MakeMKV + MKVmerge = Deadly Combination?

Apologies for the provocative title, but you know how it gets after debugging a problem for a few days … 

I’ve been trying to create video clips of scenes excerpted from full-length MKV rips for playback on a WDTV Live+. A friend of mine is a Sony Partner and wants to use the clips to demo his product in the Sony booth at this week’s CEDIA Expo. He’ll be taking along a WDTV Live+ to do this (its easier to transport a WDTV than a disc player across the country!).

I created the clips by first ripping a movie with MakeMKV. The excerpts were then created by splitting with MKVmerge . I used the timecode method to do this (enter a HH:MM:SS timecode for each split position in time). The latest versions of both programs as of this weekend were used. Aside from specifying the split timecodes, the only other MKVmerge option changed was disabling of header compression for the video & audio tracks (for the by-now obvious reasons).

The resultant full-length rips *and* scene clips played fine on a Windows 7 PC (I used MPC Home Cinema x64). And the full-length rips played fine on my WDTV Live+ as well. But when the split scene clips were played on my WDTV Live+, the audio was not sync’d to the video at the beginning of the clip. This consistently happened using different b;u-ray discs and using both the production 1.03.29B and beta 1.03.39B Live+ firmware versions. Playing over the network or off a USB drive makes no difference. Specifying a frame rate in MKVmerge (e.g. 24000/1001) doesn’t make a difference either.

Interestingly, DVD discs don’t present a problem. This only happens with blu-ray discs.

At this point, I didn’t know whether the problem lay with MakeMKV, MKVMerge, the WDTV, user error, or some combination thereof.

So I decided to change my process. Instead of using MakeMKV to rip the movie into an MKV, I used DVDfab (latest trial version) instead. Splitting was still done by MKVmerge. Guess what? All the resulting scene clips played on my WDTV LIve+ fine with no audio sync problems.

So my conclusion is that the combination of MakeMKV and MKVmerge creates MKV’s that the WDTV has a problem playing. Has anyone seen this before?

p.s. If I don’t get any replies here, I’ll post in the MakeMKV forum.

Thanks.

What version of MKVMerge did you use?

It’s been well known (so well known I’m sure you’ve read of it many times here) that MKVMerge greater than 4.0 creates files which do not play properly on the Live unless you specifically go into the header of each track and turn off compression.  What you have described doesn’t sound *exactly* like that issue, but it at least raises that spectre.

So the first thing I’d try is using a version of MKVMerge 4.0 or earlier (you could also go in a turn off header compression, but this is the easiest and safest).  If you still have issues it will be interesting to know.

What version of MKVMerge did you use?

MKVmerge 4.30

 It’s been well known (so well known I’m sure you’ve read of it many times here) that MKVMerge greater than 4.0 creates files which do not play properly on the Live unless you specifically go into the header of each track and turn off compression.

As I mentioned, header compression was turned off in all my tests, both those that didn’t work (with MakeMKV) and those that finally did (with DVDfab). So I don’t think there’s a relation to header compression.

I have a Live+ and used both the production and beta firmware. Same results with both.

I just tried MKVmerge 4.0. As expected, it made no difference. This suggests  the difference is the ripping tool, not MKVmerge.

This results in audio sync mismatch:

MakeMKV --> MKV --> MKVmerge 4.3 (timecode split, header-compression off) --> 3 MKV’s

MakeMKV --> MKV --> MKVmerge 4.0 (timecode split) --> 3 MKV’s

This results in good sync:

DVDfab --> MKV --> MKVmerge 4.3 (timecode split, header-compression off) --> 3 MKV’s

DVDfab --> MKV --> MKVmerge 4.0 (timecode split) --> 3 MKV’s

The WDTV Live+ firmware version doesn’t make a difference. Same results with both production 1.03.29 and 1.03.39 beta.

All MKV’s play fine on a PC using MPC Home CInema.

Can anyone else verify?

I’ve used both combination without any sync problems albeit no splitting. So I’d say MKVmerge causes it when splitting. As a workaroung how about using Smart Cutter, h264ts_cutter or TSSniper to cut the M2TS and only then convert to MKV?

Hi!

Techflaws wrote:

So I’d say MKVmerge causes it when splitting.

When it is MKVmerge, wich causes the sync problem, why does it work, when ripping with DVDFab instead of MakeMKV?

Cheers,

Zap

Techflaws said:

 I’ve used both combination without any sync problems albeit no splitting. So I’d say MKVmerge causes it when splitting.

I don’t see how that conclusion be reached. As I noted above, substituting DVDfab as the ripper removes the problem. So at the very least, this issue must be related to a difference in the way MakeMKV and DVDfab rips m2ts and maps the stream into an mkv container.

As a workaroung how about using Smart Cutter, h264ts_cutter or TSSniper to cut the M2TS and only then convert to MKV?

Thanks for the suggestion. I’m going to try sticking with this flow and minimize the number of external codecs loaded on my system.

I’ve posted this problem at the MakeMKV forum:

http://www.makemkv.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1901&p=7788#p7788

hydrogin wrote:

I don’t see how that conclusion be reached. As I noted above, substituting DVDfab as the ripper removes the problem.

Oops, apparently I misread what you wrote above. Prolly because I like MakeMKV so much which reminds me of DVD Shrink’s simplicity…

hydrogin wrote:> I’m going to try sticking with this flow and minimize the number of external codecs loaded on my system.

Am I misreading again? M2TS is a container so there’s no need for other codecs.

Hi, I mentioned m2ts because that is natively the container used on a blu-ray disc. At the very least, any ripper like MakeMKV, DVDfab, AnyDVD, etc. that produces mkv output will need to grab the video & audio streams out of the m2ts container and stuff it into a .mkv container along with metadata.

I mentioned codecs because I prefer not to use programs that depend on external codecs when possible. I *believe* MKVmerge is standalone in that regard. Other muxers/splitters may not be like that.