Handbrake Settings Needed for WD TV Live Plus

I upgraded to the Live Plus model, but pretty much ALL the MP4 and M4V files in my collection do not play smooth.  The WD TV was shipped with the beta FW, not sure if I should ‘revert’ to the current version on the WD website.

The Knowledgebase states, “MPEG2/4, H.264, and WMV9 support up to 1920x1080p 24fps, 1920x1080i 30fps, 1280x720p 60fps resolution”.

I typically selected the High Profile preset to rip a DVD, but that doesn’t produce a smooth video on the new WD TV (unsure why they changed the FW).

Based on the KB comment, what HB preset or custom should I use to get the 1920 x1080p?    For example, should the “Avg bitrate” be set to 1920, how about the 1080p?  Also MediaInfo says the converted video is 23.976 frame rate, should I use exactly 24?

Also should the H.264 be used instead of FFMpeg?

I have HB 0.9.4 on Windows.

Thanks very much for the feedback!


Welcome to the forums.

First and foremost, use one of the nightlies for Handbrake – .094 is a VERY old version nowadays.

Secondly, the High Profile preset (but changed to MKV) should be just fine for the Live/Plus.  It’s all I ever use, for both DVDs and blu-rays, and works perfectly with nearly all material.  If you have an audio system that can decode AC3 and DTS (or ever think you might)  then you should pass through those tracks – chosing “Digital” on the Audio/Video settings of the Live will then pass through the track to your decoder.

The only other thing you might consider is to set RF to 22 if you are doing blu-ray rips.  I leave it at 20 (the default of the High Profile) for everything and you *should* be using it for DVDs, but for blu-rays some folks don’t see a difference at the higher number (more compression).  Test it to make sure.

Good luck – Handbrake and the Live go together like bread and butter.

The live plus firmware is the latest official firmware (1.03.29_B) and is not a ‘beta’. You cannot downgrade as there is nothing to downgrade too. (I don’t why the B is on the end)

B stands for Bungalow, which is the internal name for this device.   I’m guessing that the Live/Live+ firmwares are built on the same code tree, and the B distinguishes Plus Code from Live Code, though they’re probably very similar if not identical except for additional options.

The internal name for the Live, if anyone cares, is Villa.

Thanks for the quick reply.  

I have some follow-up questions/comments: 

  1. The Handbrake site, http://handbrake.fr/,  points to 0.9.4 as the latest.  Is there another one?


  1. I cannot find nightlies for Windows GUI.  Can you point me to the download page? 

  2. I did not see the RF setting in the GUI 0.9.4, but this is probably not the issue.  All videos in my library played fine with WD TV Gen1.  Since I upgraded to the Live Plus unit, most videos are not smooth or play with a jerky video.

Thanks in advance

  1. https://build.handbrake.fr/

  2. Above

  3. RF is in the Video tab under constant quality

Your videos are jerky even when encoded with the high profile preset (without any other changes) and output to an MKV container?  How are you playing them – local drive, net shares, wired or wireless?

You might post the MediaInfo on one of your problem files for us to look at (I’ve encoded hundreds of blu-rays and DVDs with the High Profile preset and never had any problems with playback of the MKV file with the Live/Plus).

1 & 2)  Support is for Vista and 7.  Forgot to mention I am running XP

  1. No RF under constant quality in my GUI.

Here is problem video from  MediaInfo

Complete name                    : E:\My Videos\Predator.mp4
Format                           : MPEG-4
Format profile                   : Base Media / Version 2
Codec ID                         : mp42
File size                        : 1.46 GiB
Duration                         : 1h 46mn
Overall bit rate                 : 1 965 Kbps
Encoded date                     : UTC 2009-09-26 02:39:33
Tagged date                      : UTC 2009-09-26 04:53:35
Writing application              : HandBrake 0.9.3 2008112300

First Video Stream

English, 1800 kbps, 718*464 (16:9), at 23.976 fps, AVC (High @ L3.0) (CABAC / 3 ref frames)

I have hundreds of videos which worked fine with WDTV Gen1, encoded with HB using MP4, H.264 & FFmpeg.  These may need to be re-done (thanks a bundle, western digital. ).

I will try the MkV format.

Yes, the Live has problems with MP4 files, unfortunately.  You can *try* remuxing with MKVMerge (but only use version 4.0 or earlier, as later versions ALSO have a problem with the Live) to an MKV container and checking the AAC audio box in the audio track options.

You also have a real problem in that later versions of Handbrake work a LOT better – you may need to build a version yourself for XP from those nightlies (all Handbrake is Open Source, so you just need to track down the tools to create an XP version).  If you’d like, I can send you 3154 which does work on XP and is the version I use (PM me with your email addy).

You’re not seeing something properly, because RF has been in ALL versions of Handbrake for as long as I can remember.   If you go to the Video Tab what exactly do you see under Quality? (on the right side of the screen).

You can use Handbrake 0.94.  This is the stable release of the software.

To encode H.264 with MKV container, select High Profile, then, from my experience, go to Advanced tab abd set B-Frames to 0.  Then do the Audio selection, and under Picture select Strict for Anamorphic.  In all my encoded files I have yet to run into a problem playing MKV’s on Live and Live+ with these Handbrake setting.

For MKVMerge, you can use the latest version.  Make sure to select None for Compression for each track you select.  You can find this under Extra Options tab.

Actually, .94 won’t work with a LOT of blu-ray sources (it has problems with VC1 material).  You’re MUCH better off using a nightly or at least SVN 3154 (and it’s perfectly stable – all the developers say so so don’t be scared).

mkelley wrote:

Actually, .94 won’t work with a LOT of blu-ray sources (it has problems with VC1 material).  You’re MUCH better off using a nightly or at least SVN 3154 (and it’s perfectly stable – all the developers say so so don’t be scared).



I see, I have not used the software yet with any blu-ray material.  So you may have a point here.