WDTV Live: Video Freezing

I’ve been trying to play a particular group of AVI files recently but the video freezes while the audio plays fine.  The same AVI files play fine on VLC player via my computer so I know the files are OK.  Other AVI files play fine on WDTV Live but just a handful of related AVI files likely encoded together are problematic.  Perhaps VLC has some playback correction functions that WDTV Live does not? Anyone have any ideas or have seen this?  Thanks in advance for your help.  Otherwise, I love the WDTV Live…bought 3…one streaming wirelessly to my bedroom…one hard wired to the network…and gave one to my brother for his beach condo.  Everyone loves it.

Welcome to the forums.

Unfortunately, AVI is just a container (and a bad one at that) and lots of things can be inside the Live can’t play.  Just because your computer can play it doesn’t mean a thing.

You might try posting the MediaInfo on the file in question, but the best bet is to just run it through Handbrake (using the High Profile preset, but change the output type to MKV).  That will fix it.

Thanks for the advice.  I have Format Factory that can change the format to MKV…problem is…there are about 20 AVI files in total so it may take a while to change them all.  I didn’t realize AVI files had the issues you described.  I guess I’ve had pretty good luck thus far.

Anyway, below is the information on the Readme.txt file that I found. Not sure if this is helpful or not.

Please let me know if you see something that seems like it may create a problem.


Homicide: Life On The Street!

Season 3

* 20 episodes
* each episode is appr. 350 MB


Ripper: RTFM
Source: DVD

Technical Data:

 * Codec: ISO MPEG-4 (XviD, ffmpeg)
 * Resolution: 432x320 or 448 x 336
 * Framerate: 29.97 fps

 * Codec: A/52 (AC-3)
 * Bitate: 192 kbps Stereo


MediaInfo would be better – it displays all the information we need (it’s very hard to tell much of anything from that little information).

Just changing to an MKV container may not do it – that’s why it would be good to know all about the file.  It may require re-encoding (with a product like the freeware Handbrake).

Unfortunately, the Readme.txt file is all I have.  But I converted the AVI to MKV using Format Factory and the video stopped freezing but now the audio is not working.  After a little digging, it turns out the audio was converted using AAC (by default) which appears to be unsupported audio by WDTV.  So…I am converting it again this time using MP3 audio encoding.  But I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to convert all of those files.  Guess I don’t have a choice.  Thanks again for your help.

The Live does support AAC audio just fine, so I’m not sure where you got that information (I use AAC for a lot of my stuff).

But if you have a solution you’re happy with then I’m happy .

When the MKV file was playing, I pressed the Option button on the HDTV Remote control.  When I selected Audio from the Menu options, it said:  “1/1: Audio Channel AAC (Unsupported)”.  From that message, I assumed AAC was an unsupported format and therefore HDTV wouldn’t play AAC audio.  Maybe there was something else wrong and I am mistaken.  But I converted the AVI file again to MKV using MP3 audio and now the file works perfectly.  Its a whole lot of effort thou…takes over an hour per file with my netbook.  Its a shame that HDTV media player can’t play those particfular AVI files (without converting them) while VLC Media Player for the PC can.  But…I do understand your point about VLC and HDTV are totally different (and clearly unrelated) processes and are not comparable to each other…except they are both used to play AVI files.  Connecting my PC to my TV (and using VLC instead) is an option that I explored in the past and may in the future.  But I’m gathering from one of your messages that there are an infininite number of possibilities with the AVI files and they are not the best video format (perhaps) in the first place.  I’ve had so few problems with the HDTV media player that I’m not going to sweat this one.  Anyway, thanks again for your help…still love the HDTV media player.  I’m a big fan.

Good for you.

Yes, just to clarify, AAC is supported, but just like not all AVI containers are good, so are not all AAC encodings.  It might be a particular bitrate, or sample size or whatever.

There are literally tens of thousands of different combinations and a hardware player like the Live will always be at a disadvantage over software like VLC which can just download another codec.  It could be worse – AppleTV, for example, can only play MP4 files (and not all of them at that :>)