type                        : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.183
Stream size                      : 3.45 GiB (85%)
Language                         : English

ID                               : 2
Format                           : AC-3
Format/Info                      : Audio Coding 3
Codec ID                         : A_AC3
Duration                         : 2h 2mn
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 640 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 6 channels
Channel positions                : Front: L C R, Surround: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Stream size                      : 562 MiB (13%)
Language                         : English

ID                               : 3
Format                           : UTF-8
Codec ID                         : S_TEXT/UTF8
Codec ID/Info                    : UTF-8 Plain Text
Language                         : English

Try remuxing the file with a newer version of MKVtoolnix, that one is kinda old


I can successfully stream the same file to my laptop using FREEWARE VLC Player without any issues.  This leads me to believe that there is a fault with the WD TV Live HD  (which cost me $149.99 plus tax plus shipping)

The ability to stream any video on your computer has no relevance to the WDTV not playing it correctly. I have a number of players on my PC and some can play a video and some cannot. You are comparing  flexible software running on a 'powerful' Pc and able to update its self at will to a piece of Hardware.


Thanks for the suggestion. I have remuxed as suggested and it did not help.


Though I am on a Mac I had a similar issue and found it was my computer and home network that was the problem. If I try to stream with Windows SAMBA/SMB I get the same problem you are seeing. I use Yazsoft’s Playback Media Server software which I believer is UpNp and I turn off all other networking and it’s smooth as silk.  I too thought it was my WD HD Live but as others have mentioned it may not be the WD HD TV Live. The WD isnt a computer device that can appropriate memory and use smart cache to analyze streams and adjust accordingly. It takes what it gets and attempts to with it’s limited memory smooth it out.  Try using a different media serving software–there must be free or very cheap ones on the PC (try in demo mode) and see if that clears it up.  

Is a media server going to cause better performance than playing the mkv file with a local USB flash drive? I have tested with a USB flash drive locally and the same symptoms exist. Also I can play other MKV files with higher bitrate and resolution and there is no problem. it seems to be related to this MKV file.

Well it is unlikely that a file would not play correctly from a USB flash drive due to interface speed, but who knows. One thing that would help you know if it’s not pulling data fast enough from either the network or the USB flash, is rewinding a few seconds (10-15s) after you get some stuttering, and then playing it again. If it stutters again then it is highly unlikely that the medium is the culprit, and the problem is rather in the encoding of the file.

Anyway I’d still give it a try with TVersity, making sure it is set to “never transcode” so that it is streaming exactly the same file.

Use bitrate viewer to examine the file. You will have to specify *.mkv to load MKVs.

I have not seen 21, but your symptoms fit another another movie, Wolverine, and I know why it stutters. It starts out with absurd-high bitrate video during the opening credits and stutters if not encoded with a maximum bitrate limit. Even though the average bitrate might be set to a reasonable 9mbps, the opening credits run at 100+mbps, depending on encoder settings.

You’ll see that the MKV in question has an extended section of high bitrate video at the beginning that is causing the problem. The solution would be to re-encode with handbrake or megui with a maximum bitrate limit like :vbv-maxrate=25000:vbv-bufsize=25000 or --vbv-maxrate 25000 --vbv-bufsize 25000, respectively.

Desktop playback does not show the same issues because, as noted above, a PC has infinite resource compared to a hardware player. You just have a video that was encoded without regards to portability. No real mystery.


Thanks for the suggestions. bitrateviewer only showed max 25mbps, I then installed Handbrake and reencoded the movie. It seems that this worked. Still investigating how to define max encode rate and ideally how to reencode without changing the quality / size.

My 4 gig movie turned into a 2 gig movie… thus I am assuming quality as well, however now at least it plays without stutter.

Thanks for the suggestions.