WD TV Live cannot play MP4 smoothly if encoded with Elgato Turbo h264HD

Hi there,

I have a problem. Just bought the WD TV Live and found out that all my encodings that I’ve done with my Elgato Turbo h264HD on my MacBook will not play nicely on the WD TV Live :cry:

The audio is OK but the video judders, skips frames etc and is totally out of sync. It looks like ■■■■!

Anybody experiencing the same problem?

BTW: The same files played well on a XBOX360 or PS3…

Here a fingerprint of one file that is not playing.

*** MediaInfo Mac // Plain text file report

2010-01-14 01:11:07 +0100

Information for File: Die Akte - USA 1993, Thriller.mp4

General / Container Stream # 1

Total Video Streams for this File -> 1

Total Audio Streams for this File -> 2

Video Codecs Used -> AVC

Audio Codecs Used -> AAC LC / AC3

File Format -> MPEG-4

Play Time -> 2h 12mn

Total File Size -> 3.22 GiB

Total Stream BitRate -> 3 485 Kbps

Title (Tag) -> Die Akte - USA 1993, Thriller

Encoding Library -> Apple QuickTime

Video Stream # 1

Codec (Human Name) -> AVC

Codec (FourCC) -> avc1

Codec Profile -> Main@L3.1

Frame Width -> 720 pixels

Frame Height -> 576 pixels

Frame Rate -> 25.000 fps

Total Frames -> 198727

Display Aspect Ratio -> 16/9

Video Standard -> PAL

Scan Type -> Progressive

Colorimetry -> 4:2:0

Codec Settings (Summary) -> CABAC / 3 Ref Frames

QF (like Gordian Knot) -> 0.279

Codec Settings (CABAC) -> Yes

Video Stream Length -> 2h 12mn 29s 80ms

Video Stream BitRate -> 2 894 Kbps

Video Stream BitRate Mode -> VBR

Bit Depth -> 24 bits

Video Stream Size -> 2.68 GiB (83%)

Date of Original Encoding -> UTC 2009-12-31 12:22:58

Audio Stream # 1

Codec -> AAC

Codec (FourCC) -> 40

Audio Stream Length -> 2h 12mn 29s 77ms

Audio Stream BitRate -> 128 Kbps

Audio Stream BitRate Mode -> CBR

Number of Audio Channels -> 2

Audio Channel’s Positions -> L R

Sampling Rate -> 48.0 KHz

Bit Depth -> 16 bits

Audio Stream Size -> 121 MiB (4%)

Date of Original Encoding -> UTC 2009-12-31 12:22:58

Audio Stream # 2

Codec -> AC-3

Codec (FourCC) -> ac-3

Audio Stream Length -> 2h 12mn 28s 896ms

Audio Stream BitRate -> 448 Kbps

Audio Stream BitRate Mode -> CBR

Number of Audio Channels -> 2

Audio Channel’s Positions -> L R

Sampling Rate -> 48.0 KHz

Bit Depth -> 16 bits

Audio Stream Size -> 425 MiB (13%)

Date of Original Encoding -> UTC 2009-12-31 12:22:58

I think this is not a problem of the files. I have those problems only with the WD device.



I don’t have experience with that specific software but try the following on one of the MP4s:

  1. Demux the streams using YAMB (or the Mac equivalent - can your current software do this?) 

  2. Re-Mux them into an MKV using MKVmerge GUI (part of mkvtoolnix)

  3. Try the resulting MKV on your WD TV Live

My experience has been that files that have been completely unwatchable in MP4 or other containers (.OGM, .AVI, .DIVX) have actually had decent encodings, just the WD TV Live is not handling them correctly.  Like you say, audio is OK but video judders and is out of sync.

For whatever reason, pulling the raw streams out and placing them in an MKV gets them to play perfectly smoothly.

Depending on how many files you’ve encoded, this may not be an ideal solution.  

Hopefully, future firmware updates will improve container / codec support so that faffing around with files like this is unnecessary.  :)

Thx PixelPower for your advice :slight_smile:

I tried that already. I did a remux of a not working file and packed the raw streams in an MKV container. But unfortunately with the same result :cry:

Still judders and is out of sync… It felt like the video was double as fast compared to audio.

But I found out something else from my friend Google.

It seems the WD TV Live got problems with encodings that had a specific encoder setting.

I checked my encoder setting and found that my GOP Structure was ‘IBP’. After changing to ‘IP’ the WD TV Live can play the file smooth like butter :slight_smile:

So this means I have to re-encode my files, or WD takes this serious and makes a fix for that!

Hope this helps also others having the same problems



Hey Tim,

After reading what you had posted, I started doing research because I was having issues where my encoded videos were visually skipping as well.  For anyone interested, using Handbrake, I found that setting the advanced B-Frames option to 0 using the High Profile seemed to fix my issues.  I have not done extensive testing but I successfully managed to encode 1 minute of 1 video and did not see any skipping anywhere I had before previously with the B-Frames enabled.  I will do some more testing and if I find anything that contradicts what I have seen so far, then I will post.


Hi Eric,

Yes there is something wrong with encodings using B-frames. If I use only I and P frames, I have no playback issue anymore on my WD.

So I have changed the Elgato app default parameter to:

GOP Structure: IP

By default it is using ‘Automatic’ which is encoding with a IPB GOP structure.

What a hassle… Hope either one will fix that, but I see this being WDs fault.

Cheers, Tim

     H264 movie. ( Audio Folder ) uses a mp4. its skips like  crazy. is there a software I can use to fix it. Comine audio File to the movie as one movie file. audio & movie as one file. because the WD tv skips like crazy. it drives me crazy. why cant WD tv live allow you to play your movie and it plays the audio file as long as there in there folder. some how it detects it. where is WD tv Firmware updates. no updates for 3 monthes now. I keep waiting. how do I stop this skipping. I dont under stand this complicated stuff, only that im new to this. I just expect Western Digital to play my video with out the video sound skipping sounds know as Sputtering. they need a setting to play video and the Audio file

as of june 1st  they may not come out with any more Firmware update , you know how I know that  is because wd tv HD player has not seen a firmware Update sence November 2009. and the wd tv live has not seen a firmware update sence march 29th 2010, the movies would play perfectly on a PC but would not play properly on WD tv and live version. it has failed a lot on its suported formats witch is a huge disappointment. Would File report. and open a  clain agaist them under false advertisement under advertised suported formats that are not as decribed on the box.I will be the first to file the claim agaist Western Digital TV and Live. I have gave them my $ 160. Dollars and I must say this is a blow to every body here who is noteing  this.BBB Better Business  Bureau. www.bbb.org/us/consumers/ ,

Most issues with “Stuttering” audio or video is either a poor encode, or a bit rate that’s too fast for the network to keep up.

I have no issues playing my Blu-Ray rips on my wired Live, only occasional issues with my Wireless Live.

Your posts are very difficult to decipher.   So, I’m not sure what you’re trying to get.

Please go download MEDIAINFO  here:   http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en

Use MediaInfo to get a TEXT report on one of your troublesome files, and post the results here.

We’ll take a look.