Need a little help with MKVs

Hi All - first thread!

I got my live a few days ago and so far none of my .MKVs are playing games, and neither are a few of my 720p AVIs. They’ll be fine for a few minutes then the audio will switch off and the video playback will go to really jerky. The only way I’ve found to sort it is by rewinding for a couple of seconds then playing again. This works fine for a few more minutes until it all starts again!

I’ve tried remuxing the .mkvs with mkvmerge (all that did was kill the sound) and repackaging as .m2ts with tsMuxeR- so far no joy. I’m going to try reducing the bitrate with handbrake overnight, though I’m not too confident that will do anything as the 'rate isn’t that high to begin with.

I’ve tried playing over the wireless network via a direct network share, and straight from an external HD.

Any thoughts??

Details of one of the files are here:

Format                           : Matroska
File size                        : 10.9 GiB
Duration                         : 2h 41mn
Overall bit rate                 : 9 674 Kbps
Writing application              : x264.exe
Writing library                  : mkv2rls v1.2 (date: 2010 febr 17)

ID                               : 1
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                   : High@L4.1
Format settings, CABAC           : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames        : 4 frames
Muxing mode                      : Container profile=Unknown@4.1
Codec ID                         : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration                         : 2h 41mn
Bit rate                         : 8 171 Kbps
Width                            : 1 920 pixels
Height                           : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 16:9
Frame rate                       : 23.976 fps
Color space                      : YUV
Chroma subsampling               : 4:2:0
Bit depth                        : 8 bits
Scan type                        : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.164
Stream size                      : 9.00 GiB (82%)
Writing library                  : x264 core 93 r1542 5b86182
Encoding settings                : cabac=1 / ref=4 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x133 / me=umh / 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=12 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=0 / interlaced=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / wpredb=1 / wpredp=2 / keyint=240 / keyint_min=24 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=30 / rc=2pass / mbtree=1 / bitrate=8171 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / cplxblur=20.0 / qblur=0.5 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00

ID                               : 2
Format                           : DTS
Format/Info                      : Digital Theater Systems
Codec ID                         : A_DTS
Duration                         : 2h 41mn
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 1 510 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 6 channels
Channel positions                : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth                        : 24 bits
Stream size                      : 1.71 GiB (16%)
Title                            : English DTS 1509kbps
Language                         : English

Text #1
ID                               : 3
Format                           : UTF-8
Codec ID                         : S_TEXT/UTF8
Codec ID/Info                    : UTF-8 Plain Text
Title                            : English
Language                         : English

Text #2
ID                               : 4
Format                           : UTF-8
Codec ID                         : S_TEXT/UTF8
Codec ID/Info                    : UTF-8 Plain Text
Title                            : English
Language                         : English


You can’t use the latest version of mkvmerge unless you turn off audio header compression (so best to use an older version).  This would kill the audio.

I don’t know about your other issues, but taking the original and running it through Handbrake with the High Profile preset (but change to an MKV file type) is the gold standard (if you have DTS or AC3 just pass them through).  If THAT file won’t play there is something wrong with your Live or elsewhere in the system, not with the file.

If that file plays then you need to examine how your MKV files were created in the first place.

Awesome, thanks! I’m still waiting on handbrake, 8hrs to go! Will let you know how it goes


While the High Profile is best, if the machine you’re using is too slow for your purposes you can use the Standard preset.

It can create a file with just as good a quality, but much faster (the tradeoff is that it isn’t as efficient so the file may be a lot larger for the same quality).  But I usually do my encodes overnight (and you can queue things up in Handbrake and even have it turn off your computer when it’s done).

Hmm, definitely sounds strange, I know you can use MKVmerge to fix the audio compression header issues that newer MKV files have, the WDTV Live doesnt support that and wont play back any audio, you have to run it through the program and change the compression to none on the audio track, but if you are having problems with the video too not sure whats up, I’ve had no problem playing any MKV file so far