Disappointed with MP4 playback on new WD TV Live

Hi all

New to this and new to WD TV Live. I have been tempted to buy one of these for some time and decided to dive in and get one. It was primarily to replace an old Asus oPlay HDR1. The WD TV Live is running using the latest firmware as installed this week when I set up the kit for the first time. I even wondered whether I should have declined the firmware update but I did the recommended thing and updated it.

Obviously I want to use the various features of the WD TV LIve (model WDBGXT0000NBK-UESN) but a very important feature I need is flawless playback of my own self edited 1280x720 MP4 video productions. I live in UK and so my MP4s are PAL 25fps - which have been created from Sony Vegas Movie Studio.

My problem is that when I play my MP4 videos there’s a noticeable stutter which seems to happen about once a second and it’s particularly noticeable with video that has subject movement going left or right across the screen (in other words - most of it!!). I have messed about with just about every setting I can and still the problem exists. I have the videos on a USB Hard Drive and have tried two different hard drives (a 500Gb and 1Tb one) and the problem is unaffected. The audio is fine and picture quality good too.

VERY PUZZLING: One evening I had been playing with the WD TV Live settings and I did definitely see smooth playback at one point - and I was delighted. However, next time I turned on the WD TV Live it was back to its problematical self! Very strange. Can’t fathom that one out at all!

I have posted MediaInfo’s report on the MP4 file below in case this helps.

I should also mention these points - which I believe all point to the problem being the WD TV Live and not my video files:

  1. My old Asus played the videos nice and smooth - but with my new home cinema setup a little audio lag was evident (but I wanted to get rid of the old Asus anyway, for other reasons).

  2. My new Samsung 3D LED TV has USB sockets and if I plug the USB hard drive directly into the TV the videos play perfectly - no stutters or audio problems visible.

  3. If I plug my WD TV Live directly into the HDMI on my Samsung TV (i.e. bypassing the Sony AV Receiver) the MP4 problem is still evident - exactly the same ‘stutter’.

  4. My test MP4 videos play absolutely fine on:

      a) Samsung TV - when using direct USB input to TV

      b) Minix Neo x7

      c) My Windows 7 PC

      d) Samsung Galaxy Note 2

      e) Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

      f) Cyclone Micro 3

      g) Asus oPlay (old machine) - slight audio lag but I can get around that by not using HDMI audio from Asus

The above list of devices that seem to have no problem with my MP4 videos really slams home to me the fact that the WD TV Live is not dealing very well with my videos. So frustrating.

If I can’t solve this issue then I think I will have to return the WD TV Live to the retailer - which is a great pity because I really like the interface and it seems to play other thing fine — but it’s crucial that it can play my home-edited videos without issues. I have seen other postings that mention similar MP4 issues but no real solutions (other than convert my videos - which I am not prepared to do). If anyone has any suggestions I would be very grateful.

Thanks for taking the time to reads my post.



_ Here’s some of the MediaInfo report for my MP4s: _

Complete name : D:\TEST_720p.mp4
Format : MPEG-4
Format profile : Base Media / Version 2
Codec ID : mp42
File size : 1.11 GiB
Duration : 19mn 32s
Overall bit rate : 8 145 Kbps
Encoded date : UTC 2013-07-14 12:22:02
Tagged date : UTC 2013-07-14 12:22:02

ID : 2
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : Main@L3.2
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 2 frames
Codec ID : avc1
Codec ID/Info : Advanced Video Coding
Duration : 19mn 32s
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 7 949 Kbps
Width : 1 280 pixels
Height : 720 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 25.000 fps
Standard : NTSC
Resolution : 8 bits
Colorimetry : 4:2:0
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.345
Stream size : 1.09 GiB (98%)
Language : English
Encoded date : UTC 2013-07-14 12:22:02
Tagged date : UTC 2013-07-14 12:22:02

ID : 1
Format : AAC
Format/Info : Advanced Audio Codec
Format version : Version 4
Format profile : LC
Format settings, SBR : No
Codec ID : 40
Duration : 19mn 32s
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 192 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Stream size : 26.9 MiB (2%)
Language : English
Encoded date : UTC 2013-07-14 12:22:02
Tagged date : UTC 2013-07-14 12:22:02

Have you already tried Match video framerate?

Setup > Audio/Video Output > Video Output > HDMI > Auto > Auto > On.

Slightly strange that you are making PAL videos yet the standard says NTSC in the mediainfo.

Hi Techflaws

Many thanks for the reply. I have played around with the “Match Framerate” settings and think that I have tried all the available settings but have not seen any improvement with the MP4 playback.

I will double-check though at the weekend to see if there’s anything there that I have not tried.



Hi RichUK

Really appreciate you taking the time to read my posting. I too have noticed the NTSC thing which MediaInfo shows. This has been the case with my MP4 videos and is a bit of a puzzle as in Sony Vegas Movie Studio (which is where these MP4 videos get edited and rendered from) everything is set up to PAL but for some reason MediaInfo spots this issue.

I will look further into that but the only thing I will say is that, as shown in the list of various players I have used, this doesn’t ever seem to have caused a problem with playback.



Hi all

I have noticed that quite a few people who have a range of problems with either the WD TV Live or peripherals they want to use with it etc often resort to rolling back the firmware.

I was wondering if I should try that? I am not sure if it’s easy to do, or advisable - or what version of firmware I should try (assuming I can obtain it somehow). I wouldn’t want to risk bricking the player but others do seem to have had some degree of success when they have tried rolling back firmware.

I would appreciate any thoughts from more experienced WD TV LIve users who may have knowledge about this, as I am getting nowhere in making the WD TV LIve play my treasured MP4 videos smoothly.



Just wanted to mention that I have re-rendered a couple of the MP4 videos and made them MPEG2 which actually play very well on the WD TV Live. However these MPEG2 videos are huge compared to the MP4 ones. So I don’t feel that I really want to do this to all my MP4 videos - apart from the time it takes to re-render them, it also means that a 800Mb video can suddenly become a 2.5Gb one!!!


You should encode them to h264 instead of mpeg2. BTW, you could upload a small sample of one of those files to sendspace.com so people can test them on their players.

You should also try running your original files through mkvmerge. Sometimes just the change can work wonders. It only takes a short time to make the mkv file and its worth a try.


Hi Techflaws

Thanks for your suggestion. I agree that if my MP4s had played normally then I would not consider re-rendering to comparitively massive MPeg2.

However, I must confess that the big MPeg2 videos look absolutely superb when played from the WD TV Live. I can see subtle improvements in smoothness and sharpness which I do very much like. I have kinda decided that when I render video projects from Sony Vegas Movie Studio v12 in future I will render both MP4s and MPeg2 - and pop the MP4s onto my tablets and smartphone (where file size is more important) and stick the MPeg2 on my WD TV LIve USB hard drive and watch them on the big TV using that.

It’s a bit more effort - but I am a stickler for quality!!

In some ways, peculiarly I am rather pleased that the WD TV Live had problems with the MP4 files. I know that sounds daft but I doubt I would have tried the MPeg2 option if that hadn’t happened.

Weird that a problem can actually make your experience ultimately better!!



I don’t know Sony Vegas but with proper settings (CRF 18), your H264 encodes look as good as your mpeg2 encodes (while being ~ half as small).

Techflaws wrote:

Have you already tried Match video framerate?


Setup > Audio/Video Output > Video Output > HDMI > Auto > Auto > On.

Thanks – that worked for me. I had some MP4s with obvious stutter (pauses just long enough to be noticeable and annoying) on slow-pan scenes, but turning that setting to “ON” fixed it right up.