Mkv files and the endless spining arrow... Does Handbrake easily fix?

Why are these files so problematic  with playback?

All other files avi, mp4, m2ts, etc play without issue but almost all of these MKV files hang up or skip and studder and I get the spinning arrow on my TV screen.

Is there no simple way to format or process or “wash” through a program to make them not give the WD grief?

I have the handbrake program 0.9.8 but it seems like the presets are set for Apple and the program is not so simple to use…

I would think after 5+ years WD would have these issues ironed out?

What settings do people use with Handbrake?

Any help, guidance or assistance would be great!

I don’t see those issue when trying to play mkvs.

How do you have your SMP connected to your network, wired or wireless?

What firmware are you using?

If your having issues playing mkvs over your network, then it is most likely due to your setup.

Try playing one from a direct connected drive and see if you see the same  issues.

Also, Handbrake is not just set up with presets for Apple.  If you’re making mkvs to play on the SMP, use the “High Profile” preset.  And actually I use the “High Profile”, then change Anamorphic to Strict and the Constant Quailty to 19RF (for DVD & BD).  Then save this as a User Preset, click on “Add” to set your on profile.

OK, Timwarble…

not sure what SMP means, but I am connected wirelessly.  distance between router and WD is less than 15" and signal is strong.  All other files play without issue.

Issue with latest firmaware, then down graded 1 back, then did a hard system reset today and left system there…

mkv issues are over the network and haven’t tried directly but will try to see what happens.

Adjusted handbrake, will see what happens after I run a file through!



SMP (Streaming Media Player - as in WDTVLive Streaming Media Player).  This is what the WDTVLive (Gen 3) is refered too here in the forum to differentiate it from other WDTVLive players.

Plugging in a usb drive into the front seems to play the particular mkv file without issue.

That same file was hanging up or giving the WD grief when done wirelessly…

The reason I bought the WD was for its wireless abilities!!!  So this doesn’t really solve my issue it just points out that the problem has something to do with the wireless connectivity?

Havings said that, it is the mkv files that seem to cause the issue where as the avi or mp4 do not behave the same manner…

I’ve been on with the WD level 1 guys from the Philippines with no help.

Any other ideas??

Thanks so much!!

Lets compare MediaInfo to see what the bandwidth requirements look like.

Please post the full TEXT output of MEDIAINFO for such a file.

Well, you really can’t compare avi, mp4 to mkv.  Those are usually at a higher compression.  It also depends on what the original source is.  If it’s DVD or BD that is going to make a difference.

Most likely it’s how the SMP is connecting to your wireless router.  If you have a b/g/n router I would set it to N only and see if that solves your issue.

I have no issues streaming BD mkv’s encoded with Handbrake over N only.  So it’s not that the SMP isn’t capable of doing so wirelessly, it’s most likely to do with your network setup.

Out of interest are you making these mkv or are you getting them off the internet. MKV is only a container so you could save them as say a mp4 or avi and see how they work then.

It denies me to run any file through the program.

I get an error message in a language I don’t understand…  


Wireless is not reliable for MKV streaming.
Also SMB is ok but i still experianced stutter on certain movies at high bitrate

Use NFS share, its significantly faster and speeds are more consistent than SMB

Now im running wired connection with NFS and its perfect, it plays everything i throw at it.

demo23019 wrote:

Wireless is not reliable for MKV streaming.

Why do people keep saying this?   I have two WD’s that are wireless…   And the fact that 99% of my media is MKV and plays fine – well, the above just isn’t true at all.   The statement is way too broad.

Duckmanfoo wrote:

It denies me to run any file through the program.

I get an error message in a language I don’t understand…  





Capture a screenshot of the error.

Sorry i meant streaming 1080p over wifi

demo23019 >>>  Use NFS share, its significantly faster and speeds are more consistent than SMB

How is this done; especially using WIndows 7 & XP?  I know nothing about NFS.  Thanks.

Handbrake encoded 1080p mkv’s will stream over wireless.  If they don’t then it is either your enviroment or your network setup.

Mediainfo of one I just streamed over wireless

Unique ID                                : 126708256196091588359409782046206685609 (0x5F531F5AE8C1011EF01631E6833771A9)
Complete name                            : M:\Blu Ray\LOTR 2 - The Two Towers.mkv
Format                                   : Matroska
Format version                           : Version 2
File size                                : 14.5 GiB
Duration                                 : 2h 59mn
Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
Overall bit rate                         : 11.5 Mbps
Writing application                      : HandBrake 4652svn
Writing library                          : libmkv 0.6.5

ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : AVC
Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                           : High@L4.0
Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames                : 4 frames
Codec ID                                 : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Width                                    : 1 920 pixels
Height                                   : 800 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 2.40:1
Original display aspect ratio            : 2.40:1
Frame rate mode                          : Variable
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
Bit depth                                : 8 bits
Scan type                                : Progressive
Writing library                          : x264 core 122
Encoding settings                        : cabac=1 / ref=3 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x113 / me=hex / subme=7 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=3 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=2 / keyint=240 / keyint_min=24 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=50 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=19.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=3 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
Language                                 : English
Default                                  : Yes
Forced                                   : No
Color primaries                          : BT.709
Transfer characteristics                 : BT.709
Matrix coefficients                      : BT.709

