MKV File format problem 2018

I have a WD TV Life Streaming Media Player and I try to play MKV file it plays some not others. The firmware is 2.03.20. I read some of the old notes but some of the software it recommends is no longer available. Any update information on how to play MKV files I would appreciate it. I tried to reboot and I unplugged it and replugged and no solution.

What is the origin of the MKVs? Ones you made or are they from torrents?


From where? If you got them from torrents, then you got what you paid for, as they likely are defective!

I do not use Torrent it is Illegal. Also you do not have to be a Jerk about it if you do not know how to help or don’t what to help do not offer any opinions.

My advice is to check the specs of the unplayable MKV files using mediainfo

If the video format shows : HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) aka. H.265 and/or Bit Depth: 10 Bits

then, the WD TV is not compatible with this type of encoded MKV

The only ‘Software Solution’ is to re-encode the MKV video to AVC(H.264) Bit Depth: 8 Bits for playback on the WD TV

WD TV Supported Video Formats/Codecs Page 211:

Yes as made comment by Joey a lot of newer MKV files use the H265 codec and so wont play no matter what you do but many MKV files dont use it and play fine on my unit using 2.01.86 firmware which was rolled back to from a later firmware which caused problems playing MKV and suffered from memory bleed problems. I imagine if you download from various places on say forums you can also find mp4 or avi formats for same content

MP4’s can also contain H.265 HEVC Video Codec … because MP4 like MKV is just a “Container” for the codecs. AVI can probably contain H.265 as well … if anyone still uses that container in 2019 :confused:

I didnt know that about MP4 but on the forums I frequent I have never encountered a problem with mp4 but have with mkv as mentioned.
The really funny thing is way back in 2007ish I was downloading files of AVI for viewing of shows and movies and burning them to CD’s because back then it seemed most movies were 700mb and hour shows 345-350mb which were perfect for burning to a 700 mb CD disc. My DVD played those AVI codec called DIVX I believe unbeknownst to me until I put a CD I burned into unit by error and it’s content came up on screen. So we changed drastically our viewing habits and slowly I learned of more forums for files to download.
Eventually in 2011 after burning through spindle after spindle of CD’s and DVD’s and switching to re-recordable discs I read about the WD TV Live media player in a magazine and asked on one forum I frequently did that mean the player would play files on a thumbdrive? and of course was told yes so scored on at Best Buy for 99 bucks and an hdmi cable from monoprice for 5 bucks.Never looked back and still have to this day about 200 blank DVD’s/CD’s never used lol. I even explored the apps built into the unit but a short while later those became ,as we all know, mostly unsupported and useless. I still use the 2 radio apps playing through my ZVOX which I enjoy immensely when sitting and reading the newspapers or a book.
But of course the Divx codec AVI’s which were at first the predominant file type gradually shifted to mp4 and mkv. But my trusty WD TV played everything I threw at it apart from rm files until about 2015ish or so. But if one file failed I almost always found a different type available and we keep on keeping on.

i used to do that, but grew tired of downloading files twice … ditched the WDTV and got a Raspberry Pi 3 and an 4K Amlogic S905X Android Box and between the two, they will play 99.99% of video content out there and all apps are regularly updated and currently working … and No more wasting time trying to find compatible video files.

I too have used the Android method, it can’t decode 5.1 audio, even if I used Directstream. What configuration are you using if you get 5.1 audio to work?


I’m running LibreELEC (Kodi) booting from Micro SD Card on my Android Amlogic S905X box.

No issues with AC3 or DTS 5.1 decoding … for 5.1 AAC (or E-AC3) which my Audio Amplifier does not support…

there is a audio setting in Kodi to transcode 5.1 E-AC3 to 5.1 AC3 on the fly while watching a video/movie … and it works perfectly.

If your Android box supports LibreELEC i highly recommend it.

Where do you get the latest firmware from?

To my knowledge there is no
latest" firmware as they long ago stopped support of this fine machine. 2.02.32 was last issue of firmware but caused memory leakage problems for me (and supposedly others) making system erratic so I rolled it back to 2.01.86 which is what I continue to use to this day.
There was a posting in the threads with links to download either