Is there a relaible solution to play mkv files?

My WD LIve TV streamer, 20.03.20, never played .mkv files. I hadn’t used it in a good while but this year I’ve used it to play 3 mkv files from My Passport, with no issue! I was surprised but wondered was I remembering wrong!

Just now we went to play a mkv again and it did not work. I went to play the one I played the other night and it did not work either, saying to check the manual for supported formats.

How on earth did it play mkv recently and how can I get it to play them again?

VLC plays MKV and everything else

I’ve owned several models of WDTV Media Players (Gen1, Live, Live Stream, Live Hub and the last model released in 2014) and all of them play MKV without any issues

You have to know that MKV is a Format Container which inside are the Video and Audio Streams which can be many different types of Codec

Also, the encoded Resolution, and Profile Level must be within spec of what the WDTV’s Hardware decoder supports.

From the WDTV User Manual is the supported Video and Audio Codecs for an MKV file

One way to discover what Video and Audio Codecs are used in your MKV you can download mediainfo which will show you.

If you are downloading MKV’s from the internet in 2022 you must understand that a lot of them are using Codecs and Resolutions not supported by the WDTV (because it’s obsolete device over a decade old.)

To give you a hint on what will 100% not work … look for the following in your MKV

any resolution above 1920x1080 will not work.

eg. 2880x1440 (2K) , 3840x2160 (4K) are Not Supported

HEVC aka H.265, X.265 is Not Supported (only AVC H.264 is Supported)

10-Bits… Bit Depth is Not Supported (only 8-Bits is Supported)

1 Like

Awesome information Joey. I stil can’t explain why it played the mkv one day but did not recognise it the next! I would like a reliabale so play mkvs.

I don’t have a smart TV and want something more convient than hooking up my laptop to it. VLC is great but I am unsure of how I could get it to play stuff on my WD passport. I don;t think I can connect a external drive to my firestick. Is there a low cost solutiion in the vein of the discontinued WD devices?

I sold all my WDTV devices and have been using a Raspberry Pi (2, then 3 with Kodi) for Years which i’ve been very happy with … but, does require a little bit of setup.

Also have a 4K Android Box which works fine as well, if you want a “out of the box” device.

Thanks Joey! I’m not sure I’d get anyone to buy my WD now!
I’ve never checked out a rasberry Pi, but this is the perfect reason, thanks, this is probably about what you pay:
case £16:
b+ £36 :

Yikes … Don’t buy that one ! that’s the first generation released in 2012

it’s only a Single Core 700Mhz with 512MB Ram … and is pretty slow and clunky, i know, because i have one, and never use it.

Raspberry Pi 2 Quad Core at 900Mhz with 1GB RAM … i don’t use anymore
Raspberry Pi 3 Quad Core at 1.2Ghz with 1GB RAM … i currently use for Media
Raspberry Pi 4 Quad Core at 1.5Ghz with either 1GB, 2GB, 4GB or 8GB RAM (i have the 4GB Model) … i currently use in my Bartop Arcade

If you need HEVC (H.265) and 4K Video Support … then don’t buy anything less than a Raspberry Pi 4.

Pi 2 and 3 can’t handle 4K Video

Pi 2 can’t handle HEVC (H.265) … Pi 3 can, but only through Software Decoding, 720p and 1080p will be ok as long as the bitrate is low.

Pi 4 uses Hardware Decoding for HEVC (H.265) and can handle much higher bitrates and resolutions.

I love Raspberry Pi’s because i love tinkering with stuff and use them in various different ways. Media Player, Retro Arcade Machine, Media/Games Server etc

If you’re not the tinkering technical type, i think you may be better off with an Android device,

Because pretty much any Android box that you buy today or made within the last few years, will handle everything out of the box (H.265/4K) and come complete with everything you need, remote control, power supply etc.

1 Like

Your talking about Android devices got me thinking :slight_smile: My firestick is one! I got myself an OTB cable but unfortunately the firestick needs to be running OS7 (my 4k firestick runs 6.2) for an external drive to be recognised. How To Play your Own Films and Shows from an External Hard Drive or USB Stick on your Fire TV Stick - YouTube

bummer :frowning:

I got a few Android devices all of them will recognize external hard drives

I don’t understand that such a basic function is not supported on Amazon devices regardless of what OS you’re running … makes no sense (to me)

Oh, well … i guess streaming your content is the only option left.

1 Like

Well, didn’t I just remember that I have a Formuler F1 android box hooked up on the other TV. I never tried to connect an external to it before. Yikes! The grog build I have on it is a couple of years old but has the file commander plugin which player the mkv straight off!!!

I’d still like a solution for the main TV though. I guess time to retire this kit…