ID                                       : 2
Format                                   : DTS
Format/Info                              : Digital Theater Systems
Format profile                           : MA / Core
Mode                                     : 16
Format settings, Endianness              : Big
Codec ID                                 : A_DTS
Duration                                 : 2h 59mn
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : Unknown / 1 509 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : 6 channels
Channel positions                        : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth                                : 24 bits
Compression mode                         : Lossless / Lossy
Language                                 : English
Default                                  : Yes
Forced                                   : No

00:00:00.000                             : Chapter 1
00:04:08.741                             : Chapter 2
00:11:32.142                             : Chapter 3
00:12:17.688                             : Chapter 4
00:14:27.192                             : Chapter 5
00:17:30.542                             : Chapter 6
00:20:18.585                             : Chapter 7
00:21:12.722                             : Chapter 8
00:24:11.067                             : Chapter 9
00:28:19.023                             : Chapter 10
00:30:50.758                             : Chapter 11
00:34:19.675                             : Chapter 12
00:41:18.594                             : Chapter 13
00:46:55.263                             : Chapter 14
00:47:35.428                             : Chapter 15
00:52:53.121                             : Chapter 16
01:04:21.642                             : Chapter 17
01:06:14.421                             : Chapter 18
01:09:25.195                             : Chapter 19
01:10:51.239                             : Chapter 20
01:11:55.846                             : Chapter 21
01:13:38.490                             : Chapter 22
01:16:08.974                             : Chapter 23
01:20:35.990                             : Chapter 24
01:21:32.380                             : Chapter 25
01:26:01.399                             : Chapter 26
01:32:39.296                             : Chapter 27
01:35:05.901                             : Chapter 28
01:37:42.391                             : Chapter 29
01:39:22.032                             : Chapter 30
01:43:02.711                             : Chapter 31
01:45:28.690                             : Chapter 32
01:48:24.407                             : Chapter 33
01:55:44.805                             : Chapter 34
02:01:18.055                             : Chapter 35
02:02:37.926                             : Chapter 36
02:04:36.170                             : Chapter 37
02:06:20.899                             : Chapter 38
02:09:53.320                             : Chapter 39
02:16:09.279                             : Chapter 40
02:17:48.628                             : Chapter 41
02:21:13.457                             : Chapter 42
02:22:58.604                             : Chapter 43
02:28:55.544                             : Chapter 44
02:30:20.337                             : Chapter 45
02:30:55.080                             : Chapter 46
02:33:11.300                             : Chapter 47
02:35:43.285                             : Chapter 48
02:40:21.771                             : Chapter 49
02:42:49.961                             : Chapter 50
02:47:36.247                             : Chapter 51
02:49:15.930                             : Chapter 52
02:51:42.451                             : Chapter 53
02:59:24.329                             : Chapter 54

You have to enable linux shares on your WDtv network settings …thats for NFS

Also use software called hanewin NFS

here is tutorial

Tinwarble>>>  Handbrake encoded 1080p mkv’s will stream over wireless.

I recently started using Handbrake to create iPad movies from my DVD ISO files (not BDs) using the default preset for iPad.  They come out well.  An hour of video takes about two hours to convert. 

I use Bytecopy to make MKVs for WD player from my BD ISO files, and they convert much quicker, although I would like to try and make them with Handbrake.  Most of the presets in Handbrake are for Apple gizmos. 

So, my question for you is:  What Handbrake preset (or settings) do you use to make MKVs for your WD player?

I use Bytecopy to make MKVs for WD player from my BD ISO files, and they convert much quicker, although I would like to try and make them with Handbrake.  Most of the presets in Handbrake are for Apple gizmos.

Where do you get that???  Yes under “Devices” there are mostly Apple settings, but you also have Universal, Android Mid & Andriod High.  But those settings are for Portable devices.

For media players you use the presets under “Regular”, preferable “High Profile”.  Change the container to “mkv” then encode.  This should be fine for most, but personally I prefer to adjust the RF to 19, which takes longer to encode but gives better results.

And I don’t why people keep taking about the presets, these are just the defaults, you can make your own preset using what you feel gives you the best results.

And you can do the same thing, from BD ISO to mkv with Handbrake, Bytecopy is quicker because you can’t tweek the output of an mkv the way you can in HB and the quality is not as good unless you do lossless, then you might as use MKVtoolnix (free), besides that Bytecopy costs $$$$ and HB is free.  Also, most people already have something like DVDFab, which can already do BD/DVD straight to mkv, but has the same problem as Bytecopy, you can’t tweek the output.

I just checked what you told me – I saw everything mentioned except the “RF to 19” setting, but sure I can find it later.

I have (and bought) Bytecopy, because it was the best I had heard about at the time, AND I had not heard of Handbrake until much later!  BTW, Bytecopy is somewhat adjustable; especially for WD players.

Anyway, appreciate the help; do not appreciate the mild scolding for mentioning the presets and “not knowing” what “Regular” means – (fairly non-descriptive labeling.)

I just checked what you told me – I saw everything mentioned except the “RF to 19” setting, but sure I can find it later.

TW, Bytecopy is somewhat adjustable; especially for WD players.

Not really, you don’t adjust to a player anyway, only to what your display size is (as far as quality goes).  The adjustment that they have are basically for what the player will play, not in the quaility of the output.

Anyway, appreciate the help; do not appreciate the mild scolding for mentioning the presets and “not knowing” what “Regular” means – (fairly non-descriptive labeling.)

Not a scolding, but I have addressed the “Preset” thing before.